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Local News Archives for 2022-02

Enterprise Meets with Labette County Commission


A representative from Enterprise Fleet Management met with the Labette County Commission.


Enterprises Ken Olsen discussed a leasing agreement, with the sheriff's office and public works in Labette County, that would help supply the county with vehicles at a cheaper cost. Enterprise would then lease the vehicles to the county and then sell them for the county to buy new ones. The commission voted to begin the preliminary discussion with Enterprise to see how this would fit in the budgets for the following year.


In other business, the commission discussed the upkeep of abandoned cemeteries and approved a grant application for the county health department.

Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Kansas


For several states throughout the United States, next week marks Severe Weather Preparedness Week.


The National Weather Service out of Topeka is encouraging all residents to review their severe weather plans and practice emergency situations as if they were real. In addition, the National Weather Service in Topeka will conduct a Tornado Drill at 10 am next Tuesday. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the drill by practicing seeking secure, safe shelter from a tornado.


The Kansas Department of Emergency Management is also holding chats, challenges, and giveaways online every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday all month beginning tomorrow. You can find a link to join these events here.

One Killed In Accident


One person died in an accident just after noon Saturday in Montgomery County.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol,  a 2007 Ford Focus driven by 31-year-old Katie C. Michels of Kansas City, Mo., was eastbound on County Road 2800. Michels failed to yield at the stop sign at County Road 5700 and struck a southbound 2004 Chevy Impala driven by 52-year-old Tony L. Hood of Cherryvale.


Michels was pronounced dead at the scene. Hood was transported to St. John's Hospital in Tulsa. Both drivers were wearing their seatbelts.

Cheaper Option for Parents for Hunting and Fishing License


A Bill has made its way through the Kansas House to help pass on the state's tradition of hunting and fishing to the next generation. Representative Rich Proehl says they are seeing fewer and fewer young people get involved and hope House Bill 2456 can help with that.


Representative Proehl says the Bill passed through the House on a 117 to 4 vote. He says it will now make its way through the Senate, where he expects it to pass there as well.

CCC Academic Team Headed to Nationals


The Coffeyville Community College Academic Challenge team is on their way to Nationals.


Sixteen teams from all over the country will be competing tomorrow. All teams qualified during Sectionals back in January. CCC earned their spot by going 9-0.


The CCC Academic Team members include A.J. Kohler, who finished 1st individually at the state tournament, Zachary Heidenreich, Dawn Parker, Danielle Deller and Sydney Neidigh. The competition is an all day event with 11 rounds starting at 8:30am and going until 6:00pm.


Kansas to Bill to Lower Tag Fees


A bill has made its way through the Kansas House that could reduce fees on car tag renewals and also lower property taxes. Representative Rich Proehl says they have added a fee to help county treasures and removed another fee.


Representative Proehl says the bill passed through the House on a 114 to 6 vote. The bill will now go through the Senate and Representative Proehl says he expects it to be passed through there as well.

A Kansas Man Set for Preliminary Hearing in Washington County


A Kansas man is set for a preliminary hearing in Washington County Court next week.  Billy Peel, of Peru, was charged with one count of felony lewd acts to a minor child under the age of 16. The defendant has been under court supervision since October 2021. His bond was reduced from $150,000 to $75,000 by district judge Linda Thomas and he was able to post it.


It is alleged that Peel witnessed Jason Frey sexually abuse a 15-year-old-girl. Peel also admitted to investigators that he received explicit videos of the victim sent by Frey. He told police that he was at Copan Lake and was aware of an incident that was sexual in nature between Frey and the victim. Frey is currently facing five felony charges in Osage County. Frey is set to be tried on the charges in June. Peel's preliminary hearing is set for Tuesday.

Former Coffeyvillian Kansas Education Commissioner Called on to Resign


Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has called on the state’s top public school administrator to resign.  The Governor called for Education Commissioner Randy Watson’s resignation following reports that he made an offensive remark about Native Americans during a recent conference.  Watson was raised in Coffeyville and was named to the state’s top education post in 2014. 


Kelly issued her statement after the State Board of Education called a special meeting for tomorrow to discuss Watson’s remark during a two-day conference on virtual education last week. The 10-member elected board appoints the commissioner to run the State Department of Education.


The board’s agenda says it will have a closed session to discuss personnel matters and confer with its attorney. Board Chair Jim Porter said board members expect to review video of Watson’s remarks. Porter said he has not seen the video, but Watson informed him and other board members of the situation.

