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Local News Archives for 2020-12

Kelly Receives COVID-19 Vaccine


Kansas Governor Laura Kelly posted a video on her Facebook of her receiving the Moderna version of the COVID-19 vaccine. Governor Kelly in her post says Today, following the Kansas Division of Emergency Management Continuity of Operations Plan, she received her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.


Kelly wanted to assure Kansans that the process was quick and easy. She has complete confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine and urges everyone, when it’s your turn, get yourself vaccinated.

Man and Woman Arrested in Independence for Multiple Drug Offenses


The Independence Police Department arrested a man and a woman early Tuesday morning.


IPD detected a suspicious vehicle parked in the alleyway around 4 a.m. near the block of 900 North Pennsylvania Avenue. After the officers investigated the scene, 47-year-old Richard Asher and 39-year-old Amanda Lee were arrested for possession of an opiate narcotic or certain stimulant, possession of counterfeit currency, distribution of marijuana and distribution of a depressant.


They were arrested and taken to the Montgomery County Jail.

Wreck Sends One to the Hospital


A Parsons man was sent to the hospital after a wreck early Wednesday morning in Wilson County.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 53-year-old Gregory Hinman was headed eastbound on U.S. 400 near K-39 when for an unknown reason his vehicle left the roadway and struck a 2005 Equinox that was on the side of the road.


Hinman was taken to the Fredonia Regional Medical Center with suspected serious injuries. There was no driver of the vehicle on the shoulder as it had been abandoned. Seat belts were in use in Hinman's vehicle.

Messy Weather for NYE Expected


It's likely going to be a sloppy finish in 2020 weather-wise with rain and a steady cold wind blowing from the northeast at 10-15 mph for New Year's Eve. The chance of precipitation is 35% by 8 p.m. but ramps up to 70% by 9 p.m. and 90% by 10 p.m. The overnight low will be in the low-30s and might touch freezing temperatures.


That precipitation will persist throughout the overnight hours and likely turn to snow in the mid-morning hours on New Years Day. The north wind will continue to blow throughout the day as well. Temperatures will be above freezing while it snows but will dip below freezing in the early evening hours. The overnight low will be in the upper-20s.

Updated COVID-19 Numbers in Montgomery County


The number of coronavirus cases is up 156 in Montgomery County's most recent report Monday. That brings the total to 2,244 cases since the start of the pandemic in March.


As for the state of Kansas, there are 6,731 new cases, 193 deaths and 192 hospitalizations. Labette Health ER Director Becky Mitchell said that it is yet to be seen if there is a spike in cases due to Christmas gatherings. The next set of data will likely answer these questions as COVID-19 test results start to come in from people who are getting tested after the holiday.

CVR Approves Renewable Diesel Production in Wynnewood


CVR Energy owners of the Coffeyville refinery, is moving quickly ahead after its board of directors approved a $110 million renewable diesel project at its refinery in Wynnewood, Oklahoma. reports the refinery’s hydrocracker unit will be converted for the production of renewable diesel.

While approval from the board was announced last week, construction activities including engineering design had been underway. CVR Energy hopes to have the conversion complete and operational by July of 2021. The conversion effort should result in the production of nearly 100 million gallons of renewable diesel a year and more than 6 million gallons of renewable naphtha a year.

Independence Thief Feels Remorse Returns Package


A thief in Independence not only returns a stolen package but apologizes and leaves a gift in return. Independence Police were dispatched to a home, where the caller reported that someone had stolen a package off their porch.


The investigating officer identified the thief from the homeowner’s video surveillance system. An officer visited the suspect’s home and left a message indicating there was enough evidence that the suspect could risk spending Christmas in jail.


Police later learned that the package contained a crockpot and was returned in time for Christmas. Along with the package, the thief left a note apologizing for their misdeed along with a Christmas gift for the victim. The victim then gave the suspect the gift of freedom and dropped the charges.


Peck Assigned to Four Committees


State Senator-Elect Virgil Peck has been assigned as vice-chairman of one committee and is a member of three other committees for the 2021 legislative session.


Peck will serve as the vice-chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee as well as a member of the Agriculture & Natural Resources, Financial Institutions, and Commerce committees.


Peck said he is pleased to be selected as vice-chair of the Insurance Committee and that he specifically requested to serve on the Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee because of his background as an insurance agent and because of the district he represents.


The 2021 Legislative Session starts January 11th and is scheduled to run for 90 days.

New Regulations on Coyote Hunting to Take Effect


The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism wants to remind everyone that the new night-time coyote hunting season begins on New Year's Day.


But to partake in the season, hunters must obey certain new regulations. These include the prohibition of the use of vehicles during night time hunting and the requirement that all hunters regardless of age have a night vision permit in addition to the regular hunting permit.


For a full list of the new hunting regulations, a link to the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism can be found here.

Water Line Break in Coffeyville Fixed


The City of Coffeyville experienced a water line break Tuesday afternoon in the area of Woodland and Parkview.


Workers were able to get it fixed around 9:30 p.m. The city was able to make the necessary repairs and flush the water so it should be clean for residents who live in that area.


However, water could still be a little cloudy and should be flushed for safe consumption. If you have any questions, you can contact the city at (620) 252-6108.

3.8 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes South Central Kansas


Another earthquake in Wichita shook the south-central Kansas region early Wednesday morning around 5 a.m. with a magnitude of 3.8.


This is the 15th earthquake in the state of Kansas this month and the third largest in 2020, according to the United States Geological Survey.


Much like the majority of the earthquakes this month, Wednesday's quake was a shallow quake with a depth of three miles below the earth's crust.


No damage was reported. According to the USGS, it usually takes a magnitude of 4.0 to cause any damage.

USPS Scam in Chautauqua County


A scam has been going around in Chautauqua County claiming you can receive a $600 check weekly.


The scam letter has a United States Postal Service logo at the top saying that the payment will come from the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Mobile Wraps Advertisement that you applied for.


The instructions on the letter say to deposit the check into your bank account and then email the scammer your personal information in order to receive the funds.


The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office said to contact them if you receive a letter from this scammer.

GPD Respond to Possible Prank Call

At approximately 9:20pm Galena Police Department, Cherokee County Deputies, and Galena EMS personnel were dispatched to an address at 23rd and Joplin in Galena.

A male subject called 911 stating his home was being burglarized by two subjects, and his wife had been shot in the stomach. The male quickly disconnected the line with Cherokee County Dispatch without giving any further information. When officers arrived on scene they found the homeowner to be safe and no burglary in progress. Officers located a cellphone in the yard that was still pulled up to 911. With the assistance of Cherokee County Deputies, officers canvased the area and did not locate any sign of a disturbance. Officers spoke to multiple residents in the area.

At this time GPD believes this to have been a prank call. They encourage anyone who was in the area that saw anything or know anything about this incident to notify them so they can look into it. At this time they do not believe there is any threat to the public and that this was an isolated incident.

Watch Out for COVID Vaccine Scams


The Kansas Division of Emergency Management warns against COVID-19 Vaccine Scams. Some warning signs to look out for to avoid these scams.


You will not be asked for money to enhance your ranking for vaccine eligibility. Government and State officials will not call you to obtain personal information in order to receive the vaccine. You will not be solicited door to door to receive the vaccine. The KDEM says to be vigilant and protect yourself from potential fraud concerning COVID-19 vaccines.

Holiday Hours Change for Caney, Cville and County


The Montgomery County Courthouse and the Coffeyville Tag Office will close at noon Thursday and then be closed all day Friday in observance of New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.


The city offices in Coffeyville will be closed Friday. The Coffeyville tree dump will be closed Thursday and Friday. Trash pickup in Coffeyville scheduled for Friday will be picked up on Saturday.


The city offices in Caney will close at noon on Thursday and will be closed all day Friday. Trash pickup scheduled for Friday in Caney will be picked up on Saturday.


Newest Area COVID-19 Numbers


The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Wilson County rose by 23 in the latest report from the Wilson County Health Department.


There are now 620 total positive cases, however, active cases saw a huge drop as it shed 24 cases to drop to 87. Hospitalizations were up three to 32 with an additional death to raise that number to seven. In Montgomery County, total cases have risen to just over 2,000 cases at 2,088, Labette County has 1,790 total cases while Chautauqua County has 159 total cases.


There were 6,373 new COVID-19 cases across the state which brings the total to 216,062 total cases with just under 6,600 hospitalizations and 2,554 deaths since the pandemic began in March.

Kelly To Receive Vaccination


Gov. Laura Kelly plans to get a COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday as part of a larger program to give shots to selected Kansas officials so that the state government can continue to operate during the pandemic.


The governor confirmed her plans Monday as nursing home workers and residents began receiving vaccinations. The state’s vaccine distribution plan calls for providing shots first to front-line health care workers, nursing home workers, and nursing home residents.


Kelly said last week that the state was also looking at giving shots to people in state agencies, the Legislature, and the state court system.

Bartlesville Man Arrested in Caney for DUI


A Bartlesville man was arrested early Sunday morning for driving under the influence in Caney.


27-year-old Zane Washington was pulled over by Caney Police for driving 67 mph in a 35 mph zone at U.S. 75 and Spears Road. Upon investigation, it was discovered that Washington had been drinking. The man was given a field sobriety test and was arrested for driving under the influence and speeding.

Stranded in Winter Weather Safety Tips


With the potential for some winter weather this week the Kansas Division of Emergency Management has some safety tips for if your car were to get stranded in the snow. 


The first thing you should do is alert the authorities, you can call 911, the Kansas Highway Patrol or the Kansas Turnpike Authority. Don't panic and stay in your vehicle. Do not attempt to find help by walking. Your car provides the best protection from the weather and you are more likely to be discovered. Keep fresh air circulating by clearing snow away from the tailpipe and running the motor sparingly. Only open the downwind window to provide proper ventilation. Keep active and move around to stimulate circulation, relieve muscle tension and help keep you awake.

Suspects Wanted in Theft and Damage to Cars


The Neosho County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a theft and criminal damage case. Someone stole catalytic converters from a number of vehicles parked on a property at the north U59/K39 Jct. Two of the vehicles were flipped upside down. The crime occurred sometime between 3:00pm yesterday and 8:00am this morning.


