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Local News Archives for 2022-01

Scholarships For 2022-2023 Are Now Available


The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas has announced that they are now accepting scholarship applications for the 2022-2023 school year.


CFSEK is home to more than a dozen different scholarship funds established by local residents, businesses, and organizations to help area students pursue a post-secondary education. Most applications are due by the end of March, but some must be returned to the Community Foundation by March 15th, and some are returned to organizations other than the Community Foundation. Each CFSEK scholarship has its own eligibility requirements.


You can find a full list of all the scholarships, requirements, and how to apply here.

Redistricting Maps Pass Senate and House


The Senate and House have passed identical plans for the redistricting of Kansas and an ensuing court battle could follow.


The House passed the plan with a 79-37 and it will now go to Governor Laura Kelly where she will decide to sign off on the bill or veto it.


Representative Rich Proehl says that they went over several different maps in the meeting and he felt that most of the maps did not give the representation southeast Kansas needed.


Rep. Proehl described what the final map that was sent to Gov. Kelly's desk would look like.


Democratic lawmakers say that the map is partisan gerrymandering and they will most likely challenge it which will lead to a court battle. Republican lawmakers say that the plan has to be as close to the same number of residents as possible and this plan fits it.

Earthquake Registered Just South of Kansas Border


An earthquake was registered just south of Wichita on Monday morning.


According to the United States Geological Survey, the 4.5 magnitude earthquake was registered 8 kilometers northwest of Medford, Oklahoma. It occured at about 11:10 am.


The USGS's community-intensity map reports that users could feel the quake as far west as Dodge City and as far east as Coffeyville and Bartlesville.

Car Show Returning to Chautauqua County Fair


Another car show could be coming to Sedan as part of the Chautauqua County Fair.


Chautauqua County Fair Board member Johnathan Martin visited the county commission Monday to explain the board's plan. Entries into the car show would use the parking spots around the county courthouse in Sedan. Martin said the car show is a highly requested addition to the fair.


Martin said that the show could be a good way to bring people in from outside the county, and at the very least adds another event for the fair. The show would run just after the county's parade, giving entries a chance to participate in both.


In other county business, the commission voted to remain members of the Sedan Chamber of Commerce.

Nowata Man Being Sought by Law Enforcement


The Nowata Police Department, the Nowata County Sheriff's office, and other law enforcement agencies are still on the lookout for a fugitive who is considered armed and dangerous.


Agencies set up a perimeter east of Highway 169, west of County Road 415, south of Highway 60 and north of County Road 23 late on Saturday in an attempt to catch the suspect. However, it is now believed the suspect made it out of the perimeter.


The suspect is Zachariah Barnes, who is wanted by multiple agencies in two states. He is wearing a black hoodie, blue jeans and has a shaved head. NPD says it has a reason to believe Barnes was bitten by a dog and may be favoring one leg, he also may have a firearm. He is considered to be armed and dangerous. If you see the individual, do not approach him and please call the sheriff’s office at (918) 273-2287.

Independence Man Arrested for Threats Against the President


An Independence man has been arrested after making threats to President Joe Biden.


Scott Merryman was arrested at a Cracker Barrel in Maryland by secret service agents. According to Independence Police Chief Jerry Harrison, Merryman told an IPD investigator that he was headed to Washington D.C. to see President Biden. At the time of speaking to the investigator, Merryman didn't make any threats toward the President. Due to concerns over mental health and the seriousness of the issue, IPD contacted the secret service.


Merryman's had made multiple posts on Facebook with religious undertones saying he was going to lop off the head of the serpent. Officers didn't find a gun on Merryman during his arrest but they did find a loaded magazine and a spotting scope.

Crime Victims Service Awards Open for Nominations


Five awards that recognize service to victims of crime are open for nomination.


Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says the awards are made each year to recognize agencies, organizations and individuals who provide service to victims of crime in Kansas. Categories that are open for nominations include Criminal Justice, Community Champion, Outstanding Victim Service Organization, Outstanding System-Based Victim Advocate and Outstanding Community-Based Victim Advocate.


The deadline for nominations is February 21. The nomination form and information on nominations can be found in the online version of this story at Awards will be announced during the annual Crime Victims Rights Conference, which will be held virtually from April 6th to April 8th

Masks No Longer Required at Caney


The Return to Play guidelines have been updated for high school athletes in the state of Kansas. KSHSAA's new guidelines now state that an athlete doesn't need to provide a doctor's note when returning from quarantine after a positive COVID test.


USD 436 has updated their mask policy for students returning from quarantine. Students who test positive for COVID will not be required to wear a mask after returning from their five-day quarantine, but masks will be highly recommended.


CCC Quiz Bowl Wins State


The Coffeyville Community College Academic Challenge team goes undefeated to win the state title.


The team went a perfect 9-0 to claim their first title since 2017 and the 5th title in school history. In their nine games, Coffeyville outscored their opponents a combined 1870 to 750, with their biggest win coming against Allen County 305-75.


Coffeyville's A.J. Kohler ranked 1st individually at this year's state tournament. Teammate Zachary Heidenreich ranked 9th and Sophomore Dawn Parker ranked 25th, while Danielle Deller and Sydney Neidigh tied at 26th. Team Sponsor Ryan Butcher says the team spent many hours preparing for this tournament and their efforts were rewarded.

Back to Back Crashes in Montgomery County


Two are injured after back-to-back crashes in Northern Montgomery County.


At around 6:18am yesterday morning, a Dodge Ram 1500 pulling a trailer was headed south on Highway 169, about 4 miles south of Highway 400 when it lost control on a bridge due to black ice. The truck, driven by 36-year-old Liovel Herrera Tamayo, struck the guardrail, rolled and came to a stop in the ditch. The trailer detached and came to a rest in the southbound lane of the highway.


Shortly after the first crash, a semi driven by 26-year-old Nicholas Banet was headed south on Highway 169 when it struck the trailer that was resting across the southbound lane. The semi ramped the trailer and then struck 65-year-old Debra Mahaffey's Cadillac that was parked on the shoulder. Both vehicles came to a rest in the ditch. Tamayo was transported to Labette Health in Parsons with minor injuries and Mahaffey was transported to Freeman Hospital in Joplin with suspected serious injuries.


Caney Needs Help Locating Water Leak

The City of Caney needs help locating a water leak in town. 

City Administrator Fred Gress says it appears to be a sizeable leak. If anyone sees what appears to be a large amount of water or signs of a water leak contact the city. 

KDOT Announces Approved January Bids


The Kansas Department of Transportation has announced approved bids for state highway construction and maintenance projects in Kansas. Included in the bid process were multiple projects in southeast Kansas.


In Montgomery County, U.S. 166 will be milled and overlayed from the east Coffeyville city limits east to the U.S. 166 /U.S. 169 junction. Work will also be done on U.S. 169 from the east edge of the Coffeyville city limits north to the Potato Creek Bridge. Borth projects with be done by Bettis Asphalt and Construction Inc. of Topeka at a cost of just under $3 million.


In Labette County, U.S. 59 from Oswego to the Kansas/Oklahoma state line will be milled and overlayed for $2.1 million by Emery Sapp & Sons Inc. and Subsidiaries of Columbia, Missouri.


Chautauqua County will see K-99 milled and overlayed for $2.3 million by Cornejo & Sons LLC of Wichita.


The dates of these projects will be announced at a later date.

Accident in Montgomery County


A crash happened early Thursday morning involving two vehicles in Montgomery County on US 169 just south of US 400.


According to the KHP, 26-year-old Nicholas Banet of El Dorado was southbound on US 169 when his car struck a trailer that was resting across the southbound lane shoulder. The vehicle then ran off the road to the right striking another car that was parked on the shoulder. Both vehicles came to a rest in the southbound ditch of US 169.


The driver of the second vehicle 65-year-old Debra Mahaffey of Neodesha was transported to a nearby hospital with suspected serious injury.


Youth Soccer and Flag Football Registrations Underway


With Spring right around the corner, the Coffeyville Recreation Commission is accepting registrations 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 it will cost.


Registration deadline is February 4th with a late registration deadline of February 11th. For more information, contact CRC at 620-251-5910.

Gas Prices Creep Higher as Global Oil Remains Tight


Despite typical low seasonal demand for gasoline, pump prices are clawing their way higher. The culprit is the rising price for oil, which is now sitting around $85 per barrel, nearly $20 more than in November. Since dropping to $3.28 in the first week of January, the national average for a gallon of gas has slowly started to rise again.


As for Montgomery County, residents are paying $3.09/gallon while Labette and Chautauqua County residents are paying nearly the same at $3.08/gallon which is two cents higher than the state average of $3.06. Elk County is the lowest in the immediate area at $2.90/gallon.


