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Local News Archives for 2021-05

Two Arrested Could be Tied to Other Area Thefts


Two suspects are in custody following their arrest during a traffic stop by Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputies. 51-year-old Joseph Lee Woody, of Seymour, Texas, and 40-year-old Brandy Nicole Holmes, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, were arrested for the theft of a maintenance trailer stolen from Riverton School at the end of April. 


Woody also faces felony narcotics charges after suspected meth and paraphernalia were located on him during his arrest. He also has an outstanding warrant from Adair County, Oklahoma related to bogus checks. Sheriff David Groves said we believe these two suspects are involved in other recent thefts in the area and expect additional charges as a result of those investigations.

Arrest Made in Riverton Burglary


A Cherokee County man is facing charges following a search warrant being executed at a rural Riverton home.


20-year-old Theodore "Tee" Lane, of Galena, was taken into custody late last week. He is being held on allegations of burglary, attempted theft and criminal trespass.


Authorities have been attempting to locate Lane for his alleged involvement in the burglary attempt at a rural Riverton residence on May 23rd.

Labbette County Commission Chairman Apologizes


A Labette County commissioner apologizes to the citizens of the county. Commission Chairman Lonie Addis started the end-of-the-month meeting by apologizing for not allowing a citizen of the county to speak at the meeting. Addis said he felt like they had plenty to cover and he wanted to concentrate on the 2022 budget.


The chairman doubled down on the apology when he posted in a “Renewable Energy Awareness - Labette County” Facebook group. Addis said in the post he wanted to apologize to Brad Owens who had asked to speak the day before their end-of-the-month meeting. He went on to say anyone who resides in Labette County, should always be allowed to address the commission at a regular meeting as long as they are courteous and to the point. Lindsey Wilson was used as an example by Addis on how she respectfully addressed the board in asking for a moratorium. Addis, referring to himself as a political warhorse, ended the post by saying he will do better by going forward.

Escaped Cherokee County Inmates Caught in Oklahoma


The two inmates who escaped the Cherokee County Jail earlier this week have been apprehended. Following a massive manhunt, Mark Hopkins and Michael Martsolf were taken into custody in Ottawa County, Oklahoma. The suspects, who were armed at the time of arrest, now face additional charges of aggravated escape from custody.


Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said he can't commend enough, the incredible work by all the law enforcement agencies involved for the non-stop effort to capture these two fugitives. 26-year-old Tasha Young was also arrested following search warrant, for her alleged role in the escape. She is being held without bond on allegations of conspiracy to commit aggravated escape, aiding and abetting and obstructing justice.


Coffeyville Missing Teenager


A teenager has gone missing in Coffeyville. 17-year-old Damien Thornburgh is a missing and endangered runaway, who went missing from Coffeyville on May 12th. Thornburgh is around 6ft tall and weighs around 200 pounds. He has red hair and hazel eyes.


If you have any information regarding Thornburgh's disappearance or you know of his location please call the Coffeyville Police Department at (620)252-6160 or you can remain anonymous by calling the Crime Tip Hotline at (620)252-6133.

CQ Blues Festival This Weekend


The Chautauqua Hills Blues Festival is this weekend in Sedan. This year they are celebrating 20 Years of Blues. Organizer Greg Wilkinson says this a two-day event starting on Saturday at noon.


Wilkinson says they are really fortunate to have the lineup that they have this year.  The music on the big stage will get started at 2:00pm on Sunday and the night will end with a bonfire and fireworks. You can buy one ticket for both days for $35, $20 for Saturday's ticket or $25 at the gate on Sunday. Camping is free and parking is $10 per car.

Woman Arrested in Connection with Inmates Escape


A Weir woman has been taken into custody on charges related to the escape of two inmates from the Cherokee County Jail earlier this week. Cherokee County Detectives arrested 26-year-old Tasha Taylor, following the execution of a search warrant at her home. She is charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated escape, felony aiding a fugitive and obstructing justice.


Investigators continue to search for 30-year-old Mark Hopkins and 34-year-old Michael Martsolf. As the investigation continues, authorities are asking anyone with information to contact the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office by calling 620-429-3992 or anonymously texting 888777. Just type 'tip cherokee' followed by the information you have to provide. A Reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information leading to the capture of Hopkins and Martsolf.

Open Meetings Act Broken in Labette County


Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt's office ruled that two Labette County Commissioners violated the Kansas Open Meetings Act. Earlier this month, a complaint was filed to the AG's office by a county citizen. The complaint stated a phone call on April 27th, between Commissioners Cole Proehl and Brian Kinzie, lead to a passing of a resolution during a commission meeting on April 30th.


According to Commissioner Kinzie, the two commissioners discussed wind energy along with some shared frustration they had during previous meetings. Commissioner Proehl said the phone call started with him apologizing for losing his temper and walking out of a meeting.


While the AG's office determined that the phone call did not lead to the passing of the resolution it was a discussion of business between a majority of the board and therefore is a KOMA violation. The two commissioners are required to take a one-hour KOMA training class. Commissioner Lonnie Addis was not a part of the phone call so the training is not required for him but it was recommended.

Labette County Wreck Kills Two, Injures One


Two men were killed and a woman was injured after a Wednesday afternoon wreck in Labette County.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a 2001 Ford F-150 driven by 43-year-old Jason Hopkins of Parsons was northbound on U.S. Highway 59 just south of 22000 Road when it crossed left of center and hit a 2010 Ford Escape head-on driven by 67-year-old Robert Rowe of Oswego. Hopkins and Rowe were pronounced dead at the scene.


41-year old Jennifer Faller of Parsons, who was a passenger in Hopkins vehicle, suffered serious injuries and was transported to Labette Health. Rowe and Faller were wearing seatbelts while Hopkins was not, according to the KHP report.

Montgomery County Placed Under Severe Storm Risk


Southeastern Kansas has been placed under a severe storm risk until around 7:00 am tomorrow morning.


Storms are most likely to come about this afternoon and evening, and could bring potentially damaging winds, hail or tornadoes. The Coffeyville Police Department took to Facebook to remind residents of the city to have a safety plan in place in case of a severe tornado warning. There are five shelters in place throughout the city including the Jerry Hamm Early Learning Center, Community Elementary School, Field Kindley High School, First Church of God, and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.


Addresses and information about those shelters can be found on the city's website here. For full severe weather coverage, make sure to tune in to 690AM, KGGF, if the need arises.

Legislative Coffee Event in Coffeyville


Citizens of Coffeyville will have a chance to meet with their state representatives early next month.


The "Legislative Coffee" event will be held at the Walnut Street Event Center on June 5th in Coffeyville. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet their representatives, hear important updates from Topeka and weigh in on important legislation happening in the state of Kansas.


Senator Virgil Peck and Representatives Jim Kelly, Doug Blex, and Rich Proehl will all be in attendance. Next Saturday's event will start at 9 am.

K-7 Resurfacing Project in Crawford County Starts in June


Motorists who routinely use K-7 in Crawford County will need to give themselves extra time as the Kansas Department of Transportation will begin a resurfacing project the week of June 7th.


The project area starts at the U.S. 400 junction and continues north for 11 miles, ending at the south city limits of Girard. Project activity includes a shoulder chip seal and micro-surfacing on the driving lanes. Flaggers and a pilot car will guide one-lane traffic through the work zone; expect delays of 15 minutes or less on days when the project is active.


KDOT awarded the construction contract of just over $792,000 to Vance Brothers, Inc., of Kansas City, Mo. Weather permitting, the project should be finished by late June.

Coffeyville Man Arrested in Caney on a Warrant for Rape


A Coffeyville man is arrested in Caney on a Montgomery County arrest warrant. Earlier this week, Caney Police Officers arrested 27-year-old Francisco Mateo at the police department without incident.


Mateo was wanted on an outstanding warrant charging him with one count of rape and one count of possession of marijuana. His bond was set at $100,000. The alleged incident occurred in Caney earlier this year and was investigated by Caney PD. Mateo was transported to the Montgomery County Corrections facility where he posted bond.


Cherryvale Quilt Show and Painting Class


As a part of Cherryvale's 150th Celebration, the Historical Cherryvale Museum will host an Antique Quilt Show and Barn Quilt Painting Class on June 5th. The quilt show will be open from 9:00am to 3:00pm. Quilts will be displayed by age categories, and a trophy will be given for best of show.


The quilt painting class will be taught by The Barn Quilts of Wilson County. This is a four hour class starting at 9:00am. The group will provide all supplies. The cost is $40 and the class is limited to 12 to 15 people.