If anyone happened to drive by that location during the time frame and noticed any activity there, or if you have any other information about the crime please contact Deputy Trevor Seibel or Undersheriff Greg Taylor at the Neosho County Sheriff’s Office at (620)244-3888.

Pair of Men in Caney on Separate Warrants


Two different men were arrested in Caney on Saturday afternoon with outstanding warrants.


36-year-old Kenneth Hufferd was found hiding under a bed in his home at 1010 North High Street trying to hide from Caney Police who had a warrant for his arrest on failure to appear in court charges.


The other man arrested was 46-year-old Gary Stimpson who was arrested at the corner of Orange and State Street and was wanted for theft of services.


Both men were taken to the Chautauqua County Jail.

Request for Quotes For Window Replacements


The City of Independence Park Department is requesting quotes for window replacement at the Lone Chief Cabin located in the park on Wells Drive.


The city is requesting quotes for twelve single hung, vinyl energy efficient windows with grilles between the glass and screens. The quote is to include removing existing windows, installing new windows, and the option of single strength or double strength glass.


For more information or submit a quote, contact Angela Anthony at 620-332-2515 or email her at

Missing Juvenile in Coffeyville


A juvenile has gone missing from Coffeyville on Christmas afternoon, according to the Coffeyville Police Department.


16-year-old Emily Myers was last seen around 1 p.m. Her most recent Facebook post says, "It's easy to look at people and make quick judgments about them, their present and their past, but you'd be amazed at the pain and tears a single smile hides."


If you have seen her or know of her whereabouts, please the Coffeyville Police Department at 620-252-6160.

Multiple Car Thefts in Galena


There were multiple car burglaries in Galena on Christmas evening, according to the Galena Police Department.


The thefts occurred during the overnight hours all across the town from 3rd Street to 27th Street. GPD said that there is not a specific area that was targeted and if you know any information about the burglaries or if you have been robbed, please contact their non-emergency line at 620-783-5065.


GPD reminds citizens to not leave any valuables in their vehicles overnight.

Fredonia Police Searching For Missing Man


The Fredonia Police Department are looking for a man who has been missing since Tuesday.


Fifty-Six-year-old Dave Harris does not have the ability to navigate himself home. Harris is 6ft tall with long gray hair and a beard. He was last seen wearing camo coveralls, a short-sleeved shirt with white and yellow shoes with no socks.


If anyone knows or sees Harris, please call Wilson County Dispatch at 620-378-2369.

Big Happenings in Erie


After months of negotiations, the City of Erie has finalized the purchase of Stub’s Market. The former owners retired and the city was in danger of becoming a food desert. Cindy Garland will be the new manager of the store.


City officials have also announced that the Erie City Public Library was awarded a SPARK Grant to expand their “We Share” program to build a community greenhouse. Library officials will plant vegetables and distribute the harvest and seeds to members of the community. The greenhouse costs $10,000 and is completely paid for by the SPARK grant. Library officials hope to have the greenhouse delivered before the new year.


DUI Enforcement Campaign to Begin Tomorrow


The Kansas Highway Patrol will join many other police agencies across the state in the Taking Down DUI traffic enforcement campaign, sponsored by the Kansas Department of Transportation beginning December 26, and continuing through January 3rd.


Marijuana, opioid, and alcohol use have increased substantially in general during the pandemic and these impairing substances have now been identified in nearly 25% of serious and fatal crashes.


According to KDOT, in comparison with other holidays, the New Year’s Holiday period outranks most of the other holidays in the number of crashes in which at least one of the drivers is impaired by alcohol and/or other drugs.

Gov. Kelly Says Kansas Should Drop Local Control of COVID-19 Rules


Governor Laura Kelly says Kansas should stop giving local officials the final say over the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic because experience has shown “a patchwork approach” does not work.


Kelly said that the state is seeing the benefits of a “unified” state strategy to boost testing and an increased willingness by the state's 105 counties to require people to wear masks, which she has pushed for months.


Kelly also said she would like legislators to rewrite a law that allows people exposed to COVID-19 to avoid providing information that would allow health officials to trace their close contacts.


Kelly is likely to face strong resistance from Republicans for returning power to manage a pandemic to the governor's office, particularly the authority to close businesses or impose statewide restrictions such as mask mandates. GOP leaders have said that local officials are best positioned to decide what works.

Wednesday's Area COVID-19 Numbers


The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Wilson County went up by 17 in the latest report from the Wilson County Health Department.


There are now 597 total positive cases however active cases dropped by four to 111 cases. Hospitalizations and deaths remained unchanged at 29 and five, respectively. There were over 3,200 negative tests while 487 have recovered.


In Montgomery County, total cases have risen to just under 2,000 cases, Labette County has 1,679 total cases while Chautauqua County has 143 total cases. There were 5,089 new COVID-19 cases across the state which brings the total to 209,689 total cases with 6,424 hospitalizations and just over 2,500 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

City of Caney Office Closing Early for Christmas Eve


The City of Caney office will be closing a little earlier than usual today. The office will still be open for a short period of time but will close at 2 pm to celebrate Christmas Eve.


The office will also be closed for the entirety of Christmas Day before opening back up once again on Monday.

Montgomery County Commission Agenda for 12-28


It'll be right back to the grind for the Montgomery County commissioners, as they meet in regular session next Monday.


The first meeting after the Christmas holiday will see the commissioners visit with the Trisha Purdon with the Montgomery County Action Council over SPARK funding. Others scheduled to speak at Monday's meeting include Public Works Coordinator Jim Wright, County Treasurer Nancy Clubine, and Emergency Manager Rick Whitson.


In other business, the commission will consider a cereal malt beverage license for AKAS 1, LLC, out of Independence, and will also consider signing a neighboorhood revitalization application.


The meeting will be called to order at 9 a.m. in the lower level of the Judicial Center.

Sen. Moran Helps Urge FTC To Protect Seniors From Scams


This Christmas season, Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) is working to urge the Federal Trade Commission to protect seniors from scams. 


While not new by any means, reports have shown a marked increase in holiday shopping scams. Moran, alongside fellow senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), has penned a letter to FTC chairman Joseph Simons asking the agency to respond to several questions. One of those questions asks if there are any additional measures being planned to help guard against scams. Another asks if the FTC is working with any other agencies to combat the same kinds of scams.


You can read a full copy of the letter sent by Senators Moran and Klobuchar here.

Chautauqua County Receives First Allocation of COVID Vaccine


The Chautauqua County Health Department has received its first allocation of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.


As of right now, the county is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout, meaning that the delivered doses will be administered to front line health care workers including hospital staff, EMS, home health staff and health department staff. The Moderna vaccine consists of two doses, with the second being administered 28 days after the first.  Previously, the county was unable to receive the first round of vaccines from Pfizer, which was required to be stored at a temperature ranging from -60 to -80 degrees Celsius.


A timeline of phases for receiving more vaccines has not been given to Chautauqua County by the KDHE, but further updates will be given to the general public as the health department receives them.

Manhunt Leads to Arrest


Cherokee County deputies were dispatched to a rural Columbus home after a property owner discovered a burglary in progress. As law enforcement was responding to the scene, the suspect fled in a Nissan truck.


Deputies intercepted the suspect near Southwest 30th and Greenlawn, where he drove into a field prior to fleeing on foot. Law enforcement began a search, which included the use of a Cherokee County Sheriff's Office K9 Team and an aircraft, which was deployed out of Wichita. After approximately three hours, the suspect, 23-year-old Jacob Isaiah Huffman, of Riverton, was located and taken into custody. Huffman is being held in the Cherokee County Jail on allegations of Residential Burglary, Theft, Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Obstruction of Justice, Possession of Methamphetamine with Intent to Distribute and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Gov. Kelly Extends Deadline for Expiring Driver's Licenses and ID Cards


Governor Laura Kelly signed Executive Order 20-70 extending the deadline for renewal of driver’s licenses to June 30, 2021.  With this order, Governor Kelly extends a previous provision that allows Kansans 21 to 64 years of age to renew online. By statute, the restriction is 21 to 54 years old.


In addition to Executive Order 20-70, the Kansas Department of Revenue is removing service fees for all Kansans who use iKan to renew their license. These fees are generated to keep the online renewal system running but will be covered by COVID-19 funding to encourage the use of online renewals. This, in turn, assists in combatting community spread of the disease.

Labette County Gives COVID Update


The Labette County Health Department took to Facebook to share its own COVID-19 case summary Tuesday. The county reported 311 current active cases of the coronavirus, with 1,541 total cases since the beginning of the pandemic earlier this year. Of those cases, the county reported that 1,230 of those cases had recovered while also reporting 10 deaths.


Meanwhile, the state of Kansas has passed 200,000 total cases with just under 2,500 deaths, according to KDHE numbers reported on Monday. Numbers may vary slightly between local health departments and the KDHE, but the difference is often minimal.

Survey Taking Place at U.S. 75 Bridge North of Caney


The Kansas Department of Transportation has started a field survey at the U.S. 75 bridge over Cheyenne Creek, located one mile north of the south U.S. 166/U.S. 75 junction at Caney.


The length of the survey is 2,000 feet on the existing highway alignment. Survey crew members are gathering information for the detailed design of a proposed bridge replacement project.


KDOT expects the survey to be complete by Jan. 15, 2021.

High Winds Throughout Today, Fire Conditions in Place


After a particularly windy Tuesday night, the National Weather Service in Wichita is predicting much of the same through Wednesday.


Strong wind gusts of up to 45 mph are expected to move northwest through the southeast Kansas area. The NWS is advising those with loose outdoor items or Christmas decorations to either take them inside or secure them. Dangerous fire conditions will also be in place, with outdoor burning highly discouraged.


A wind advisory was issued early Wednesday morning for portions of central, south central and southeast Kansas until 6 pm. A red flag warning will also come into effect starting at noon today, running through 5 pm. 


Stay tuned to KGGF for further updates, should they be needed.

City of Independence Gives Leaf Pickup Update


The city of Independence provided an update to its leaf pickup schedule earlier this week as it continues to work through staff shortages due to COVID-19.


Leaf pickup for Area 10 started yesterday and will continue through December 26th. Area 11 will be picked up from December 29th through January 4th. The job will then be completed with Area 12, starting January 5th and ending on January 8th. 


