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Local News Archives for 2021-01

DUI Arrest Following Accident


This morning at around 10:00am Montgomery County Sheriff Deputies responded to US 169 and US 160 Junction for a report of a two-vehicle accident. This accident occurred when a black Chevy Cruze driven by 33-year-old Jeffery Dean Davison Jr of Ottawa, lost control while driving onto the on-ramp of US 160. Davison rear-ended a 2015 Dodge Durango driven by 44-year-old Mandy Ann Smith of Cherryvale, while she was stopped at the stop sign.


After further investigation, it was determined that Davison was driving under the influence of alcohol. Davison was transported to the Montgomery County Department of Corrections and booked into jail on charges of felony DUI, criminal use of a weapon, device attachment used to silence firearm and operating a car without a required ignition interlock device.

Fatality Accident in Montgomery County


A fatality accident occurred this morning at around 9:30am in Montgomery County. Sheriff deputies responded to County Road 3700 and County Road 3600, South of Independence for a two-vehicle injury accident.


Deputies, Independence Fire and EMS, and Independence Rural Fire arrived on the scene. A 1992 Chevy 1500 truck driven by 63-year-old Rickey D. Buie, of Coffeyville, was Northbound on CR 3700 and collided with a 2006 Chevy Impala driven by 40-year-old Jimmie J. Bunyard also of Coffeyville, who was Westbound on CR 3600.


Bunyard was not injured in the accident, but Buie sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported by to Labette Health in Independence where he was pronounced dead.

Numerous Visitors at Chautauqua County Commission Meeting


The agenda was fairly full for the Chautauqua County Commission as it met on Friday. The commission spoke with both Melissa Ward from the Solid Waste Department and Richard Hambleton from the Maintenance department.


Afterwards, the commission was met with a presentation from representatives from RenoDry USA, a company specializing in protecting old buildings and masonry from water damage. The pair offered a free inspection of the county courthouse, which the commission members agreed to. Hambleton, who was in attendance for the presentation, said that there has never been a lot of water, but it does occasionally get moist following plenty of rainfall.


The commission will have a quick turnaround for its next meeting on Monday. It will be held at the county courthouse in Sedan starting at 8:30 am.

WCFD Recieves Grant from CVR


Members of the Washington County Fire Department recently acquired new turnout gear with grant funds provided by Coffeyville Resources. CVR Energy is located in Coffeyville and has headquarters in Sugarland, Texas.


The Washington County Fire Department was awarded a grant for $24,200 and used those funds to purchase the new gear along with replacing several self-contained breathing apparatus cylinders that were expired.


The WCFD staff said they’re grateful to CVR Energy and their employees for providing the fire department with the opportunity to apply for the grant. They’re also grateful for the successful purchase of the much needed equipment.

Rail Repairs in Oswego


The South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad is making repairs at the crossing on U.S. 59 at Oswego starting today.


The crossing will be partially closed during the work. Two-way traffic will be maintained through the work zone. Drivers, please slow down and pay attention.

COVID-19 Numbers Continually Trending Downward


COVID-19 deaths are being reported in Washington County and Nowata County in yesterday's update from the Oklahoma State Department of Health.


Currently, Washington is reporting 312 active cases, an increase of 22 since Wednesday’s report. Osage County is listing 312 active cases, a decrease of 18 active cases since Wednesday. Nowata County is reporting 85 active cases, down five since the last report.


76 total deaths have been reported in Washington County and 13 total deaths have been reported in Nowata County.


Montgomery County has reported 2,966 total cases as of Wednesday and statewide, only 163 reported new cases were reported Tuesday.

Arvest Bank Releases 2020 Mortgage Production Tools


Arvest Bank announced on Thursday that its mortgage division originated record volume in 2020, the second consecutive year it has set a new mark.


Arvest’s total 2020 mortgage loan volume of more than $4.6 billion represents an increase of 67-plus percent year-over-year compared to 2019, when it set a then-record of $2.8 billion. Additionally, 2020 marks the fifth time – and third consecutive year – Arvest has topped $2 billion in mortgage loan production.


In a statement, division president and CEO Steven Plaisance said:

“We started 2020 with low mortgage rates and one of the effects of COVID-19 was that they went even lower, to record lows in some cases. As a result, millions of families nationwide took advantage of those rates, whether they were refinancing or buying a home. We were very pleased that 40 percent of our loans were purchase-money transactions, and we cannot applaud our realtor partners, appraisers, title companies, customers, and all involved in the home buying process for their incredible flexibility, ingenuity and resilience during a most unusual 2020. At Arvest, our team members were incredible, balancing their own personal adjustments to COVID-19 to serve a record number of families. Whether our team was working remotely or still on-site, they all made tremendous sacrifices to deliver on our mission during this vital time for so many.”


Purchase-money loans are used to buy a home, as opposed to refinances. Arvest reported a record of more than $1.7 billion in purchase-money loans in 2020, compared to more than $2.9 billion in refinance loans. Purchase volume has increased year-over-year for six consecutive years.


“It was impressive how homebuyers, sellers and realtors all adapted quickly to finding ways to keep properties moving during this time,” Plaisance said. “From virtual open houses to leaps in technology adoption to drive-up loan closings at title companies, the residential real estate and housing finance industry rolled up its sleeves and found solutions quickly. It was a privilege to help so many people and families with their mortgage needs during a year like none other,” said David Nickel, loan manager for Arvest in Bartlesville. “Our team of Jill Carse, Julia May, Jennifer Tomlinson and Lindsay Horton take great pride and pleasure in assessing our customers’ individual needs and finding the right solution.”


Arvest is unique among most local lenders in that it services 99 percent of its mortgage loans, meaning that customers make their payments to Arvest and work directly with Arvest for any needs after their loan closes. Arvest currently services more than 336,000 mortgage loans, totaling more than $65 billion.

Shots Fired in Miami Leads to an Arrest


A man in Miami fired multiple shots after a physical altercation and then barricaded himself inside a residence with a family member.


Last night, the Miami Police Department received a call about the incident in the 1100 block of I St. NW. The victim did not have any gunshot wounds, but he had suffered injuries from a fistfight.


37-year-old Rhett Green then fled the scene and barricaded himself at 1108 I St. NW with a family member and refused to talk with the police or surrender. Officers were able to get the family member out of the house without harm. MPD eventually was able to take Green into custody without incident. Charges are still pending following investigation.

Pittsburg Man Injured in Accident


A 50-year old Pittsburg man was injured after a single-vehicle accident in Crawford County Thursday evening.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, Michael Madison was driving a 1997 Nissan Altima southbound on South 220th when the vehicle dropped off the west side of the road and then re-entered the roadway and continued south, driving in the northbound lane. The vehicle then left the east side of the road striking a culvert and going airborne. The vehicle came to rest facing south in the east ditch.


Madison was transported to Via Christi Hospital with suspected serious injuries. Seat belts were not in use in the vehicle.

Sen. Marshall On Biden's Executive Orders


President Biden has signed 22 executive orders as of yesterday and Senator Roger Marshall spoke about some that will affect those in southeast Kansas.


Marshall claims that thousands of jobs will be lost due to the Keystone Pipeline shutting down and its ripple effects will be felt in Coffeyville.


Biden also signed an executive order allowing illegal immigrants citizenship into the United States. Marshall mentioned that this won't resolve any issues.


The full interview can be heard here.

Jordan ICC Interim President


The Independence Community College Board of Trustees confirmed Cordell Jordan as interim president. Jordan came to ICC in January 2019 to assist with the creation of the 2020-2025 strategic plan before being hired as the executive vice president in July 2019.


Jordan is an ICC alum with deep familial ties in southeast Kansas. Jordan says he is honored to be able to serve the students and employees of ICC as well as the Independence community. He says this college is truly home to him. Jordan's parents met while students at the college and both he and his sister are alumni. He says he would not be here if it wasn't for Independence Community College.


Caney PD Giving Out Coloring Valentines Cards


The Caney Police Department has made Valentine cards and coloring pages for anyone who would like to stop by the station and get one. There is also a box where you may leave Valentine's cards and grab yourself a piece of candy as well.


Caney PD says if you come by and pick up a coloring card feel free to post the finished creation on Facebook and give them a tag, they would love to see the work.

Neodesha PD Looking for Man and Two Sons


The Neodesha Police Department is asking for the public's help in finding a Neodesha man and his two sons. They are looking for Brad Berkstresser was seen last Thursday by family. Berkstresser has his 10-year-old Avery and his 13-year-old Isaha, with him.


It was confirmed that he was last seen in Parsons on Sunday at an ATM with the boys. Berkstresser walked up to the drive-through ATM with the boys so no vehicle was seen. He is believed to be driving his vehicle, which is a red maroon 2006 Ford Explorer with Kansas tag 272MYL.


Berkstresser is not wanted, there are no signs of foul play and no crimes have been committed, his family simply cannot locate them. If you see him, his kids or his vehicle please contact you local law enforcement agency.



LaTurner Receives Two More Committee Appointments


US Representative Jake LaTurner has received two more committee appointments to go along with his previous addition to the Homeland Security Committee.


LaTurner, a freshman representative serving the 2nd District of Kansas, will also serve on the Oversight and Reform Committee, and Science, Space, and Technology Committee.


LaTurner said of his addition to the Oversight committee:


“My Republican colleagues and I serving on Oversight and Reform will ensure that Americans’ hard-earned taxpayer dollars are spent appropriately. I will hold the Biden Administration accountable and deliver commonsense reforms for the people of my District.”


In addition, LaTurner also released a statement regarding his addition to the Science, Space, and Technology Committee:


“The issues before the Science, Space, and Technology Committee will help guarantee America continues to lead the world in innovation throughout the 21st century. I am eager to serve on this committee to enable Kansas scientists, engineers, and inventors to push boundaries and unlock new opportunities.”




Pitt State Resumes Reporting COVID-19 Cases


Pittsburg State has resumed reporting COVID-19 cases, following the start of the spring semester.


For the week leading up to January 27th, the Bryant Student Health Center administered 28 tests to symptomatic patients, with 11 positives. Currently, 27 students are in isolation, and approximately 70 are in quarantine as close contacts with infected people.


In the same time period, four faculty and staff reported infections, and four reported being close contacts to an infected person. Of those, two each remain in isolation and quarantine.


Since the onset of the pandemic, 54 faculty and staff have reported infections, and 99 have had to quarantine as close contacts to infected people.


In advance of the semester, Bryant Student Health Center tested every student moving into a residence hall. A total of 580 students were tested with 12 positives.


Aggravated Robbery in Parsons


An aggravated robbery occurred at the Advanced America Payday Loans in Parsons earlier this week.


The man brandished a black handgun and demanded the cash from the register. He fled the scene on foot before officers arrived on the scene.


The surveillance footage showed the suspect to be a white male approximately 5’10”, medium build, wearing a navy-blue hooded sweatshirt, black pants and was wearing a mask. It's also believed that the suspect was wearing a wig.


The man is still on the run and Parsons PD says if you know any information regarding the incident or his whereabouts, please contact them immediately at 620-421-7060.

AG Schmidt Warns of Super Bowl Scams


Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is advising consumers to protect themselves against purchasing counterfeit NFL merchandise or falling victim to phone scams involving fake tickets to Super Bowl LV.


Schmidt said all officially licensed NFL products will bear the league’s shield on the tag. If the tag on the merchandise does not have the hologram shield, it may be counterfeit. Be sure to purchase tickets through a verified source.


The Chiefs have offered NFL ticket exchange, StubHub, and SeatGeek as examples of NFL-approved retailers to purchase or sell tickets to the game. Remember, capacity will be limited to 22,000 spectators and a significant portion of those tickets will be for specially invited front-line health care workers.