While prices in Oklahoma are up 16 cents over the past month to $3.01/gallon, it is the 5th least expensive gas in the U.S. Washington County is currently $3.04 while Nowata County sits at $3.03.


The national average of $3.34 is two cents more than a week ago, six cents more than a month ago, and 94 cents more than a year ago.

Indy City Commission to Hear Report on Housing Needs


The Independence City Commission will hear a report on a recent analysis detailing housing needs within the city.


The commission will hear the report later on today, which covers several areas in which the city could improve its housing situation. The report compares the situation in Independence to both state and national levels. Several summaries of findings are included within the report, including a finding that the shortage of quality housing can be expected to persist in the future.


Thursday's commission meeting will start at 5:30 pm at the Civic Center of Memorial Hall.



Pitt State First COVID Update of New Year


Pittsburg State University provides a COVID-19 update for the first time in the new year with classes starting on January 18th.


There were 92 symptomatic students tested for COVID at the Bryant Student Health Center from January 19th to January 25th. Of those, 50 were positive. Currently, 36 students are in isolation. In the same period, seven faculty and staff members reported an infection.


The health center also administered 22 COVID vaccines most of which were booster doses. The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas hosted a vaccine and booster clinic on campus Monday and administered 37 doses of the vaccine.

Schmidt Urges U.S. Department of State to Increase Fight Against Fentanyl


Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has called on the U.S. State Department to increase its pressure on China to stop the flow of fentanyl from reaching Kansas and the nation as a whole.


Even though there has been a crackdown of sending it directly into the United States, Schmidt says that even more is getting into the country in a different way.


Due to this happening, Schmidt has joined a letter sent with 15 other attorneys general to U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken outlining their concerns about the production and distribution of fentanyl.


Schmidt also said Kansas has seen overdoses skyrocket. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has reported that preliminary statistics from the State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System showed there were 338 fatal drug overdoses between January 1, 2021, and June 30, 2021, a 54 percent increase from the same period in 2020. Of those Kansas deaths, 149 involved fentanyl or fentanyl analogs.


Mardi Gras Cancelled, New Event Being Planned


Due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the area, the annual Mardi Gras event held by the Rotary Club has been canceled for the second consecutive year.


Coffeyville Area Chamber of Commerce Director Candi Westbrook says although they will look to come back next year, there is an alternate event being planned.


For more information about this event and others like it, you can contact the Chamber at 620-251-2550.

Senator Marshall Launches New Agriculture Themed Series


U.S. Senator Roger Marshall has launched a new monthly video series called “Ag Talk with Doc”.


In this new series, Senator Marshall sits down with various leaders in agriculture to discuss the latest issues affecting farmers, ranchers and producers. The guest for the first episode was Former Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, who discussed the Farm Bill.


Other topics discussed during the 20-minute episode include inflation, fertilizer prices, innovation and conservation. The full episode can be seen on Senator Marshall's Youtube channel.


Indy Celebrates 2020 and 2021 at Chamber Banquet


Multiple awards were handed out at last night's Independence Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet.


Last year's banquet was cancelled due to the pandemic so both 2020 and 2021 award winners were recognized. The First United Methodist Church of Independence was honored as the 2020 winner of the Chamber Member of the Year Wanda Mayo Award. While receiving the same award for 2021 were Jim Hayward and Rhonda Clark.


Joe Long was recognized as the outgoing Chairman of the Board while Dan Reynolds spoke as the 2022 Chairman and Gary Hogsett the Chairman-Elect.

Live Performances Back for CCC Humanities Class


Coffeyville Community College is bringing live performances back to campus for its Humanities class.


CCC has partnered again with Artist of Note to bring performers from around the United States to the classroom on the CCC campus. There will be a total of 12 performances this spring semester, and the community is welcome to come and watch all performances. They will be located in the Spencer Rounds Theatre on campus and they are all free. All performances are Tuesday evenings at 7:00pm, doors open at 6:30pm.


The first performance has already taken place this month but the schedule for the remaining performances can be seen below.


Caney PD Looking for Theft Suspect


The Caney Police Department is looking for a suspect involved in a theft.


The suspect is Travis James Ward. Caney PD is looking for Ward in connection with a recent theft at the Casey's in Caney. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Ward contact Caney PD at (620)879-2141.


ICC Theater Student Recognized


An Independence Community College student and Labette County native is honored for her work on a school theater production.


ICC Sophomore Mary-Lynn White, of Oswego, was awarded the Certificate of Merit from The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. The Certificate of Merit is awarded to students for their work on a particular production. White was recognized as the stage manager on ICC’s fall production of “Endgame” by Samuel Beckett.


White says working on Endgame was very challenging and rewarding. She says from production meetings to rehearsal reports, there is a lot of work that a stage manager does that isn’t seen. White is on a Theatre Performance scholarship, she is a student tutor and an active member of the Student Government Association and Phi Theta Kappa.

Chautauqua County Adopts Policy Regarding Delinquent Trash Services


The Chautauqua County Solid Waste Department has adopted a policy regarding the suspension of trash services for those whose accounts are not paid up.


Accounts that are delinquent for 90 days or more will have their trash services suspended until fees are paid. The department asks that anyone who needs assisstance in reestablishing services and getting their accounts current contact them via phone or by visiting the county courthouse.


Furthermore, area law enforcement will be strictly ordinances where conditions are hazardous to the safety of residences. This includes the accumulation of trash due to suspended services.

Coffeyville City Commission Meeting Tonight


The Coffeyville City Commission will hold their regularly scheduled meeting tonight with several items on the docket. Coffeyville City Manager Mark Hall says one of the items on the consent agenda deals with the airport.


One of the other items on the agenda is a resolution dealing with a contract with Republic Services for trash collection. Hall explains the details of that resolution. If the contract is approved, it will run until March 1st, 2025.


The meeting will be held on the second floor of City Hall in the Commission room at 6:30 pm.

Sixth Annual Neodesha Community Clean Up


The 6th Annual Neodesha Community Cleanup is coming up in April. High School students will help clean up around neighborhoods and businesses for anyone wanting to participate. Principal Nathan West says being from the area he wanted to do something so the students could give back to the community.


West says they divide up into groups of about twelve students and a teacher who spend a school day going to a few different locations for the cleanup.  The deadline to sign up is April 1st and the cleanup day will be April 6th. To sign up you can contact Principal West at (620)205-8303 or his email

Alumnus Donates $1 Million to CCC


Coffeyville Community College receives a sizable donation from an Alumnus. Director of College Relations Yvonne Hull says Stephen Rench donated $1 million to the college because he feels like it helped make him who he is today.


Hull says Rench was heavily involved in debate while at CCC so this money will go towards debate scholarships.  Rench says he would recommend CCC to anyone who is looking to pursue their education. He says he lives by the saying “Once a Raven, Always a Raven”.


Thermal Imaging Used to Locate Suspects


Police use thermal imaging to help locate suspects.


The Miami Police Department assisted the Northeastern Oklahoma Campus Police and several other county units in a pursuit that started just south of the NEO campus. The suspects fled at over 130mph on the turnpike and crashed their vehicle. They then fled on foot into a field just north of Vinita. Miami UAS support team was called in to fly the area and located the suspects hiding in a tree grove. They were able to guide officers on the ground directly to the suspects, where they were arrested.


Road Closed During Bridge Maintenance


Roadwork in Montgomery County will temporarily close a road.


The work will begin tomorrow on County Road 1800 west of County Road 5300, which is the East 8th Street Bridge. The road will be close through February 1st, but just on the weekdays from 8:30am to 3:00pm. Crews will be performing maintenance on the bridge during working hours. It will be open after hours and on the weekend.

Senator Marshall Announces New Website


A U.S. senator from Kansas has launched a new website to better serve the citizens of Kansas. Senator Roger Marshall says the new website will make it easier to get in contact with him or anyone in his offices.


The website features information on seeking help with a federal agency, having a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol, setting up tours for visiting D.C, attending a military service academy and interning in any of the Senator’s offices. You can also find information about the seven different office locations for the senator in Kansas as well as contact information for Senator Marshall.

Possibility for Disaster Declaration in Labette County


There is potential for another disaster declaration in Labette County regarding COVID-19.


Emergency Management Director Charlie Morse spoke with the county commission this morning regarding the possibility. Morse thought there could have been an update, regarding the recent increase of cases from the Omicron variant, from Governor Laura Kelly's office this afternoon but now it looks like it could be Wednesday. The county was under a disaster declaration for COVID from March 2020 to May 2021 but let it expire in May. The purpose of a declaration would be so the county can receive any financial assistance from the state regarding COVID.


In other business, the county received an invoice for their portion of the new lighting at the county fair arena. They also received the year-end outcomes for community corrections.