Leaf and brush pickup schedules were scheduled in the wake of an ice storm that came through the city back in October, but those schedules were both delayed due to a brief surge of COVID-19 in many of the city's departments.

Chanute Man Arrested


A 41-year-old Chanute man has been arrested on a list of drug and traffic charges.


Chanute PD conducted a traffic stop in the area of the 300 block of West Walnut. During the stop, Chanute PD K9 sensed the presence of drugs inside the vehicle. Officers applied and were granted a search warrant on the vehicle and discovered the drugs.


James William Waggoner was arrested for possession of narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving with a suspended license, and no proof of liability insurance. He was transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.

Christmas on the Plaza Entering Final Day


If you're needing a last minute chat with Santa, or you haven't yet made it out to the market, there is one more chance to do so thanks to Coffeyville's Christmas on the Plaza.


Santa Claus will be meeting children at the Downtown Mall at 114 W. 9th Street from 5:30 to 7:30 pm today. The market will be open for the final time as well, opening at 5:30 pm and operating from 115 W. 9th and 910 S. Walnut. The first 50 kids at the market will received a free "paint your own cookie kit" donated by the Sunflower Soda Fountain.


In addition, the Dalton Defenders & Coffeyville History Museum is still offering half price admission from 5 to 8 pm. This year's Christmas on the Plaza was a joint effort from the city of Coffeyville, the Chamber of Commerce and Coffeyville's Reawkening.

Brush Pickup Schedule for Indy


The Independence Street Department has been working diligently to complete brush pickup from the October ice storm. However, due to staffing issues related to COVID-19 this has taken longer than expected.


They are allocating resources and equipment from the Street, Water-Sewer, and Cemetery departments together on December 28-30 to expedite this pick-up effort. The area left to pick up brush from the Ice Storm is Area 12, which is north of Oak Street. Please place all tree limbs in the grass area along the street curb in front of your house.

Indy City Hall Hours Changed for the Holidays


Staff shortages in the Independence City Clerk’s Office due to COVID-19 have caused a change in hours at City Hall from now until the new year. City Hall will be open tomorrow from 8:00am until noon and then closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Next week, City Hall will be open Monday through Wednesday from 8:00am until noon and then closed on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.


To pay your utility bill you may call 1-844-215-7377 or 620-332-2500 option 1 and use our automated voice recognition system. You can also pay online. Additionally, you can mail your payment or use the two drop box locations at 811 W. Laurel St. and 120 N 6th St.

Monday's Area COVID-19 Numbers


The number of positive cases in Wilson County continues to rise according to the latest report from the Wilson County Health Department.


There are now 580 total positive cases, which is up 43 since last Friday's update. Active cases also rose by seven to 115 cases. Hospitalizations and deaths remained at 29 and five, respectively. There were 3,210 negative tests while 430 have recovered.


In Montgomery County, total cases have risen to 1,866, Labette County has 1,577 total cases while Chautauqua County has 132 total cases. There were 4,174 new COVID-19 cases across the state which brings the total to 204,600 total cases with 6,267 hospitalizations and 2,448 deaths since the pandemic began.

Coffeyville City Commission Agenda for 12-22


The Coffeyville City Commission will take care of some end-of-year business when it meets in regular session tonight. 


The commission will hold a public forum for the 2020 Budget Amendment and consider appointments to the CRMC Board of Trustees. City Manager Mark Hall will also give his report, and commissioners will share any comments they may have.


Tonight's meeting will begin at 6:30 pm at City Hall.

Rep. Estes Praises House Approval of COVID-19 Relief Bill


Representative Ron Estes praised the House's approval of the latest COVID-19 relief bill despite what he called a "completely unnecessary political stalemate."


The bill, passed on Monday, includes a $600 stimulus check for those who qualify. It also includes money for small business loans, rental assistance, and vaccine distribution. The legislation also offers assistance for rural Kansas, including $300 million set aside to build out rural broadband and a new designation for rural hospitals to maintain their viability. 


Estes went after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, claiming she delayed the relief bill through partisan politics. The bill passed in the House, 359 to 53, before easily passing in the Senate 92-6.

Sen Roberts Receives COVID Vaccine


Kansas Governor Laura Kelly asked retiring Senator Pat Roberts to share some words with Kansans as he received the COVID-19 vaccine. Sen Roberts encouraged everyone to get vaccinated.


Governor Kelly shared the video of Senator Roberts receiving the vaccine with his message to Kansans calling it his final act of bipartisanship. Kelly also encouraged everyone in the post to get vaccinated saying it’s safe, effective, and will keep you and your loved ones protected from COVID-19.

Caney Man Arrest on Warrant and Drug Charges


Officers with the Caney Police Department observed a vehicle belonging to someone with an active warrant for their arrest. Officers contacted the vehicle and the occupants in the 300 block of E. 5th St. Officers arrested 29 year old Tyler Privitt on a city warrant for failure to appear.


Upon searching Privitt, officers also located approximately 6 grams of methamphetamine. Privitt was arrested and transported to the Montgomery County Jail. Privitt is held on the city warrant and charges have been sent to the Montgomery County Attorney requesting charges of possession of methamphetamine.

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips from Red Cross


Decorations like trees, lights and candles can add to the holiday experience, but they also increase the risk of home fires. According to a 2020 National American Red Cross survey, nearly one-third of us have left the room or fallen asleep while burning candles. The American Red Cross has some holiday decoration safety tips.


Check all holiday light cords to make sure they aren’t frayed or broken. Turn off all holiday lights when going to bed or leaving the house. Ensure outside decorations are for outdoor use. If using hooks or nails outside, make sure they are insulated to avoid electrocution or fire hazard. Look for the fire-resistant label when buying an artificial tree and keep it away from fireplaces, radiators and other sources of heat. Never use electric lights on metallic trees. If getting a live tree, make sure it’s fresh and keep it watered.

Area COVID-19 Numbers


The number of positive cases in Wilson County continues to rise according to the latest report from the Wilson County Health Department.


There are now 537 total positive cases (with 6 presumed positive cases), which is up 23 since last Wednesday's update. Active cases also had a slight bump by three to 108 cases. Hospitalizations are up by two to 29 while deaths remained at five. There were 3,210 negative tests while 430 have recovered.


In Montgomery County, total cases have risen to 1,782, Labette County has just over 1,500 total cases while Chautauqua County hovers just above the century mark at 127 total cases.


There were 5,857 new COVID-19 cases across the state which pushed the state over the 200,000 mark bringing the total to 200,426 total cases. There are also 6,175 hospitalizations and 2,341 deaths since the pandemic began.

Chautauqua and Labette County Receive Funds for Bridge Repairs


Chautauqua County and Labette County are just two of several counties receiving funds as part of the Kansas Local Bridge Improvement Program.


The program, reinstated in 2019, assists cities and counties by providing up to $150,000 toward the replacement or rehabilitation of a bridge on the local roadway system. In total, 27 counties and 3 cities received aid, with individual costs ranging from $150,000 to $2.4 million. There were 68 applications in total, from 61 local public agencies.


The program targets bridges 20-50 feet in length and with a daily vehicle count of less than 100. There are approximately 19,000 bridges on Kansas’ local road systems. About 20 percent of those bridges are in poor condition or unable to meet today’s weight and vehicle requirements.


A full map, showing which counties and cities received aid, is included with this story.

Two Arrested, Linked to Residential Burglary


Two Missouri residents were arrested in connection with a December 14th burglary of a Lowell home, where suspects initially fled from law enforcement.


Kevin Lee Hanten was apprehended last Monday afternoon and transported to the Cherokee County Jail on a variety of charges. Late last week, a deputy patrolling the area stopped a Chevy Blazer and arrested 38-year-old Cory August Hirdler and 41-year-old Brandy Montez Bates, both of Seneca, MO, when the trailer they were hauling was discovered stolen. In addition to the trailer, law enforcement recovered items stolen during Monday's burglary.


Sheriff's Investigators executed a search warrant of the suspect's house where additional stolen property including a vehicle previously reported stolen out of Oklahoma, along with suspected methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were also discovered and seized.


Gas Prices Up Across the Board In Kansas, Oklahoma


Motorists in southeast Kansas have seen gas prices rise considerably.


Over the past month, prices in Montgomery County are up by nearly a nickel to $1.98 a gallon while Labette County has risen eight cents also to $1.98 a gallon. In Chautauqua County, prices have only moved a penny to $2.03 for a regular gallon of gasoline. The state average has jumped 12 cents at $1.99 a gallon.


In Oklahoma, the state average is up 12 cents as well to $1.93 a gallon. Gas in Washington County is up 16 cents to $1.90 while Nowata County is up 18 cents to $1.89.


Since Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased by four cents to $2.20, which is five cents more than a week ago, eight cents more than a month ago, but 35 cents less than a year ago.

Governor Kelly to Run For Reelection


Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly is running for reelection in 2022.


According to Spokeswoman Lauren Fitzgerald, the Democratic governor’s confirmed the plans four days after Kelly announced that Commerce Secretary David Toland also would serve as the state’s next lieutenant governor. Toland will replace Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers, appointed by Kelly last week to fill a coming vacancy in the state treasurer’s office.


Toland was the treasurer for Kelly’s 2018 campaign for governor and is highly regarded by some business leaders. Naming Toland lieutenant governor could position him for a future run for governor and prompted speculation that Kelly might not run again. However, Kelly said during a virtual fundraising event Thursday evening that she would seek another term.

Montgomery County Courthouse Closed for Christmas


If you have some business to be taken care of at the Montgomery County courthouse or the Coffeyville tag office, make sure to do so by Wednesday of next week.  The courthouse will be closed on both Christmas Eve and the day of Christmas.  Normal business will resume the following Monday, after the holidays.


The Montgomery County Commission meeting scheduled for Monday has been canceled they will be for their next regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, December 28th.



Indy Names New Engineer/Public Works & Utilities Director


The City of Independence has hired John Garris to be its new City Engineer/Public Works and Utilities Director.


City manager Kelly Passauer announced the hiring of Garris at Thursday's city commission meeting. He will replace outgoing directors Mike Passauer and Terry Lybarger, both of whom are scheduled to retire in 2021. Garris will assume the role on January 4 and will supervise all Public Works and Utilities departments, including airport, street, sanitation, water distribution, sewer collection, water treatment and wastewater treatment.