Last year, during the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run, local officials reported receiving complaints of phone scams regarding game ticket purchases, with scammers using phone numbers that appear local with a 913 or 816 area code offering discounted tickets sold online.


Consumers who believe they may have fallen victim to a Super Bowl-related scam should contact their local law enforcement, or call the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division at (800) 432-2310.

Coffeyville Receives Grant for New Playground Equipment


The City of Coffeyville was awarded a grant for $25,000 by Grand River Dam Authority Engineering and Technology Center in Tulsa which will go towards new playground equipment in Pfister Park.


GRDA Marketing Programs and Community Relations Manager Laura Townsend was present at the most recent city commission meeting to officially award Coffeyville with the grant.


GRDA is the electric provider for the city of Coffeyville and Townsend shared that their relationship with the city was more than just a business partnership.


The new equipment will take about five weeks to deliver according to Public Works Director Jim Washburn. Removal of the old equipment has already begun and he said, "Any existing equipment is in our shop to get evaluated." The old equipment will be refurbished and after that process is complete, the parks and recreation board will convene to discuss where it will go.

Elks Lodge Makes Donation to Parsons Police


The Parsons Police Department recently received a $5,000 donation from the Parsons ELKS Lodge in support of a K-9 program.


The Parsons Police Department is currently preparing to debut a K-9 program later in 2021. The Parsons K-9 will be a multi-function K-9 that is specialized in Drug Detection and Tracking. The donation from the Elks will supplement the $5,000 donation that was previously received.


The purchase of a certified K-9 and the training for the dog handler is roughly $15,000 plus the associated equipment. The police department will have to acquire and outfit a K-9 patrol unit too.


The money is being set aside as a building block for the purchase, training, housing, and medical needs that come with a police K-9 program.

Coffeyville Fire Department Puts Out Two Fires Over the Weekend


Two structure fires were put out in Coffeyville over the weekend.


The first one was at 604 W. 9th Street at an apartment complex. When the Coffeyville Fire Department arrived, they began doing a rescue search for people inside the building. As the first engine was searching, the other engine started extinguishing the flames. After a search was conducted and all occupants were safely out of the structure, firefighters went upstairs to battle flames that had made their way into the attic.


The second fire was at 514 W. 4th Street. As firefighters arrived, there were flames from a garage that caught the house on fire. CFD put the fire out and kept flames off neighboring houses. The fire was extinguished with little damage and no injuries. The incident is currently under investigation.


Fire Cheif Billy Cockman thanked the Coffeyville Police Department for blocking the roadways and Dearing Fire Department for their assistance in putting out the fires.

Bartlesville Man in Custody After Alleged Chainsaw Incident


A Bartlesville man appeared at the Washington County Courthouse yesterday to answer for an alleged assault that occurred in early December. Ashley Yocham was charged with first-degree burglary and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon—both felony counts.


According to an affidavit, on December 8th, Bartlesville police officers responded to an incident on the 2100 block of Johnstone Avenue in reference to a dispute between two neighbors. It is alleged that Yocham went into the victim’s front yard with a chainsaw and began cutting down a tree.


Yocham later told police that he wanted the tree to fall on the victim’s truck. The victim then came outside and claims that Yocham chased him back into the house with the chain saw. Yocham then allegedly scratched the front door with the chainsaw.


The defendant claimed he did not have any intent to hurt the victim. He believed that the victim had previously stolen items of his property. He reiterated this point during his arraignment as well. Bond for Yocham was set at $50,000 with a condition of no contact with the alleged victim. The defendant is due back in court on February 12th.

Riley Early Learning Center Staff Member Tests Positive for COVID-19


The Montgomery County Health Department has notified that a staff member at Riley Early Learning Center in Independence has tested positive for COVID-19.


Areas that the staff member has occupied over the last several days have been closed off to be disinfected. Those who are identified as close contacts have been notified. The staff member and close contacts won't 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.

Girard Woman Injured in Accident


A 78-year old Girard woman was injured after a single-vehicle accident in Crawford County over the weekend.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, Fidelia Messinger was driving a 2015 Jeep Cherokee eastbound on West 590 Avenue when she traveled off the south side of the road and collided with a concrete bridge. The vehicle then vaulted over the creek, rolled, and landed on the passenger side.


Messinger was transported to Via Christi Hospital with minor injuries. Seat belts were in use in the vehicle.

Arrest for Illegal Firearm Possession in Caney


A routine traffic stop leads to the arrest of a man in Caney. Last night officers with the Caney Police Department stopped a black SUV at the corner of 5th and Hooker for a traffic violation.


The driver was identified as 44-year-old James Woods of Caney. Officers discovered that Woods was driving while suspended and observed a pistol inside of the vehicle. Upon checking the criminal history, officers discovered Woods is a convicted felon and is prohibited from possessing a firearm.


Woods was arrested for driving while suspended, improper turn, and felon in possession of a firearm. Woods was transported to the Montgomery County Jail.

Woman Arrested on Warrant, Drug Possession


A Chanute woman has been arrested on an outstanding warrant and various drug charges.


Chanute PD were driving through the parking lot in the 2700 block of South Santa Fe when they noticed an individual and asked the Chanute Dispatch Center to check the individual to see if they had any warrants. The officers were informed that the subject had a warrant for their arrest out of another jurisdiction. While officers were preparing to transport the individual, they discovered items associated with illegal narcotics on her person.


Officers arrested 33-year-old Tiffany L. Peacock for possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and the out-of-county warrant. She was transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.

Two Men Arrested in Baxter Springs Following Domestic Disturbance


Two Pittsburg men were arrested after Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a call regarding a domestic disturbance.


The incident occurred yesterday morning in a Baxter Springs home when a woman sustained injuries from an attack by 44-year-old Richard Stark.


Cherokee County Deputies searched Stark's home in Pittsburg and found a handgun along with other evidence.


Richard Stark was arrested on allegations of aggravated battery, aggravated assault, criminal threat and criminal damage to property. 19-year-old Kolby Stark is facing allegations of obstructing justice.

Indy City Commission Agenda for 1-28


It's another busy slate for the Independence City commission as they meet for in regular session on Thursday. The commission will receive bids for the removal of 201 E. Main Street and also consider the establishment of the Independence Land Bank.


In other business, the commission will receive an update from TranSystems on the ongoing Maple Street project, which was previously the recipient of a KDOT Cost Share Grant.


The meeting will begin at 5:30 pm, and can be viewed on Facebook on the City of Independence page.

LaTurner Joins House Committee on Homeland Security


US Representative Jake LaTurner has been chosen to serve on the House Committee on Homeland Security in the 117th Congress. You can read LaTurner's full statement, provided in a press release, below:


"I am honored to be chosen by my colleagues to serve on the Homeland Security Committee," said LaTurner. "The issues before Homeland Security will directly impact the safety of Kansans in the Second District. I look forward to serving on this committee to protect America’s national security interests, secure our borders, reduce illegal immigration, and prevent drug smuggling and human trafficking networks.”


LaTurner was elected in the 2020 general elections, defeating Democratic challenger Michelle De La Isla.

Sections of Read Street in Coffeyville Closed Today


Starting today, your daily commute might be altered if you're in Coffeyville.


As of this morning, Read Street in between 12th and 14th Street will be closed to through traffic until February 2nd. The road will be closed from 8 a.m. through 4 p.m. each day until then for Union Pacific Railroad to work on the overhead trestle.


Emergency access will be open and there are measures in place for emergency vehicles.

Vinita High School Goes on Lockdown

Vinita High School goes on lockdown after law enforcement receives a threat pertaining to the high school.  The Vinita Police Department and Craig County Sheriff’s Department responded immediately.  The high school was locked down and the school was searched and cleared.  There is no evidence that any student, faculty member, or other staff was in any danger at any time. 

The Craig County Sheriff’s Department says this was certainly a stressful time for many members of the community and the coordination between the school system and local law enforcement provided for an orderly vetting of the threat.  They would also like to thank the multitude of agencies that responded to assist in this situation.  Vinita High School will resume classes tomorrow.  The investigation is ongoing and further information will be released at a later date.

Arrest in Caney for Domestic Battery


The Caney Police Department responds to a domestic disturbance in the 200 block of South Wood St early this weekend. Upon arrival at the residence, officers learned that a male and female had been involved in a physical altercation.


Officers interviewed both the male and female and after speaking with the two, they arrested 48-year-old John Swalley for domestic battery. Swalley later posted bond for the charge.

SPARK Grant Success Story and New Grant on the Horizon


The nearly $6.5 million SPARK Grant that Montgomery County had received has led to some success stories across the county according to the Montgomery County Action Council Director Trisha Purdon. One of the success stories is the Caney grocery that has been in the works for nearly ten years.


Purdon also brought up the “Shuttered Venue” Grant that might be rolling out this week and will be administered by the Small Business Administration. Purdon says this grant will help performance venues.


The complete interview with Purdon can be found on our website at KGGF underneath the Community tab.

Cherryvale Elementary Classes Cancelled Tomorrow


Classes have been cancelled at Lincoln Central Elementary in Cherryvale tomorrow. A steam pipe ruptured in the building they will have no heat until the pipe can be repaired. They believe the pipe can be fixed by tomorrow.


Lincoln Elementary students will have the day off. Cherryvale Middle and High School as well as Thayer will have school as normal. CMHS students who need to stay home to care for younger siblings will be excused if parents contact the CMHS office.

New Government Vehicles Approved


Two government bodies in Montgomery County will be getting some new vehicles.


The town of Liberty will be getting a fire truck. The vehicle is from Reed Truck Sales in Wamego, Kansas, and is a 2009 Peterbilt costing in the range of $28,000-$35,000.


The other vehicles approved at the most recent Montgomery County Commission meeting are a pair of 2020 Dodge Durangos going to the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. They will both be from Superior Emergency Response Vehicles in Andover, Kansas costing $82,400. The first one is for the transport officer and the other one is for patrol.

One Person Arrested, Another Still Loose


A woman was arrested in connection with a burglary while another person is still loose.


Parsons Police responded to the 2200 block of Clark for a report of a burglary. When officers arrived at the scene, they spoke to the homeowner who stated that while checking on his house he found a white male exiting the rear of the house. The owner approached the individual who refused to identify himself and left the area on foot before law enforcement arrival. The man was later identified as Roy Cruz. He is a white male approximately 6' tall with a medium build and medium complexion with a mustache.


Officers collected evidence at the scene and a white female was arrested from inside of the residence. Tamara Lee Armitage was arrested for suspicion of Criminal Damage to Property, Theft, and Aggravated Burglary.


This continues to be an on-going investigation.

Caney PD Officers Show Restraint During Arrest


Caney Police Officers show restraint as a man pretends to pull a gun on them multiple times during arrest. Early this morning officers with Caney PD stopped a vehicle for an improper turn. Upon contact with the driver, who was identified as Charles Douglas, officers discovered his driver's license was suspended.


Douglas stated that the officers would have to kill him because he was not going back to jail, and if they did not kill him he would kill one of the officers. Douglas failed to comply with verbal commands and reached behind his back as if he was pulling a gun. He then ran off on foot while Caney Officers pursued. During the pursuit Douglas stopped, reached behind his back again and shoved his hands forward in the illusion he had a gun.


An officer took Douglas to the ground where a physical altercation ensued and Douglas attempted to take one of the officers weapons. A short while later Douglas was placed in restraints by both officers and taken into custody for driving while suspended, assault of a law enforcement officer, interference with a LEO, and criminal threat.