Facelift for Water Park at Riverside Park


The water park at Riverside Park in Independence may have a fresh look this summer.  Independence City Commissioners are expected to award a bid for work at the park when they meet this evening.  The work will include exterior fiberglass and paint restoration work to the slides, stairs, structural supports, lockers and entryway sign.


It's expected commissioners will award the lowest bid of just over $143,000 to Slide Pools of Missouri.  The company says it should be able to complete the work in about four weeks.


Tonight's Independence City Commission meeting gets underway at 5:30pm in the Civic Center.

Pittsburg Man Arrested for Burglary


A 35-year old man has been arrested on numerous charges including burglary.


Pittsburg police officers were dispatched to Pittsburg High School in reference to a burglary and criminal damage to the building. A school employee had arrived at the school around 6:40 a.m. and noticed water on the floor of the commons area. Police arrived on the scene and discovered that a fire hose had been used to spray the walls and floors of the gymnasium, causing significant damages. A review of surveillance footage revealed the suspect had entered the school and taken items from the concessions, used a water hose to spray areas inside the school, and stole a pair of shoes.


Later that day, the suspect was seen walking in downtown Pittsburg, wearing the same clothing he was wearing at the time of the burglary. Pittsburg Police Department detained the suspect who was identified as Shawn Allen Hoag. Hoag, who had just been released on parole a few days earlier, was arrested without incident for aggravated burglary, felony criminal damage, misdemeanor theft, and criminal trespass. He was booked into the Crawford County Jail where he is being held in lieu of a $25,000 bond.


City Crews Continue to Work on Streets


City of Coffeyville crews continue to work on roads early this morning.


Crews put in a lot of work clearing and treating streets yesterday and continue to do so this morning starting around 4:00am.  City officials are encouraging everyone to stay home if they can. If you do have to get out today make sure you use caution when driving, slow down, allow plenty of time and stay back from city trucks to give them room to work.

More Snow, Sleet Expected Today


Expect more snow to impact much of Kansas again today with the possibility of more sleet in Southeastern Kansas.


The weather is expected to reach the area by mid-morning and work its way through by the afternoon. Less than an inch is expected. With snow and sleet, yesterday and the expectation for more today many schools have closed and events have been canceled.


You can see that list of closings and cancellations here.

Wanted Felon Arrested


An Oswego man has been arrested on a bond revocation.


Parsons police received a tip from a citizen, that Danny Smith Jr., was frequenting a certain location in Parsons. Smith was wanted in connection with a Felony Arrest Warrant for Bond Revocation in an Aggravated Domestic Battery and Aggravated Battery case, both felonies, in Labette County.


Working with information from the tip, police were able to target a search for Smith, located and took Smith into custody in the 1200 block of Kimball Avenue.


Smith was transported to the Labette County jail without incident.

Train Derails in the Snow in Coffeyville


Crews are working on a train that has derailed near 14th Street.


The train derailment occurred near the Coffeyville Stockyards and in front of Acme Foundry. Avoid the surrounding area if you can. More details will come as we receive them.

Quick Snowfall Covers Coffeyville and Surrounding Area


Snow fell quickly on much of the SEK area on Wednesday, as the predicted winter storm finally made its way across the state. Included are several pictures of downtown Coffeyville. Stay tuned for further weather updates on, or over the air on 690AM, KGGF.







ICC Retains Bowhay


The Independence Community College Board of Trustees has renewed the contract of President Dr. Vincent Bowhay.


Dr. Bowhay was selected as president in April 2021 after serving as Vice President for Student Affairs. He joined the Independence community after a nationwide search for the position in November of 2019. Bowhay is the 16th president in college history.


Under his leadership, ICC received a $1 million Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development grant from the U.S. Department of Education and launched new student-focused initiatives including esports, powerlifting, and the Veteran Success Center. His current initiative includes overseeing preparations for ICC’s comprehensive evaluation from the Higher Learning Commission this spring.


Bowhay is one of 25 presidents nationwide selected for the Aspen New President’s Fellowship. ICC has seen a 9% enrollment increase during the first year of his presidency.

American Pickers Could be Making Their Way to the SEK


A History Channel TV show could be making its way to Southeastern Kansas. Independence Chamber of Commerce Director Lisa Wilson says the American Pickers are looking to come here in April.


Wilson says they have already been in contact with someone in the area about their collection.  Wilson says the show called the chamber office as well looking for information. If you aren't familiar with the show you can tune in on Saturdays at 8:00pm on the History Channel to check it out.