Reward Offered for Information of Escaped Inmates


A $5,000 reward is being offered for the information leading to the capture of two escapees from the Cherokee County Jail.


Mark Hopkins II and Michael Martsolf escaped from the facility in Columbus at 11:00 pm Monday. Hopkins was being held in connection to a June 2020 double homicide Martsolf was being held on felony narcotics charges. Both should be considered dangerous.


Deputies have conducted numerous interviews, search warrants and have recovered physical evidence. The passenger car that was in the original story was also recovered.


Anyone with information as to Hopkin's and Martsolf's whereabouts are asked to contact the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office at 620- 429-3992.

Two Arrested in Chanute for Meth Possession


A man and woman have been arrested on various charges including possession of methamphetamine.


Chanute Police Department Officers responded to the area of the 1000 block of South Plummer for a report of a domestic disturbance. Upon the officer's arrival, they learned that the individuals has left the area in a vehicle. Officers located the vehicle in the 200 block of South Rutter. During the investigation, officers applied for and were granted a search warrant for the vehicle. During the search, officers located items associated with illegal substances and a firearm.


Officers arrested 23-year-old David Michael Kinyon of Iola for possession of methamphetamine, criminal use of a weapon, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Officers also arrested 22-year-old Alicia Wynne Boan, also of Iola, for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.


Kinyon and Boan were taken to the Neosho County Jail.

New Additions on the Horizon for Sherwin Williams Park


The Coffeyville Recreation Commission is looking to add some new amenities to Sherwin Williams Park, which would amend the lease agreement from 2004. CRC Director David Rains says they are looking at adding three new amenities.


Rains says this has been a work in progress for several years and they got input from the community on what to add.  This isn't the first time this lease has been amended, back in 2011 they amended it to add the skate park. The city commission voted unanimously to approve the change.

Sedan Woman Arrested for Domestic Battery in Caney


A Sedan woman is arrested in Caney after the report of a domestic disturbance. Late last week, Caney Police Department Officers responded to the 200 block of East Braden St. in reference to a domestic disturbance.


Investigation into the incident revealed that there was a physical altercation between the victim and suspect. The suspect was identified as 23-year-old Angela Smith. She was arrested for domestic battery as a result of this incident.

Two Arrested for Counterfeit Money


Two individuals are arrested after passing counterfeit money at the Dollar General in Caney last month.


During the investigation, Caney Police Officers contacted a female in the 700 block of North State St. who was in possession of 22 counterfeit $100 dollar bills. As a result of that interview, the two suspects were identified, 25-year-old Morgan Burnett and 38-year-old Anthony VanZant. Burnett was arrested for passing counterfeit money and theft and VanZant for aiding and abetting the passing of counterfeit money and theft.

Multiple Road Projects To Begin In Montgomery County


An array of road projects will be taking place across Montgomery County over the next few months.


The first of these locations will be three concrete patching projects that begin later this month. The project locations include U.S. 169, between the south city limits of Coffeyville and the Kansas-Oklahoma state line; U.S. 166 eastbound, between the west city limits of Coffeyville and the four-lane section west of the Union Pacific Railroad and U.S. 400, between the north and south junctions of U.S. 75/U.S. 400. Flaggers and a pilot car will guide one-lane traffic through the work zones on U.S. 169 and U.S. 166 while traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction on U.S. 400. Work on the projects should be finished in August, weather permitting.


Another project taking place will be a two-inch mill and overlay between the north and south city limits of Caney beginning the week of June 7th. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. The resurfacing project should be completed in 10 days, weather permitting.


Drivers are reminded to slow down and use caution when driving through all work zones.

Indy Commission to View Results of Citizen Satisfaction Survey


The Independence City Commission will view the results of a recent citizen satisfaction survey when it meets this Thursday.


The 117-page presentation highlights the demographics of those that participated in the survey. It then highlights areas and services perceived to be the best and worst by Independence residents. Just under 800 people responded to the survey, most doing so through mail.


For a sneak peek at this presentation, follow this link. Thursday's commission meeting will begin at 5:30 pm at the Civic Center in Memorial Hall.

Sen Moran Shares Message to Veterans During Mental Health Awareness Month


In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Ranking Member Jerry Moran shared some available mental health resources for veterans. Senator Moran says no matter the challenge there are people available in the community to help.


Moran says through Legislation like the John Scott Hannon Act the VA is working to create more resources to provide veterans with mental health care and suicide presentation services.

Montgomery County Courthouse Closed for Memorial Day


The Montgomery County Courthouse and the Coffeyville Tag Office will be closed next Monday. Due to the Memorial Day holiday, both offices will be closed to the public. This also pushes the next scheduled meeting of the Montgomery County Commission back one week to June 7.


The offices will reopen on Tuesday.

Two Men Excape From Cherokee County Jail


Two men have escaped from the Cherokee County Jail in Columbus. Mark Gerald Hopkins II and Michael Wayne Martsolf were noticed missing at around 11:00 pm Monday.


Hopkins was being held and tried for a double homicide and Martsolf was incarcerated for drug-related crimes. Hopkins and Martsolf both have extensive tattoos throughout their body.


The men may be in a 2008 Honda Accord with Missouri tag LG2X0F. This vehicle fled from local law enforcement near the jail around 3:20 this morning. Hopkins and Martsolf are to be considered armed and dangerous. If located, immediately call 911 or the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office at 620-429-3992.

Request for Moratorium on Wind Energy Fails


Wind Energy continues to be a big topic of discussion in Labette County and attendance at county commission meetings has been higher than normal as a result. At the most recent meeting, Citizen Lindsey Wilson requested a moratorium be put in place.


Wilson requested that the resolution drafted by Commissioner Cole Proehl be rescinded as well, so the moratorium can be put into effect without any conflict.  Commissioner Lonnie Addis made the motion to put the moratorium in place and rescind the resolution, but there was no second of the motion, so the motion failed.


Commissioner Proehl's resolution can be seen below.


Labette County COVID-19 Disaster Declaration Expires Thursday


The Labette County COVID-19 disaster declaration is set to expire on Thursday. Emergency Management Director Charlie Morse says it is his recommendation to let it expire and not put a new one in place.


The original disaster declaration was put into place on March 23, 2020, and had been extended before expiration every time since then. The board voted unanimously to let the declaration expire.

SAFE Program Helps Increase Seatbelt Usage Rates Among Area Teens


Throughout the 2020-2021 school year, students in Cherokee County once again participated in the Seatbelts Are For Everyone (SAFE) Program. The SAFE Program is designed to educate and encourage students about traffic safety and the importance of buckling up and is supported locally by the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office and the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office.


As part of SAFE, a baseline survey is conducted in the fall after school starts and another survey is conducted towards the end of school to gauge its effectiveness. Students from Baxter Springs, Columbus, Galena, and Riverton High Schools help run the SAFE Program on their respective campuses, with the school ending the year with the highest compliance rate and the school with the highest increase in seatbelt usage each earning grand prizes. Columbus High School saw the highest increase in seatbelt usage among students and the students at Baxter Springs achieved the highest overall usage rate in the county.


The SAFE Program was created in 2008 in Crawford County and now can be found in 149 Kansas High Schools across 65 counties and has also started to spread to other states in the Midwest region.

Four County Mental Health Presents Budget to Montgomery County Commission


Four County Mental Health presented its budget to the Montgomery County Commission at its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday.


Prior to the official start of Monday's meeting, the three commissioners ran a work session with the Independence City Commission. Following that session, and following a brief report from Public Works Coordinator Jim Wright, the Independence-headquarted Four County Mental Health Center presented how it spends the money allocated to it by Montgomery County.


Executive Director Greg Hennen said the center serves 8,300 unduplicated residents of Montgomery County, and also serves residents of Chautauqua, Elk, Cowley and Wilson Counties. Hennen also outlined some of the services the center provides, including alcohol/drug counseling and mental health services.


Richard Horton of Project 17 also attended Monday's meeting, advocating for several counties in southeastern Kansas to work together in regards to legislative business in the state's capital.


The commission will meet once again next Monday.

Caney Valley Class of 2021 Graduation


In front of a full gymnasium, 58 Caney Valley Bullpups walked across the stage for the last time as the Class of 2021. 1994 Caney Graduate Jamie King-Hendren gave the commencement address. Hendren told the graduates that their future is in front of them, but they don’t need to figure it all out right now.