Go Fund Me for Coach Flores


A Go Fund Me has been set up for former Coffeyville Community College Red Raven Football Coach Aaron Flores. Coach Flores passed away last week after battling with COVID-19. He was diagnosed in mid December and after his symptoms progressed was flown to the hospital in Omaha, where he had received his double lung transplant back in 2018.


A link to donate to Coach Flores's Go Fund Me can be found here. So far almost $20,000 has been raised of the $50,000 goal.

Aggravated Domestic Battery Leads to Arrest


A Parsons man has been arrested on multiple charges including attempted murder.


Parsons Police responded to a call in the police department lobby for a reported battery that took place in the 3000 block of Dirr. Officers spoke to the victim who stated that the suspect had strangled them and threatened to kill them during an altercation. EMS evaluated the victim's injuries was later transported to the hospital.


Sergeant Cheryl Landon and Corporal Stewart Shirk arrived at the victim and suspect's residence and arrested Drew Bishop Michael Newton for Aggravated Domestic Battery and Attempted Murder. Newton was taken into custody without incident and processed into the Parsons Police Department facility until his first appearance in a Labette County Court.

Lincoln Central Elementary Resuming In-Person Classes Today


Lincoln Central Elementary in Fredonia is resuming in-person classes today.


USD 484 made the decision Wednesday to close the school yesterday due to multiple students and staff having to quarantine. Thorough cleaning took place in the building and it also allowed the district to conduct contact tracing protocols.


Lincoln was the only school in the district that was closed and online learning was not in session due to the lack of technology available to all students.

Montgomery County Man and Woman Arrested


Earlier this week, Montgomery County Deputies received a report of a crime involving burglary and theft. Deputies were called to the east side of Independence when a witness from a previous case observed a truck pulling a trailer that the witness knew to be stolen. Upon further investigation, it was learned the individual who possessed the trailer had just purchased it from 36-year-old Tanna Darnell of Independence and 39-year-old Terry Werner of Cherryvale. The individual that purchased the trailer also purchased other items that have been identified as stolen property from a separate incident.


Deputies responded to the location where the individual told deputies he purchased the property. While at that location a Deputy observed Darnell and Werner enter a house near the location and were later arrested after it was determined that they did not have permission to be at the home.


Werner and Darnell have been charged with possession of stolen property and burglary. Werner also had multiple arrest warrants Darnell was found what is believed to be narcotics among her personal belongings.

Humboldt Man Arrested on Various Drug Charges


A 35-year-old man has been arrested in Chanute on multiple drug charges.


Earlier this week, Chanute PD conducted a traffic stop in the area of Main and Tennessee. During the stop, Chanute PD K9 sensed illegal narcotics in the vehicle. During the search of the vehicle, items associated with illegal drugs were seized.


Officers arrested Michael Francis Naff of Humboldt for possession of meth with intent to distribute within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.


Naff was transported to the Neosho County Jail without incident.

Cherokee County Phase 2 Vaccination Appointments Available


The Cherokee County Health Department is scheduling appointments for phase two of COVID-19 vaccinations.


Those who would like to be vaccinated must call the Cherokee County Health Department at 620-429-3087.


The drive-thru vaccination area will be at 110 E. Walnut in Columbus. Those getting vaccinated should turn north onto Indiana Street from Maple Street. Those with an appointment will be allowed to turn west onto Walnut Street, which will otherwise be closed to through traffic. You are asked to arrive on time and not to show up early and you must stay in your vehicle. After being vaccinated, you will be asked to stay in a designated parking lot for 15-30 minutes to ensure you don't have any adverse reactions.


Those that are eligible to receive the vaccine are the following:

-People 65+ years of age

-Firefighters, police officers, first responders and correctional officers

-K-12 and childcare workers including teachers, custodians, bus drivers and other staff

-Grocery store workers and food services

-Food processing including meat processing plants

-Homeless shelters

-Emergency shelters or safe houses for victims of domestic violence

-Senior living homes


The vaccine provided by the Cherokee County Health Department is being provided at no cost and is the Moderna vaccine, which will require a second dose in 24-28 days from the date of the initial dose.


Vaccine appointments will be accepted until all doses are gone.

UPDATE: Whitaker in Custody at Woodson County Jail


UPDATE 9:37 AM: According to the Woodson County Sheriff's Office, Whitaker has been found and is custody at the Woodson County Jail. He had been reported to be seen in the area by a resident of the county.


The Parsons Police Department has reported the recovery of a truck related to an ongoing theft and shooting investigation. Early Wednesday morning, police officers were called to the 3100 block of Main Street for a report of a truck with an ATM tied to it.


When officers arrived, they discovered a pickup that had an ATM chained to it near Labette Bank. The truck had previously been reported stolen from Independence on Tuesday. Two weapons, an AR-15 and a Glock pistol, were also reported stolen with the vehicle. The AR-15 was in the vehicle when officers recovered the truck, but the Glock was not.


Benjamin Ryan Whitaker, a white male standing at 5'6" and weighing 140 pounds, continues to be a person of interest in both the vehicle theft and the ATM theft. He is also the suspect in a shooting that occurred in Coffeyville last week. The FBI and KBI have both been notified to assist in the case.

Labette County Shifts to Phase 2 of COVID Vaccinations


Labette County Health Department Administrator Lisa Hoppock states that the county is shifting to phase two of their COVID-19 vaccinations.


The Labette County Health Department will be offering vaccines to those 65 years of age and older. Hoppock said that the health department is not accepting walk-ins, so in order to make an appointment, you have to call 620-778-6272. The only way to make an appointment is by calling that number and Hoppock asks that no calls be made directly to the health department.

Seven New Positive COVID-19 Cases at USD 446


Independence Public Schools was notified by the Montgomery County Health Department that a staff member and two students at Independence High School, a staff member and a student at Independence Middle School, a staff member at Eisenhower Elementary, and a staff member at Riley Early Learning Center have all tested positive for COVID-19.


All areas that those students and staff members have used over the past several days are closed off to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Those who were identified as close contacts and those that tested positive will not be allowed 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.

Washington County Sheriff's Office Warns of Phone Scam


Washington County residents have informed the Sheriff's Office that someone is calling posing to be a member of the WCSO.


According to Undersheriff Jon Copeland, the caller is telling people that they have an active warrant for their arrest and money is needed to be paid via phone, or other information is needed to resolve the warrant. He said the WCSO does not call people by phone to inform them of an outstanding arrest warrant nor do they collect any fees, fines, or costs associated with any criminal or civil case in district court.


Residents should ask questions such as who is calling, what is the callback number, and ID or badge number, and call the non-emergency number at 918.338.4001 to report the call.


Undersheriff Copeland said this is not a new scam and one that has surfaced here in the past. He said the WCSO, Deputies, staff, or personnel of the Sheriff's Office do not confirm arrest warrants by phone.

Speed Limit Leaving Caney is 35


The Caney Police Department says from Casey's General store going south on Highway 75 to Dollar General there is no posted speed limit sign, this is is as 35 MPH speed zone until you reach the posted 55 MPH speed sign just south of Dollar General.


Caney PD is concerned with the high speeds they have been seeing going south out of Caney. With some drivers reaching speeds of 50 to 60 MPH between 6th St. and the south city limits.


Caney PD has reached out to the Kansas Department of Transportation and expressed their concerns about the lack of speed limit signs in this area, and the potential for accidents. KDOT controls the speed limit and is in charge of posting speed limit signs. Please use caution in this area as other drivers are entering and exiting the highway at the Dollar General and Ridgeway St. exits.

Youth Soccer and Flag Football Registrations Underway


With Spring right around the corner, the Coffeyville Recreation Commission has started accepting sign-ups for spring soccer and flag football. The Director of the Coffeyville Area Chamber of Commerce Candi Westbrook gives the details on who can sign up and how much time you have left to register.


A link to the registration page can be found here.

Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Looking to Raise Money for K9


The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office is seeking help from the citizens and business as they are looking to add two K9 officers to the force.


The last operational K9 Kiro has been retired due to age and emerging health problems. Sgt. Jeremy Hunsucker explains what kind of K9s they are looking for to replace Kiro.


The cost to purchase the K9 is $14,000 and Sgt. Hunsucker says every dollar helps.


Sgt. Hunsucker also said how close they are and how you can donate.


You can find the complete interview with Lisa Wilson and Sgt. Hunsucker at KGGF

Suspect in Cville Shooting Now a Suspect in ATM Theft


A person of interest in a Coffeyville shooting is now a suspect in an attempted theft of a bank ATM in Parsons. The Parsons Police Department says the suspect, Benjamin Whitaker, is considered to be armed and dangerous. Whitaker is a white male, 5'6” and 140lbs. If you see Whitaker or have any information regarding his whereabouts, Parsons PD says do not approach and call 911. The ATM was located at 32nd and Main in Parsons.


Whitaker is a suspect in a shooting in Coffeyville that occurred late last week. The other man involved in that shooting, Zachary Pule, was arrested for attempted murder in the 2nd degree and other charges related to the incident.

No Action Taken by Dewey City Council on Economic Development


After spending approximately 45 minutes in an executive session to discuss economic development on Tuesday night, the Dewey City Council took no action.


Mayor Tom Hays came right out of the gate saying there would be no action taken on matters pertaining to economic development.


Tuesday night marked the second straight meeting in which the Dewey City Council entered into an executive session to confer on matters pertaining to economic development. Unlike the first of the two meetings, the Council had an item on Tuesday night's agenda to discuss, consider and possibly approve the matters they conferred over in the executive session.

Still, no action was taken on Tuesday night.

High Winds Produce Very High Fire Danger in SEK


Warmer than normal temperatures are expected Wednesday in southeastern Kansas along with strong winds. If you add this with a lack of moisture in the area over the past couple of weeks you get a high risk of wildfires being able to spread quickly. Wind gusts have a chance to get up to 30+ mph.


Temperatures overnight will be in the upper 20s and lower 30s Wednesday night. It will be even warmer for Thursday with highs in the mid to upper 50s locally and into the 60s in the south-central parts of the state. Winds will die down significantly and a mixture of clouds and sunshine is expected.


As for Friday, it will be in the upper 40s and lower 50s with winds at 10-15 mph out of the northeast with little to no cloud cover.

Coffeyville Prepares for Installation of New Playground Equipment


New equipment is on the way for Coffeyville's Pfister Park. Public Works employees were on the scene Tuesday to begin removing some of the old toddler playground equipment at the park. Once removal is complete, the next step will be to backfill and level the area in preparation for the installation of the new equipment this upcoming spring.


The old equipment that was removed will be refurbished and installed at other parks in the city. Those locations are yet to be decided, but will be chosen by the city's Parks Advisory Board.

SPARK Deadline Extended


The Labette County Commission received a SPARK update during their most recent meeting. Parsons Economic Development Director Jim Zaleski says they've extended the deadline for the SPARK money to be spent.


Zaleski says the city of Oswego has around $6,000 left, Edna has just over $1,000, Parsons has almost $4,000 and the county has just under $300,000 left.


Chautauqua County Commission Meeting for 1-19


Organization was the name of the game as the Chautauqua County Commission met in regular session on Tuesday.


During a routine roads and bridges report, Third District Commissioner David Deal asked county staff if they would be able to organize a grater map to display for the public. That would be taken care of by county employees.


And in other business, the commission approved its county appointments for the 2021 calendar year. The commission will meet next Friday, the last working day of the month, before returning to Mondays in February.

Bridge Construction Bids Approved for Montgomery County


Newly-elected Commissioner Mike Cordray served his first Montgomery County Commission meeting and a pair of bridges had their bids approved Tuesday morning.


Montgomery County Public Works Coordinator Jim Wright spoke about the bids and how much they would cost. The first bid is for Bridge #25 which will cost over $57,000 and the other is an inspection of the Biennial Bridge which will cost over $23,000. The money will come from the Debit Special Bridge Fund and go to Elite Engineering Services out of Gardner, Kansas. They were the only engineering firm to make a bid for both projects.