ICC's Diversity in Tech Ed Day Coming Next Month


Independence Community College invites high school students to their Diversity in Tech Ed Day.


The event will be on February 11th from 10:00am to 2:00pm at the ICC West Campus. Students can explore various technical programs while speaking to program directors and current students. A representative from Kansas Works will also be present. Executive Director for Academic Outreach Jaicey Gillum says it is important for students to know the variety of options Independence has to offer.


An emphasis of this event is showcasing supportive services to students of special populations. Gillum says students of special populations require more information and guidance when it comes to deciding on a college program and ICC is hoping to bridge the gap by providing them the resources they need to be successful.

2021 Annual Chamber Dinner


The Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce held their Annual Dinner after having to skip last year due to COVID. New Chamber Board Chairman Steve Blaich gives a look ahead at the next year and goals for the Chamber.


The Chamber also presented their Chamber Awards. Small Business of the Year goes to ABC Preschool, Four County Mental Health was named the Business of the Year, Rising Star goes to Terebinth Coffee, Sam Kudrick is named the Citizen of the Year and Volunteer of the Year goes to Charlie and Kris Crane.

Accident Crash leads to Arrest in Montgomery County



A non-injury incident involving a semi lead to an arrest near Cherryvale.


Texas man, Douglas Johnson, crashed his 2016 Kenworth semi when traveling north on County Road 5700, he failed to navigate the sharp curve and came to a stop in the ditch. Deputies were dispatched to the crash, where they then attempted to contact the driver. Johnson became agitated with the deputies when they requested documents from him, so they could complete their accident investigation. After speaking with Johnson and explaining what documents they needed, Johnson went back to his semi and entered the cab. The deputies continued to request the documents, which eventually escalated into a physical altercation due to Johnson's lack of cooperation. The struggle lead to the injury of an officer and caused Johnson to be booked into the Montgomery County Department of Corrections. Johnson was booked on charges of battery against a law enforcement officer, interfering with law enforcement, theft, driving on the left side of the roadway, and no proof of liability insurance.


Rep. Estes Speaks on Biden's First Year in Office


A United States representative from Kansas speaks on President Joe Biden's first year in office. Representative Ron Estes says this week we look back over a year of failures.


Representative Estes says a majority of Kansans from his district say that the issues of most importance to them are the economy, rising prices, immigration, and the federal deficit. He says it is time for Congress and the president to start addressing these core concerns. 

Spaghetti Dinner to Support Local Animal Shelters


The Independence Community College Veterinary Nursing Program is hosting a charity dinner. Coffeyville Friends of Animals Director Brad Gray says this will support the ICC vet nursing program, CFA and AWOL in Independence.


The event is February 12th from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the Woods Community Room in Independence. The spaghetti will come with different sauce options as well as a salad. Tea and pop will cost an extra $2.

Chautauqua Count Commission Considers Future of COVID-19 Policy


An hour-long discussion over the future of COVID policy in Chautauqua County dominated Wednesday’s commission meeting.


Members of the Chautauqua County Health Department and USD 286 Superintendent Kay Hill attended the discussion surrounding with the county’s current policy regarding positive tests and isolation. As it stands, those who test positive are required to isolate for 5 days.


In addition, area schools are no longer notifying parents whose children may have come in contact with a positive case, whether through the classroom or extracurriculars. That is in line with a recent KDHE suggestion to temporarily suspending contact tracing activities for 30 days.


Health Department representative Ranee Smylie said the fast-spreading Omicron variant hasn’t yet become prevalent in the county despite rising cases.


Different proposals are being considered, but the commission decided was made to table any kind of action until it can discuss it further next week. In the meantime, current guidelines are to be continued. Parents of school children are encouraged to exercise personal responsibility in determining whether their child is healthy enough to attend class.

ICC Certifies as a Great Place to Work


Independence Community College has been selected as a 2021-2022 “Great Place to Work”.


The certification process considers more than 60 elements of overall job experience across ICC faculty and staff. President Dr. Vincent Bowhay says this certification recognizes ICC's ongoing commitment to their employees and they are proud to invest in their well-being and promote their professional development as a part of the Pirate experience.


Employees completed a survey that covered a variety of workplace quality experiences. Survey results showed that 74% of employees believe that ICC is a great place to work, which is 15% higher than the national average. Over 80% of ICC employees feel their work is meaningful and isn't just a job.

Kansas to Receive $225 Million In Funding After USDOT Announcement


Kansas will receive funding from the government as the U.S. Department of Transportation has launched the historic Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection, and Construction Program (Bridge Formula Program), made possible by President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.


The program, to be administered by the Federal Highway Administration, represents the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system – providing $26.5 billion to states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico over five years and $825 million for Tribal transportation facilities. The total amount that will be available to states, D.C. and Puerto Rico in Fiscal Year 2022 is $5.3 billion along with $165 million for tribes.


Kansas will receive $225 million under the new program to address highway bridge needs. The funding will help improve the condition of about 1,321 bridges in poor condition and to preserve and improve about 10,320 bridges in fair condition in the state. The Bridge Formula Program is expected to help repair approximately 15,000 bridges nationwide.

400+ Kansans to Share Nearly $10 Million in Student Loan Relief


More than 400 Kansans will receive nearly $10 million in student loan relief as part of a nationwide settlement with one of the country’s largest student loan servicers.


According to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, this is a settlement between Navient and a coalition of 39 attorneys general, including the District of Columbia that alleges the student loan servicer of collusion and fraud with for-profit colleges.


Under the terms of the settlement, Navient will cancel the remaining balance on more than $1.6 billion in subprime private student loan balances owed by approximately 62,000 borrowers nationwide. In Kansas, 435 borrowers will see $10.282 million in loan balances canceled.


The settlement also requires Navient to explain the benefits of income-driven repayment plans and to offer to estimate income-driven payment amounts before placing borrowers into optional forbearances.


Important Road Work Beginning on Maple Street in Indy


Construction work on an important Independence road project could begin as early as the end of January.


West Maple Street is due for several upgrades, including street widening, the addition of curb, gutters and storm sewers from 21st Street to 28th Street, and the milling and overlaying of the street from 17th to just west of the Whiskey Creek Bridge. Traffic control devices have already been set along the street, but actual construction could begin as soon as January 31.


The project was originally announced in July 2020 after the city was awarded nearly $1.6 million from the Kansas Department of Transportation to assist with improvements to a stretch of Maple Street ranging from 17th Street to west of Peter Pan Road. The street is highly traveled, with multiple heavy industries being located along the road. It is also the connector of south Independence with Walmart and Labette Health’s Independence Health Care Center. Improvements are thus needed to optimize safety and commercial operations.


The total cost of the project is estimated to cost about $2.6 million. In addition to the funds provided by KDOT, the city is expected to provide $1 million itself. Completion of the expansive project is anticipated in the third quarter of this year.

Recipes Needed for OK Cooking School Cookbook


The OK Cooking School is coming up this April in Bartlesville. Organizer Tina Romine says they are looking for recipes to put in their cookbook.


Romine says there are a few different ways you can send in your recipes.  Romine says new to the school this year is a culinary cake competition. Registration for the competition and any other information about the event can be found at


Warmer Temperatures Coming Through This Weekend


If the current cold weather just doesn't do it for you, rest assured that warmer temperatures will arrive by the weekend.


According to the National Weather Service in Wichita, a warming trend should sweep through the southeast Kansas area starting on Friday, bringing temperatures in the mid 50s along with it. Saturday clouds will give way to sunny skies Sunday, leading to a idyllic situation after the end of the work week.


Temperatures will dip back down into the 30s by next Tuesday.

Two Top 10 Finishes for Coffeyville FFA Welding Teams


The Coffeyville FFA has two welding teams place in the top 10 in their most recent contest.


The two teams competed in the district welding competition against 23 other teams. Coffeyville welding Team A finished 10th with Team B finishing 6th. Emma Thompson, who was on Team B, finished 4th high overall.  

Potential Election Reform Legislation


A U.S. senator from Kansas spoke on the Senate floor regarding the attempt to eliminate the filibuster and partisan election reform legislation. Senator Jerry Moran says confidence in our elections is vital to self-governance and voting is a fundamental right.


Moran says federalizing elections would give a traditional state authority to the federal government and defer decisions on how citizens elect their Congressional representatives to Congress, which is less responsive and less accountable.

Pittsburg Ice Bowl Benefit Tournament


The Pittsburg Ice Bowl Benefit Tournament is coming up next month.


The Pittsburg Parks and Recreation Department and Pittsburg Disc Golf Club are teaming up to host the event on February 26 starting at 11:00 am at the Schlanger Park Disc Golf Course. Registration will take place from 10:00 – 10:30 am on the day of the event and the entry fee for the tournament is five nonperishable food items or a $10 cash donation, with all proceeds being donated to the Wesley House in Pittsburg. For additional information regarding the Ice Bowl Tournament, contact the Pittsburg Parks & Recreation Department at (620) 231-8310.