Principal James Littleford, School Board President Mark Artherton and Superintendent Blake Vargas all spoke during the commencement, as well.  Tucker Killian and Jace Scott were the class Salutatorians. The two Valedictorians were Michael Bradley and Riley Bright.


Full Caney Valley Graduation

Oklahoma Man Dies in Shootout With Illinois Police


A Dewey man has died in southwestern Illinois after getting into a shootout with police.


Police say the man was reportedly suicidal and was actively discharging a firearm into the air on Saturday evening outside a gas station in the community roughly 20 miles from St. Louis. The Illinois State Police is investigating the officer-involved shooting at the request of Troy police. The man was identified as 31-year-old Kody C. Waters.


Police say they don't know if Waters was struck by gunshots from an officer's gun or shots from Waters' own weapon.

Man Arrested for Domestic Aggravated Assault Involving a Firearm


A second domestic violence-related aggravated assault occurred in Parsons in less than 12 hours over the weekend that led to a Parsons man being arrested on multiple charges.


Parsons Police responded to the 2000 block of Grand Morgan regarding a report that 19-year-old William T. Phillips was holding a 6-month-old baby and was armed with a handgun. A caller reported that Phillips was sitting on the front porch of a residence displaying the handgun while holding onto the child. Responding officers were able to de-escalate the situation and the child was safely removed from danger and taken back to the mother. The child was uninjured.


Phillips was taken into custody and arrested on charges of Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Stolen Firearm, Criminal Threats, and Possession of Marijuana.

Coffeyville Blood Drive Next Week


There will be two opportunities to donate blood in Coffeyville next week. The Coffeyville Community Red Cross blood drives will be at the First Baptist Church on Monday from 11:45am to 6:00pm and Tuesday from 8:30am to 12:30pm.


Donors, staff and volunteers who are fully vaccinated will not be required to wear masks.  Those who are not fully vaccinated will have to wear a mask. Donors who have recently received the vaccine are eligible to donate as long as they are feeling well. Appointments are required to donate. The link to make an appointment can be here.

Cops and Kids Festival Scheduled for May 25th in Nowata


The Nowata Police Department, Nowata Sheriff's Department, and Nowata Fire and EMS are hosting the 2nd Annual Cops and Kids Festival on Tuesday, May 25th from 5 pm – 7 pm at Jack Gordon Park.


This festival will give kids a chance to interact with officers, firefighters, and EMS members on a personal level.


There will be free hot dogs provided along with inflatables, free snow cones, a DJ, and drawings for prizes.

Parsons Man Arrested For Assault and Battery


A Parsons man has been arrested on a laundry list of charges including assault and battery.


Early Friday morning, Parsons Police responded to the 2200 block of Morgan regarding a report that a man had pulled a knife on a female inside a residence. The female had escaped the house.


The female victim told police that she had been dating the suspect, 55-year-old George Durant. A verbal argument at the residence apparently escalated and Durant reportedly confronted the victim in the residence with a large knife trapping her in a room of the house. Durant also was reported to have snatched the victim's purse from her during the incident. The victim was assaulted but did not sustain any life-threatening injuries and did not require medical attention.


Durant was taken into custody and was arrested for Aggravated Assault, Domestic Battery, Criminal Restraint, and Robbery.


This continues to be an ongoing investigation.


Cherokee County Sheriff's Receives K-9 Grant from Quarterback's Foundation


The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office has received a K-9 grant from the foundation of a prominent NFL quarterback.


The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at the Giving Back Fund announced the distribution of over $90,000 to police and fire K-9 programs across the country. Cherokee County is one of 15 departments to receive the grant, which also includes programs in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Kentucky, among others.


Roethlisberger is the quarterback of the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers. Thursday's grant completes the 14th and final grant cycle for his foundation,  which focuses on supporting K-9 units of police and fire departments throughout the United States. It has distributed more than $2.3 million since 2007.



HWY 75 Ribbon Cutting in Caney


Multiple members of both state and local governments were in attendance at a ribbon-cutting in Caney for the four-lane extension to Highway 75. Secretary of Commerce and Lt. Governor David Toland praised the city for their recent accomplishments.


The funds for this extension were made possible through Kansas T-Works. Secretary of Transportation Julie Lorenz says they have a new program that has already made improvements in other areas of Montgomery County.


The Highway 75 four-lane extension runs south from 6th Street in Caney to just past the state line. State Senator Virgil Peck, Representative Doug Blex, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam, City Manager Fred Gress and Mayor Thomas Burke were also in attendance.


Coffeyville Community College Quack Clash Coming in July


With summer just around the corner, that means popular summer events are on the horizon including the Coffeyville Community College Quack Clash Duck Race. The Quack Clash used to occur in June at Veterans Memorial Stadium but now happens during the Coffeyville Summer Celebration. Senior Director of College Relations Yvonne Hull says that this fundraiser is important for multiple organizations.


A link to the rules and how to order your ducks can be found here.

Dalton Gang Movie Making Premiere in Coffeyville


A movie based on the infamous Dalton Gang will host its premiere in Coffeyville.


Death Alley, a production of Prestigious Films, retells the story of the October shootout between the Dalton Gang and the citizenry of Coffeyville. Chamber of Commerce Director Candi Westbrook said tickets are going quickly.


Showings will be held on Friday, June 4th, Saturday, June 5th, and Sunday, June 6th. Extra entertainment, as well as photo opportunites with both cast members and the director, will commence an hour before the movie begins.


You can watch the trailer for Death Alley by following this link.



Law Enforcement Agencies Work Together to Prevent Crime


Multiple law enforcement agencies work together to help prevent crime in Independence and the surrounding area.


Late last week, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Independence Police Department, Chanute Police Department, Kansas Highway Patrol and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation worked together to make 25 contacts, search five vehicles, issue 18 citations, 12 warnings, and arrest seven people. Officers seized marijuana, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia.


Sheriff Ron Wade and Independence Police Chief Harrison said this operation continues to show how strong partnerships between the state and local agencies are, because criminals don’t limit their violations to one city or county they must all continue to fight crime together.

Caney PD, IPD, MGCSO and KHP Work Together on Arrest


Four law enforcement agencies work together to arrest a man wanted on two felony charges. The Caney Police Department was actively pursuing the subject, who was traveling southbound on US 75 headed towards Bartlesville. Police Chief Kevin Kitterman requested assistance from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Independence Police Department and the Kansas Highway Patrol.


The suspect had a high potential to run from the police so spike stripes were set up at the US 75 and US 166 South Junction. After performing a felony traffic stop, 34-year-old Matthew D. Dunham was taken into custody and transported to the Montgomery County Department of Corrections. Dunham is charged with two counts of aggravated failure to appear on drug-related charges, and two counts of failure to appear.

Pitt State Rescinds Face Mask Mandate, Relaxes Occupancy Limits


Pittsburg State University has announced that they are rescinding their face mask mandate and relaxing other mitigation strategies.


Referencing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Crawford County public health officer, the university rescinded the campus face mask mandate, further relaxed occupancy limits in facilities, and asked that all employees return to on-campus work by June 13.


This fall, most university courses will be in-person or hybrid and activities are expected to resume as normal. Nearly 60 percent of courses were in-person in the fall and spring semesters and that percentage will be up to 80 percent for Fall 2021, the university announced Wednesday.

FKHS Valedictorian Selected as Arvest Ag Student of the Month


Arvest Bank and KGGF have selected a Field Kindley High School student as the May Ag Student of the Month. Coffeyville FFA Advisor Jeri Geren says it was an easy choice to nominate Chapter President Ani Rexwinkle.


Rexwinkle grew up with an Ag background starting out showing cattle with her grandparents at the age of three. She wants to pursue a veterinary career and says FFA has helped prepare her for that.


Rexwinkle plans to attend Oklahoma State for an Animal Science and Pre-Vet degree and then apply for veterinary school there as well. Outside of FFA, Rexwinkle was at the top of her class and selected as the valedictorian.


Bartlesville Bank Employee Charged with Embezzlement


An employee at a Bartlesville bank was arrested for embezzling over $8,000 from a customer's bank account. Tricia Rae Evans appeared in court, where she was charged with a felony count of embezzlement and bringing contraband into a jail. Evans made seven separate withdrawals from the victim’s account totaling $8,450.  The bank president was made aware of these transactions and reported them to the police.


Surveillance video showed Evans running the transactions. Evans did not admit to committing the crime but did write an apology letter to the victim. At the jail, officers found a small piece of foil that tested positive for MDMA and methamphetamine and several loose oxycodone and diazepam pills.