Garris and his wife, Sheri, moved to Independence in 2009. He has two sons, one who is currently a student at Kansas State University, and one who is a freshman at Independence High School. Sheri works as an adjunct instructor at Independence Community College and an instructor at area high schools.

LCHS FFA Arvest Ag Chapter of the Month


Throughout the year Arvest Bank and KGGF have been honoring students from different FFA chapters in both Kansas and Oklahoma. As we finish up 2020 we wanted to do something different by honoring an entire FFA chapter for the month of December. The Labette County High School FFA Chapter has not only been successful in competing in contests throughout the state but also has a former student representing them as a State FFA Officer. State FFA Sentinel Hannah Graybill says her four years in FFA at LCHS really led here to this.


COVID-19 has been a challenge for FFA students from canceling events in the spring to changing how they do things now. LCHS FFA President and Southeast District President Cadence Wheeler says it's been a difficult process to adjust to.  One question we have tried to ask each Ag Student of the Month is what advice would you give someone who is thinking about being in FFA. Here is some of the advice from the students representing the LCHS FFA Chapter.


The full version of this interview with the LCHS FFA Chapter can be found on our Facebook or a link to the interview can be found here. Thank you to Arvest Bank for honoring FFA students throughout the year.

On-Campus Housing and Dining Costs to Remain Unchanged


The Kansas Board of Regents approved a plan Wednesday night that will keep on-campus housing and dining next year at the state's six universities unchanged.


Even though schools have incurred higher costs this semester and fewer students on campus, the universities felt the need to keep cost-of-attendance affordable for students. Average costs for double-occupancy rooms with several dining options will remain at just under $8,000 at Pittsburg State University and around $11,000 at Wichita State University.


Housing officials are hoping that by keeping the costs unchanged, it will bring more students back into residence halls to offset increased operations costs as a result of the pandemic.

Free Testing Available in Coffeyville


There will be free COVID-19 testing in the parking lot of Nellis Hall in Coffeyville Monday through Friday. Director of Montgomery County Emergency Management Rick Whitson says this is through a partnership with the health department, emergency management, and Coffeyville Community College.


Whitson says the PCR tests are considered to be the most reliable and that it is a saliva test, not the nasal swab.  They ask that you register for a test at, but they won't turn you away if you are not registered it may just be a slower process.  A diagram of how the traffic will flow through the testing area can be found below.


USD 504–Oswego to Suspend Remote Learning


All students, except for those quarantined or those who have a medical condition, in the USD 504 – Oswego school district will return to on-site learning after the Christmas holiday break.


The USD 504 Board of Education voted 7-0 earlier this week to suspend remote learning at the end of this semester for all students for whom it is not required. Superintendent Douglas Beisel said in a Facebook video that several districts are making the same move and that some students are falling behind as remote learning is simply not working.


Beisel went on to say there have been very few cases of COVID-19 transmitted student-to-student or student-to-teacher within the schools. Nearly all cases have been an outside contact that has required close contacts to be quarantined.


The Spring Semester for USD 504 begins on January 4th.

COVID-19 Positive Cases Up, Active Cases Down


The number of positive cases in Wilson County has risen above 500 after the latest report from the Wilson County Health Department was released Wednesday.


There are now 514 total positive cases (with 6 presumed positive cases), which is up 33 since Monday's update. However, active cases dropped by 19 to 105 cases. Hospitalizations are up by one to 27 while deaths remained at five. There were 3,162 negative tests while 410 have recovered.


In Montgomery County, total cases have risen to 1,671 with 42 hospitalizations with a record 75 new positive cases reported on Monday.


Across the state, there were 4,551 new COVID-19 cases which brings the total to 194,569 total cases. There were also just over 6,000 hospitalizations and 2,253 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

Pace of COVID Calls Picking Up in Independence


Independence city and community leaders called in for a weekly pandemic update call Thursday, as the pace of calls to Indy EMS picks back up due to holiday fallout. Assistant City Manager David Cowan said that calls to the EMS service have picked back up over the last 48 hours, with nearly every call concerning COVID-19. The increased number of calls is assumed to be related to the Thanksgiving holiday, when many people got together for large gatherings.


USD 446 Superintendent Rusty Arnold shared that the high school has transitioned to remote learning for the rest of the week, due to the previously reported 15 positive cases and the subsequent quarantining of over 180 students. Arnold said high schoolers are social beings, and that it is difficult to manage their behavior and keep them from spreading the virus.  However, the impact on the K-8 schools has been minimal, with only one or two cases being reported at a time.


Area health care workers are receiving COVID vaccinations this week, but there is still "no definite information" on when the vaccine will be available to the public. Health care leaders predict that will come in spring 2021.


Cow on the Loose in Coffeyville


A cow was on the loose Tuesday afternoon in the area of the Coffeyville Tree Dump on North Sycamore.


A call was responded to around 2:30 p.m. by Coffeyville Animal Control. The cow was eating on a grassy knoll when a gunshot was fired, startling the animal. The cow took off ended up resting in a bushy area not too far from the tree dump.


Animal control ended up finding the owner, contacted them and sent them to the area of the lost cow. Animal Control Officer Paul Stinson said that he isn't sure if the animal was found and recovered, but there haven't been any more reports of the cow since then.

Woman Killed in Accident


A woman was killed in a traffic accident earlier this week in Labette County.


44-year-old Mandy Karstetter of McCune was driving a 2015 Fusion eastbound on U.S. 400 and attempted to turn north onto Massey Road when she was struck from behind by a 2017 Ram Pickup driven by 41-year-old Derick Spencer of Cherryvale.


The collision caused Karstetter's vehicle to spin into the westbound lane where she was struck by a 2006 Freightliner driven by 58-year-old Michael Capps. Karstetter was pronounced dead at the scene. Spencer and Capps had no apparent injuries. Seat belts were in use in all vehicles.

Independence High School Shifting to Remote Learning


Independence High School is shifting to remote learning after 11 COVID-19 cases were reported Monday.


Superintendent Rusty Arnold talked with the district nurse and the Montgomery County Health Department and determined that this was the best option to avoid the spread amongst both students and staff.


Remote learning will take place for the rest of this week and then they will have their semester break. They will return to classes on January 5th and report to their first semester classes. Finals will take place on January 7th and 8th and then second-semester classes will start on January 12th.

Burglary Suspect Apprehended


One man has been taken into custody on numerous charges in connection with a home burglary.


Deputies with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office responded to the burglary of a home in Lowell earlier this week. As law enforcement was speaking with the property owner, two suspects returned to the home. Realizing a deputy was inside, they then fled to a nearby wooded area.


Law enforcement with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, Baxter Springs Police Department, and Kansas Highway Patrol established a perimeter while K9 teams with the Sheriff's Office and Highway Patrol searched the area.


Just after 4:00 pm. one of the suspects was taken into custody. The subject falsely identified himself but was later determined to be Kevin Lee Hanten.


Hanten is being held in the Cherokee County Jail on allegations of Aggravated Residential Burglary, Theft, Criminal Damage to Property,  Interference with Law Enforcement, Obstructing Justice, and has outstanding felony warrants from the State of Missouri.

Indy City Commission Considering Airport Drag Race Event


The Independence City Commission will meet for a regular meeting Thursday to, among other things, consider approving a request to hold another drag race event at the municipal airport.


If approved, the Independence Municipal Airport would be the site for the 2021 Kansas Airstrip Attack, which will be held April 17-18 of next year. While the main airstrip would be restricted on those two dates, Textron Aviation has indicated that this would not interrupt their usual operations as it falls on a weekend.


In other business, the commission will consider establishing the Independence Land Bank and will also consider raising the rental fees for Lone Chief Cabin. The meeting will begin at 5:30 pm on Thursday.

COVID-19 Numbers Continue to Rise


The number of positive cases in Wilson County continues to inch upwards toward 500 after the latest report from the Wilson County Health Department was released Monday.


There are now 487 total positive cases in which is up 33 since Friday's update. Active cases have also gone up by five to 124 cases. Hospitalizations are up by four to 26 while deaths went up by one to five. There were 3,081 negative tests while 363 have recovered.


In Montgomery County, total cases have risen to 1,526 with 41 hospitalizations.


There are now 190,018 total cases in the state with nearly 6,000 hospitalizations and just over 2,100 deaths as of the latest count.

USD 461 First Semester to End Early


The USD 461 Board of Education made the decision at their meeting Monday night to officially end their semester on Friday, December 18th.


Heller and North Lawn Elementary Schools will have classroom parties on Friday afternoon.


Teachers will report to work on Monday and Tuesday, December 21st and 22nd. These days will be used to prepare for the beginning of the second semester. The board will make a decision in the future on whether or not the start of the second semester will be in-person or remote depending on the amount of COVID-19 cases in the district area.


Meals will be available for pickup on Monday, December 21st from 11 a.m. until noon in the bus lane at the high school by door number 20.

Neodesha Fire Chief to Retire


Neodesha Fire Chief Duane Banzet told the city of Neodesha and the Neodesha Fire Department Monday that he intends to retire.


Banzet began firefighting in Chetopa as a volunteer in 1987. He then started firefighting in Neodesha in 1992 and was promoted to Assistant Fire Chief in October of 1994. Banzet then was promoted to fire chief on May 23rd, 2007.


Banzet plans to serve his final day at the fire department on February 12th, 2021.

USD 446 Reports 15 Cases of COVID-19


USD 446 in Independence has been notified of several COVID-19 cases across the district's school system. The Montgomery County Health Department informed the district on Monday of 15 positive cases. Those cases include a staff member and student at Eisenhower, a staff member at Jefferson, a student at Independence Middle School, and three staff members and eight students at Independence High School.


Per protocol, USD 446 has closed off areas of the building the individuals tested have used in the past several days so that they may be thoroughly cleaned. Those who have tested positive and those who have been identified as close contacts will not be allowed to return to the building until cleared by the health department, but will have access to remote learning.

UPDATE: CPD Issues Arrest Warrant


UPDATE: 28-year-old Patrick Shobe turned himself in to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office on Monday shortly after 4 p.m. He is in custody at the Montgomery County Jail.