9th Annual Taste of Soup Event


The Coffeyville Public Library will be holding the 9th Annual Taste of Soup on Thursday, February 3rd between 11 am to 1 pm.


Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce Director Candi Westbrook says what soups and desserts will be served and where you can pick your order up.


Deliveries to businesses or organizations are also available with a $30 minimum or more purchase and will be delivered by 11 am on February 3rd. Pre-orders are due by January 24th 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.


At-Home COVID-19 Tests Now Available To Order


The White House’s long-awaited website for ordering free Covid-19 rapid tests is finally live.


The new page arrives amid a shortage of rapid tests and a surge in Covid-19 cases fueled by the omicron variant. The USPS rapid test delivery service is part of President Joe Biden’s effort to make COVID-19 testing more accessible.


To get your free tests and for more COVID information, go to, where you’ll find a link to enter your information and place your order. You can only place one order per household, but each order contains four rapid tests. Tests should ship within 7–12 days.

Elk County Searching for Wanted Female


The Elk County Sheriff's Office is looking for a person wanted on a warrant.


Brittany Kristine Michelle Carlson is wanted on charges for interference with a law enforcement officer, violation of a protection order and failure to appear. Carlson is 26-years-old, 5' 6”, with brown hair and blue eyes. A photo of her can be seen above. The sheriff's office says not to make contact or try to detain Carlson, but if you have any information to call (620)374-2108.


Three Free Meals Available Each Week in Independence


If money is a little tight and you're having a hard time finding a warm meal there are three opportunities for free meals in Independence. Chamber of Commerce Director Lisa Wilson says there are two churches who provide meals on Tuesday and Wednesday.


Wilson says on Thursday a group of churches alternate providing a meal each week.  Wilson says she encourages everyone to share this information with anyone you think could benefit. If you have any questions you can give the Chamber a call or you can call one of the churches.

Labette County to Purchase 30,000 Masks


Labette County Commissioners approve the purchase of more masks for the county. Emergency Management Director Charlie Morse says through this event they have purchased around 100,000 masks but now they are down to just two cases.


The commission unanimously approved the purchase of 30,000 masks from Fastenal in Parsons. The masks will be distributed to area schools that need them or any county department like the sheriff's office or for court.

Former CPD Employee Passes Away


A former Coffeyville Police Department employee passes away.


Sherry McGinnis served as a dispatcher from 1985 to 2002. She served the citizens of Coffeyville for 17 years, spending most of her career on the evening shift. Chief Kwin Bromley says he is truly saddened by McGinnis's passing. She was a fantastic dispatcher and a wonderful human being. He says she watched over all of us as if we were her children. CPD's flag has been lowered to half-staff in honor of her devoted service to the community.

Labette Commissioner to Host Listening Tour


The new Labette County commissioner is hosting a listening tour during the end of February and early March. District Two Commissioner Terry Weidert says he wants to hear what the issues are in the county.


Weidert says he knows that the wind turbines are a big issue in the county but there are other issues that need to be improved as well.  The first stop on the tour is in Edna on February 25th at 6:30pm at the Edna Senior Community Center followed by one in Altamont on February 28th, Mound Valley on March 3rd and Dennis on March 7th.


KDHE Announces Changes to COVID-19 Contact Tracing


The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has announced that as of February 1st, COVID-19 contact outreach and monitoring, otherwise known as contact tracing, operations will be discontinued. County Local Health Departments have already begun to wind down contact tracing and K-12 schools who were participating in contact tracing as part of the Test to Stay program may temporarily suspend contact tracing as well. The decision to end contact outreach and monitoring was made due to the surge in the amount of positive COVID-19 cases and the public's willingness to participate has diminished since the beginning of the pandemic.


Individuals who are positive for COVID-19 will now be responsible for letting their close contacts know about their potential exposure. Additionally, if the individual with COVID-19 exposed others at high-risk settings such as schools, correctional facilities, long-term care facilities, homeless shelters, daycares, and churches, KDHE or the local health department will notify the setting.


KDHE still encourages people to get vaccinated and boosted, wear a mask, get tested, stay home if exposed or sick, practice social distancing and practice good hand hygiene.

AG Schmidt Talks Vaccine Mandates


Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said it was a mixed bag of results as the U.S. Supreme Court issued rulings on the challenge of two vaccine mandates that were issued by President Joe Biden last year. Schmidt says that the first ruling was the striking down of the OSHA mandate.


However, the second ruling upheld the CMS mandate which applies to many healthcare services, support or suppliers that are regulated under CMS standards, including hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation clinics, and many other facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid funds. Schmidt said that allowing this mandate is difficult for a state like Kansas.


Schmidt said it is unclear what effect the rulings will have on separate legal challenges to two other Biden mandates. The federal contractor mandate, which applies to entities that receive federal contracts such as research universities and defense contractors, is currently blocked by a federal court injunction. So is the separate mandate that applies to Head Start childcare programs.

USD 446 Updates Safe Return to School Policy


USD 446 provides an update for their Safe Return to School Policy.  The change is due to what they currently know about COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. The plan utilizes recommendations from the county and state health departments, the CDC and the state school board.


Any positive test must complete a five-day isolation period. On the sixth day, they can return to school if symptoms are gone or resolving, fever-free for 24 hours and must wear a mask for five days. Free COVID testing is available at the IHS North Athletic parking lot from 7:30am to 8:15am. KDHE has suspended quarantine and contact tracing requirements within schools for 30 days beginning today. A mask mandate is in place for anyone on campus. Superintendent Rusty Arnold says their goal is to keep students safe and in school, where he knows they learn best.

Community Shows Support to CFA in Honor of Betty White


The community shows up in support of the Coffeyville animal shelter in honor of the late Betty White.


Coffeyville Friends of Animals joined other animal shelters across the nation in honoring White on what would have been her 100th birthday. CFA received $1,700 and 1,200 pounds of pet food and treats through donations yesterday. In a Facebook post, CFA says they can’t quite express how amazed they are by what happened at the shelter in just 3 hours. Coffeyville locals and others from surrounding communities poured into their building with donations in memory of Betty White. They are blown away.

Fatality Crash in Montgomery County



A man was fatally injured during a crash in Montgomery County.


67-year-old Allen Chism was westbound on U166 highway west of County Road 5900 driving a semi-truck when for an unknown reason Chism left the roadway on the north side and entered the north ditch. Chism continued westbound and crossed over a driveway entrance. After crossing the driveway, the trailer tipped over causing the power unit to tip over onto its right side. Chism was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle and killed upon impact.

CFA Open Today in Honor of Betty White


Coffeyville Friends of Animals is joining many animal shelters across the nation in honoring Betty White. CFA's Becky Barnhart says normally they are closed on Mondays but they will be open today from 2:00pm to 5:00pm.


Barnhart says they have other events coming up as well including a date night with the dogs, a photographer for Valentine's Day and a spaghetti dinner fundraiser. More information about these events can be found on the CFA Facebook page.

Man Arrested After Leading Police on Chase


A Pittsburg man has been arrested after leading police on a chase in and out of Pittsburg.


According to officials, two officers went to a home in northeast Pittsburg to serve multiple county warrants on 27-year-old Sage Spragg. As officers arrived at the residence, Spragg got into a car and sped off. Spragg led multiple law enforcement agencies on a chase in and out of town damaging yard decorations and wrecking a Crawford County deputy vehicle. Deputies and officers continued chasing Spragg back to the residence he left from and was arrested.


In addition to the warrants out of Pittsburg, Crawford, Butler, and Greenwood counties, Spragg now faces six new charges including fleeing, interference with law enforcement, and aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer. Spragg is being held a $35,000 bond.

Winter Great Time to Plan a Garden


It may feel like it is too cold outside to be thinking about your spring or summer garden, but K-State Horticulture Agent Dennis Patton says the winter is a good time to plan those gardens.


Patton says the winter is a good time to research new varieties and see what is available. Patton says he encourages all gardeners to have a copy of the Kansas Garden Guide, which is available online and free from the K-State Research and Extension bookstore. You can also reach out to your local extension office for help.

ICC Adds New Fine Arts Degree


Independence Community College has announced a new associate degree that students can pursue starting Fall of 2022.


The new degree is an Associate of Fine Arts with degree tracks in Theatre Performance and Technical Theatre. Previously, students interested in theater were encouraged to get an Associate of Arts with a Theatre emphasis.


Arts and Humanities Division Head Heather Mydosh says the addition of this degree completes the picture of educational opportunities in Theatre Arts at ICC. She says that whatever the dream, be it Broadway, the silver screen, a classroom of their own, or somewhere in between, ICC now has the degree opportunities that will help to open those doors.