Midland Theater Releases Outdoor Movie Night List


Starting next month, the Midland Theater will offer outdoor movie nights once again.


The Midland Theater's 2021 Outdoor Movie Nights will begin June 25th with a showing of Star Wars: A New Hope. Another movie will follow each month. Board member Darrel Harbaugh said they are hoping to include things beyond the movies.


The list of movies planned for this summer, which were voted on by the community, can be seen below.


June 25th: Star Wars: A New Hope

July 16th: Toy Story

August 20th: Frozen

September 17th: A League Of Their Own

October 15th: Superman (1977)



U.S. 54 Overpass Replacement Project Starts in June


A major rerouting of U.S. 54 in Allen County is set to begin in June.


The Kansas Department of Transportation plans to begin work on a project to replace the U.S. 54 bridge over the Union Pacific Railroad at Moran beginning on Jun 1st. The overpass is one-quarter mile east of the U.S. 54/U.S. 59 junction. The highway will be closed in the work zone. U.S. 54 traffic will be placed on a state route detour along U.S. 59, K-31, and K-3.


KDOT awarded the nearly $4 million construction contract to A.M. Cohron & Son Inc, of Atlantic, Iowa. Weather permitting, the project should be completed early next year.

FEMA Funeral Expenses Assistance Scam


The Federal Emergency Management Agency has launched a new program to help families pay for the cost of funerals due to COVID-19. FEMA would provide up to $9,000 for funeral expenses to people since January 20th, 2020. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says unfortunately there are scammers who are trying to take advantage of this.


Schmidt says this is just one of the two versions of this scam, in the other version they don't ask for money but they want your information.  Schmidt says there is no cost to apply for this assistance and no one from the government is going to call you and try to get you to apply for it. A link to apply for FEMA assistance can be found here.


Over 130 Jobs Coming To Southeast Kansas


A London-based railroad company is bringing over 130 jobs to southeast Kansas. London-based Sicut Enterprises has selected Neodesha as the site of their new North American manufacturing hub, projected to create 132 new full-time jobs over the next five years.


Sicut Enterprises Limited is the European market leader for the manufacture and supply of recycled plastic composite railroad ties. After having successfully completed a range of demanding tests with U.S. Class 1 Railroads, the company now is expanding into North America for the first time.


The company evaluated sites in multiple states before selecting Kansas, purchasing an existing building in Neodesha.

Mask Ordinance Allowed To Expire in Parsons


The mask ordinance in Parsons has been allowed to expire.


The ordinance, which was approved in July, required businesses and organizations to post a notice at their entrances that customers must wear masks when entering the business. Employees of businesses had to wear masks when they were in areas accessible to the public or when they couldn’t socially distance themselves from each other.


Even with the mask mandate expiring, the CDC is still recommending that people who haven’t been vaccinated wear masks when in public buildings or outside when social distancing isn’t possible.

Stolen Vehicle Recovered in Caney


Two arrested after a stolen vehicle is recovered in Caney. Officers executed a search warrant at a residence located in the 500 block of South High Street in Caney. Located in the garage was a 2004 Dodge Ram, which had been reported stolen to the Independence Police Department on March 31st. The truck had been partially stripped and was in the process of being repainted.


Officers later located and arrested 38-year-old Shane Schmidt and 47-year-old Lana Miller. Schmidt told officers he had traded a ½ pound of marijuana for the truck but never received a title. Both Schmidt and Miller were arrested on charges of felony possession of stolen property.


Reward Increased for Info on Headstone Vandalism


The Cherokee County Sheriff Office is still looking for information regarding damage to gravestones at a cemetery in Baxter Springs. The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible has increased to $1,000. The damage occurred at the Lowell Cemetery around May 11th.


Anyone with information can contact the sheriff’s office at 620-848-3000, 620-429-3992 or text 888777. Just type “tip cherokee” followed by whatever information you’re able to provide.

Coffeyville Community College Foundation Scholarship Auction


The 2021 edition of Coffeyville Community College's Foundation Scholarship Auction is now underway. The CCC Foundation is in its 34th year of holding the Scholarship Auctions which helps more students afford an education who would otherwise not be able to.


CCC Foundation Executive Director Assistant Travis Young, explains how long the auction will go on and how you can bid.


Young also explains how the auction works as it will be totally virtual this year.


The auction will end at 11:59 pm on May 31st and a link to the auction can be found here.

Vaccine Distribution in Labette County


Labette County has the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the lower eight counties. Just over 45% of the county, sixteen or older, has received at least one dose of the vaccine and almost 40% has completed the vaccine series. County Health Department Director Lisa Hoppock says the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for anyone twelve or older.


Hoppock says recently they have not seen a lot of interest in the vaccine. Currently, there is only one active case of COVID-19 in the county.

Montgomery County Commission Discusses American Rescue Plan


The American Rescue Plan was the primary topic of discussion at Monday's Montgomery County Commission meeting.


Trisha Purdon of the Montgomery County Action Council was in attendance and brought the commission information on the plan, which was signed into law back in March. Some of the more important ways funds can be used under this plan include supporting public health response or replacing public sector revenue loss.


Purdon also informed the commission that this would be her final week as the director of the council. She has been chosen to lead the Kansas Office of Rural Prosperity by Governor Laura Kelly. Her office will continue to be based in Montgomery County. In the meantime, Jim Kelly will serve as the interim director of the MCAC while a new applicant is sought.

Caney Police Duo Earn Honor


A Caney law enforcement officer and her K9 have been named the “K9 Team of the Week” by the Kansas Police Dog Association.


Deputy Chief Natalie Rees began her Law Enforcement career at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in February 2012, Rees served in the United States Army and served two tours in Iraq. Ozzy is a 2-year-old German Shepard trained and certified in Narcotics Detection and Article/Evidence Search. Within the first month of Ozzy hitting the streets, he was responsible for locating vital key evidence in a significant aggravated burglary case. He has also assisted the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in narcotics detection.


Deputy Chief Rees and K9 Ozzy started their journey together as the new K9 Unit for the Caney Police Department in November 2020.

Iola Man Dies in Farm Accident


An Iola man has died after an apparent tragic farming accident on a rural La Harpe family farm.


The Allen County Sheriff's Office and Emergency Medical Services responded to 3601 Utah Road for a man that had sustained traumatic injuries after being run over by a farm implement.


36-year-old Michael Berntsen was transported by ambulance to the Allen County Regional Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

2021 Field Kindley Memorial High School Graduation


120 seniors walked across the stage for the last time as students at Field Kindley Memorial High School. A number of students were honored during the graduation ceremony.


Athletic Director Zach Johnson presented Kylie Speer and Ethan Camp with the KSHSAA Citizenship award, Superintendent Dr. Craig Correll presented Jakia Logan with the Dale Dennis Excellence in Education Award and Principal Travis Stalford presented McKenna Walker with the Field Kindley Service Award. Both Valedictorian Ani Rexwinkle and Salutatorian Anna Hoy thanked the administration and staff for their support and talked about how much the class had overcome the last year and a half thanks to COVID.


Principal Stalford closed out the graduation with this send-off to the Class of 2021.


You can hear the full graduation here.

Ralph Mitchell Zoo Modifies Hours Due to Staff Shortage


Due to short staffing at Ralph Mitchell Zoo, the City of Independence has announced modified zoo hours in effect for the next four weeks. New daily hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from now through Sunday, June 13th.


The modified hours will allow zoo personnel to adequately and safely care for the animals, while also serving the public until staffing normalizes.


The community’s understanding is appreciated during this time.

Late Night Fatality Crash South of Galena


One person is dead and another was injured in a late-night crash south of Galena.


Emergency personnel with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, Galena Fire Department, and Cherokee County Ambulance Service responded to a two-vehicle fatality crash, south of Galena just before 11:00 pm. Thursday night.


The preliminary investigation indicates a northbound 2002 Chevy Malibu, driven by 28-year-old Coleton James Wealot, crossed the center-line and struck a southbound 2015 Kia Optima driven by 38-year-old April Mathis, of Galena.


Mathis was transported by EMS to a Joplin area hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Wealot, of Diamond, Missouri, was pronounced dead at the scene.


FKHS Graduation Will Air Saturday on KQQF


Field Kindley High School graduation is tomorrow morning. Graduation will be in the FKHS gym and will start at 10:00am.


Graduation will be at normal capacity for the gym but masks are required.


FKHS graduation will air on Sonshine 98.9 KQQF at 2:00pm tomorrow afternoon.