The Coffeyville Police Department has issued an arrest warrant for attempted murder in the second degree and intentional and criminal discharge of a firearm recklessly at an occupied vehicle for 28-year-old Patrick Anthony Shobe, of Coffeyville.


On November 26th, CPD was called to investigate a reported shooting incident in the area of 5th and Sycamore. During the investigation, Shobe was identified as one of the individuals involved in the shooting.


The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information on this case should call Detective Jason Kastler at (620)252-6145 or CPD at (620)252-6160. Individuals that wish to remain anonymous can call the Crime Tip Hotline at (620)252-6133. Shobe should be considered armed and dangerous.

Crawford County In-Custody Death


A 46-year old man, who committed three armed robberies in Pittsburg, has died while in custody at the Crawford County Jail.


Early yesterday morning, correctional officers found William Hadden of Pittsburg unresponsive in his cell and attempted to render aid. Crawford County EMS, Girard Fire, and Girard PD also responded to the incident. Hadden was pronounced dead at the scene by the Deputy County Coroner.


The Kansas Bureau of Investigation has been notified and is investigating the death. Hadden's body has been transported to Kansas City for an autopsy.


Hadden was arrested shortly after midnight on Saturday.

Rep Proehl and Sen Peck Speak to Labette Commission


Two Kansas Legislatures spoke to the Labette County Commission at their most recent meeting. 7th District Representative Rich Proehl, when talking about the possible committees he could serve on, says he hopes to stay on the ones he served on previously.


District 15 Senate Elect Virgil Peck says despite being a freshman senator he has plenty of legislative experience having previously served in the House.  Both Representative Proehl and Senator Elect Peck talked about the budget for both 2021 and 2022 being key issues in both the House and the Senate.

Dr. Craig Correll Talks Substitutes, KSHSAA Guidelines


A lack of substitute teachers and ever-changing KSHSAA guidelines are two of the harder challenges when it comes to schools dealing with COVID-19. USD 445 Superintendent Dr. Craig Correll has said that even though COVID-19 numbers in the district have been low compared to other districts, the virus has hit the faculty particularly hard.


Dr. Correll also addressed one of the recent changes KSHSAA had made in regards to the rules on spectators for winter sports.


You can listen to the full interview with Dr. Correll on our website at



Number of ICU Beds in Montgomery County Getting Slimmer


The number of available ICU beds in Montgomery County continues to shrink amid the coronavirus pandemic, but according to Chief Medical Officer Dr. Shravan Gangula, having a countywide mask mandate would help.


During the weekly Montgomery County commission meeting Monday morning, Dr. Gangula spoke in favor of enforcing a countywide mask mandate. He is also a doctor at Coffeyville Regional Medical Center and he said that the situation with available ICU beds is so dire, they have had to turn away patients.


Commissioner Robert Bever stated that a mandate would be difficult to enforce. He said that there will people that won't wear them and that's their choice. Bever, along with Commissioner Larry McManus and Commissioner Fred Brown, voted against enforcing Kansas Governor Laura Kelly's new mask mandate in late November. There is a mask ordinance in place in Montgomery County, but the ordinance is a suggestion and is not being enforced by law enforcement.

Independence Middle School Student Tests Positive for COVID-19


Another student at Independence Middle School has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Montgomery County Health Department. This marks the sixth positive case at USD 446 since the start of the month and the second middle school student.


Those who are identified as close contacts have been notified and will not be allowed to return to school, but they will have access to remote learning. The student who tested positive will not be able to return to school until the health department deems it safe.


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

Main Street Closure in Parsons


The City of Parsons Water Department crew will be working on a water line at Main Street between 18th and Central.


The road will be blocked to traffic but will allow customers to use a lane to get to the downtown area. The closing will start at 7 a.m. this morning and will stay closed until Tuesday at 5 p.m.


The city of Parsons apologizes for any inconveniences this may cause.

Fishing Permit Prices Dropping


The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism announced on Thursday that it will be dropping prices on fishing licenses starting January 1st.


The price for daily fishing licenses for adult Kansas residents will drop from $8.50 to $6 and for non-residents and it will drop from $14.50 to $10. Kansas youth will also be allowed to purchase a trout permit for $7 allowing those aged 15 and younger to catch and keep up to 5 trout each day. Previous youth were allowed to trout fish for free but only allowed to keep 2 fish per day.


The commission hopes the lower prices will bring in more novice and casual anglers.

Boil Water Advisory In Caney Rescinded


The boil water advisory for the city of Caney has been rescinded.


A water line break occurred in Caney earlier last week causing an unsafe amount of water pressure to the city's water supply thus causing the boil water advisory.


Although the advisory has been lifted, some citizens have expressed their water is still not clean. If you are still uncertain about the safety of your water, you can still continue to boil your water to be safe or you can also try flushing your water until it's clear. If you are still having issues, you can call the city at 620-879-2772.

U.S 169 to Close for Railroad Crossing Repairs This Week


Motorists that drive along U.S 169 in Coffeyville will be detoured beginning Tuesday.


The Kansas Department of Transportation has announced that U.S. 169 will be closed between U.S. 166 and 14th Street to thru traffic due to railroad crossing repair.


Traffic will be re-routed from U.S. 166 to U.S. 169 by following Elm Street south to 14th Street east. Traffic from U.S. 169 will follow 14th Street west to Elm Street north. The repairs will begin Tuesday and run until Friday.


A picture of the detour route can be found in the on-line version of this story at KGGF

Police Investigating Shooting Incident in Caney


The Caney Police Department is investigating a shooting incident.


Officers were dispatched to the 500 Block of North State Street to respond to shots fired call at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12th. Caney dispatch received two citizen phone calls reporting multiple gunshots believed to be heard in the area.


Upon arrival, officers located apparent evidence of gunfire. The found evidence includes multiple shell casings, bullet fragments, and damage to a Ford F150.  It is unclear at this time if this was a drive-by shooting-related incident. No injuries have been reported. There are no suspects identified at this time.


If you have any information regarding this case, you are asked to call 620.879.2141. Assisting the Caney Police Department was the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department.


Road Crews Prepare For Snow


Road crews in Montgomery County are preparing to treat roads across the county as the season’s first snowfall hits the region.  The Supervisor of Public Works for Montgomery County, Rodney Musgrove crews are ready and will work as long as they need to


Musgrove says that currently, roads are wet only but that crews will be working to stay ahead of anticipated freezing g temperatures.



KGGF will continue to monitor conditions throughout the day.  Updates on the roads, weather, and any weather-related closings or cancellations will be broadcast throughout the day as well as online at


Winter Weather Moves Into Area


With the season’s first dose of winter weather moving into southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma road conditions may worsen later this afternoon and this evening.  According to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department paved roads around the county are currently wet, however, some gravel roads are beginning to turn slushy.


Temperatures are expected to drop below freezing overnight which could lead to hazardous driving conditions tomorrow morning.


KGGF will continue to monitor road conditions throughout the day.  Updates on the roads, weather, and any weather-related closings or cancellations will be broadcast throughout the days as well as online at


COVID-19 Numbers Continue to Rise


According to the latest COVID-19 numbers from the Wilson County Health Department, the number of positive cases in the county continues to rise.


There are 454 total positive cases in which is up 26 since Wednesday's update. Active cases have also gone up by 8 to 119 cases. Hospitalizations are up by one to 22 while deaths remained at four. There were 3,040 negative tests while 336 have recovered.


In Montgomery County, there are 1,480 total cases and the county had its highest one-day count of new cases on Dec. 7th with 40. There are 185,294 total cases in the state as of the latest count on Friday morning.

US 75 4 Lane Open at OK/KS Border Near Caney


The Kansas Department of Transportation has opened the U.S. 75 project at Caney to four-lane traffic.


Work to add two lanes to U.S. 75 between the Kansas-Oklahoma state line and the south city limits of Caney started in March 2020. Emery Sapp & Son, of Kansas City, Missouri, was the primary contractor on the $6.2 million T-WORKS project.


The contractor is still completing off-road tasks in the project area. Drivers should obey the posted speed limit and use caution in the work zone.

Complications with Tracking Coronavirus Cases in Montgomery County


When asking how many active COVID-19 cases there are in Montgomery County, getting a definitive answer is difficult. According to Montgomery County Department of Emergency Management Director Rick Whitson talked about the challenges they have been facing since the start of the pandemic.


The Health Department has been doing everything they can to get accurate numbers to the public on a weekly basis.


You can hear the full version of this interview under here

Two Arrested for Drug and Traffic Charges


Two Chanute residents have been arrested on various drug and traffic charges.


Chanute PD conducted a traffic stop in the 500 block of West 14th street. During the stop, Chanute PD K9 sensed the presence of illegal narcotics in the vehicle. After a search, officers arrested 46-year-old Randall Kennedy for an out of state arrest warrant, driving while suspended, and defective headlamp. Officers also arrested 37-year-old Alexa Clark for possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.


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

Longtime Southeast Kansas High School Softball Coach Steven Aguilar Dies From COVID


Longtime southeast Kansas softball head coach Steven Aguilar passed away Thursday due to complications of COVID-19.


On November 25th, he was taken to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. He said in a Facebook post that he had problems struggling with breathing and catching his breath.


Five days earlier, he posted that his wife tested positive for COVID-19.


Aguilar was most-known by players as "Coach Kool-Aid". He was most recently the head softball coach at Fredonia High School and has also spent many years coaching the Chanute softball team.

Sports Schedule Change for Cherryvale Middle and High Schools


There has been recent exposure to COVID-19 on the Cherryvale middle school girls and the high school boys basketball teams and as a result, there have been some changes to their schedules.


Tonight's high school boys and girls basketball games are both canceled. Tomorrow's wrestling match at Erie has also been canceled. Other events that are no longer taking place include the middle school boys and girls basketball games at Neodesha on Monday, the high school boys basketball game at Columbus on Tuesday and the middle school girls basketball game at Bluestem on Thursday.


Tuesday's high school girls basketball game at Columbus is still on as well as Thursday's wrestling match versus Labette and Thursday's middle school boys basketball game at Bluestem.