Three People Die in Wilson County Wreck


Three people lost their lives in a fiery accident on Monday in Wilson County.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a vehicle driven by 40-year Curtis Wilkins of Cambridge was headed westbound on U.S. 400 when he crossed the double yellow line and crashed head-on into a vehicle driven by 39-year-old Tiffany Bekemeier of Aurora, Missouri who was eastbound on U.S. 400.


Both vehicles caught fire and came to rest in the eastbound lanes. Both drivers were killed in the crash as well as 18-year-old Randy Lynn Carlisle, also of Aurora, who was a passenger in Bekemeier's vehicle.


It is not known what caused Wilkins to cross the center line.

K-39 closed between U.S. 75 and U.S. 169


The Kansas Department of Transportation has closed K-39 to traffic from U.S. 75 east to U.S. 169.


One of the columns on the K-39 bridge west of U.S. 169 was damaged in a crash. K-39 will remain closed to through traffic for approximately two months, or until reconstruction of the bridge column is complete. K-39 traffic should follow the signed state route detour on U.S. 75, K-47, and U.S. 169.


For construction and closure updates use

Latest COVID-19 Numbers in Kansas


Total and active cases of COVID-19 in Wilson County both saw a gradual rise according to the latest report from the Wilson County Health Department. Total positive cases went up by 29 and now stand at 777. Active cases were bumped by eight to 60. Hospitalizations remain at 37 and while the county saw two new deaths as the county hit double digits at 10. The county has nearly 713 recoveries.


Neosho County has seen a rise of 49 new cases to boost the total number to 1,410 total cases with active cases and deaths remaining at 125 and two, respectively. There have been 1,269 recoveries.


Labette County has 2,263 total cases with 137 of them active. 34 are hospitalized with 25 deaths and 2,126 recovered.


Montgomery County has had 2,785 totals cases and Chautauqua County has 219.


There were 3,688 new COVID-19 cases across the state which brings the total to 259,822 total cases with 7,801 hospitalizations and 3,525 deaths since the pandemic began in March.

Bville Man Arrested in Caney


A Bartlesville man is arrested after being pulled over in Caney. Earlier this weekend at around 10:30pm an officer with the Caney Police Department made a traffic stop for a traffic violation at State and Spears St.


The driver of the vehicle was identified as 58-year-old Gregory Mundine, who was driving with a suspended license, and the registration on the vehicle was expired. Mundine was arrested and transported to the Chautauqua County Jail without incident and was charged with driving while suspended and no current registration.

SPARK Updates at Tomorrow's Labette Commission Meeting


The Labette County Commission will meet tomorrow for their weekly meeting with today being Martin Luther King Jr Day. The meeting will also be at 10:30am instead of 9:00am.


There are three items on the agenda with the first at 10:30am. Parsons Economic Development Director Jim Zaleski and Community Development Director Laura Moore will provide the commission with a SPARK update. At 11:00am Director of Emergency Management Charlie Morse will give an update to SPARK purchases. The final item on the agenda is at 11:15am and it's the noxious weed fiscal annual report with Director Ralph George.


Meeting times will return to normal next week as the commission meets on Monday, January 25th at 9:00am.


January Crime Victims Compensation Awarded


The Kansas Crime Victims Compensation Board awarded financial assistance to 359 victims of violent crime at its January meeting. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says awards were made in 222 new cases and additional expenses were paid in 137 previously submitted cases.


The awards totaled almost $354,000. Awards are limited to a maximum total amount of $25,000 with limitations of $5,000 for funeral expenses, $5,000 for outpatient mental health counseling, $10,000 for inpatient mental health treatment and $1,500 for grief counseling for family survivors of homicide victims. A portion of assessed court costs and fines, inmate wages, parole fees and restitution paid by convicted offenders provides funding to the program.

Work Begins on U.S. 169 Crossing


A portion of U.S. 169 will be closed for the upcoming week as work is done to repair a railroad crossing. The South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad will be closing a portion of the highway, starting today to repair the south crossing. That crossing is located inbetween U.S. 166 and the Kansas-Oklahoma state line.


While work is being completed, U.S. 169 will be closed to all through traffic at the work zone. A detour is signed on Eldridge and Old Willow Street. The detour has a vehicle height limit of 15 feet and a length limit of 70 feet, as well as a lane width restriction of 11 feet. Also, no vehicles weighting over 85,000 pounds will be permitted on the detour.


Work is expected to continue through Friday.

Gas Prices Jump Drastically in Kansas and Oklahoma


Motorists have had to dig deeper in their pockets due to the price of gas jumping dramatically over the past two weeks.


Prices in Montgomery County have risen to $2.19 which is a 21 cent increase while Labette County also has seen an increase to $2.19 which is a 20 cent increase. In Chautauqua County, prices are up 12 cents to $2.13 a gallon. The state average is up 15 cents at $2.17 a gallon.


In Oklahoma, the state average jumped to $2.10 a gallon. Gas in Washington County is up eight cents to $2.07 while Nowata County is up 15 cents to $2.05.


The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has increased by five cents to $2.36, which is eight cents more than a week ago, 20 cents more than a month ago, and 21 cents less than a year ago.

Fatal Private Property Accident in Girard


A fatal vehicle-pedestrian accident occurred on private property in Girard on Sunday afternoon.


68-year-old Martha E. Murphy of Girard was assisting 68-year-old Steven W. Murphy with hooking up a gooseneck trailer and Mrs. Murphy became pinned between the truck and the trailer.


Mrs. Murphy sustained life-threatening injuries and was transported to the Girard Medical Center by Crawford County EMS where she was announced dead.

UPDATE: Wanted Cherokee County Man Found


A wanted man was arrested and taken into custody over the weekend.


37-year-old Nicholas Carrillo was located Friday night and was arrested on drug charges. He is in custody at the Crawford County Jail. Charges related to the current investigation remain pending.


The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office asked the public for help to locate Carillo. He was wanted with connections to a death investigation.

CPD Investigation Shooting


The Coffeyville Police Department is investigating a shooting that occurred early yesterday morning.


A CPD officer on patrol noticed a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed northbound on Maple. The vehicle attempted to flee from the officer and near the intersection of New and Elm the occupants of the vehicle fled on foot. The vehicle was reported stolen out of Independence. As officers were looking for the two suspects, CPD received a call from an alleged victim saying they had been shot by the men who fled from officers.


Officers located 28-year-old Zachary Pule, who is charged with attempted second-degree murder. Officers are still looking for 20-year-old Benjamin Whitaker, who currently has an absconder warrant out for him.

CCC's Coach Flores Passes Away


A former Coffeyville Community College head football coach passed away this morning.


Aaron Flores, who was serving as the Director of Student Affairs at CCC, had been battling COVID-19. Flores missed most of the 2018 Red Raven football season before undergoing a double lung transplant.


Current Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Jeff Leiker says on behalf of the football team he offers their condolences to the family of Coach Flores. He says Coach Flores was a wonderful person who influenced many lives.

Three Arrested Overnight in Caney


The Caney Police Department arrested three individuals overnight. Officers with the CPD were on routine patrol just after midnight on Friday when they came into contact with three individuals near a residence in the 500 block of South Wood street.


During the ensuing investigation, officers discovered drugs inside a vehicle occupied by 39-year-old Johnathan Bolen and 26-year-old Meshell Uriarte, both of Caney. A third individual, 28-year-old Justin Allen Frostad of Coffeyville, was also identified at the residence. Officers discovered Frostad had an active warrant out of Montgomery County for aggravated failure to appear, and was arrested on that warrant.


In addition, both Bolen and Uriarte were found to be in possession of approximately 7 grams of methamphetamines, drug paraphernalia, and possession of marijuana. All three were transported to Montgomery County Jail.

Cordell Jordan Named Interim President at ICC


Cordell Jordan has been named the interim president of Independence Community College. The board of trustees made the decision Wednesday after Dr. George C. Knox decided to step down for health and personal reasons.


Jordan will continue working in his current positions of Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer during his interim term. Jordan said that business won't stop just because of the pandemic and they plan to move forward with business and planning for upcoming events in the future. He said there is a lot going on with the theater program as well as a campaign to celebrate the college's 100th anniversary in 2025.

PSU Holding MLK Jr. Observance Event


The Black Student Association at Pittsburg State University will honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day at 6 p.m. on Monday at the Oval with a candlelight vigil followed by a short program. 


The Oval is located in the heart of the campus in the green space between Russ Hall to the west, Whitesitt Hall to the south, Heckert-Wells Hall to the east, and the Overman Student Center to the north. 


The program will include an opening song, the reading of King’s historic "I Have a Dream" speech, and reflections by two students on how King's dream is being realized in their lives today. 


The public is invited. Social distancing measures will be in place. The observance will also be live-streamed on the Black Student Association Facebook page and will be archived there for later viewing.

Offices Closed for MLK Day


The Montgomery County Courthouse and the Coffeyville Tag Office will be closed on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr Day. The Board of County Commissioners' next scheduled meeting will be on Tuesday instead of Monday due to the holiday.


Coffeyville City hall will also be closed for the holiday. Other offices closed for the holiday include the Labette County Courthouse, Caney City Hall and Independence City Hall. The Labette County Commission has also moved their meeting to Tuesday at 10:30am.

Package Theft Prevention


Even though the Christmas season is over, many people still receive packages year-round. According to Consumer Reports, 84% of people are ordering more items online due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, it also has led to a rise in package thefts. Independence Police Chief Jerry Harrison says there are some ways to help avoid becoming the victim of a porch pirate.


If your package is stolen, Chief Harrison says you do have options.


Chief Harrison says although many of these crimes go unreported, residents are reminded to remain vigilant and report crimes that they do see.

Thompson Named Kansas Sportscaster of the Year


The voice of the Kansas State Wildcats has been named the Kansas Sportscaster of the Year. This is the fourth straight year Wyatt Thompson has been recognized with this honor by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.


This is the 6th time Thompson has received this award and he ranks second all-time among K-State broadcasters in awards and fourth all-time among broadcasters in the state of Kansas. Thompson is currently in his 19th year as the play-by-play voice of the Wildcats' football and men's basketball teams. You can hear Thompson and the K-State Wildcats on KGGF 690AM.

Kansas No Longer Ranked Last in Vaccinations


There have been 4,539 new cases of COVID-19 reported this week in the state of Kansas. Governor Laura Kelly says despite those numbers there is good news.


Last week it was reported by the CDC that Kansas ranked last in COVID-19 vaccinations. Governor Kelly says there was a discrepancy between the numbers they had vaccinated and the numbers the CDC was reporting.  Governor Kelly says as they prepare to enter into Phase 2 they will begin providing more information at what sites eligible individuals can receive their vaccine.  Information about those eligible in Phase 2 can be found here.

Windy End to the Week with a Cold Front Expected


The National Weather Service in Wichita is warning folks of very windy conditions for the end of the week followed by a cold front that is expected to come through southeast Kansas.


Winds today are expected to be 20-30 mph consistently with gusts getting up to 55 mph. The strongest winds will come through from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and they will ramp up again at 9 a.m. Friday and last until around 6 p.m.


With those high winds come possible fires to spread. Southeast Kansas is under a Red Flag Warning today with "extreme fire weather conditions" until 6 p.m. tonight and a Wind Advisory until 6 p.m. Friday night, according to the NWS.


As for the cold front, it'll come through and make things real chilly for your Friday with highs peaking in the lower 40s or upper 30s with those winds still blowing strong.