Expect More Winter Weather This Week


Expect some more winter weather as we move through the last full week of February.


Snow flurries and light patchy freezing drizzle will impact the region through about mid-morning tomorrow. A light dusting of snow and ice accumulation is expected, which may produce a few slick spots, especially across eastern Kansas.


Looking at anywhere between one to three inches of snow starting tomorrow through Thursday. Highs for tomorrow and Thursday will stay below freezing with wind chills in the single digits. Stay tuned to KGGF for all your winter storm updates.

Kansas Traffic Enforcement Campaign Targets School Zones



The newest traffic enforcement campaign in Kansas is targeted around school areas.


The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office will be joining other law enforcement officers across Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma in an effort to increase awareness of roadway safety near area high schools between February 21 and March 4th. During the two-week period enforcement efforts will focus on traffic laws such as speeding, distracted driving, and buckling up.

Labette Commissioners Approve ARPA Funds to be Used for Great Plains


The Labette County Commissioners approved $1.2 million of ARPA funds to be used to be matched by a new program called BASE.  The matching funds could be up to $3.6 million for a project to increase water for Great Plains.  The improvements at Great Plain could help encourage businesses to come to the industrial park.  The funds had already been set aside for Great Plains.  If the BASE program is not approved the money will go back to the county and can still be used by Great Plains.


In other business, the commissioners approved the purchase of two trucks for public works to be used for winter weather. Director of Noxious Weeds Ralph George gave the commission the yearly noxious weeds report.  

Fuel Price Outlook for 2022


Ongoing increases in fuel prices have producers thinking more about their future gasoline or diesel purchases. Kansas State University Farm Management Economist Gregg Ibendahl says the U.S. Energy Information Administration has put out predictions of what they expect the trend of fuel prices to be for the future.


Ibendahl says if the EIA prediction is accurate, producers can expect prices to decline during the year.  Ibendahl says typically we see our highest gas prices during the summer and diesel prices during the fall. He expects that trend to be the same for this year.

Nowata Sheriff's Office Looking for Burglary Suspect


The Nowata County Sheriff's Office is looking for information regarding a burglary that occurred between Delaware and Lenapah.


The suspect entered a workshop and stole several power tools and hand tools. The brands taken are Dewalt, Kobalt, and Ballard. According to the sheriff's office, this happened sometime within the last week. If anybody has information about this crime or where the tools are, please call the Nowata County Sheriff‘s Office at (918)273-2287.

KDOT Selects Chief of Alternative Delivery



KDOT has selected the Bureau Chief for the new Bureau of Alternative Delivery.

Raja Govindaswamy has been selected as the Bureau Chief, Govindaswamy is a licensed professional engineer in Kansas and Texas. He also is the project manager on the U.S. 54 east Kellogg project in Wichita and serves as KDOT Bridge Engineer for the U.S. 69 expressway project in Overland Park and K-96 in Wichita. Govindaswamy will continue with those efforts, as well as develop a system and template for screening projects to see which ones qualify for alternate delivery and then see those through the overall process.

Electrical Heater Causes House Fire


Multiple fire departments deal with a tricky house fire in Coffeyville.


Yesterday, the Coffeyville Fire Department along with Coffeyville Resources, Dearing and South Coffeyville Fire Departments battled a two-story structure fire at 510 West 2nd Street. Firefighters were met with several challenges while fighting this fire. The home had several attic spaces that were difficult to get to due to the intense heat, smoke and material used in the flooring. The weather conditions also hindered efforts in cutting holes in the metal roof to ventilate the gases and high heat.


Three firefighters sustained non-serious injuries while fighting the fire. Residents of the home were able to get out safely with no injuries. The cause of the fire was determined to be overheating of the electrical heater that was being used in the home.

6th Annual Inter-State Farm and Home Show


KGGF and KRIG are set to host the 6th Annual Inter-State Farm and Home Show presented by the Bartlett Co-op Association on Friday, March 4th from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm and Saturday, March 5th from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, at Nellis Hall on the campus of Coffeyville Community College.


This free show will feature vendors from the four-state region. From the latest agricultural products and equipment, landscaping and general remodeling, home décor, lifestyle services, or tasty treats, this is a must-visit show. Many vendors will have cash and carry items that can be purchased during the show.


There will be a $500 cash prize giveaway each day, along with tickets to Branson shows and much more. There will also be a variety of door prizes and giveaways from vendor booths.


Admission to this event is free.

New Fab Lab Course for Advanced Quilters


A new Fab Lab class will let participants create their own Easter wall hanging next month.