Sedan PD Warns of Illegal Garbage Disposal


The Sedan Police Department issues a warning to those who are illegally dumping garbage. In a Facebook post, SPD says anyone caught depositing any object or substance outside of the dumpsters or outside of the fenced area encompassing the dumpsters on south Montgomery will be charged with criminal littering.


Upon a first conviction a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $1000 plus a $95 court cost and an order by the court to pick up litter for a time prescribed by and at a place within the jurisdiction of the court. The ask anyone who spots somebody illegally dumping to call dispatch at (620)725-3108.


Coffeyville Native Competing in the NFR


Through seven rounds at the National Finals Rodeo, a couple of Southeast Kansas natives find themselves near the top of the World Team Roping Heelers standings.


Jake Long, of Coffeyville, currently sits in 4th in the world with over $130,000 in earnings. Buddy Hawkins, of Columbus, is currently 6th with over $112,000 in earnings. With three rounds left, Long is less than $9,000 off of first place, which is Travis Graves from Jay, Oklahoma. The NFR will wrap up on Saturday.

Coffeyville's Annual Chamber Dinner Cancelled

Due to continued high COVID case numbers and restrictions for large gatherings the Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce has made the decision to cancel it’s Annual Dinner and Chamber meeting in January.  Annual awards and the State of the Chamber will be presented virtually with more details on that coming over the next few weeks.

USDA Commodity Food Distribution To Be Held in Parsons


The Labette Assistance Center will be conducting income-based food distribution next week.


The distribution will be on December 17th and begin at 10:00 am at the former Sunshine Gas Station located at 2301 Main Street in Parsons and will continue until all foods are distributed.


The entrance will be located on North 23rd and the line will form on Washington Ave. Open trunk before checking in and have photo ID ready. Recipients must not leave their vehicle while getting checked in. Items being distributed are USDA quality canned, dry, fresh, and frozen items as available.


Eligibility for TEFAP commodities is based on income by household and recipients must be Parsons or Dennis residents.


Below are the current maximum monthly income guidelines for TEFAP:


Household Size Maximum Household Income
1 $1,383
2 $1,868 
3 $2,353
4 $2,839
5 $3,324
6 $3,809









*For each additional family member add $486

Adjusted Quarantine Guidelines in Montgomery County


The guidelines for quarantines in Montgomery County have changed.


According to Montgomery County Department of Emergency Management Director Rick Whitson, if you are quarantined from exposure due to a positive case, you are no longer required to fulfill a 14-day quarantine. However, you must submit a COVID P.C.R. Test on the sixth day of the quarantine, and upon receiving a negative result be released after seven days, returning to work on the eighth day.


Should you choose not to take a COVID P.C.R. Test, you may be released after ten days, returning to work on the eleventh day. The Health Department still requires that a mask be worn for the duration of the 14-day period in either case.


Positive cases have not changed as they must still complete a ten-day quarantine with the last 72-hour period being symptom-free. This new rule does not apply to residents of long-term care, assisted living facilities or offender populations in the department of corrections.

Student at Independence Middle School Tests Positive for COVID-19


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


This marks the third positive case this week from USD 446 with two staff members of the Transportation Department testing positive on Monday.


Those who are identified as close contacts have been identified and will not be able to return to school, but they will have access to remote learning. The student who tested positive won't be able to return until the Montgomery County Health Department deems it safe.

School Back in Session at Lincoln Central Elementary


Lincoln Central Elementary in Cherryvale is back in session today after a day off yesterday due to an unknown amount of positive COVID-19 tests from the school's kitchen staff.


Greenbush Educational Service Center in Girard will be using their U.S.D.A. approved kitchen facilities to prepare grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches for the next several days. All meals will be U.S.D.A. compliant, as Greenbush operates an approved school breakfast and lunch program.


The entire school's kitchen staff is in quarantine and a large number of the school's staff were out of the building yesterday and were unable to teach.

Boil Water Advisory In Caney


There is currently a boil water advisory in the city of Caney.


A water line break occurred earlier this week lessening the water pressure. According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, failure to maintain adequate pressure may result in a loss of chlorine residuals and bacterial contamination.


Steps that should be taken to make sure you and your family are safe during this advisory are the following:


-Flushing the water lines by letting the water run until it clears.

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

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

-Disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces by immersion for at least one minute in clean tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water.

-Supervising your children bathing to be sure water is not ingested. Water for bathing does not need to be boiled.


The city is doing everything it can to get the issue resolved, and the advisory will be in effect until the safe amount of water pressure throughout the city can be maintained.

Parsons Police Implements Operation Santa Watch


The Parsons Police Department is taking extra precautions this holiday season in an effort to deter crime and assist shoppers.


Patrols will begin Friday and run through New Years Eve in the parking lots of the Walgreens, Walmart, King Cash Saver and the downtown areas on a random patrol basis.


Officers will be available to assist shoppers with such things as keeping shoppers safe from theft, helping them find their car, jump-starting their car if the battery is dead, changing a flat tire, assisting employees and shoppers by walking them to their car after dark or any other assistance they can provide.

Temperatures Dropping Back Down This Weekend


Higher temperatures over the past two days will give way to normal, colder temperatures this weekend. The National Weather Service in Wichita is reporting that a cold front will approach central and southeastern Kansas overnight. Temperatures will once again drop back down to the lower 30s over the weekend. There will also be a potential for rain and snow across the area.


However, the last couple of days have seen several locations across Kansas saw record highs report record highs, and may do so again on Thursday.

House Fire in Cherryvale


One person was transported to the hospital and a house was nearly a total loss after a fire in Cherryvale Wednesday afternoon.


Shortly after 1 pm, the Cherryvale Fire Department was dispatched to a structure fire in the 600 block of West Main Street. Upon arrival, flames and heavy smoke was pouring out of the structure. Firefighters were able to quickly knock down the fire. One occupant of the home was transported to a local hospital for evaluation with minor injuries. Independence Fire/EMS Department, Cherryvale Police Department, and the Cherryvale Public Works Department assisted with the fire


The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Man Arrested On a Trio of Charges


A 24-year old man has been arrested in Chanute on several charges including criminal trespassing.


Chanute PD responded to the area in 400 block of South Highland for a report of a burglary. Upon arrival, officers learned that an individual threw an object at a window, shattering it, gaining entry inside the building.


Officers started gathering information and learned that the business had surveillance cameras set up inside the business. During the investigation, officers were able to gather enough information to arrest John Michael Bixler for burglary, criminal damage to property, and criminal trespassing.


Bixler was transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.

City Water Leak in Caney


Caney had a city water leak Tuesday evening, and the school district was uncertain about the status of the school being in session on Wednesday.


The school's water pressure was tested this morning and it was determined that everything was safe for school to go on as planned. The school district is thankful for the city's hard work to make sure that classes could be held.


The district suggested that students bring a water bottle or two to school this morning as a precautionary move.

School Canceled Due to COVID at Lincoln Central Elementary in Cherryvale


School was canceled today at Lincoln Central Elementary in Cherryvale due to COVID-19.


The entire school's kitchen staff is in quarantine and a large number of the school's staff would not have been able to teach in-person. There is no need for students to report online.


The district apologized for the short notice and will make a decision later today regarding how they will approach schooling for the rest of the week.


If any parents would be willing to train and work as a substitute in food service for a few days to help them out, please contact the central office at 620-336-8139.

Many Topics Discussed at Coffeyville City Commission Meeting


There were a wide variety of topics discussed at the Coffeyville City Commission meeting Tuesday evening.


There were 17 cereal malt beverage licenses that were approved across the city. There were some changes from last year's licenses with one restaurant closing and another not renewing theirs due to a lack of dine-in business.


In other business, there was discussion and action to make appointments to the Planning Commission, Juvenile Community Corrections Board and the Park Advisory Board.


Also, City Manager Mark Hall expressed his optimism for the upcoming year.


The city commission will meet again on Tuesday, December 22nd.

Cherryvale Buckle Up Campaign Numbers


The Cherryvale Police Department have released their numbers after participating in the Statewide 2020 Thanksgiving Traffic Safety Buckle-Up Campaign.


A total of 19 infractions and warnings were issued including seven seatbelt citations, one drug-related arrest, and one driving while suspended citation. There were also not any traffic accidents within city limits.


Cherryvale PD would like to thank everybody for a safe Thanksgiving.


Check Out Candy Cane Lane in Coffeyville


If you are looking for a place to see some Christmas lights this holiday season look no further than right here in Coffeyville. Candy Cane Lane is located 1 block north of 1st street and 1 block west of Willow in the 200 block of Evergreen.


If you plan your visit for December 19th, the citizens of Candy Cane Lane will be handing out candy canes and you'll get a chance to meet Santa. You can also drop off letters for Santa anytime in the special mailbox located in front of 207 Evergreen marked Letters for Santa. Make sure to leave a return address on your letter so Santa can reply.


Exhibit Honoring Noted Artist Now on Display


An exhibit honoring a noted international artist and longtime fixture in the Pittsburg State University Art Department will be on view through Feb. 17, 2021, in a gallery named for the artist.


“Harry Krug: Collected Works,” opened this month in the Harry Krug Gallery in Porter Hall at PSU. Born in 1930, in Wisconsin, Krug earned a bachelor’s from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and a master’s from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Krug joined the faculty at PSU in 1958, earning a promotion to full professor in 1978. He served as chair of the department from 1981 to 1995.


His art has been shown at major galleries and juried exhibitions throughout the U.S. and Europe.


Krug died Nov. 27, 2019, in Pittsburg. He was 89.

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 395 total positive cases in which is up 31 since the last update. Active cases have also gone up by 13 to 103 cases. Hospitalizations are up 2 to 19 while deaths remained at four. There were 2,842 negative tests while 275 have recovered.


The next update from the Wilson County Health Department will come out Wednesday afternoon.

Pittsburg Man Arrested for Burglary


A Pittsburg man has been arrested in connection with an early Monday morning burglary of a pizza restaurant.


Pittsburg officers responded to the business in the 1600 block of East 4th investigate a burglary. An employee arrived at work and discovered a brick had been thrown through the front glass of the business. Police investigated and determined that property had been stolen from the business.


After receiving a lead in the case, 26-year-old Austin Wayne Fenimore was arrested on suspicion of burglary and misdemeanor theft. He was taken to the Crawford County Jail and is being held on a $5,000 bond.