Pittsburg Man Sentenced on 1st Degree Murder Charge


A Pittsburg man has been sentenced for fatally shooting his father. Michael Woodson submitted an Alford plea to first-degree murder and was given 17 years in prison along with three years probation. The Alford plea means that Woodson doesn't admit to being guilty but admits the state's case is strong enough to convict him.


Woodson called the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office in April of 2020 to say he had just shot his father at their home in northwest Pittsburg. Deputies found 53-year-old David Buckley dead inside the home and arrested Woodson.

KBI Looking For Man in Recent Death Investigation


The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office are looking for a man who was supposedly involved in a death investigation.


The KBI is asking for the public's help locating 37-year-old Nicholas Adam Carrillo. Carrillo is a white male and is 6-foot-1. He weighs approximately 275 pounds and has brown eyes and brown hair.

He was last seen on Wednesday at 11:55 p.m. at 111 S. Kansas in Arcadia which is about 20 miles north of Pittsburg. He was wearing a white sleeveless t-shirt and black sweatpants. Carrillo fled the area on foot.

If you see Nicholas Carrillo, or have information related to his whereabouts, please immediately call the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME, or the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office at 620-724-8274.

Montgomery County COVID-19 Numbers


Independence Assistant City Manager and Safety Director David Cowan gave an update on the COVID-19 numbers in the county in last night's pandemic team meeting.


As of Monday's newest tally, there are 77 new confirmed COVID-19 cases bringing the number up to 2,607 total cases which is up from 2,530 last Friday. The number of deaths as of Monday is at 33.


In the state of Kansas, there have been a total of 5,180 new cases, 94 new hospitalizations, and 107 additional deaths.

Elementary Student in Independence Tests Positive for COVID-19


According to the Montgomery County Health Department, a student at Eisenhower Elementary School in Independence has tested positive for COVID-19.


Areas that the student has used over the past several days will be closed off to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. All students and staff that were identified as close contacts have been notified. They will not be allowed to return to school until the Montgomery County Health Department deems it safe.


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

CPD Investigating Two Thefts at Walmart


The Coffeyville Police Department is investigating a pair of thefts at Walmart. Sergeant York is investigating the most recent theft and says employees knew immediately that the suspect walked out of the store without paying for the items.


The other theft occurred back on January 1st around 11:00 pm. Sergeant York says anyone with information about either incident or can identify either suspect to call CPD at (620)252-6160. Photos of both suspects can be found in the online version of this story at


8th Annual Taste of Soup Event


The Coffeyville Public Library will be holding the 8th Annual Taste of Soup on Thursday, February 4th between 11 am to 1 pm.


Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce Director Candi Westbrook informs us what soups and desserts will be served and how things will be a little different this year.


Deliveries to businesses or organizations are also available with a $30 minimum or more purchase and will be delivered by 11 am on February 4th. Pre-orders are due by January 26th and are paid for through the library. Call the Library at 620-251-1370 to place an order.


All soup proceeds go to the Coffeyville Public Library Foundation while all dessert proceeds go to the Coffeyville Imagination Library.

Road Closures Starting Next Week


Starting next Monday, motorists in Coffeyville will be re-routed as the South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad plans to close and repair the south crossing on U.S. 169 located between U.S. 166 and the Kansas-Oklahoma state line.


U.S. 169 will be closed to through traffic at the work zone and a detour will be signed on Eldridge and Old Willow streets.


The road work will continue until Friday, January 22nd.

LaTurner Voting No On Both 25th Amendment and Impeachment


U.S. Representative Jake LaTurner has announced his intention to vote "no" by proxy on both the 25th Amendment resolution and Article of Impeachment presented by House Democrats.


LaTurner said in his statement that he believes the focus should be on bringing criminals who broke into the U.S. Capitol last week to justice, and investigating what caused the security breakdown. He also mentioned that the country should be moving toward President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration next week.


LaTurner is currently quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19 last week.

Cherokee County Moving to Phase 2 of Vaccination Process


A new shipment of COVID-19 vaccine doses will be on its way to Cherokee County shortly and the county is moving to phase two of its vaccination process.


The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office stated that these groups of people will be receiving the vaccine next:

-Those 65 or older

-Firefighters, police officers, first responders, correction officers

-Grocery store workers and food services

-K-12 and childcare workers including teachers, custodians, bus drivers, and other staff

-Workers in food processing including meat processing plants

-Transportation workers

-Homeless shelters and other homeless housing settings and dwelling places 

-Emergency shelters or safe houses for victims of domestic violence

-Senior living homes


Cherokee County doesn't know how many doses they will receive or the date of when they arrive. Those who fall under any of these groups will need to call a phone number that will be revealed at a later date to schedule a vaccine appointment.

Road Closures in Coffeyville


There might be some new construction for your commute in Coffeyville over the next week.


Starting this morning, Midland Avenue between Highland Park and Warwick Road will be closed. The City of Coffeyville hopes to have it open again on Friday at 3 p.m.


Also, starting Monday, January 18th, Highland Road will be closed at Midland Road. The anticipated reopening date is Thursday, January 21st at 3 p.m.


These closures are due to the water main replacements in preparation for the Highland Road Reconstruction Project.

Pavement Reconstruction Project to Begin in Coffeyville in 2023


The City of Coffeyville approved a pavement reconstruction project at its bi-weekly city commission meeting Tuesday night.


However, there has been a setback to the project. The city has yet to receive the grant documents from the Kansas Department of Transportation.


Coffeyville Superintendent of Engineering Thomas Osborn explains what steps are being taken at this time.


The construction is scheduled to begin in 2023 and will be near the intersection of S. Walnut and U.S. 169.

Longtime Montgomery County Vet Dies in Tractor Accident


A longtime Montgomery County Veterinarian has died as the result of a tractor accident today.  Dr. Richard Barta of Independence died when the tractor he was operating overturned in a creek.


Montgomery County deputies were dispatched to County Road 3670 east of County Road 4150 just before noon today for a report of an overturned tractor.  When they arrived at the scene deputies discovered an overturned tractor in a creek and the driver deceased.  The Driver was identified as Dr. Richard Barta.


Dr. Barta operated the Barta Animal Hospital in Independence.                                                       

K-State Offers Crop Lease Simulator


A unique tool to guide cropland lease decisions has been developed by agricultural economists at Kansas State University. Farm Management Economist Gregg Ibendahl explains the advantages of using the Farm Lease Simulator.


Ibendahl says this tool allows the user to identify a fair sharing of financial risk between both parties.  Ibendahl says the simulator can generate multiple outcomes for the producer and the landlord to consider. A link to the simulator can be found in the online version of this story.

Latest COVID-19 Numbers in Kansas


According to the latest report from the Wilson County Health Department, active cases in the county have continued to drop even though new cases go up.


Total positive cases went up by 32 and now stand at 748 but active cases dropped by eight to 52. Hospitalizations have gone up by four to 37 and a new death was reported to raise the number to eight since the last update last Friday. The county has seen nearly 700 recoveries.


Neosho County has seen a rise of 56 new cases to boost the total number to 1,361 total cases with 104 active cases which is a drop of 39 cases. Two more deaths were reported to bring that number to 16. There have been 1,241 recoveries.


Montgomery County has a total of 2,607 cases, Labette County has 2,212 total cases while Chautauqua County is right at 211.


There were 5,180 new COVID-19 cases across the state which brings the total to 247.502 total cases with 7,351 hospitalizations and just over 3,255 deaths since the pandemic began in March.

Trial Set for Woman Charged With First-Degree Murder


A 30-year-old woman accused of striking and killing her boyfriend with her car last April will go to trial beginning on May 17th in Labette County.


Tiffany Jakee is charged in connection to the events on April 1st that killed her boyfriend, 30-year-old William Alex Treiber. She is charged with first-degree murder, failing to stop at an accident involving death or personal injury, two counts of aggravated endangering a child, domestic battery, and driving under the influence.


Jakee was reportedly driving southbound on U.S. 59 just south of U.S. 400. She passed a vehicle in a no-passing zone and then drove onto the northbound shoulder and struck Treiber, who was walking south. Treiber was pronounced dead at the scene. Jakee left the scene and was stopped a short distance later and arrested. Her blood-alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit in Kansas.


Jakee remains jailed on a $250,000 bond and she could receive up to life in prison if convicted on the murder charge.


USD 445 BOE Chooses New Pres and VP


A new year means reorganization for the USD 445 Board of Education. At their January meeting, the board nominated and elected a new president and vice president.


Current Board President Darrel Harbaugh was nominated to continue as president by Board Member Karen Rittenhouse and voted on 6-0 by the board. Former Vice President Bob Roesky nominated Board Member Jason Barnett to serve as the vice president and the board voted 6-0 to approve that.


Roesky was chosen to continue to serve as the representative to the Tri-County Special Education Cooperative. Kisha Johnson was absent from the meeting.

Coffeyville City Commission Agenda for 1/12


It'll be a fairly light meeting for the Coffeyville City Commission when they meet in regular session later tonight.


In commission business, the new mayor and vice mayor will be chosen to serve a 1-year term, ending in 2022. In new business, the commission will look at a couple of resolutions. They'll also take action to approve stadium agreements with Coffeyville Community College and USD 445.


The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. tonight at City Hall.

Construction in Pittsburg Begins Today


The Kansas Department of Transportation will install a new signal control box at the intersection of U.S. 69 and K-126 in Pittsburg starting today.


The traffic signals at U.S. 69/K-126 will be turned off between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The intersection will become a four-way stop, with flaggers directing traffic until the installation is complete and the signals are operating.


KDOT says to please slow down and drive with care in the work zone.

Fraudulent Unemployment Claim Texts Surfacing in Kansas


Fraudulent texts are surfacing in Kansas claiming that there is an issue with an unemployment claim.


The text claims to be from the Kansas Department of Labor, but it's actually a phishing attempt. If you receive one of these texts, KDOL says to delete it immediately.


However, if you have already received a text like this and you clicked on the link, be sure to check your, login and check your bank information and see if it has changed. KDOL says also changing your password on the website is a good cautionary measure to take along with reporting the incident to the web portal or calling it in.

UPDATE: OSBI Investigates Homicide in Nowata


The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) was requested by the Nowata Police Department on Saturday morning to investigate a homicide.


The investigation was initiated after a disturbance at the Casey's General Store on Ash Street in Nowata around 8:00 a.m. In a press release, the OSBI says officers from the Nowata Police Department responded to an incident that involved a car accident and a fight with an individual identified as Jacob Reid Edward Kimball. Kimball's infant child was with Kimball at the Casey's.


Officers went to Kimball's residence in the 200 block of N. McCaffree in Nowata to contact Kimball's family about the arrest. At Kimball's residence officers found the body of 26-year-old Heather Lynn Kimball, who was officially identified on Sunday. She was the wife of 22-year-old Jacob Reid Edward Kimball. She was found shot multiple times.


Kimball was taken into custody and transported to the Nowata County Jail. This is a developing story, no one from the OSBI, the Nowata Police Department or the Nowata County Sherriff’s Office has commented yet on the incident or the investigation.

Indy City Commission Organizing for First Regular Meeting of 2021


The Independence City Commission will have a lot on its plate when it meets for its first regular session of 2021 this Thursday.


In new business, the commission will reorganze itself for the new year. This includes electing a new mayor, vice mayor, and designating the official city newspaper and depository.


Most notably, the commission will hold a discussion with TreanorHL as they continue to work through the 1916 City Hall renovation project. Also a part of that discussion will be the addition to the apparatus bay for the Independence Fire/EMS department.


The meeting will begin at 5:30 pm. The full agenda for Thursday's meeting can be seen here.