Local quiliting expert Janet Mayes, owner of The Little Orange Patch, will teach the brand new Advanced Quilting course, which is intended for those who are confident in their quilting abilities. Participants will be taught basic foundation paper piercing skills using a paper pierced pattern.


Registrants will need to have a working sewing machine to properly participate. A few machines will be available. The class will meet for four hours on Saturday, March 5th and the following week on March 12th.


Cost for the non-credit course is $60. More information and a registration link can be found by going to the Fab Lab website.

Coffeyville Man Sentenced To Life For Murder Conviction


A Coffeyville man has been sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in a 2019 drive-by shooting murder. 20-year-old Benjamin Mason has been sentenced by Judge William F. Cullins to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.


Mason had been charged with the 1st-degree murder of 19-year-old Kimberly D. Meeks of Coffeyville in December of 2019.  Meeks had been walking with another male in the vicinity of West Main and Laurel in Independence when she was shot and died at the scene.


As part of a plea deal in the case this past December all other charges, including attempted murder were dropped against Mason.

Hazardous Driving Conditions This Morning


Driving conditions are deteriorating this morning as winter weather has moved into the area.


As temperatures dropped below freezing around 4:00 this morning the rain has turned to sleet making for hazardous road conditions. Most area schools have canceled classes for today because of the roads. In addition to the roads, walking can also be a bit treacherous as sidewalks are also becoming ice-covered.


The sleet is expected to continue before changing over to snow later this morning as temperatures are expected to continue to drop throughout the day.


If you don’t have to get out today you’re urged to stay home.  If you do have to get out use extreme caution.

Parsons Man Arrested after Attempting to Flee


A Parsons man is arrested after attempting to flee the police on foot.


Parsons PD was called to the area of Bordertown in the 2900 block of Main for a sighting of Seth Michael Emert. Emert is well known to the officers of the Parsons PD and was already running from Labette County Deputy Charlie Brown. The officers from Parsons PD and Labette county apprehended Emert and he was taken to Labette County Jail.


Emert had active warrants in Wilson, Neosho, Labette, and Crawford County.


Dump Truck Accident in Chautauqua County



A Sedan man is left injured after a dump truck crash in Chautauqua county.


David Stanton was eastbound on Union road actively dumping a load of gravel on the roadway. Stanton was going around a sharp curve, the load in the truck shifted causing the vehicle to tip over onto its left side.


Stanton was taken to Sedan City Hospital with a possible injury. Stanton was wearing his seatbelt.

Another Round of Winter Weather Moving in Tonight


A winter storm will impact much of the area late tonight through Thursday, with accumulating snow, sleet, and ice. Strong wind gusts of 40 to 45 mph will create areas of blowing and drifting snow. Here's the latest forecast for snow and ice across the region.


According to the National Weather Service, the amount of snow will vary in the area from 1 to 4 inches with heavier amounts to the north and east. Ice accumulation for southeast Kansas will range from 0.1 to 0.25 inches will heavier amounts east.


Storms will begin around 10 pm tonight and will stay as a rain event when it will transition to an ice/snow mix between 5 am to 6 am then fully to snow at around 9 am. The snow is expected to move out of the area around 4 pm.

Two Charged in Independence Homemade Bomb Case


Two Independence residents have been charged for the creation of a homemade chemical bomb.


The Independence Police Department arrested 29-year-old Kendra Musgrove of Independence after the IPD received a report she possessed a homemade bomb. Police then arrested 30-year-old Josh Wallace of Independence on February 5th.


Musgrove and Wallace have each been charged with Criminal Use of Explosives, Attempted Criminal Damage to Property, Aggravated Assault, and Attempted Arson. Musgrove received a $50,000 bond while Wallace is being held without bond.


PREVIOUS STORY: Bottle Bomb Explodes in Independence

Neodesha Man Charged with DUI

A Neodesha man makes his first appearance in court at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Independence on Tuesday.


30-year-old Emmett Graham Orr was charged with driving under the influence with alcohol and drugs. His bond is currently set for $2,500, with the next court date set for March 9th at 9:00 am in Coffeyville.


Body Found in Independence Identified


The body of a deceased woman found in Independence has been identified.


The Independence Police Department identified 46-year-old Ruby Bowers of Independence as the deceased. Shortly after 5:44pm yesterday, IPD Officers responded to a report of a person down in the 300 block of E. Myrtle. The investigation into her exact cause of death is ongoing. At this time, foul play is not suspected.