Bartlesville Will Shift to Remote Learning for Remainder of the Semester


Bartlesville Schools will be shifting to remote learning for the remainder of the semester. The decision was made due to the observed and potential impacts on statewide adult ICU bed availability.


All extracurricular activities and athletics will be put on pause starting December 13th. There are scheduled events until then that will still take place. The pause on these activities will last until January 4th, and the school district hopes to resume in-person classes then as well.

Two Staff Members at USD 446 Test Positive for COVID-19


Two staff members of the USD 446 Transportation Department have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Montgomery County Health Department.


Areas that those individuals have used over the last several days have been closed off to be thoroughly disinfected. Those who are identified as close contacts have been notified and they will not be allowed to return to school for 14 days, but they will have access to remote learning. If you have questions, you can contact Superintendent Rusty Arnold at 620-496-4706.

Independence City Commission Will Implement Special Use Sales Tax Thursday


The Independence City Commission will formally implement the recently-approved one cent special use sales tax at its next meeting Thursday.


The sales tax, which will be implemented in 2022, is expected to generate $1.9 million in revenue over a ten-year period. It was approved by voters during the November general election. Following the implementation by city commissioners, the tax ordinance will be submitted to the Kansas Department of Revenue.


In other business, the commission will consider approving the 2021 meeting schedule and will also consider scheduling a worksession to further discuss Phase II of the 1916 City Hall project. The meeting will begin at 5:30 pm, in the Civic Center at Memorial Hall.

Labette County Extends Disaster Declaration


The Labette County Commissioners renewed their Emergency Declaration for another sixty days at their most recent meeting. Emergency Management Director Charlie Morse says the disaster declaration allows them to receive funding from the state. Commissioner Fred Vail made the motion to approve the resolution.


Commissioner Cole Proehl seconded the motion and the commissioners voted to approve the declaration unanimously. In other business, the commission also opened up the application process for businesses to apply for CDBG grants.

Chautauqua County Commission Reallocates SPARK Funding


The Chautauqua County Commission reallocated some of its SPARK funds at its weekly meeting Monday. Commissioner Rodney Shaw made two motions at the meeting. One of those motions reallocated just over $2,100 to the city of Sedan for payroll support.  And in another motion, Shaw and fellow commissioner Jack Carpenter elected to reallocate just over $10,000 to the volunteer fire department/EMS for radio upgrades.


In other business, Mark McCall updated the two commissioners in attendance on the state of the county's roads, and Rodney Burns was in attendance for a county audit. The commission will meet once again next Monday.

Missouri Man Injured in Single Vehicle Accident


A Missouri man was injured in a single-vehicle accident over the weekend in Baxter Springs.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 50-year-old James Kannmore of Webb City was driving a 2001 Mack Truck westbound on U.S. Highway 166 when he left the roadway into the westbound ditch and continued through the ditch until it hit the embankment on West 5th Street and then went airborne over West 5th Street and came to rest in the opposite ditch.


Kannmore was ejected from the vehicle and was transported to Freeman Hospital in Joplin with suspected serious injuries. Seatbelts were not in use in the vehicle.

K-39 to Close for Railroad Crossing Repairs Next Week


Motorists that drive along K-39 will be detoured around that stretch of the highway next week.


The Kansas Department of Transportation has announced that Union Pacific Railroad plans to close and repair the crossing on K-39 at Benedict on Dec. 16th and 17th. K-39 will be closed to through traffic between U.S. 400 and U.S. 75.


Traffic will follow a signed detour on U.S. 75, K-47, and U.S. 400.

Neodesha Makes Changes to City Nuisance Ordinance


The city of Neodesha is making some changes to its Nuisance Ordinance 1739.


Instead of the city handing out code violations, they are allowing citizens to clean up by issuing a warning before handing out any fines. The city mentioned one sensational case where a resident had $35,000 in fines, but the property was still not cleaned.


The city hopes that these changes will clean up the city and save Neodehsa residents thousands of dollars a year.

Structural Fire in Parsons


A structural fire occurred in a Parsons home Sunday morning. The smoke was seen by neighbors of the residence in the 2300 block of Crawford. They reported it to the owners of the home and they were able to evacuate safely.


When the Parsons Fire Department arrived around 11:30 a.m., they were able to find the fire in the attic of the home with heavy smoke and flames showing. PFD got some help from the Parsons Police Department, Labette Health EMS, the Altamont Fire Department and off-duty Parsons firefighters. They were able to get the fire out with minimal damage to the home.

Stolen Cattle in Craig County


The Craig County Sheriff’s Office has taken a report of stolen cattle from a ranch located in the area of 4390 Rd and 180 Rd.


The cattle are unweaned and are described to have a black or motley face. There are one steer and two heifers missing weighing in at approximately 500 pounds with a tan fly tag in the left ear.


The cattle have been gone for approximately four weeks. The Craig County Sheriff's Office is currently looking for information regarding this incident. If anyone has information please contact the Craig County Sheriff’s Office at (918) 256-6466.

Coffeyville Christmas Parade A Success


Despite the threat of Covid and cooler temperatures this week a large, socially distanced, and for the most part, masked crowd tuned out for the annual Coffeyville Christmas parade.


According to the Chamber of Commerce, the organizer of the parade about 55 entries turned out for the event.  Although no bands were participating this year because of the coronavirus numerous decorated floats drew applause as well as a visit from Santa on the parade's final float.

Caney Christmas Parade


The City of Caney held their Christmas parade last night. There were 62 entries that participated in the parade. KGGF's Penny Coy and Tina Romine were representing the station as one of those participants. The Caney Library named Oakley Wren and Bree Kirchner Little Mr. and Little Miss Christmas.


The Coffeyville Christmas parade is tonight at 6:00pm.

Suspicious Man in Area


The Caney Police Department is wanting to make the public aware that it has received information concerning a suspect who has been in several communities approaching women.


A tall, skinny, white male with long strawberry reddish-blonde hair, driving a newer model dark gray passenger car (unknown make or model) with Oregon plates has approached two women at their residences yesterday in Humboldt. He told both women that he "needed a place to shelter" and asked if they were okay with that. When told no, the unknown subject did leave but it has caused concern.


If you are contacted by this subject, please notify Caney PD at 620-879-2141.

Copan Man Arrested After Disturbance Call in Caney


A Copan man was arrested in Caney Thursday evening following a disturbance call.


Caney police responded to the call around 8:54 pm at the 200 block of North Spring. Upon arrival, officers found 65-year-old Terry Mitchell of Copan, Oklahoma. Mitchell was heavily intoxicated and had sustained head wounds that he had picked up during an altercation in the home.


There was a female victim in the home, who had struck Mitchell with a glass vase in self-defense. Officers arrested Mitchell for battery, disorderly conduct, and interference with a law enforcement officer. He was taken to Labette Health in Independence for an evaluation prior to being taken to the Montgomery County Jail.

City of Neodesha Adopts New Sales Tax


The city of Neodesha will authorize the levy of a sales tax of one-percent to city-wide retailers.


50% of the funds from the tax will go towards improvements on Neodesha streets and sidewalks and the other 50% will go towards infrastructure including utility and stormwater drainage improvements. The tax will go into effect on April 1st, 2021.


A complete text of the Ordinance may be obtained or viewed free of charge at the office of the City Clerk. If you have any questions regarding this ordinance you may contact City Administrator Ed Truelove at 620-325-2828.

Sedan Returing to In-Person Learning Next Monday


USD 286 in Sedan will return to in-person learning next Monday.


The school district had moved to remote learning two weeks ago after a surge of COVID-19 cases in Chautauqua County. Students are still recommended to stay home if they exhibit any symptoms of a fever, or any of the known symptoms of COVID-19.


Both the Sedan Elementary and Junior-Senior High Schools continue to recommend the usage of masks, and also recommend practicing social distancing.

Christmas Parade in Coffeyville Tonight


If you're looking to get into the Christmas spirit or just want something to do on your Friday night, the 2020 Christmas Parade in Coffeyville is this evening.


Line-up is at 5:30 p.m. and the parade will begin at 6 p.m. The route will start on 8th and Spruce and head east to Walnut Street and turn south. They will then turn back west and finish on 9th and Willow.


Wearing masks and social distancing is encouraged.

Kansas Rep. Watkins Set for Feb. 4th Hearing on Going to Trial


A hearing is set for Feb. 4th to determine whether defeated Rep. Steve Watkins will face a trial on charges of felony election fraud and other crimes.


The Republican congressman for eastern Kansas had initially faced his first appearance in state district court Thursday in Topeka on three felony charges arising from his listing a postal box at a UPS Inc. store as his residence on a state voter registration form. But Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay said Watkins’ attorney sought beforehand to schedule a hearing to determine whether Kagay’s office has enough evidence to warrant a trial.


Neither Watkins nor his attorney appeared at the courthouse Thursday.

Armed Robbery at Gas Station in Cherokee County


An armed robbery occurred at the Quik Shop in Weir, Kansas on Wednesday evening.


A caucasian man with a slender build walked into the convenience store brandishing a knife. The man was wearing blue jeans and a camouflage jacket on top of a grey hoodie and reportedly is about six-foot tall.  He left the scene on foot after stealing an unknown amount of cash from the store register.


Detectives are still investigating the crime and are asking if anyone has any information regarding the suspect to please contact the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at 620-429-3992.

Pitt State Students Receive Cares Act Funds


Some students at Pittsburg State University got a much needed financial boost as the university has finished distributions of Cares Act funding. PSU received a total of more than $2.6 Million for students and the funds were distributed in three phases.


The first phase went to Pell Grant eligible students. Full-time students received $800 and part-time students received $400. The second and third phases were distributed to students who applied for the funds and met all requirements including having expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to COVID-19.

Multiple Positive COVID-19 Cases at Neodesha Schools


A staff member and an unknown number of students at Neodesha High School have tested positive for COVID-19. There is also an unknown number of students at North Lawn Elementary who have tested positive.


Superintendent Juanita Erickson said she is working with the Wilson County Health Department. The district is also working to discover all close contacts.