USD 446 Boards Discusses ESSER II Funds and HVAC System Replacement


The USD 446 Board of Education met Monday night for their monthly meeting to discuss several items on the agenda.


The first item that was brought up was that USD 446 will receive ESSER II funds that are part of the latest stimulus package. Superintendent Rusty Arnold let the board knew how much money the district is getting and the timeline in which the funds can be used.


The board also heard about a bid they received about the replacement of the HVAC system in the high school. The board unanimously voted to accept the bid from Design Mechanical.


The USD 446 school board will meet again on February 8th in the Community Room at Independence High School.


RV Catches Fire in Independence


Independence Fire and EMS responded to a reported structure fire with injuries in the 1700 block of West Laurel Street earlier this afternoon. First arriving Independence Police Officers reported an RV camper full caught on fire with one patient who was able to get out of the RV.


IFD was able to bring the fire under control in around 20 minutes and was able to clear the scene.


USD 445 Adds Online Resources for Activities


COVID-19 has caused schools to evolve and change how they do things especially when it comes to athletics and activities. USD 445 Athletic Director Dr. Zach Johnson says one of the ways they've done this is with their Nado Live Youtube channel.


Currently Nado Live has 470 subscribers, 30,000 views, 200 videos and four channels. Dr. Johnson says another online tool they have added is the Rschool Program.  The Rschool Program is available on the app stores for both Apple and Samsung and you can sign up online on the school's website.


Vaccine Update During Board of Health Meeting


More and more information keeps coming out about how much of and to who the COVID-19 will go to. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has released her Five Phase Plan for distribution. Labette Health CEO Brian Williams says their goal is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as they can.


Vaccines for long term care facilities are being administered by Walgreens and CVS.  Williams says what they would like to do is start vaccinating their patients but they haven't been given the approval yet.  


Williams says for now he encourages everyone to wear a mask, social distance and avoid mass gatherings. He says his nursing staff is overworked due to the high number of COVID-19 patients.

New Commissioners Sworn In


The two newest Labette County Commissioners were sworn in at their most recent meeting.


District Three Commissioner Cole Proehl had been sworn in previously to finish out the term of Doug Allen who resigned in November but has now been sworn in for his term. District Two Commissioner Brian Kinzie, who has been a Labette County Commissioner before, was sworn in for retiring Commissioner Fred Vail. Commissioner Lonie Addis will remain as chairman of the board while Commissioner Kinzie will serve as Vice Chair.


The next county commission meeting will be on Tuesday at 10:30am, due to next Monday being Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Chautauqua County Commission Meeting for 1-11


A new-look Chautauqua County Commission met in regular session on Monday.


The meeting was the first for new commissioner David Deal since his election last November. He replaced the outgoing Jack Carpenter, who retired after 28 years on the county commission. Parker Massey, the First District commissioner, was nominated and seconded to once again serve as the commission chairman. He was also delegated decision-making powers regarding "higher employment" situations. 


In other business, the commission approved on-premises and to-go cereal malt beverage licenses for Peru Truck Stop, and had a brief discussion on the solid waste and dumping problems the county is currently facing. 


As per their decision today, the Chautauqua County Commission will continue to meet each Monday and the last working day of the month. Their next meeting will be January 18th at 8:30 am.

Montgomery County Local Officials Sworn In


All Montgomery County local officials have been sworn in. During the Montgomery County Commission meeting Monday morning, a decent-sized crowd saw multiple elected officials be sworn in including County Sheriff Ron Wade who went uncontested with 11,713 votes.


Mike Cordray is now officially county commissioner after his 2,127 to 1,259 win over Democrat Fred Brown. Larry McManus was also sworn in after his uncontested election win with 4,626 votes.


County Clerk Charlotte Scott Schmidt retained her position along with County Treasurer Nancy Clubine. County Register of Deeds Marilyn Calhoun and County Attorney Lisa D. Montgomery were also sworn in.

Two Coffeyville Women Arrested in Caney


Two women in Caney have been arrested in connection with an active warrant and a domestic battery over the weekend.


Caney PD responded to a residence in the 100 block of North State Street to locate Kristin Thomison of Coffeyville for an active Montgomery County warrant. Officers made contact with Thomison and took her into custody.


Minutes after officers left the scene, they were called back to the residence for a reported active domestic battery situation involving Thomison’s mother, Pamela S. Bellmyer also of Coffeyville. When officers arrived on scene, Martin had visible injuries and took Bellmyer into custody based on the injuries and the statements made by both parties and a witness.


Thomison and Bellmyer were transported to the Montgomery County Department of Corrections.

Crawford County Fatality Accident


A Columbus woman is dead and another was taken to the hospital after an early Sunday morning crash in Crawford County.


According to the Crawford County Sheriff's Office, a vehicle driven by 25-year-old Savannah Murillo was headed northbound from 100th Street and U.S. Highway 400 when it struck a concrete culvert causing the vehicle to roll and land upside down.


Murillo and the front seat passenger, 23-year-old Destiny Sprenkle, were trapped in the vehicle and had to be extracted by first responders. A third passenger, 23-year-old John Schallenburger, sustained minor injuries and was able to exit the vehicle.


Murillo was pronounced dead at the scene while Sprenkle was transported to Ascension Via Christi. Shallenburger declined medical treatment.

Suspect Sought in Drive By Shooting in Cherryvale


A drive-by shooting in Cherryvale leaves one injured and police looking for the suspect. The victim Zach Hammond says the suspect was speeding on his street in an area where the neighborhood kids play. Hammond says when he confronted the car telling them to slow down, they threatened to shoot him.


Hammond ran into his house for his own gun as the suspect opened fire. He was shot once as the bullet went through his face taking off a piece of his ear. Hammond posted a video on his Facebook moments after the shooting describing the suspect's car.


The suspect's car was located in Parsons but the driver and owner of the vehicle have yet to be found. Hammond was flown by helicopter to Joplin and says after about an hour and a half of surgery they had him as good as new.  A link to Hammond's video on Facebook can be found here.





Burglar Shot by Homeowner


An early morning burglary in Miami, OK leaves one dead. Around 12:16 this morning the homeowner heard someone banging on his back door. He was setting in his living room when he heard a commotion in a side room. He stated he could hear someone climb thru the window of a back bedroom. He said he feared for his life and grabbed a shotgun to protect himself.


A male subject came from his spare bedroom and approached him in his living room. The resident then fired one shot from his firearm and shot the male intruder. The suspect was identified as 30-year-old Roger Nelums of Miami. Nelums was transported to Miami Integris Hospital and was pronounced dead at 12:54am. Miami Detectives have been working the incident and it will be presented to the Ottawa County District Attorney. No charges are being sought out against the homeowner at this time.

Multiple Scams to Look Out For


The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office warns residents of three scams that are circulating around the area.


In the first scam, someone will claim you are owed a refund by a well known company, ask for remote access to your computer and for you to purchase a gift card and give them the information so they may give you the refund.  The second scam involves the scammer contacting you by social media, claiming to be in the military and after forming a relationship with you they will eventually ask for money.  The third scam involves attempted identity theft and unemployment fraud.


Sheriff David Groves says it's important to be cautious when someone you don't know contacts you.

Peck to Co-Sponsor Bills To Begin Session


With the 2021 Legislative session scheduled to begin Monday, Senator-Elect Virgil Peck looks to hit the ground running by co-sponsoring two bills. The first bill he will be co-sponsoring has to do with mail-in ballots.


Peck also said he is co-sponsoring another bill that was passed in the 2020 regular session but was vetoed by Governor Kelly that deals with property taxes and more options in payment schedules.


You can hear the entire interview with Senator-Elect Peck on our website at KGGF

Daddy Daughter Ball Postponed


The Coffeyville Recreation Commission has postponed the 2021 Daddy Daughter Ball until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can follow them on Facebook for any updates on this event and other activities or events. Everyone's health and safety is their top priority.


CRC says families can still plan a special COVID safe date and offer up some ideas to get you started. You can cook your favorite meal and watch a movie at home, learn or make something new together, have a family dance-off or have a family game night.

Dr. Shravan Gangula Speaks About COVID Numbers and Vaccine Side Effects


Montgomery County Medical Director Dr. Shravan Gangula spoke at the First Friday virtual event on the city of Independence's Facebook page Friday morning to give an update on the COVID-19 numbers in the county and to stress the importance of continuing to take necessary precautions.


According to Gangula, all ICU's in a 100-150 mile radius have reached capacity. He said that it has been difficult dealing with sick ICU patients since they might have to be transferred as far as 200 miles to get an ICU. Gangula said that it's hard for families to be that far away from loved ones who are sick.


As for the vaccine, Gangula talked about the side effects and that folks shouldn't be worried about them.


Gangula also noted that all frontline personnel have been vaccinated and the county is working on vaccinating long-term care residents next. There is no update on when the vaccines will be available to the general public.

Governor Kelly Announces New Phases


Kansas expects to finish giving COVID-19 vaccines to long-term care residents and health care workers by the end of this month and has moved people aged 65 and older into the next group to receive the shots.


Gov. Laura Kelly on Thursday announced new details about the order in which her state’s residents will be eligible for inoculations and making people aged 65 to 74 years an earlier priority was the biggest shift. Kelly said the phase groups were created using guidance from national and state public health experts and input from the Kansas Coronavirus Vaccine Advisory Council.


The state’s previous plan had that age group getting their vaccines after people in congregate living, such as state hospitals, shelters for the homeless, and prisons.


Neodesha Offering Free Meals for Remainder of the School Year


Those who are enrolled at USD 461 in Neodesha will be able to receive free meals for the rest of the 2021 school year.


The United States Department of Agriculture is covering the cost of all meals. Every meal that is served helps the local food service program financially and keeps food service staff members employed, according to the Kansas State Department of Education.


In order to receive free meals, fill out an application which can be picked up at the school office.

Possible Spike in Cases from Holidays


Much of the conversation at the City of Independence's pandemic team meeting centered around a possible spike in positive cases and the COVID-19 vaccine.


Assistant City Manager David Cowan and Labette Health ER Director Becky Mitchell both expressed concern about an anticipated surge in COVID cases in the next couple of weeks due to Christmas and New Year’s holiday gatherings.  Cowan reported Independence EMS remains very busy daily with COVID calls and questions, and Mitchell reported the Labette Health Fever Clinic continues to test multiple patients daily.


Regarding the vaccine, Mitchell discussed the importance of as many individuals as possible receiving the vaccine when it is available to facilitate widespread immunity in the population.

STEM Program Receives National Honor


The Verizon Innovative Learning STEM program for middle schoolers, which is offered in Southeast Kansas through Fab Lab ICC, was recently honored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation as a recipient of its 2020 Citizens Award.


Independence Community College is one of 49 colleges across the country participating in the VIL program. The local program serves 6th, 7th and 8th grade girls, is operated by Fab Lab ICC and instructed by local elementary, middle school and college educators. The program engages girls from across Southeast Kansas and beyond and offers exposure to a variety of technology and problem-solving concepts.


Chanute Couple Arrested on Drug and Firearm Possession


A Chanute couple has been arrested on a laundry list of charges.


Earlier this week, officers with the Chanute PD conducted a traffic stop on a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee. During the stop, Chanute PD K9 sensed the presence of drugs in the vehicle.


After a search of the vehicle, officers arrested 36-year-old Anthony W. Chandler for possession of methamphetamine, criminal use of a weapon, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of drug paraphernalia, and no driver’s license.


Also arrested were 32-year-old Becky J. Laney for possession of methamphetamine, criminal use of a weapon, and possession of drug paraphernalia.


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

Area COVID-19 Numbers Update


While new cases of COVID-19 rose in Wilson County, it has seen a drastic drop in active cases, according to the latest report from the Wilson County Health Department.