Planned Outages for Montgomery and Labette


There will be planned power outages in parts of Montgomery and Labette County starting this morning. The outages will be in the western portion of Labette County and the eastern portion of Montgomery County.


The planned outage will be this morning at 8:00am and is for substation maintenance. The outage length will be less than 30 minutes. Once the maintenance inside the substation is safely completed, Twin Valley Electric crews will need to switch the power back to normal operations causing another interruption of power. That process is scheduled to begin Wednesday at 9:00am. 

Peck Talks Taxes


Taxes were on the docket as Sen. Virgil Peck discussed rebates and exemptions.


Sen. Peck first talked about a proposal that Gov. Laura Kelly unveiled in December and mentioned in her State of the State address Tuesday night in Topeka about giving money back to Kansas taxpayers.


Under Gov. Kelly’s plan, Kansas will return approximately $445 million to over 1.2 million Kansas resident taxpayers. Additionally, as a one-time payment, this will have no impact on the state’s ongoing ability to collect revenues that fund critical services. The proposal will be paid for with Kansas’ current budget surplus and is intended to provide relief to tax filers who are Kansas residents.


Sen. Peck also talked about a bill that he is currently drafting to help ag producers.


You can listen to the entire interview with Sen. Peck here.

Kansas to Recieve Government Funds for Bridge Repairs



The state of Kansas is set to receive millions of dollars for highway repairs.


The U.S. Department of Transportation launched the historic Bridge Formula Program. The program was made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and it aims to repair and help maintain bridges across the United States. Kansas will receive $225 million under the new program to address highway bridge needs. The funding will help improve the condition of about 1,321 bridges in poor condition and to preserve and improve about 10,320 bridges in fair condition in the state.

Montgomery County Courthouse Closed for MLK Day


The Montgomery County Courthouse will be closed for the upcoming holiday.


In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the courthouse and the Coffeyville Tag Office will be closed Monday, January 17th. In addition, the county commission will not meet until Tuesday, January 18th.


Both the courthouse and the tag office will reopen that Tuesday as well.

Body Found Inside Home in Coffeyville


A body is discovered inside a house in Coffeyville.


The Kansas State Fire Marshall's office and the Coffeyville Police Department executed a search warrant on Monday at 304 West 3rd Street, regarding a missing person’s report that was filed on January 5th. Human remains were discovered, but based on the condition of the remains, identification could not be determined.


The remains were sent to the state coroner’s office for an autopsy. Preliminary results from the autopsy have determined the remains are of a Caucasian male. Further identification is still pending. Anyone with information should call CPD at (620)252-6160, Detective Sgt. Vargas at (620)252-6010, or Detective Kastler at (620)252-6145. Those wishing to remain anonymous may provide information to the Crime Tip Hotline at (620)252-6133.

Parsons Police Department uses COVID Protocols Again

Starting Thursday, January 13, the Parsons Police Department will be making a few changes to the department's call responses for the next 30 days. This comes due to the rise in COVID cases at the police department. The department has had a spike and has reported six new COIVD cases in the last week.


The Lobby at the police department will remain open, the Records window is closed and all requested documents will be delivered through electronic or other non-interactive means.


Instead of coming to the Police station, the Parsons Police Department encourages you to call police dispatch at 421-7060.

Senator Marshall Send Dr. Fauci Letter Requesting Financial Information


A US Senator from Kansas has sent a letter to Dr. Anthony Fauci requesting his financial disclosures by 5:00pm tomorrow. The letter follows a Senate HELP hearing where Senator Roger Marshall requested Dr. Fauci to make this information public. Dr. Fauci was caught in a hot mic after the request calling the senator a moron. Senator Roger Marshall says the financial records during COVID are not public.


Even after the HELP hearing, Dr. Fauci’s staff couldn’t produce the documents. Senator Marshall says that Dr. Fauci’s sworn testimony does not match up with the facts. The letter that was sent to Dr. Fauci can be found here.

Tyreek Hill to Host Football Camp in Joplin


A Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver will be holding a football camp in the area this summer.


Super Bowl Champion and All-Pro WR Tyreek Hill will be in Joplin on June 10th hosting the camp for ages six to sixteen. The cost of the camp is $250 and includes a team photo with Hill and a camp T-shirt. Camp activities will include lectures, fundamental skills, contests and awards. All campers will be grouped according to age to ensure proper levels of competition and instruction. Campers should come dressed in athletic attire. This is a no-contact camp so helmets or pads are not required. A link to register for the camp can be found here.

Caney PD Officers Visit Students at Lincoln Elementary


Caney Police Officers visit with students from Lincoln Elementary, yesterday.  The officers were given cards that each student made themselves.


After being welcomed into the school by the faculty and students, they decided to stay and be a part of the day with the students. Officers were treated to several activities that included gym hockey, a game of horse, kickball and football. Officers were also taught fractions, reading, science and even did some of the teaching themselves. One of the students treated the officers to storytime as they read a book about snow days. A link to photos of the cards and from the day spent with the student can be found here.

ICC Theatre Releases 2022-23 Schedule


Independence Community College Fine Arts has announced its performance calendar 2022-23 theatre season.


Four plays will grace the stage over the next year, with the first being Yasmina Reza's "ART." It will run from September 29th to October 2nd. Following that will be Thorton Wilder's "Our Town" from December 1st to December 4th, and Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing" from March 2nd to the 5th. Finally, the season concludes with performances of Jason Robert Brown's "The Last Five Years" from April 20th to the 23rd.


Associate Professor of Theater Paul Molnar said the overarching theme for the upcoming season could be "Love Conquers All," as characters learn to both be inspired by love, but also to yield to it as well.



Wilson Medical Center Suspending Curbside COVID-19 Testing


With COVID-19 spreading across the state, more and more people are getting tested for the virus. Along with this and supply chain issues, tests are getting in short supply. Wilson Medical Center's Marketing Director Janice Reese says due to these shortages, changes are being made at WMC.


Reese says they should get new supplies on Monday but if you are feeling ill, you are encouraged to stay at home and check in with your primary care provider until you can get a test scheduled.


To see updates on COVID-19 testing at WMC, you can find the link to their Facebook page here.

Masks Now Mandatory at CRC Events


The Coffeyville Recreation Commission is re-instituting its mask mandate. The CRC Board met and decided that due to the recent surge in COVID cases and the advice of physicians at Coffeyville Regional Medical Center they are going back to wearing masks. The mandatory mask policy is for all indoor activities and CRC programming starting today.


Everyone must enter the building wearing a mask covering their mouth and nose. Players will wear masks while on the benches for games, they can remove them to enter play, but coaches will have to wear masks at all times. They ask that only one parent accompany a child while at practice and siblings will not be permitted at practices. These are the same measures they instituted last year and were successful in keeping their programs going.


Baxter Springs Woman Arrested Following Search Warrant



A Baxter Springs woman is in custody following a search warrant.


Cherokee County Sherriff's Detectives and Baxter Springs PD executed a narcotics search warrant at 504 West 10th Street in Baxter Springs. During the raid, suspected narcotics and other paraphernalia were seized, and Paula Deann Grisham, 63, was arrested and transported to the Cherokee County Jail on allegations of possessing Meth, possessing marijuana, and possessing drug paraphernalia.

Parsons Police Department Offical PROP Launch



The Parsons Police Department has officially launched a new program.


The Parsons Registered Offender Program or PROP is a locally sourced initiative to keep registered offenders in compliance with their mandated conditions of release or sentencing. This program is a result of an audit of registered offenders in Parsons, where 44% were in violation of their registration requirements. The PROP program is designed to maintain a level of accountability for released violent, sex, and drug offenders as a part of their sentencing requirements. This program is not an additional punishment but a follow-up for an already convicted felon or misdemeanant that has been released into the community.


The program is supervised by the Investigation Division Commander and enlists selected patrol officers to assist in monthly checks of registered offenders located in Parsons to verify that their registered information is accurate and up to date.

3rd Dog Found Dead in Parsons



Another dog was found murdered in Parsons.


Parsons PD responded to a report of a dead animal that had been found and was wrapped up in a blanket the animal was found thrown next to a small bridge near Felix and 17th Street. Upon discovery of the animal, it was taken to Parsons Pet Hospital to undergo a full autopsy to determine the cause of death. The report from the autopsy stated that there was severe trauma to the underside of the dog's abdomen and trauma around the neck from the choke chain that was still on the animal. All trauma was consistent with a human killing the animal and was not consistent with an animal attack or vehicle strike.


The dog, “Drako”, makes the 3rd reported dog killed in less than a year in the same area of the city that "Bleu" had been shot and killed, "Zeus" had been shot, and "Ranger" had been brutally killed. The reward for information leading to the arrest of “Ranger's” killer has been updated to $34,000.