Pittsburg State Offers Program for Students Struggling to Read


Children who are struggling to read or who want to get a jump start on learning to read can get help this summer through The Center for READing at Pittsburg State University.


From June 7th to July 30th,  Secret Codes Camp will be held in-person and virtually by Zoom in 50-minute sessions Monday through Thursday each week. Fridays will be open for students who have missed due to vacations or other activities


The camp will cover half of a year-long curriculum developed to prevent reading failure. The first part of the hour will focus on small-group instruction followed by individual practice. Class size will be limited to ensure each child gets plenty of individual instruction.


To participate online, each child will need internet access and a webcam. The total cost per child for materials and tuition is $450.

Cherryvale Graduation to Air on 98.9


Cherryvale High School Graduation is tomorrow morning at 10:00am. The graduation will be at the Logan Park Stadium.


Schedule details are subject to change due to weather. The rain plan will be announced by 9:00am Saturday on the USD 447 Facebook page. In the event of inclement weather, graduation will be moved to the CMHS gymnasium.


If you can't make it to graduation you can hear the ceremony at 1:00pm on Sonshine 98.9 KQQF, courtesy of USD 447 and the Jim Gill Agency.


Kansas Adopts CDC Guidance on Masks


Effective immediately, Kansas will adopt the Center for Disease Control's guidance that fully vaccinated people are no longer required to wear masks indoors or outdoors or physically distance, except in circumstances such as those required by businesses, public transportation or health care facilities. If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask, you are welcome to continue to do so.


Governor Laura Kelly said this announcement is welcome news and is a testament to the sacrifices Kansans have made over the last year. She said there is no better reason for all Kansans to get vaccinated, and that the sooner everyone is vaccinated, the sooner things can get back to normal.

Chanute Man Arrested After Foot Pursuit


A Chanute man was arrested late Wednesday after leading Chanute police on a short pursuit.


While on routine patrol, Chanute officers noticed an adult male on his bike. Officers recognized the individual and knew he had two Chanute Municipal Court warrants for his arrest. As officers turned around to make contact with him, they lost sight of the individual. After a few minutes, officers located the individual again and advised him that he had a warrant for his arrest. The individual dropped his backpack and took off running. After a short foot pursuit, officers took the individual into custody.


As officers were searching him, they discovered items associated with illegal narcotics. 34-year-old Daniel Robert Padilla was arrested for the two Chanute Municipal Court arrest warrants, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and interference with a law enforcement officer.


He was transported to the Neosho County Jail.

Greenwood County Crash Kills One, Injures Another


An Augusta woman is dead and another was taken to the hospital after an early Thursday morning crash in Greenwood County.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a vehicle driven by 39-year-old Jennifer Hoffman of Wichita was headed eastbound on U.S. Highway 400 when her vehicle crossed the center line and hit a Peterbilt truck driven by 35-year-old Travis Martin of Aurora, Missouri that was headed westbound. Hoffman's vehicle came to a rest on its rooftop on top of the westbound guardrail.


Hoffman's passenger, 41-year-old Rebecca Castillo of Augusta, was pronounced dead at the scene while Hoffman was transported to Greenwood County Hospital with minor injuries. Martin was not injured.

Oklahoma Gov Holds Cookout Under PETA Billboard


Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt held a cookout in front of a billboard criticizing him for supporting meat products in Oklahoma. PETA put up the billboard near the state capitol after Governor Stitt declared a “Meat All Week” week in March. Governor Stitt says agriculture is a huge part of the state employing 110,000 Oklahomans.


The Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association joined Governor Stitt during the cookout. Governor Stitt, wearing a Beef Council apron, manned the grill cooking both hamburgers and ribeyes. OCA's Michael Kelsey said it is great to have a governor who is pro-agricultural.


*Audio courtesy of Gov Stitt's Facebook*

Kansas Click It or Ticket Campaign to Begin Next Friday


Beginning on May 21st and continuing through May 31, 2020, travelers can expect increased police presence on roads and highways across Kansas. Law enforcement agencies are enforcing Kansas occupant restraint and other traffic laws as part of the 2021 Kansas Click It or Ticket campaign.


The aim of Click It or Ticket is to effectively reduce the number of preventable deaths and injuries that occur when unbelted drivers and passengers are involved in traffic crashes. About 345 persons are involved in 170 crashes each day in Kansas. Only 7% of those that are unbelted are likely to escape without injury. Half of all fatalities occur among those who are not wearing a seat belt.


Almost two-thirds of Kansas’ fatality crashes occur on rural roadways while these roads account for only one-third of all crashes.

Reward for Info on Headstone Vandalism


A $500 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for damaging gravestones at the Lowell Cemetery, outside of Baxter Springs. The damage was discovered earlier this week.


Anyone with information can contact the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office at 620-848-3000, 620-429-3992 or text 888777. Just type “tip cherokee” followed by whatever information you’re able to provide.

CFD Uses Grant to Purchase Rescue Harness


The Coffeyville Fire Department received a $1,650 grant from the Farm Credit Services of America Working Here Fund. Fire Chief Billy Cockman says the money was used to purchase a rescue harness.


Chief Cockman says he owes a big thank you to the grant writing team for their work on getting this grant and Farm Credit Services of America for awarding them the grant.

High Risk Rural Road Funding Awarded to Two SEK Counties


Montgomery County is one of 16 counties that has been awarded funds from the Kansas Department of Transportation to make improvements to an intersection on the Coffeyville city limits.


Governor Laura Kelly and Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz announced that the approximately $8.5 million will come from the Kansas High-Risk Rural Roads program.


Montgomery County will receive just over $1.1 million in HRRR funding to improve the shoulders on County Road 4700 between the south city limits of Coffeyville and the Kansas-Oklahoma state line and to make geometric improvements at the intersection of county roads 4700 and 1450.


The other county in southeast Kansas that received HRRR funding for highway improvements was Cherokee County.

Parsons Man Arrested for Attempted Murder


A Parsons man has been arrested on an array of charges including attempted murder in connection with a shooting in Parsons.


Late Tuesday night, Parsons Police received multiple calls about shots fired at Pete's convenience store. Officers responded to the scene and found the victim, Chelsea Shultz.


After speaking to the victim and witnesses, officers were able to view video footage of the incident. Officers were able to positively identify 33-year-old Levonie Quintett Bush as the shooter. Shultz and Bush were involved in an argument over alleged stolen property in the store while in the store. As the two exited the store, Bush punched Shultz knocking her to the ground. Shultz was able to get up and make her way to her vehicle when Bush pulled a black pistol pointing it at Shultz and fired the weapon multiple times. Bush then left the scene.


Police were later able to locate Bush at a residence where he was arrested. The homeowner, 52-year-old Tammy Farran, was arrested for Interference with Law Enforcement, while Bush was arrested for Attempted 2nd Degree Murder, Aggravated Battery, Criminal Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, Criminal Discharge of a Firearm, 2 counts of Interference with Law Enforcement, Possession of Marijuana, and 3 counts of Aggravated Endangerment of a Child.


This continues to be an ongoing investigation.

Cost of Lumber Affecting Potential Homeowners


COVID-19 has had an unexpected effect on the supply and demand of several products, including lumber. Senator Jerry Moran spoke on the Senate floor about the impact of the price of lumber.


Senator Moran says historically, Canada has been the largest foreign supplier of softwood lumber but that has been declining over the past four years.  Senator Moran says resolving the trade dispute with Canada and better managing public lands to increase lumber production will help the problem facing potential home builders and buyers.

West Elk Student Recognized for Scholarly Success


A West Elk High School senior has been recognized for her academic achievements.


Howard native Christina Perkins has been named as a 2021 Kansas Governor's Scholar. This award honors and recognizes the top one percent of all high school seniors in Kansas. Scholars are selected from all accredited public and private schools in the state.


Normally, those selected are invited to an awards ceremony in Topeka, hosted by the governor. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Perkins and the other scholars will be recognized via an on-demand virtual program.

Area Students Recognized

Top students and teachers were recognized at Patriot Auto Group's fifth annual Night of Scholars and Champions at the Bartlesville Community Center on Tuesday night.


Patriot Auto Group's Tatton Manning said he believes in the next generation of students and athletes that are committed to excellence and committed to one another. Manning said the dealership puts money back toward the Night of Scholars with every single vehicle that they sell and every single repair order that they write because it is a great way for them to feel like they're doing something for our area's students and teachers. On behalf of the entire staff at Patriot Auto Group, Manning said congratulations to all the students, all the athletes and all the families that have been supporting these young people.


The Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise partnered with Patriot Auto Group to put on the event. Editor Doug Graham said the kids that were honored are the ones we need to lift up because they're the ones that are going to take us where we need to go. He thanked Manning and Patriot Auto Group for making the event happen; he said Patriot Auto Group does great things for Bartlesville.


Over $65,000 in awards, including a new 2021 Hyundai Elantra, were given away during the special ceremony.


Below are the winners and their prizes:


Best Coach: Bryan Reese, Bartlesville High School Tennis Coach


Other finalists included Lorrie Bertolet with Bartlesville Gymnastics sponsored by Phillips 66 and Marshall Foreman, Copan High School Football Coach.


Class Hero: Casey White, Madison Middle School


Other finalists included Tiffiny Munn with Madison Middle School and Trey Cabler with Bartlesville High School.


Male Athlete of the Year - Jace Hollingshed, Oklahoma Union High School


Hollingshed received a $1,000 scholarship to the college of his choice.


Other nominees for Male Athlete of the Year included:

Jack Davis, Dewey High School

Bryce Drummond, Pawhuska High School

Preston Francis, Wesleyan Christian School

Dylan McCoy, Bartlesville High School

Carson Auschwitz, Barnsdall High School

Braeden Winters, Bartlesville High School

Rocky Shuman, Bartlesville High School

Mason Pittman, Oklahoma Union High School

Bryre Kramer, Caney Valley High School - Ramona

David Castillo, Bartlesville High School

Preston Willis, Bartlesville High School

Clayton Holley, Wesleyan Christian School

Duke McGill, Bartlesville High School

John Steward, Bartlesville High School

Mark Price, Nowata High School

Kyle Peterson, Bartlesville High School

Colin Goddard, Bartlesville High School

Lesharo Wildcat, Pawhuska High School

Nate Collier, Oklahoma Union High School

Jakob Hall, Bartlesville High School

Daniel Barham, Caney Valley High School - Ramona

Dallas Mullikin, Dewey High School

Keegan Marin, Barnsdall High School

Josh Weber, Barnsdall High School

Female Athlete of the Year - Jillian Skalicky, Bartlesville High School


Skalicky received a $1,000 scholarship to the college of her choice.


Other nominees for Female Athlete of the Year included:


Tristan Hinkle, Dewey High School

Mia Otten, Bartlesville High School

Chesnie Hewitt, Oklahoma Union High School

Sydney Price, Bartlesville High School

Sydney Collins, Bartlesville High School

Mackenzie Hendrix, Wesleyan Christian School

Cheyan McDaniel, Dewey High School

Zoe McCabe, Bartlesville High School

Maddie Shelley, Bartlesville High School

Gabby Higbee, Dewey High School

Quincey Turner, Bartlesville High School

Sutton Avian Research Center Conservation Hero Award - Madelynn Shambles


Shambles received a $1,000 scholarship from Sutton Avian Research Center.


Student of the Year: Henry Auer, Oklahoma Union High School


As Student of the Year, Auer won the 2021 Hyundai Elantra, a $1,000 scholarship, a $500 gas card from Phillips 66, and $2,000 from the Examiner-Enterprise.


1st Runner Up for Student of the Year: Morgen Cloud, Wesleyan Christian School


Cloud won a $750 scholarship.


2nd Runner Up: Bryce Goodin, Bartlesville High School


Goodin won a $500 scholarship.


3rd Runner Up: Sarah Belden, Nowata High School


Belden won a $250 scholarship.


Other Student of the Year nominees included:


Brock Sellars, Oklahoma Union High School

Samantha Simmons, Bartlesville High School

Mikey Bradley, Caney Valley High School - Kansas

Michael Brockman, Bartlesville High School

Abby Ettinger, Wesleyan Christian School

Tucker Killian, Caney Valley High School - Kansas

Max Williams, Bartlesville High School

Janelle Arnold, Wesleyan Christian School

Riley Bright, Caney Valley High School - Kansas

Chaney Odden, Wesleyan Christian School

Kylie White, Wesleyan Christian School

Elijah Winter, Bartlesville High School

Madelynn Shambles, Bartlesville High School

Jace Hollingshed, Oklahoma Union High School

Also recognized at the Night of Scholars were several graduates from Paths to Independence in Bartlesville. PTI Director Clair Bartley introduced two of the students and shared a little bit about the school that helps students succeed that are on the autism spectrum.


Pictured are Auer and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Runner-Ups for Student of the Year with Manning.

Traffic Stops Turns into Drug Arrest


Around midnight a Galena Police Officer conducted a traffic stop at 7th and Cornwall for a defective headlight and failure to signal. The driver, 38-year-old Scotty Smith of Pittsburg, came back with a suspended license.


Once taken into custody the officer began an inventory prior to the vehicle being towed. The officer located methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and counterfeit money. Smith was taken into custody and charged with possession of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, counterfeit money, possession with intent to distribute and driving while suspended.

STEM Enrichment Program Resumes After One Year Pause


After a year off, the STEM enrichment program will make a return to the ICC Fab Lab beginning in July. ICC Fab Lab Program Director Joanne Smith lets us know when the program begins and who may enroll.


Smith says that the program is broken up into four different areas of study and offers plenty of hands-on learning.


Breakfast, lunch, transportation, and a tablet will be provided for the duration of the summer camp. There is no cost to attend and those interested can sign up with the link provided here.

Drug Bust at Motel Near School in Galena


Two are arrested in Galena on numerous drug charges after police responded to a domestic disturbance call. Earlier this week, Galena PD was dispatched to Room 6 at the Galena Motel where they came into contact with 25-year-old Riley Colon of Asbury, MO, and 23-year-old Morgan Boyer of Webb City, MO. While investigating officers noticed illegal narcotics and paraphernalia in plain view. Officers secured the room and obtained a search warrant.


Colon and Boyer are being charged with domestic battery, possession of Fentanyl, methamphetamine, marijuana, Xanax, and drug paraphernalia. The motel is within 1000 feet of Galena schools which will add on charges. Colon was also arrested on an outstanding warrant. Boyer is being held on an $86,000 bond and Colon on an $86,500 bond.


K-99 Widening Project to Start Next Week


Beginning on Monday, drivers in Chautauqua County can expect delays of around 15 minutes as the Kansas Department of Transportation will begin work on a project that will widen a section of K-99 in Chautauqua County.


The 13-mile project area extends from the K-99/U.S. 166 Business junction at Sedan north to the Chautauqua-Elk county line. Project activity includes adding three-foot shoulders to the roadway, pavement patching, and replacing a box bridge. Traffic will be reduced to one lane controlled by signals at the work zone. Weather permitting, the project should be completed by late May 2022.


KDOT awarded the $8 million construction contract to Cornejo & Sons, LLC, of Wichita.

Coffeyville City Commission Meeting Tonight


A relatively small agenda awaits the Coffeyville City Commission, as they meet in regular session tonight.


Following the approval of the consent agenda, the fire department will present a grant award it has received from Farm Credit Services of America. In new business, the commission will make an appointment to the Planning Commission, and also discuss the passage of an ordinance to rezone Field Kindley High School.


Tonight's meeting will start at 6:30 pm.



Filing Begins for Cherryvale City Council Spots


Filing is underway for two open spots on the Cherryvale City Council that is up for election this Fall.


Candidates will file with the Montgomery County Courthouse at 217 E. Myrtle in Independence and the filing fee is $20.00. The eligibility requirement to file for a Council seat is if the person filing is registered to vote and live in Cherryvale. The positions up for are Council Member seats currently held by Rick Valverde and Leslie Overall. A general election will be held on Tuesday, November 2nd. Newly elected council members will take office in January 2022.


For questions, contact the Montgomery County Clerk at 620-330-1200.

UPDATE: Body Found in Northeast Oklahoma Creek




Officials have identified the body of a man who was discovered in Tar Creek in Miami.


Authorities say the name of the man is 24-year-old Casey Hampton of Miami. Hampton’s body was found by a resident who then called the Grand River Dam Authority Police Department. Crews recovered Hampton’s body in Tar Creek just north of the confluence with the Neosho River and was taken by the medical examiner.


Anyone with information is asked to contact the GRDA police at 918-256-0911. The investigation is ongoing.






Officials with the Grand River Dam Authority police say a person contacted them regarding a body in Tar Creek just north of the Neosho River in Miami. Officials with the GRDA police say the body was recovered and taken by the medical examiner.