Total positive cases went up by 15 and now stands at 716 but active cases dropped by 15 to 60. Hospitalizations and deaths remained at 33 and seven, respectively.


Neosho County has seen a rise of 39 new cases to boost the total number to 1,305 total cases with 143 active cases which is a jump of 21 cases. Deaths remained at 14.


Montgomery County has a total of 2,451 cases, Labette County has 2.119 total cases while Chautauqua County is right at 200.


There were 5,501 new COVID-19 cases across the state which brings the total to 236,818 total cases with 7,113 hospitalizations and just over 3,000 deaths since the pandemic began in March.

SE KANSASWORKS to Host Virtual Job Fair


Southeast Kansas Works is hosting a New Year, New Career Virtual Job Fair next week. Business Service Manager Ashley Strawder says this event starts at 8:00am on Tuesday and will run until 5:00pm on Thursday.


Strawder says outside of the upcoming job fair they are always available to help anyone who may be looking for a job and they have offices located in Independence, Chanute and Pittsburg.  Registration is open and the link to register can be found here. Registration is free.


LaTurner Tests Positive for COVID


A Kansas Congressman has tested positive for COVID-19. According to Jake LaTurner's Twitter account, he tested positive late yesterday evening.


Congressman LaTurner took the test as part of Washington DC’s travel guidelines that requires visitors to be tested. He is not experiencing any symptoms at this time, but he is following the advice of the House physician and CDC guidelines and does not plan to return to the House floor for votes until he is cleared to do so. LaTurner had been on the House floor earlier today but will not be returning.

Sen. Moran Releases Statement On Violence at U.S. Capitol Building


U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) has released a brief statement regarding the violence that took place at the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday evening. You can read that statement, in full, below:


“I condemn the violence and destruction at the U.S. Capitol in the strongest possible terms. It is completely unacceptable and unpatriotic. This is a sad day for our nation and it is an unwelcome reminder that our democracy is fragile. God Bless the Capitol Police and our law enforcement officers. Please pray for our nation.”


Moran is one of several Kansas politicians to release statements on the chaos, including U.S. Representatives Jake LaTurner and Ron Estes and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.




Rep. Estes Congratulates Biden, Condemns Violence


U.S. Representative Ron Estes (R-Kan.) released a statement early Thursday morning condemning the violence that took place at the U.S. Capitol the day prior. You can read his full statement here:


"I strongly condemn yesterday's unlawful, un-American actions of a violent mob that severely tarnished our electoral process and horrified Americans across this country. Despite attempts to thwart the lawful proceedings, the United States Congress continued our business through the night, concluding a presidential election that had high emotions on all sides. Now that the full process has concluded, I congratulate President-elect Biden. I expect to see a smooth and peaceful transition of administrations, and I will continue advocating for voter integrity through debate, legislation, and litigation where it belongs."


Other Kansas politicians have spoke out on Wednesday's violence, including fellow U.S. Represenative Jake LaTurner, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt

Trout Restocked at LeClere Park


With just over four months left for trout season in Kansas, LeClere Park in Coffeyville has been restocked. There were 291 trout, weighing a total of 455lbs, released into the lake earlier this week.


To fish at LaClere Park, a trout permit is required, which cost $14.50. In addition, all residents 16-74 years old and non-residents 16 and older must have a valid fishing license. Trout permits are available here.


Kansas AG Schmidt Issues Statement on U.S. Capitol Violence


Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt released a statement Wednesday evening, condemning the violence that took place at the U.S. Capitol in the "strongest possible terms." You can read his full statement below:


“The lawlessness at the U.S. Capitol today is sickening, shameful, inexcusable and counterproductive. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. This riot, like others before it over the past year, offends the law and order we fight to preserve every day, and it insults the men and women who fought and died for our Constitution and who serve the rule of law. America resolves even our most profound differences through democratic debate, through judicial processes, and sometimes through genuinely peaceful protest, but never through violence.”


Other Kansas politicians have released statements on the matter, including U.S. Representatives Jake LaTurner and Ron Estes, as well as Senator Jerry Moran.

LaTurner Releases Statement on Violence at U.S. Capitol


Recently elected U.S. Representative Jake LaTurner (R-Kan.) has released a statement in response to yesterday's chaos at the U.S Capitol building in Washington DC. You can read the full quote, released via his communications department, below:


"The lawless behavior at the U.S. Capitol is reprehensible and has no place in our country. This is a stain on American history, and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. The First Amendment guarantees the right of Americans to peacefully assemble, and I will always defend that right. This is un-American and an utter betrayal of that founding principle. This must stop now."


LaTurner was not the only Kansas politician to speak on the matter. Follow these links for comments from U.S. Representative Ron Estes, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

Kansas Passed 3,000 COVID Deaths


Kansas has now passed 3,000 deaths from COVID-19. Governor Laura Kelly says it is with great sadness she is once again ordering flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of the Kansans who have lost their lives to the virus.


She says her administration remains committed to fighting the further spread of COVID-19, and she knows Kansans will do their part to protect their neighbors and loved ones.

Update on Distribution of COVID Vaccine


When it comes to the distribution of the COVID-19 Vaccine the State of Kansas is currently in Phase One of distribution. Montgomery County Director of Emergency Management Rick Whitson says they are working down a list to distribute the vaccine.


Whitson says all healthcare associated workers, hospital staff and local health department staff are eligible to receive the vaccine. This includes dentists, ophthalmologists, EMS workers, home health workers, school nurses, pharmacists and so on.


Whitson says the Kansas Department of Health anticipates additional vaccine doses will arrive weekly in the state and facilities that received vaccines will automatically receive a separate shipment of the second dose.

KDOT Approves Bids for Road Construction Plans


The Kansas Department of Transportation announced approved bids for state highway construction and maintenance projects in Montgomery County.


The first project is on U.S. 75 from the south city limits of Caney north to the south ending at the U.S. 166/U.S. 75 junction. Milling and overlay work will be done by Cornejo & Sons based in Wichita, Kansas for just over $350,000. Cornejo & Sons will also do milling and overlay work on U.S. 166 from the south U.S. 75/U.S. 166 junction east to the west city limits of Coffeyville for just over $1.7 million.


The last ones are on U.S. 75 from the south U.S. 400/U.S. 75 junctions north to the Montgomery/Wilson county line; U.S. 166, from the four-lane west of the railroad tracks east to the west city limits of Coffeyville (eastbound only); and U.S. 169, from the Kansas/Oklahoma state line north to the south city limits of Coffeyville for some pavement patching work. Emery Sapp & Sons Inc. and Subsidiaries based out of Columbia, Missouri will work on the project for just over $1.1 million.

Kansas Last in Vaccinations


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that Kansas is last in the nation when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations.


Kansas has vaccinated 20,110, the equivalent of only 690 doses administered per 100,000 residents. The KDHE said the low number is because not all vaccinators are trained yet on how to report into the new COVID-19 vaccination system.


Gov. Laura Kelly said the KDHE is working on solving the reporting problem and says all 105 Kansas counties have the vaccine and the reporting lag is because the focus is on distribution. Kansas has received over 114,000 vaccine doses from the federal government since mid-December.

Indy City Commission Holding Special Meeting Tomorrow


The Independence City Commission will hold a special meeting Thursday morning to discuss the future of city facilities and the possible relocation of city hall.


Mayor Leonhard Caflisch will present a facility comparison between 1916 City Hall and Building "D" as it relates to projected maintanence and operational costs. Commissioner Dean Hayse will also present an analysis of costs related to Phase 2 of the 1916 City Hall renovation project.


The commission will also consider naming January 17th as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Day and will entertain chemical bids for the city's water treatment plant. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. at the Civic Center of Memorial Hall.

Neodesha Student Selected for the Kansas State Youth Resist Council


8th-grade student, Tucker Leck, from Neodesha Public Schools has been selected for the Kansas State Resist Youth Council.


Resist is a student-led youth movement sponsored by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment for the purpose of educating peers of the dangers of tobacco use. Leck has been a part of the Wilson County Resist Chapter which is one of the state's 63 chapters. More than ten students from Fredonia and Neodesha have received training to educate over 500 total combined students. Leck's efforts have earned him the esteemed honor of having a seat on the state council.


Leck said, "My passion for youth advocacy began when I started to see my peers and even some of my friends fall into the trap that the big tobacco companies present to youth. I will continue to advocate for safe and effective policies with legislatures, but more importantly, to connect with youth across the state, and develop solutions to the misleading and false advertising of big tobacco companies."


To learn more about the movement, visit

Moran to Vote to Certify Biden


Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran says he will vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the Electoral College.


Moran's stance ahead of a joint session of Congress on Wednesday that is expected to confirm the Democratic president-elect’s victory in November also puts Moran at odds with all of the other Republicans in Kansas’ congressional delegation. Trump's claims of voter fraud have been rejected roundly by courts and election officials.


Moran said “in every instance, the judgments were clear” that the evidence wasn’t sufficient to change the results.


Cold Rain and Wintry Mix Expected


Precipitation is expected throughout southeast Kansas over the next 24 hours.


According to the National Weather Service, scattered showers will keep the area soggy Wednesday. Highs will be in the mid-40s with winds blowing out of the southeast at 5-10 mph. A chance of precipitation is at 90%.


As for the early morning hours on Thursday, we could see some snow showers. Overnight lows will be in the mid-30s with a chance of precipitation at 80%.

New CPD Officer Graduates from Training Center


A Coffeyville Police Officer has graduated from the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center. Parker Yell is one of the newest officers at the Coffeyville Police Department and is just now beginning his field training.


This training is a one-on-one assignment with a fellow CPD officer for the next three months. Yell is from the Ramona, OK area and is a graduate of Caney Valley High-School in Ramona. He has previously worked for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections in McAlester, OK as a corrections and gang relations officer.

Area COVID-19 Numbers


The number of new positive COVID-19 cases in Wilson and Neosho counties continues to rise according to the latest reports from those counties' health departments.


In Wilson County, total positive cases are now over 700 with 701 but active cases continue to drop. Active cases dropped by four from 79 to 75. Hospitalizations and deaths remained at 33 and seven, respectively.


Neosho County has 1,266 total cases with 122 active cases which is a drop of 39 cases. Deaths remained at 14.


Montgomery County has a total of 2,376 cases, Labette County has 2.034 total cases while Chautauqua County has just under 200 at 193.


There were 3,572 new COVID-19 cases across the state which brings the total to 231,317 total cases with just under 7,000 hospitalizations and near 2,900 deaths since the pandemic began in March.

$20,000 Reward Offered For Information Leading to Discovery of Galena Woman


The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office has announced that a reward being offered in an effort to locate the remains of a Galena woman who disappeared on the night of August 31, 1991, has increased to $20,000.


On the night of August 31, 1991, Karol Marlene Sullens disappeared from a Galena nightclub, never to be seen again. In April of 2002, Donald D. Kidwell was sentenced in connection to Karol's disappearance, although her body has never been recovered.


If someone has specific information as to the location of Karol's remains, they can contact the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office at 620-429-3992, by visiting the agency website at, or by texting 888777. Just type 'tip cherokee' followed by the specific information they wish to provide.

MoCo Clerks Office to Help with Homestead


The Montgomery County Clerk’s office would like to notify the citizens of Montgomery County, that their staff will be available to assist in processing the Homestead or Safe Senior Property Tax Refund for Low-Income Seniors starting on Friday, January 15.


The Deadline for processing the returns will be Thursday, April 15. Renting does not qualify for the Homestead refund. You must be a homeowner and pay the property taxes to qualify. You must file a Federal Income tax return before calculating the food sales. If you do not file a federal income tax return then you do not qualify for the food sales tax credit. The Clerk’s Office will be available to assist applicants Monday through Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm. They will not be able to process these claims unless all necessary paperwork is brought in at the time of preparing your claim.