ICC Receives Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development Grant


Independence Community College has received a grant for just over $1 million from the Department of Education Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development.


The purpose of the RPED Grant Program is to improve rates of postsecondary enrollment, persistence, and completion among rural students through the development of high-quality career pathways aligned to high-skill, high-wage, and in-demand industry sectors and occupations in the region.


ICC plans to utilize grant funds will aid in recruitment efforts, over the next three years, targeting rural students in Southeast Kansas and bordering school districts and help provide career and academic advisement and placement. Grant funds will also be used to develop relationships with area workforce services to identify employer needs and promote internships, apprenticeships, and other on-the-job training for students and area employers.

Bird Hunting Championship Being Held in Independence


The 2022 Bird Hunters United National Championship is set to be held over the next few days.


From January 13th through the 16th, hunters and their dogs will compete for a national title at the Remington Ranch in Independence. Each nationally qualified amateur and open dog will compete on Thursday and Friday. The top 10 from each division then move on to Sunday to compete for the championship.


The Ladies, Youth, Expert, Puppy, and Doubles categories will all be held Sunday. The ranch can be found at 3974 County Road 5050 in Independence. Spectators are welcome.

Vehicle Found Torched in Parsons


A Parsons Recreation Center truck was found on fire earlier this week.


On Monday, Parsons Police Officers were called about a stolen vehicle that was located around 25000 and Kiowa in Labette County. During the investigation, it was discovered that the vehicle was stolen from Marvel Park stadium. Along with the white Ram 1500 pickup truck, an acetylene torch was also stolen.


Parsons officers also took a report of an attempted Theft and Arson report at the Labette Bank ATM in front of the Chamber of Commerce building in the 500 block of Main. The video showed a white 1500 Ram pickup in front of the ATM while the occupant used an acetylene torch to attempt to cut the ATM open.


Officers are working in collaboration with the State Fire Marshal's office and the Labette County Sheriff's Department for the arson of the stolen vehicle. The vehicle is considered a total loss. This would be the third vehicle stolen from the City of Parsons that was set on fire.

Kelly Looks to Freeze Tuition and Eliminate Grocery Sales Tax


Governor Laura Kelly is calling for another freeze in tuition at Kansas colleges.


In her State of the State address Tuesday evening to a joint session of the Legislature, Kelly portrayed Kansas as booming economically and previewed what are likely to be major themes in her re-election campaign. The Democratic governor didn’t provide details about her college tuition proposal in her speech. Legislators and the board overseeing the state's higher education system have already tried to contain those costs.


Kelly also is pushing to eliminate the state’s sales tax on groceries and give a $250 income tax rebate to Kansas residents which both appear to have broad bipartisan support.

Caney Man Arrested for City Warrant


A Caney man has been arrested for an outstanding city of Caney warrant for failure to appear. 50-year-old Charles Dipman was seen by officers at Casey's General Store in Caney.


Upon checking for warrants on Dipman it was discovered that Dipman was wanted out of Osage County Oklahoma for:


Domestic Abuse Assault and Battery

Possession of Stolen Property

Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

Possession of controlled substances

Possession of drug paraphernalia


Dipman was transported to the Montgomery County Jail on the city of Caney warrant and the outstanding Osage County Oklahoma warrants.

Pittsburg State Reinstating Mask Mandate


Pittsburg State University has announced it will reinstate its campus-wide mask mandate starting today. PSU posted the announcement in an online University message to those returning to campus for the spring semester. The school said the reason for the reinstatement was due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in Crawford County putting a strain on the healthcare system.


As of now, the university is requiring that individuals on campus, regardless of vaccination status, wear a face mask covering their mouths and noses in all indoor spaces. Face masks are not required when eating or drinking, if alone in a workspace, or while exercising in an athletic or recreation facility.


Individuals with recognized disabilities that prevent wearing a face mask who need reasonable accommodations should contact the Office of Institutional Equity or Student Accommodations for assistance.

Masks Required at CVHS


USD 436 will be requiring masks at the junior and high schools for at least ten days.


This new mask requirement began yesterday and is for anyone on campus grounds. This includes sporting events like tonight's basketball games against Erie. The school says this is an agreement between all Montgomery County schools and the Montgomery County Health Department that if a threshold of positive COVID cases is reached then masks will be required. This will be re-evaluated on Wednesday, January 19th.


USD 445 First Meeting of New Year


USD 445 Board of Education, in their first meeting of the new year, elect a president and vice president of the board. Board Member Darrel Harbaugh explains the process of selecting the two positions.


Both Harbaugh and Jason Barnett were nominated and unanimously elected to continue serving as the president and vice president of the board. Harbaugh, Bob Roesky and Dr. Jerry Hamm, who were elected in November, began their new terms.

Addis Won't Run for Re-Election


After 40 years in office, a Labette County commissioner has announced he will not run for re-election when his term is up. Commission Chairman Lonie Addis says he's made the announcement as early as he did to give plenty of time for anyone to decide to run as his replacement.


Addis was first elected in 1982 and is serving his 10th consecutive term. The remaining members of the commission, Cole Proehl and Terry Weidert, will have just three years of experience as commissioners making it the least experienced commission in the county since 1952.

Mardi Gras Returns This Year


The 2022 Mardi Gras Charity Dinner and Auction presented by the Coffeyville Rotary Club is back and it looks to be bigger than ever. This year's event will be held on February 19th at the Shrine Barn at 106 E. 7th Street and it begins at 5:30 pm.


Tickets for the event are $40 per person, $75 per couple, $300 per table and a premium ticket will be $500. All proceeds go back into the community. There will be Cajun food, music, costumes, a parade and so much more.


For more information, contact the Chamber at 620-251-2550.

Chautauqua County Commission Sets 2022 Meeting Days


The Chautauqua County Commission has set its meeting schedule for 2022.


With all commissioners in attendance, a schedule has been officially set for the new year. For the most part, the commission will meet each Monday, with a few exceptions. A list in full can be seen below. All dates are subject to change with advance notice.


The commission will meet:



Monday, January 10th

Wednesday, January 19th

Monday, January 24th

Monday, January 31st



Monday, February 7th

Monday, February 14th

Monday, February 21st

Monday, February 28th



Monday, March 7th

Monday, March 14th

Monday, March 21st

Thursday, March 31st



Monday, April 11th

Monday, April 18th

Friday, April 29th



Monday, May 9th

Monday, May 16th

Monday, May 23rd

Tuesday, May 31st



Monday, June 6th

Monday, June 13th

Monday, June 20th

Thursday, June 30th



Monday, July 11th

Monday, July 18th

Friday, July 29th



Monday, August 8th

Monday, August 15th

Monday, August 22nd

Wednesday, August 31st



Wednesday, September 7th

Monday, September 12th

Monday, September 19th

Friday, September 30th



Monday, October 10th

Monday, October 17th

Monday, October 24th

Monday, October 31st



Monday, November 7th

Monday, November 14th

Monday, November 21st

Wednesday, November 30th



Monday, December 5th

Monday, December 12th

Monday, December 19th

Friday, December 30th


Kansas Supreme Court Rejects Challenge of Senate Bill 40


The Kansas Supreme Court has rejected the challenge of Senate Bill 40. The court reversed a decision by the Johnson County District Court that had found Senate Bill 40 unenforceable. The bill relates to emergency powers.


Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says he appreciates the Kansas Supreme Court eliminating the uncertainty hanging over Kansas emergency management law since the district court’s decision. All seven justices agreed that the lower court’s decision was in error after the district court judge raised constitutional questions about the law that were never raised by the parties in the underlying case and after the emergency declaration that formed the basis for the lawsuit had expired. 

Chanute Senior Passes Away


A Chanute High School football player and wrestler has passed away.


Senior Nathan Cunningham passed away unexpectedly this weekend. Cunningham was the number one ranked 4A wrestler this season as well as a standout offensive lineman for the Blue Comets football team. Head Football Coach Clete Frazell says that Cunningham treated everyone with kindness and was a great leader both on and off the field. He says times are tough right now in Chanute after losing a great person but Cunningham will never be forgotten.


Nado Holds Hall of Fame Ceremony


Field Kindley adds a former state championship wrestling team and a former basketball and track star to their Hall of Fame. The seven members of the 1979 5A State Championship Wrestling team as well as both coaches were put into the Nado Hall of Fame on Friday Night. Member Randy Williams says the best part was getting to see all of his teammates again.


Williams says they lost their first match of the season that year but then never lost again. Joining the wrestling team was former basketball and track athlete Devin Cosper. She says she was shocked to find out she had been selected.