The victim is described as a male standing about 5-10, weighing between 165-180lbs, reddish-brown hair, facial hair, a thin build with no tattoos. Investigators believe that the victim is between 25-35 years old. Anyone with information is asked to contact the GRDA police at 918-256-0911.


The investigation is ongoing.

Celebration of Life for Coach Aaron Flores


The life of a former Coffeyville football coach will be celebrated next month.


A Celebration of Life ceremony for Aaron Flores will be held on June 11th and 12th. Flores coached the Ravens for eight years, compiling a 45-41 record during that time.


Those interested in celebrating Flores' life are invited to join family at the Ville Pub and Grill on Friday at 7 pm. On Saturday, a golf tournament will be held at the Coffeyville Country Club. The tournament will be a four-person scramble, with the cost $300 per team or $75 per person.


More information can be found here.

National Police Week Starts Sunday


In 1962 President John F. Kennedy declared May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which it falls National Police Week. This is the week that law enforcement honors officers who died protecting the safety of others.


In 2020 there were 135 officers killed in the line of duty. Nationwide, 64 men and women have died in the line of duty so far this year, about a 39 percent increase in line of duty deaths in the first 74 days of 2021 compared to the same time in 2020.


Throughout the pandemic, IPD has sought a balance between public safety and civil rights. IPD is grateful that Independence continues to show its support by providing food, treats, and encouraging words. Chief Jerry Harrison said on behalf of all the officers and dispatchers in the department he would like to sincerely thank the community for showing them your support.

Caney Women Fights with Police and Attempts Escape After Arrest


A Caney woman resists arrest, fights with officers and attempts to escape police custody. Caney Police Officers after responding to a domestic disturbance call attempted to arrest 26-year-old Katy Kelso, who was involved in the domestic disturbance, for a warrant in the city.


Kelso did not comply and became combative, but officers were able to gain control. Kelso was placed in the intox room, where she attempted her escape. Kelso ran into an ambulance bay and attempted to fight off officers with items she had grabbed off the wall. During the altercation, an officer reported Kelso grabbed his gun but it was secured in his holster. Officers were able to subdue Kelso and transported her to the Montgomery County Jail. She is being charged with interference, two counts of battery and assault on a law enforcement officer.

KDOT Begins Bridge Replacement Project on U.S. 160


The Kansas Department of Transportation has started a project to replace the Neosho River drainage bridge on U.S. 160 in Cherokee County.


The bridge is one mile east of the Labette-Cherokee county line. The contractor is building a temporary road around the bridge site, which will be completed in several weeks. Two-way traffic will use the temporary road during the construction of the new bridge. Weather permitting, the new bridge should be open to traffic by the end of 2021.


KDOT awarded the construction contract of $1.9million to B & B Bridge of St. Paul.

Caney Man Arrested on Warrant in CQ County


A Caney man arrested in Caney on a warrant in Chautauqua County. Early yesterday morning around 1:00am during a routine patrol a Caney Police Department officer came in contact with 44-year-old James “Andy” Gruver at the corner of Rose and State Street.


The officer discovered that Chautauqua County had an active warrant for Gruver’s arrest for probation violation. Gruver was arrested without incident and transferred to Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department.

Caney Woman Arrested for Driving Under the Influence


A Caney woman was arrested late Thursday night for driving under the influence of alcohol.


Caney Police Department officers stopped a vehicle at Taylor and McGee Street, which had been reported to be driving erratically. The driver of the vehicle was identified as 54-year-old Dana Barton. Upon speaking with Barton, officers suspected she might be driving under the influence. Officers performed field sobriety tests and subsequently arrested Barton for Driving Under the Influence and driving left of center.


She was transported to the Montgomery County Corrections Center.

One Dead Following Fire in Independence


One person is dead following a structure fire in Independence early Thursday morning.


Independence Fire-EMS responded to a report of a structure fire, with possible entrapment, in the 500 block of North 24th just after 9:00 am. Crews responded, and immediately performed search and rescue. However, the victim was found deceased.


Independence Rural Fire and Cheryvale Fire-EMS assisted in putting out the blaze. The fire is being investigated by the Independence Police Department and the Kansas Fire Marshall Office. No injuries were reported by any personnel fighting the fire.

Shooting Leaves One Victim in the Hospital in Parsons


A Parsons man was sent to the hospital Wednesday after he was shot in the chest.


Parsons Police Department Officers responded to the 2300 block of Crawford after receiving a report of a gunshot. Officers arrived at the location and found 23-year-old Tyler Camper who had been shot once in the chest. Camper was found in the east-west alley between Washington and Crawford Streets. Camper was transported to Labette Health and was later transferred to Freeman Hospital in Joplin.


The suspect fled the scene after firing into a residence striking the victim in the chest. The victim ran out of the residence after being shot before collapsing in the alley. Police believe that this was a targeted assault and was not a random crime of violence. Detectives are continuing to run down potential persons of interest.

K-State Extension Spring Field Day to be Held in Person


After months of hosting educational events virtually because of COVID-19, K-State Research and Extension will host its Spring Crops Field Day in person on Wednesday, May 19 at its Southeast Research and Extension Center in Parsons. Registration is from 8:30am to 9:00am.


Numerous sponsors will have displays and representatives available to answer questions about products and services. A sack lunch will be served after the field tours. In case of rain, the program will be held indoors. More information and advance registration is available by contacting the K-State Wildcat Extension District Altamont office at 620-784-5337 or the Southeast Research and Extension Center at 620-820-6131.

Coach Foster Memorial Saturday


The Dick Foster Memorial is this Saturday at 1:00pm in the Nellis Hall Gymnasium. Coffeyville Community College is honoring the late football coach who passed away last October. Coach Foster amassed 146 wins with just 25 losses in his career as a junior college football coach. He is the only head coach in NJCAA history to win a National Championship with two different schools.


While at CCC, the Ravens ranked in the top 15 every year and won the National Championship in 1983. He had an 8-3 record in bowl games. Coach Foster was inducted into the CCC Letterman’s Hall of Fame in 1998 and was selected to the first class of the NJCAA Football Hall of Fame. He was selected as the Junior College Coach of the Year in 1970 and is a member of the Fort Scott Community College Hall of Fame.

Car Crashes Into Store in Pittsburg


A Casey's in Pittsburg has received significant structural damage after a car crashed into the building.


Pittsburg Police Department Officers were dispatched to South Pittsburg, in reference to a report of an accident involving a motor vehicle colliding with the building. Upon arrival, officers discovered a vehicle, which was driven by a 16-year-old juvenile, had struck and entered the east side of the building. The vehicle had pulled up to the east side of the building, where it then jumped the curb at the walkway and then struck the building.


The two passengers in the vehicle at the time of the collision were 38-year-old Travis Tyler and 32-year-old Veda Tyler, both of Pittsburg. Neither passenger reported any injuries, and there were no occupants in Casey’s who reported any injuries either. The vehicle was able to be removed from the building under its own power, and it was not towed from the scene.


The investigation into this accident is continuing.


UPDATE: Equity Bank in Independence Robbed



A Missouri man has been taken into custody in connection with the robbery of Equity Bank in Independence Wednesday afternoon. 

During the investigation, Independence Police Department put out vehicle and suspect information that was relayed to local law enforcement. 


At approximately 4:00 pm, the suspect and his vehicle were seen by a Montgomery County Sheriff's Deputy and a chase ensued through residential streets in Coffeyville. The suspect lost control of his vehicle at County Road 3200 and US 169 and was apprehended after a short foot chase.

35-year old Paul Duane Gordon of Marshfield, Missouri was transported to the Montgomery Department of Corrections where he was booked on the charge of Aggravated Bank Robbery, Fleeing and eluding, and reckless driving.





An investigation is currently underway in Independence after the Equity Bank was robbed around 1:00pm this afternoon.


There have been no arrests made at this time in connection with this incident. Police have no reason to believe there are any related threats to public safety in the vicinity.


Police Chief Jerry Harrison says currently IPD is working with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate this incident. KGGF will provide further details as soon as they are available.

USAco To be Established in Bartlesville


A Bartlesville man is getting set to launch a new manufacturing company called USAco come June 8th.  Founder and Chairman K. Vasudevan (Vasu) says USAco has one specific purpose, to make quality products in Bartlesville.


Vasu is the Chairman and Founder of Service and Technology Corporation and Service and Manufacturing Corporation. USAco and the STC Group of Companies appreciate the opportunity of being in Bartlesville and being part of the community.

Watch Out For Poison Hemlock


As the days get warmer and livestock moves out to the fields to graze, it is important to make sure that your fields do not have poison hemlock. Poison hemlock is invasive, highly toxic, and on the rise in many states including Kansas and Oklahoma.