The list of information that you will need to bring with you can be found below.


SRS Food Stamp payments for all of 2020

Cash Assistant payments for all of 2020


Social Security (1099) Benefit Verification form that includes your “Date of Disability Onset” (if receiving disability payments)

Income letter for all of 2020

1099 (Interest and Income)


Children Birthdates

Social Security numbers


Homeowners Statement for 2020 Property Taxes-Applicants name must

be on the Deed.


Income All income for any household member over the age of 18

2020 Unless Income is Social Security/Disability – If you file a Federal or State income tax return you must have your tax preparer complete your homestead as well. County Clerk’s office will no longer be able to calculate the homestead on citizens who file a Federal and/or State income tax.


LaTurner Sworn In


U.S. Representative Jake LaTurner has been sworn in as a member of the 117th Congress where he will serve Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District. LaTurner says as a 6th-generation Kansan, he is incredibly grateful for the privilege to represent the great people of Kansas’ 2nd District.


LaTurner will co-sponsor a constitutional amendment imposing term limits on Members of Congress. He will stand without apology for the sanctity of human life, fight to secure the borders and protect the sacred rights of religious liberty, free speech, and the right to keep and bear arms. Prior to being sworn in as a Member of the United States House of Representatives, LaTurner served as the 40th Kansas State Treasurer and was the youngest statewide elected official in America.

Road Closed in Coffeyville


Highland Road at 1st Street in Coffeyville is closed to through traffic.


The Water Department is replacing a section of 10-inch water main in preparation for the Highland Road Reconstruction Project. The intersection should reopen by the end of the week.

Kansas State of the State Address Next Week


Kansas Governor Laura Kelly will deliver the annual 2021 State of the State address, virtually, on Tuesday at 7:00pm. Governor Kelly says COVID-19 has altered many of their traditions. With case numbers continuing to increase and limited hospital capacity, gathering the entire Legislature and the Kansas Supreme Court Justices into one chamber would be an unnecessary risk to their health and safety.


The Kansas State Legislature will convene for the 2021 session on Monday the day before the address. Governor Kelly says bipartisan cooperation will be critical for the success of the state for the upcoming year. KGGF will air the State of the State address live at 7:00pm on Tuesday.

Donating Blood Could Land You Tickets to the Big Game


The need for blood products doesn’t pause for holidays, game days or a pandemic. As COVID-19 cases have risen across the United States, so has the need for convalescent plasma. This has lead to a shortage of this potentially lifesaving blood product. To help address this shortage, the American Red Cross is teaming up with the NFL to urge people, especially those who have recovered from COVID-19, to give blood.


All who come to donate blood or platelets this January will be entered to win a getaway to next year’s Super Bowl in Los Angeles. In addition, those who give until January 20th, will also be entered to win a Big Game at Home package, which includes a 65-inch TV and a $500 gift card. There are two Red Cross Blood Drives coming up in Coffeyville on Monday, January 18th and Tuesday, January 19th. You can schedule an appointment by visiting, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.


Elected Officials to be Sworn in at Labette Meeting


Six elected Labette County Officials will be sworn in at the next county commission meeting on Monday. At 8:55am Judge Brian Johnson will swear in County Clerk Gena Landis and then Landis will swear in the other five officials.


Those officials include District 2 County Commissioners Brian Kinzie, District 3 County Commissioner Cole Proehl, County Sheriff Darren Eichinger, County Attorney Stephen Jones and County Register of Deeds Raymond Scales. Due to social distancing, they will not use the courtroom this year but instead they will use the basement hallway.

Man Hit By Pittsburg Police Car


A pedestrian was hospitalized over the weekend after being hit by a Pittsburg police vehicle, the Kansas Highway Patrol said.


The Pittsburg police department says the vehicle struck 23-year-old Marco Dias in a city street in Pittsburg. He was taken to Ascension Via Christi Hospital. The hospital said Dias was not listed as a patient at the Pittsburg hospital on Monday.


The patrol car was southbound on Walnut Street, approaching an intersection when Dias was hit, according to the Pittsburg police department. The car was driven by 24-year-old Nicholas Cook the patrol said. No further information was released.

Nowata EMS Worker Dies from COVID-19


Nowata Fire & EMS worker Cole Brooks passed away from complications due to COVID-19 on Monday.


Brooks began working for Nowata EMS in August of 2012 and worked there for over eight years.


According to a Facebook post submitted by the Nowata Fire Department, Brooks was dedicated to the community and the patients that needed him. The post also says that he loved his job and loved helping others.

Caney City Hall Closed Due to COVID Exposure


The City of Caney has closed its city hall effective immediately due to recent exposure to COVID-19.


Utility bills can be left in the blue drop box on the corner of 4th & Main, the dropbox inside the first set of doors of the City complex, by mail or over the phone.


Trash pickup times are the same, however, the city says to not forget that you cannot place anything around or on top of the poly carts and expect the workers to dump it.

AG and KBI Announce 2021 National Missing Children's Day Poster Contest


The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is accepting entries for the 2021 Missing Children’s Day poster contest. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says all Kansas fifth grade students, from public, private, or home schools, are invited to create and submit artwork that represents the contest theme Bringing Our Missing Children Home.


KBI Director Kirk Thompson says while this contest is for fifth graders, they know how important it is for parents to take time to discuss appropriate safety measures with each of their children. The winner’s poster will represent Kansas in the national contest. Entries must be received by February 19. Complete contest rules and application forms can be found here.

No COVID Vaccine Available to the Public in County


There aren't currently any of the COVID-19 Vaccine available to the public in Montgomery County. According to Emergency Management Director Rick Whitson, the distribution of the vaccine does not channel through one single entity. Labette Health and Coffeyville Regional Medical Center all received theirs directly from the state.


To date, the Health Department has only received 50 doses and priority for those was given to EMS in the county with any remaining going to law enforcement. According to the Kansas Department of Health the vaccination will be distributed as it becomes more available. Kansas has only received 157,000 doses as of last week. When the vaccine is available to the public KGGF will have Whitson on to make that announcement.


New Lt. Gov and Treasurer Sworn in


A new State Treasurer and Lt. Governor have been sworn in, in the State of Kansas. New State Treasurer Lynn Rogers says through his years of being a State Senator and Lt. Governor he knows that Kansans want financial security.


With Rogers taking over as the State Treasurer, Governor Kelly nominated Secretary David Toland as her new Lt. Governor. Toland says he is eager to serve as the 52nd Lt. Governor of Kansas.


Both men have worked closely with Governor Kelly in recent years. Rogers serving as her Lt. Governor and Toland as first the treasurer or her campaign and then as the commerce secretary.

First Baby Born at CRMC in New Year


We have a winner of the 2021 KGGF KQQF KUSN Baby Derby for the first baby born in the New Year at Coffeyville Regional Medical Center. Congratulations to Dallas Sizemore & Jered Carpenter on the birth of their son, Jessie Dwight Carpenter.


Jessie was born on January 1st and weighed 9 pounds. Since Jessie was CRMC's first baby born in 2021, his family receives diapers, a pack and play and a gift basket full of goodies. Thanks to our sponsors Porter Drug of Neodesha and Bows and Britches in Independence.

9th Annual Paws for the Cause


The Coffeyville Friends of Animals will be holding their 9th Annual Paws for the Cause Chili Bowl on February 6th. CFA's Brad Gray gives us the details on this year's event.


Gray went also lets us know when and where to pick up the chili and what the proceeds go to.


If you have any questions or want to contactlessly purchase tickets, call Stacia Stewart at 620-249-9298.


Carpenter Honored at Chautauqua County Commission Meeting


A Chautauqua County commissioner was honored for his nearly 30 years of service at Monday's regular commission meeting.


Jack Carpenter, who has served as Chautauqua County's Third District commissioner since 1993, received a folded courthouse flag at the outset of Monday's meeting. Several people, including a representative from the county sheriff's office, stopped by to offer their congratulations to the longtime commissioner.


Carpenter did not run for reelection this past November, opting to let his term expire coming into the new year. He will be replaced on the county commission by David Deal, who ran unopposed in both the primary election and the general election.


In other county business, the commissioners passed Resolution 2021-01, which establishes salaries for elected county officials. The commission will meet again next Monday at its regularly scheduled time.

Montgomery County Jail Adding Air System That Kills COVID


The Montgomery County Jail has had a rise in COVID-19 cases recently with 11 active cases among inmates.


One of the reasons for this is that the jail has a central air unit as opposed to separate air units. However, this is about to change. In Monday morning's commission meeting, it was approved by the commissioners to place separate heat and air units in the facility.


On top of that, there will be LED lights that placed in the ducts that can kill COVID-19 among other infectious diseases. The job will cost roughly $16,000 and will begin with a thorough cleaning of the ducts followed by holes that will be cut in order to place the new units.

Wreck Sends Woman to the Hospital


Black ice was the cause of an accident that sent a Labette County woman to the hospital over the weekend in Cherokee County.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 32-year-old Chaney Barns was headed southbound on K-26 crossing Schermerhorn Bridge when she lost control of her vehicle due to black ice on the bridge. She spun out and ended up broadside on the bridge when she was struck by a vehicle driven by 18-year-old Jennica Woods.


Barns was taken to Mercy Hospital in Joplin with suspected serious injuries. Woods was uninjured. Seat belts were in use in both vehicles.

Three Arrested for Stolen Truck, Drugs, Gun


A search warrant executed by Cherokee County Sheriff's deputies on Sunday morning in Weir led to the arrest of three suspects who stole drugs, a truck and a firearm from Barton County in Missouri.


The arrests included 27-year-old William Kukovich, 28-year-old Justin Cochran and 21-year-old Victoria Hering, all of Pittsburg.


In addition to being held on an outstanding warrant for his arrest issued in Pittsburg, Kukovich is facing charges of felony possession of stolen property, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.


Cochran and Hering both face charges of possessing stolen property, possessing methamphetamine and possessing drug paraphernalia. 

Regional COVID-19 Cases Climb


The number of new positive COVID-19 cases in Wilson, Labette, and Neosho Counties continues to rise according to the latest reports from those counties' health departments.


In Wilson County, there are now 656 total positive cases but active cases continue to drop. The county saw active cases drop by eight from 87 to 79. Hospitalizations were up one to 33 with deaths remaining unchanged at seven.


In Labette County, total cases have risen to 1,922 with 252 active cases with 24 hospitalizations and deaths at 15. Neosho County has 1,226 total cases with 161 active cases and 14 deaths.


Montgomery County has 2,244 cases and Chautauqua County has 181.


There were 6,371 new COVID-19 cases across the state which brings the total to 222,433 total cases with just under 6,760 hospitalizations and 2,741 deaths since the pandemic began in March.

Gas Prices Remain Level in SEK, Up in Oklahoma


Motorists in southeast Kansas have seen gas prices stay relatively level and are now under the state average.


Over the past two weeks, prices in Montgomery County have remained at $1.98 a gallon while Labette County has risen a penny to $1.99. In Chautauqua County, prices have dropped a few cents to $2.01 for a regular gallon of gasoline. The state average is up three cents at $2.02 a gallon.


In Oklahoma, the state average continues to climb upwards to $1.98 a gallon. Gas in Washington County is up another eight cents to $1.98 while Nowata County is up one cent to $1.90.


The national average is three cents more than last week, 13 cents more expensive than last month, but 32 cents cheaper than last year. Upward price movement at the state level has jumped the national gas price average up to $2.25, an average not seen since stay-at-home guidance was issued in mid-March.

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