Cosper owns the school record for the 100-meter dash and also scored over 1,000 points in her career as a Lady Nado. After graduating from FKHS, Cosper spent one year at CCC before going on to play at Arkansas and she is now the Director of Basketball Operations for the Presbyterian College women's team.


First Baby of New Year at CRMC Announced


The first baby of the new year born at Coffeyville Regional Medical Center has been announced.  Finley Lynn Van Anne was born at 5:53pm on January 2nd and is the daughter of Olivia and Tighe Van Anne.  Finley weighed in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces and was 21 inches long.


As the first baby of the new year born at CRMC, Finley and her parents are the winner of the KGGF Baby Derby and win prizes from sponsors including Bows and Britches, Kansas Teachers Community Credit Union, G&W Foods of Neodesha and Jan L’s Flowers and Gifts.

Work on New FedEx Facility Underway in Indy


A major commercial development project that will bring dozens of new jobs and a significant economic boost to Independence is now underway in the West Laurel Industrial Park.


In early December, the city issued an official building permit for the construction of a FedEx Ground package sorting and distribution center.  The $24 million project will include a 192,500 square foot facility and will eventually employ both full and part-time workers. Property clearing and dirt work is in progress, and the project is expected to take approximately 22 months. City Manager Kelly Passauer says this project represents a great economic boost for Independence. They look forward to supporting FedEx in this project and welcome the new facility to the community.

KBI Accepting Entries for National Missing Children's Day Poster Contest


The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) is accepting entries for the 2022 Missing Children’s Day poster contest.


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.” The artwork must be original, handcrafted, 8 ½ x 14 inches in size, and contain the words “Bringing Our Missing Children Home.”


The winner’s poster will also represent Kansas in the national contest. The national poster contest winner, along with his or her parents and teacher, will be eligible for a trip to Washington, D.C., to participate in the National Missing Children’s Day ceremony in May 2022.


Entries must be received by February 18. Complete contest rules and application forms are available here.


Former president Ronald Reagan proclaimed May 25 as National Missing Children's Day in 1983.

New Labette District Two Commissioner Sworn-in


The new county commissioner for Labette County is sworn in at a special called meeting.


County Clerk Gena Landis swore in the new District Two Commissioner Terry Weidert this morning. After being elected by the county republican committee, Weidert had to wait for approval from both the governor and secretary of state, which he got earlier this week. He is replacing former Commissioner Brian Kinzie, who was recalled after an election in December.


The swearing-in of Weidert comes just a few days before the commission will have to reorganize for the new year. Reorganization will take place during their next regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, where a commissioner chairman and vice-chair will be selected.

Man Found Dead Inside House Fire


A man is found dead inside a house fire in Miami, Oklahoma.


At around 8:15pm last night, the Miami Police Department was notified of a residence on fire and the Miami Fire Department responded to fight the fire. While inside the residence MFD discovered a deceased male inside one of the bedrooms. There was no power to the residence and it appeared the house was being heated with a portable gas heater.


Although the cause of the fire and the cause of death are still being investigated there does not appear to be any signs of foul play. The Oklahoma Fire Marshal is investigating the incident as well as Detectives from MPD. The identity of the man has not been determined at this time.

CPD Looking for Missing Person


A Coffeyville man has been reported missing.


David Lawrence also known as Coaltrain has been missing for almost a month. He was last seen by his family on December 17th. If anyone has any information on the possible whereabouts of Lawrence contact the Coffeyville Police Department at (620)251-6160.

Man Arrested for Cruelty to Animals


An Erie man has been arrested on a cruelty to animal charge.


Earlier this week, Parsons officers were called to the Parsons Livestock Market for a possible animal abuse case involving a horse. When officers arrived, they were told that the suspect was driving a truck with a horse in a trailer. The horse was not tethered to the trailer, and the driver drove off at high speed and then slammed on the brakes causing the horse to be thrown forward in the trailer. The driver would then put the vehicle in reverse and do the same thing causing the animal to be thrown to the rear of the trailer.


The vehicle was located at the livestock market and contact was made with the driver. The investigation revealed that there were skid marks that supported the witness's account of what happened. The horse that was in the trailer also had cuts on its head.


27-year-old Ty Owen Swiler was arrested on suspicion of Cruelty to Animals.

Two Arrested in Indy with Possible Connections to Recent Burglaries


The Independence Police Department respond to a report of shots fired in the area of Birdie and Regency Drive.


Witnesses reported a white mini-van fired about eight shots and then sped away from the scene Tuesday night at around 11:20pm. No evidence was located in the dark but officers were called back to the scene at 8:00am the following morning when a resident discovered spent shell casings. Later that morning, the vehicle matching the description was spotted on 24th.


Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies stopped the vehicle and several items of evidence were recovered, including some items that may connect the men to a recent spree of burglaries in the area. 34-year-old Jacob Musgrove and 31-year-old Steven Schanstra were arrested. IPD is asking residents in the area to share any surveillance camera footage they think may help with the case.

New Scholarship Established at USD 446


The USD 446 Educational Foundation has established a new scholarship for a senior in the district.


Independence Chamber of Commerce Director Lisa Wilson describes who this scholarship is named for.


Wilson says that since this is a new scholarship, donations are being accepted.


For more information about this scholarship and the Education Foundation, visit their website that can be found here.

Caring For Pets in Cold Weather


The Coffeyville area has been hit with a cold snap and people with pets need to keep an eye on their animals to protect them from the cold when letting them out.


Coffeyville Friends of Animal's Becky Barnhart gives a few tips on how to take care of your animal during the cold weather.


Barnhart says the best place for your pet is inside but, if you must leave them outside, you need to provide at least the very basics.


Overall, it just takes common sense to care for your animal during this time of year. The best advice that can be used is if it's too cold for you, it's too cold for them.

Two Arrested Linked to Multiple Burglaries in the County


The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office has noticed a recent increase in burglaries within the county.


Over this past weekend, deputies responded to a burglary and an aggravated burglary outside of Independence. In one of the burglaries, a vehicle and firearm as well several other items were stolen. Earlier this week, detectives received a tip in the cases and located the stolen vehicle. Detectives were also able to gather information on the location of the stolen property and identify the suspect. With this information, a search warrant was executed at 513 W Cottonwood St in Independence.


During the search, detectives were able to locate multiple stolen items, firearms, methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia. Arrested at the residence were Alexander and David Wilson. Alexander Wilson was linked to an open burglary case from a few months prior and had a felony warrant for multiple thefts and aggravated burglaries in the county.


Bomb Squad Called to Bartlesville Walgreens


A suspicious device resembling a pipe bomb was found in the parking lot of Walgreens across from Doenges Auto in Bartlesville. An individual saw the suspicious device near the fence, and took it into Walgreens. After realizing it could be a bomb, officers were called and the Walgreens was evacuated. Bartlesville Police Chief Jay Hastings says this is when ATF and the Tulsa Bomb Squad were called.


They are unsure what material was packed inside of the device. Hastings says they also don't know how or why the device was on the property.  Hastings says the scene was cleared and no other suspicious devices were located in the area. The investigation is ongoing.


Dr. Thornburg Talks Partnerships and Wellness Center


Dr. Marlon Thornburg, President of Coffeyville Community College, spoke at this month's Business Over Breakfast in downtown Coffeyville.


According to Coffeyville Area Chamber of Commerce Director Candi Westbrook, one of the items Dr. Thornburg talked about was the partnerships CCC has with the city of Coffeyville and CRMC.


According to Westbrook, Dr. Thornburg also addressed the Wellness Center.


To listen to the entire interview with Westbrook, you can find it in the online version here.

Cherokee County Detectives Recover Stolen Property



Cherokee County Detectives found thousands of dollars in stolen property during a search warrant.


The search warrant was executed at a Columbus home in connection with an ongoing investigation into a residential burglary on December 23rd. The search resulted in the discovery of several thousands of dollars in stolen property, including a firearm, which was recovered and returned to the owner. Investigators will be seeking charges of burglary, felony theft, and criminal damage to property on 35-year-old William Zimmerman and 49-year-old Ernest Moore. An additional charge of possessing methamphetamine will be sought against Zimmerman.


Skunks - Beneficial, Spray Treatment and Habitat Prevention

Even though they can be a nuisance, they are beneficial. Two species of skunks are found in Kansas but the most common one is the Striped Skunk. It has shiny black fur with two stripes down its back and adults are 20 to 30 inches long including the tail and usually weigh between 3½ to 10 pounds.


K-State Diversified Agriculture and Natural Resource Agent Adaven Scronce says even though skunks are generally disliked because of their pungent odor, they are beneficial.


If you or your pet ever happened to get sprayed by a skunk, it is difficult to neutralize the odor and can persist for a long time. Scronce says there are a few things you can use to help with the odor.