Erickson stated that the district will continue to closely monitor the situation, and if necessary they would switch to remote learning. If they were to switch to remote learning, the district would contact parents or guardians via phone, email and Facebook. Erickson said to make sure the school office has a phone number and email address for a parent or guardian of the student.

Tulsa Woman Arrested in Caney on Multiple Drug Charges


A Tulsa woman was charged with multiple drug offenses when driving through Caney.


Caney PD pulled over 55-year-old Kaylynn Marie Genewinkel Saturday evening for having illegal tags on her vehicle and driving with a suspended license. Upon further investigation, drug paraphernalia was found within the vehicle.


She was transported to the Montgomery County Jail and while she was being booked she was discovered having meth on her person. She was charged with driving with illegal tags, driving with a suspended license, possession of drug paraphernalia and trafficking contraband into a correctional facility.

USD 447 Board of Education's COVID Plan


The USD 447 Board of Education met last night to discuss their plan with all of the recent COVID-19 cases and quarantines at Lincoln Central Elementary.


Their plan is to give the administration the authority to move individual classrooms or grade levels to remote learning if they were to reach a point where they do not have sufficient staffing.


This plan will allow the maximum number of students to remain in face-to-face instruction. The district will continue with its “6-foot plan” to minimize the likelihood that staff or students will need to be quarantined. They claim they have already seen this approach prevent approximately 110 students at Lincoln Central from being quarantined this week.

Pittsburg Finance Director Retires After 38 Years


City of Pittsburg Finance Director Jaime Clarkson is retiring this week after serving nearly 40 years with the city.


Clarkson began his career with the city in 1982, working in several different positions within the finance department before being promoted to finance director in 2012.


As the director, he was responsible for leading the city’s finance team, compiling the city’s comprehensive annual financial report, managing the city’s budgeting process, and creating the five-year forecast.


Under his leadership, the city finance department was successfully awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for 23 consecutive years. Clarkson also contributed to the city receiving an upgraded bond rating in 2015 from A+ to AA- by Standard and Poor’s.

Power Outage To Occur in Chetopa Wednesday


Residents in Chetopa and surrounding towns need to prepare for a power outage that will occur tonight during a substation switchover. The power shutoff is set to begin at 9 p.m. Electricity for the town will be off for four to six hours.


During the shutdown, the town will make some repairs to the city’s infrastructure. Melrose and Welch, Oklahoma, along with any other communities served by the Liberty Utilities substation also will not have electricity during the changeover.


For more information, you can contact the City of Chetopa at 620-236-7511.

Ralph Mitchell Zoo Alters Schedule for Next Week


Due to staffing concerns related to COVID-19 quarantines, the Ralph Mitchell Zoo in Independence will operate under a modified schedule starting next week. The zoo will be closed next Sunday and Monday, and open from noon to 5 pm from Tuesday to Saturday. The zoo will once again close for the Sunday and Monday after that, before returning to normal hours on Tuesday, December 15th.


City manager Kelly Passauer explained that the zoo is operating at about half staff due to quarantines caused by COVID-19. To maintain open hours, while still maintaining adequate staffing for animals, the zoo will operate under the new schedule for one week.


Passauer said the zoo appreciates the public's understanding as they continue to make adjustments.

Neodesha Providing Free Meals for Students


USD 461-Neodesha is providing meals for its students when they are home in quarantine.


They are flexible with how you would like your meals scheduled. For instance, if you would like your meals for each day all at once, those arrangements can be made to help fit your schedule.


Meals are free and breakfast and lunch are both available for pickup from 10:30-11 a.m. at the Neodesha High School bus lane, door #20. You can sign up by calling Alicia Newland at 620-325-3015.

Parsons Police Holiday Safety Patrols & Face Mask Enforcement


The Parsons Police Department has announced that extra patrols will be working overtime during the holiday shopping season.


Both marked police cars and police UTVs will be visible at various businesses around town and in the business district. These mobile and foot patrols with visits to businesses are designed to reduce thefts, car burglaries, and discourage shoplifters. With the pandemic, officers will also be reminding citizens to wear masks as it is the law in Parsons.


If you see suspicious behavior while shopping or running errands during the holiday season, you can contact Parsons PD at 620-421-7060.

Cherryvale BoE to Consider Remote Learning for Elementary Students


The USD 447 Board of Education is holding a special meeting Wednesday evening to consider moving Lincoln Central Elementary to remote learning.


In a Facebook post shared late Tuesday, the district reported that it has been seeing an increase in COVID cases and quarantines that has been impacting the staff's abilities to be at school. USD 447 is closely monitoring the situation, but the potential exists that they may have to switch to remote learning.


The board will meet at 6PM on Wednesday to consider the best course of action at the present time. If passed, Lincoln Central would move to remote learning starting on Friday. The district noted that Friday would be the start date due to the board's desire to give parents 24 hours notice in case they do make the move.


Students would be sent home with Chromebooks at the end of the day on Thursday. Parents will be notified of the board's decision by phone, email, or Facebook following Wednesday's board meeting.

ICC Fab Lab Offering Two Courses Starting Next Month


The Independence Community College Fab Lab will be offering two courses starting next month.


Individuals interested in creating their own ready-to-play guitar might want to consider enrolling in the next "Guitar Fabrication" class. Taught by Fab Lab manager Tim Haynes and local guitar expert Steve Reid, the class will run from January 27 through May 12. The class will meet each Wednesday from 5:30 to 8:30 pm.


Course work would include basic woodworking and wood finishing technique, while also learning how electric guitars work and how guitar components are made. The course is open to all ages, with no experience building or playing necessary to take the course.


In addition, those considering starting their own businesses, or looking for new approaches to problem-solving, are invited to enroll in the next "Entrepreneurial Mindset" class. Fab Lab Director Jim Correll will lead the class each Thursday from January 28 to May 13, meeting from 6 to 8 pm.


Course homework would include viewing one hour of video content weekly among other things. Class sessions will include discussion of the video content and visits from area entrepreneurs. Like the guitar course, this class is also open to all ages. Participants may take this course virtually through Zoom if desired.

More information, including cost, schedule, and requirements, can be seen by visiting the Fab Lab website here.



Moran Speaks to Cville Lions Club


A Kansas Congressman spoke to the Coffeyville Lions Club at their most recent noon meeting. Senator Jerry Moran spoke on a number of issues including the PPP program and the effect COVID-19 has had on everyone.


Moran says he feels there were some businesses that slipped through the cracks and he would be interested in providing some assistance to them.  Moran also spoke about how important the Lions Club is to him as he has been a member for more than forty years.

Healthier Food Options for the Holidays


Healthy and holiday don’t usually find themselves in the same sentence when discussing food, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Wildcat Extension Districts Family and Consumer Science Agent Barbara Ames says a lot of your favorite holiday dishes begin with a healthy main ingredient.


Ames says if calories can be eliminated without sacrificing flavor it might worth starting a new holiday recipe tradition.

Independence Public Library Virtual Holiday Festival This Friday


The Independence Public Library is still celebrating the holiday this year but due to COVID-19, the celebration will be virtual. The Virtual Holiday Festival is set for this Friday from 6 pm – 7 pm on the IPL Facebook page. Independence Chamber of Commerce Director Lisa Wilson fills us in on what we can expect to see.


Wilson also explains how those that will be watching can get involved in the crafts that the library will be doing.


For more information about this event, you can contact the library at (620) 331-3030. A link to the IPL Facebook page can be found here.


Kansas Certifies 2020 Election Results


Kansas has officially certified its 2020 general election results.


Election officials, including Governor Laura Kelly and Secretary of State Scott Schwab, met Monday and certified the results. The state will give its six electoral votes to President Donald Trump. No recounts will be needed for any race handled by the state this year.


Although the race for the nation's highest office was not particularly close, with President Trump receiving 56 percent of the vote, officials were pleased with the way Kansas handled this year's election. Several election records were broken in Kansas this cycle, including most votes at 1.3 million, most early votes at 830,000, and the highest ratio of early voters at 60 percent. All 105 Kansas counties passed the post-election audit.


State electors will make their votes on December 14th. Despite Kansas giving its electoral votes to President Trump, challenger Joe Biden has been named the presumptive winner of the election and will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States next month.

Law Enforcement Urges Caution With Online Shopping


Popularity with online holiday shopping has increased over the past several years and the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to cause an even larger increase this year. Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said he wants to provide reminders to help residents keep their packages and financial accounts secured.


If having a package delivered, consider having it shipped to your work, asking a neighbor to pick it up until you arrive home, or request the delivery driver to place it out of sight. Be sure to keep an eye on your bank and credit card accounts for unusual transactions. Use a secure network to conduct transactions, not a public WiFi network, and if given the option, take the extra time to enable the two-step authentication feature, which will send a code to your cell phone to ensure you are the same person attempting to make an online purchase.



Win Free Electricity for December in the Christmas Decoration Contest


If you want to win free electricity for the month of December and you are a Coffeyville resident, be sure to sign up for the Holiday Decorating Contest presented by the Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce, Coffeyville's Reawakening and the City of Coffeyville.


Submit a picture of your decorated house to the Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce with your address by December 7th for your chance to win the grand prize of free electricity.


Ten more winners will be picked to win gift cards as well. The contest winners will be announced on December 18th.

Christmas Parade in Baxter Springs Canceled


The Baxter Springs Christmas Parade has been canceled due to COVID-19.


The parade was scheduled for Saturday, December 5th, but the Baxter Springs Chamber of Commerce has decided to not move forward with the event.


However, if you still want to see a Christmas parade, there are some going on in the area. There will be a parade Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. in Columbus, one in Riverton on Saturday at noon, one in Galena on Saturday at 4 p.m. and one in Scammon on Sunday at 4 p.m.


Parade organizers encourage attendees to spread out along the entire parade route to help maintain proper social distancing. In addition, the wearing of masks are also encouraged and attendees should not attend if you or a household member is not feeling well.

One Staff Member, Two Students Test Positive for COVID-19 at USD 446


One staff member at Eisenhower Elementary School and two students at Independence High School have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Montgomery County Health Department.


Per the school district's protocol, areas that those individuals occupied over the last several days have been closed off to be thoroughly disinfected.


All students and staff that have been identified as close contacts have been notified and will not be allowed to return to school for 14 days. Those who tested positive won't be able to return until the Montgomery County Health Department deems it safe.

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