K-State Livestock Production Agent Wendie Powell says that since poison hemlock is toxic, that we need to know what it looks like.


Powell says that if we find poison hemlock in our pastures, there are ways to treat it.


For more information about poison hemlock, you contact Wendie Powell at the K-State Extension office in Altamont at 620-784-5337.

Cherokee County K9 Unit Receives Equipment Donation


A Cherokee County Sheriff's Office K9 Team was recently awarded an equipment donation, valued at over $1,300, from Spike's K9 Fund based out of Virginia Beach. Deputy Nate Jones and his K9 Partner Bear received an Ace K9 Hot and Pop Pro and Heat Alarm.


Sheriff David Groves said this equipment could potentially be lifesaving. Deputy Jones will be able to remotely and quickly open the back doors of the patrol unit and deploy Bear if he or another officer were involved in an altercation where Bear is needed. Groves said in addition, this device will constantly monitor the temperature inside the patrol unit and automatically take measures, such as activating the air conditioning or rolling down the windows.

LC Theatre Offering Night of Free Performances


If you fancy a night of musical theater, acting scenes, and monologues, you might want to make your way to Parsons this Friday.


The Labette County Theatre Department is hosting "Night Among the Stars," a celebration of the department's 2020-21 year. Performances will start at 7:30 pm at the Parsons Municipal Auditorium. The event is free, but donations are welcome.


In addition, social distance seating and masks will be required.

Members of Sheriff's Office Receive National Recognition


Three members of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office recently received a National Certificate of Recognition for their public safety efforts in sex offender management.


Sergeant Detective Travis Fields, Sergeant Detective Trent Martin, and Administrative Office Manager Janis Echard received the Certificates of Recognition from Mike Cormaci, President of OffenderWatch, which works with over 3,500 agencies across the country. Cormaci said that Sgt. Fields, Sgt. Martin and Mrs. Echard implemented policies and procedures well above the ordinary minimum requirements set forth by state law, to ensure the law enforcement community and citizens are made aware of offender movements, status changes, and risks.


Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves said he is proud of the members of his team who have received this deserving recognition because their hard work helps keep families in the community safe.

Over Nine Tons of Medications Turned In


Kansans safely disposed of more than 9 tons of unused and unwanted medicines during National Drug Take-Back Day on April 24th. Kansas law enforcement officers collected 18,880 pounds of medicines at 124 locations throughout the state during the event.


Attorney General Derek Schmidt said this was the largest amount of medications collected in Kansas since the event began in 2010, eclipsing the previous mark of 17,230 pounds collected in April 2018. A total of 221,914 pounds of medications have been destroyed in the 20 collection days that have been held since 2010. Unused prescriptions can be turned in year-round at many local law enforcement locations including the Coffeyville Police Department.

Indy Fire-EMS Responds to Camper Fire


The Independence Fire-EMS Department responded to a camper fire early Tuesday morning.


Units responded to a call at 310 S. 23rd Street at about 9:10 am. Upon arrival, they found a fully involved camper on fire next to a structure. With assistance from Independence Rural Fire and Cherryvale Fire-EMS, crews were able to bring the fire under control in under 30 minutes.


No injuries were reported.

Caney Woman Arrested on a Pair of Charges


A Caney woman has been arrested on a pair of charges.


While on routine patrol, Caney Police Department officers heard yelling in the 200 block of South Wood Street. Officers made contact with a white male who was walking and advised officers he had been assaulted by his girlfriend. Officers observed physical injuries that backed the man’s allegations.


Officers then made contact with a woman at the residence in the 200 block of South Wood Street. The woman was identified as 40-year-old Kristen Hines. After conducting their investigation, Officers arrested Hines on charges of Domestic Battery and Disorderly Conduct, and was transported to the Montgomery County Detention Center.

Caney City Library Open Once Again


As of this Monday, the Caney City Library is open once again.


The public is now welcome to visit the library during regular operating hours. However, masks will still be required inside the building. Curbside service is still available.


In addition, the library will be offering a "hybrid" summer reading program for all ages. Registration will begin on May 10th.

Summer Camps Being Offered by USD286


USD 286 – Sedan has announced that their Summer Camps program will be offered from June 1st - June 30th. The summer camps program will be offered Monday-Thursday with special field trips on Friday.


Students Pre K-5 can attend a variety of programs such as Math and Reading Enrichment, P.E., Art, Swim Lessons, Social-Emotional Learning, Basketball and Volleyball camp, and cooking class.


Grades 6-12 will also have Summer Camps that include Metals, Hunter Safety, Fur Harvest, Wood Projects, Drones, and Computer Investigations.


Summer Camps will begin at 8:00 and free breakfast and lunch will be served. Bus services will also be provided for those needing transportation. Links to each camp can be found below.


Pre-K - 5th Grade:


Grades 6th - 12th

Enrollment Now Open for Summer and Fall at CCC


The enrollment period at CCC is now open for Summer and Fall Courses at Coffeyville Community College. Senior Director of Student Services Yvonne Hull says that the enrollment process is a little different this year compared to years past.


For more information contact Pam Feerer at 620-252-7135. The first day of Summer classes begins on June 2nd while the Fall session begins on August 9th.

Chautauqua County Meeting for 5-3


The Chautauqua County Commission continued discussions on the purchase of a new ambulance at its most recent meeting on Monday.


Representatives from Sedan EMS stopped by Monday's meeting, wanting to purchase a third ambulance to replace one of their older ones. The EMS, which is a private non-profit, cannot afford to stock four amulances. The oldest was made in 1996.


Greg Hadley, who also visited with the commission on Thursday, said he was expecting or wanting to purchase one as soon as possible.


Commissioner Rodney Shaw said he wished he could give them money right away, but more information was needed. The commission will meet once again next Monday.

Man Arrested for Interference with Law Enforcement, County Warrant


A 49-year-old Chanute man was arrested over the weekend on interfering with law enforcement and a Neosho County warrant.


Chanute PD officers went to the 1600 block of South Highland looking for an individual that had an outstanding warrant for their arrest. Officers noticed an adult male standing in front of a residence next door. Officers recognized the individual having a warrant for his arrest. Officers talked with the man and informed him he was under arrest for the warrant.


The individual failed to comply with the officers and after a short scuffle, officers arrested David Allen Engel for the Neosho County warrant and interference with a law enforcement officer. He was transported to the Neosho County Jail.

Peru Man Arrested in Caney on Number of Violations


Last night at around 8:00pm a Caney Police Officer stopped a 2003 KIA for a vehicle equipment violation. The driver was identified as 29-year-old Josh McKinney from Peru.  McKinney was driving with a suspended license, was in possession of an open title for the vehicle and had no liability insurance on the vehicle.


McKinney was arrested, transported to the Montgomery County Jail and charged with his second offense of driving with a suspended license, no registration, his third violation of no liability insurance and no driver’s side mirror.


Parsons Man Dies in Fatality Crash in Oklahoma

A Parsons man is dead following a vehicle collision in northeast Oklahoma Sunday evening.

The collision took place at about 7:20 pm on U.S. 169 just north of SH10, approximately 10 miles north of Nowata, Ok in Nowata County.


A 2017 Hyundai Accent driven by 50-year-old Christopher Alvarado collided with a 2003 Ford Explorer driven by 56-year-old Betty Koscelny of Delaware, Ok.  


Christopher Alvarado was pronounced dead at the scene. His passenger, 50-year-old Coletta Alvarado was transported by Air Evac to Saint John Hospital in Tulsa for multiple injuries.  She was treated and later released.


Koscelny was transported by Coffeyville Regional Medical Center Air Ambulance to CRMC with leg, arm, and head injuries. She was also treated and released.


The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the incident is still under investigation.

UPDATE: Body Found in Coffeyville Ruled Homicide


The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Coffeyville Police Department have an update on the status of their death investigation at 1709 S. Spruce St. Following the autopsy, the victim’s death was ruled a homicide. Due to the state of decomposition, it will take time before the man can be positively identified. The investigation is ongoing.


Additionally, 37-year-old Jennifer R. Garnett, of Coffeyville, was arrested connected to the case. Garnett was arrested at 1518 S. Maple in Coffeyville for burglary, theft, forgery and criminal use of a credit card. Following her arrest, Garnett was booked into the Montgomery County Jail. Anyone with information related to this homicide is asked to call the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME or the Coffeyville Police Department at 620-252-6160.

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