Scronce also said to help prevent skunks from living close to your home, you should clean up and destroy dens and remove food sources by taking away exposed pet food and carrying off woodpiles that could be harboring mice and rats.


For more information on skunk prevention, you can contact Scronce at the Independence Wildcat District Extention office at 620-331-2690.


Westbrook Celebrates Five Years at the Chamber


The Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce Director is celebrating five years in Coffeyville. Director Candi Westbrook says her goal when she started was consistency so she could help build up the chamber.


Westbrook says one of the things she has really enjoyed helping grow is the Annual Chamber Dinner, which is coming up later this month.  The Chamber Dinner is scheduled for January 21st starting at 5:00pm.


As she looks forward to the next five years, Westbrook says she wants to help the community grow stronger.  Westbrook says her ultimate goal is to help bring back that pride in Coffeyville.

Kansas AG Obtains Fourth Injunction Against Vaccine Mandates


A federal judge has temporarily prohibited the Biden administration from enforcing its new vaccine and mask mandate for Head Start preschool programs in Kansas.


A federal judge in Louisiana granted the request for a temporary injunction prohibiting enforcement of the mandate while its legality is reviewed by the courts. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says the latest attempt by the Biden administration to plan the daily lives of Americans in the name of mitigating COVID-19 is perhaps the most absurd so far. The Head Start mandate is the fourth of President Biden’s COVID-19 mandates Schmidt has challenged in court, and he has obtained injunctions prohibiting enforcement of each of the four. 

Kansas Brings in More Tax Dollars Than Expected to End 2021


Total tax collections for Kansas for the month of December were $890.3 million.


That is $64.5 million, or 7.8%, more than the monthly estimate. That is also a 15.6%, or $120.0 million more than December 2020. Individual income tax collections were $355.2 million. That is $35.2 million more than the estimate and $48.5 million, or 15.8%, more than the previous December. Retail sales tax collections were $224.3 million for December. That is $4.3 million, or 2.0%, more than the estimate and 11.1%, or $22.4 million, more than December 2020.


Governor Laura Kelly says over the past three years her administration has taken steps to restore the state economy, and that fiscal responsibility has paved the way to provide direct tax relief to taxpayers. That relief will come specifically through proposals like axing the food tax and offering a one-time $250 tax rebate for Kansas families.

Missing Livestock to be Auctioned Off if Not Claimed by Owner


Missing livestock found in Neosho County to be put up for auction if not claimed by next week.


On December 21st, a young bull around, one to two years old, and a large heifer, around 6-10 months old, were found in a pasture in the area of 170th and Pryor. The Neosho County Sheriff’s Office has been attempting to find the owner of these animals.


If you are missing such livestock from the area, contact Sheriff Greg Taylor at (620)244-3888 to describe your animals. Neither animal have any visible brands or ear tags. If the stray animals are not identified and claimed they will be sold at a public livestock market next Wednesday, January 12th.

County Clerk's Office to Help with Homestead Refund


 The Montgomery County Clerk’s office will be available to assist in processing the Homestead or Safe Senior Property Tax Refund for low-income seniors starting Tuesday, January 18th.


The deadline for processing the returns will be Friday, April 15th. 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 tax credit. 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 not be able to process these claims unless all necessary paperwork is brought in. If you have any questions, you can contact the County Clerk’s office at (620) 330-1200.


A list of information to bring with you can be seen below:

SRS Food Stamp payments for all of 2021

Cash Assistant payments for all of 2021

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

Income letter for all of 2021

1099 (Interest and Income)

Children Birthdates

Social Security numbers

Homeowners Statement for 2021 Property Taxes-Applicants names must be on the Deed.

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

Baxter Springs Man Sentenced for 36 Years for 2016 Stabbing


A Baxter Springs man will spend more than three decades behind bars for a 2016 stabbing death.


On Tuesday, a judge sentenced 38-year-old Brian Waterman to more than 36 years in prison on charges of attempted premeditated murder, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated burglary charges.  A jury convicted Waterman back in November following a three-day trial.  Those charges are from a May 2016 incident, where Waterman stabbed someone during a home invasion in Baxter Springs.  Authorities searched for him in southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri. He was arrested the next day in Miami.


Parking and Entrance Changes at USD445 Basketball Games


Due to construction on the campuses of Field Kindley High School and Roosevelt Middle School, parking and the entrances for basketball games have changed. Roosevelt Principal Luke Claar explains what changes can be expected.


Parking will be available in the new parking lot in front of the school, in the Vo-Tech student parking lot west of the school, in the parking lot on the corner of Cherokee and Lincoln east of the school. Drop-offs can also be made at the school bus drop-off lanes on 8th street.


Field Kindley begins the home portion of their schedule tonight against Parsons. The girl's game tips off at 6:00 pm with the boys to follow at 7:45 pm.

Questions and Concerns over Pay Period and Hours for County Employees


Changes in hours and pay periods for county employees in Montgomery County have left questions and concerns for some employees. The treasures office is now open to the public from 8:00am to 4:00pm instead of 9:00am to 4:00pm. County Treasurer Nancy Clubine says with the new hours employees have to come in earlier to get ready for the day.


The commissioners all agreed that if an employee was coming in at 7:40am they could leave at 4:40pm as opposed to staying until 5:00pm. The county has also recently changed from a monthly pay period to a biweekly pay period. County Attorney Lisa Montgomery says do to employees' personal budgets they would like to stay monthly.


The commission decided to table the discussion with the attorney's office until they could discuss the issue with the county counselor, but they didn't appear to be in favor of the change.

Cases of COVID-19 Rising in State


Kansas is reporting a record seven-day average for new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases as one of the state’s largest hospitals struggles to treat an influx of patients.


State health department data released Monday shows Kansas reported an average of just over 3,100 new COVID-19 cases a day for the seven days ending Monday. That’s 13% higher than the previous record of nearly 2,800 cases per day for the seven days ending Nov. 18, 2020.


At the University of Kansas Hospital, Chief Medical Officer Steve Stites says more than 500 of more than 13,000 employees are sick or awaiting test results.

Semi Plows Into a Home in Fort Scott



A New Years Day crash in Bourbon County has left one person seriously injured.


48-year-old, Luiz Ramon Dominguez, from Willmar, Minnesota was Northbound on U.S. 69 driving a semi, Dominguez lost control of the vehicle, and it left the roadway to the right, striking a parked car and a residence. The passenger in the semi, Laura Delatorre was taken to the hospital in Fort Scott with serious injuries. None of the passengers in the parked vehicle were injured. Delatorre was not wearing a seatbelt.

Man Arrested in Double Homicide in Fort Scott


A 23-year old Fort Scott man has been arrested in connection with a double homicide in Fort Scott.


According to the Fort Scott Police Department, they received a 911 call from a subject who came home to find a female family member had been shot. When police officers arrived at the residence, they located 48-year-old Melissa L. Mitchell and 53-year-old Leonard D. Zimmerman, who both had been shot. Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene.


After an investigation, Dawson J. Mitchell was arrested the next day. He was arrested on two counts of first-degree murder, for theft of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and unlawful possession of controlled substances. He was then booked into the Bourbon County Jail on a $1,000,000 bond.

Second Chance for Small Snow Amounts Wednesday


After receiving a small amount of snow over the weekend, parts of Kansas could see a second go-around later this week.


Falling temperatures will also bring frigid wind chills across the state, dropping into the negatives in some areas. Those low wind chills should arrive early Thursday morning.


If snow does fall, it will mostly be seen in north central Kansas. Areas such as Topeka, Concordia, and Salina are predicted to see around 2 inches of snow, while southeast Kansas might avoid it entirely or see trace amounts.

Montgomery County First Meeting of New Year


The Montgomery County Commission will meet for the first time in 2022 today.


On the agenda for this morning's meeting at 9:05am Juvenile Services Director Duane Powell will discuss salaries. Following that will be a quarry discussion. County Treasurer Nancy Clubine will be in to discuss the tag office. County Attorney Lisa Montgomery will also be in to talk to the commissioners. The final item on the agenda is neighborhood revitalization as the commissioners will need to approve a neighborhood revitalization application. The meeting will begin at 9:00am in the lower level of the judicial center.

Labette County Cancels First Meeting of Year


The chair of the Labette County Commissioners has canceled the first meeting of the year which was scheduled for tomorrow. The county is still waiting on governor approval of Commissioner-elect Terry Weidert.


Commissioner Lonie Addis says when Weidert receives that a special meeting will be called to have him sworn in. The next scheduled meeting is January 10th when reorganization of the commissioner would happen. Commissioner Addis says if Weidert hasn't been sworn in by then they can postpone reorganization for 30 days. Tentatively, Commissioner Addis will remain commission chairman and Commissioner Weidert would serve as vice-chair.

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