Statewide Virtual Job Fair Starts Tomorrow


If you are in the market for a job, KANSASWORKS is hosting a statewide virtual job fair. The event begins at 8 am on Wednesday and ends at 5 pm Thursday. This event allows job seekers the opportunity to meet virtually with multiple businesses. Candidates will be able to upload their resumes to their Virtual Job Fair account as well as live chat and conduct interviews through any digital device such as a computer, tablet, or mobile phone.


Those wishing to take part in this week’s virtual job fair must register. Job seekers can find open positions listed on the registration page and are encouraged to dress professionally, as employers may request to engage in a video interview during the virtual job fair.


Any individual with a disability may request accommodations by contacting their nearest workforce center at 877-509-6757 prior to the event. You can find a link to the registration page here.

Parsons PD Enforcement Campaign Set


Beginning February 21 through March 4, Parsons Police Department will join other law enforcement agencies in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma with increased enforcement near high schools to raise awareness on roadway safety. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens ( 15-18 years old) in the United States.


The Parsons Police Department wants to educate the youth of our community. Please pay attention to the road, put on a seat belt, and always put the phone away while driving.

Caney Man Arrested for Domestic Dispute


A Caney man has been arrested on domestic battery and other charges. This weekend, Caney Police Officers were dispatched to the 100 block of North Hooker Street in reference to a domestic dispute.


Upon arrival, officers came in contact with a female who had been assaulted and had received injuries due to the assault. The victim’s vehicle had also been damaged. The victim’s boyfriend, 36-year-old Eric Tate was arrested and transported to the Montgomery County Jail.

ICC Hosting Open House for New Esports Arena


Independence Community College is hosting an Open House and Ribbon Cutting for its brand new Esports arena.


Events will take place March 8th from 3 to 5 PM. Visitors will have refreshments, tours, and a chance to try out the various gaming equipment during tournament and freeplay.


The arena houses 21 gaming stations for students, three public flatscreens for gaming, and a driving/flight simulator. Students can compete, live stream/broadcast tournaments, and handle motion graphics within the Esports program.


Esports has seen more than a 10% growth in the past two years and is expected to have a competitive gaming audience of close to 577.2 million by 2024.


Kansas AG to Fight Redistricting Lawsuits


Two lawsuits have been filed against Senate Bill 355, which is the congressional redistricting map for Kansas. Attorney General Derek Schmidt says both lawsuits have been filed in state court.


Schmidt says they hope to get this process done as quickly as possible. The map has to be finalized by June 1st, which is the deadline to file for candidates.

ICC Hosts Diversity in Tech Ed Day


Independence Community College hosts around 50 area students during Diversity in Tech Ed Day. This event encouraged students to explore various technical programs while speaking to current students and program directors. Students got hands-on experience in order to better understand the college process and program requirements. Program representatives spoke about career opportunities within their degree programs.


Executive Director for Academic Outreach says 54% of jobs in Kansas require skills training. She says these jobs require more education than a high school diploma but less than a four-year degree. CTE programs at ICC cover various fields, including healthcare, vet nursing, information technology and cosmetology.

Community Members Learn Paper Making


Community members join Independence Community College Director of Visual Arts Emily Ritter for a paper making workshop offered through Indy Connect. Those in attendance learned how to create sheets of paper from scrap paper or junk mail.


Ritter says DIY paper making is a great way to turn all your junk mail into new paper, trash to treasure. Participants were guided through paper making, which included blending, creating pulp and forming sheets. This process can also be used to make pulp art.

Aviation Day in Kansas


Aviation stakeholders from across the state of Kansas will assemble to discuss jobs, infrastructure and emerging technologies as part of Aviation Day this Thursday.


Numerous organizations participate through booths that provide information and demonstrations to visitors. Presentations will begin at 10AM. Keynote speakers include Secretary of Transportation Julie Lorenz, among others.


The event is sponsored by the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education.

Independence Man Missing


The Independence Police Department is seeking information regarding a missing person.


35-year-old David Patrick Craig was last seen about February 6th in Webb City, Missouri. He left there and was traveling to Springfield, Mo. Friends say they haven’t heard from him since. He is traveling in a metallic blue/gray Honda CRV, Kansas plates 407MXP. Craig is a white male and is 5'8”, 130lbs. He has brown hair and hazel with multiple piercings on his ear and one on his nose.


If you have any information on the whereabouts of Craig, you are asked to contact the Independence Police Department at 620-332-1700.


John Deere Rep Stops by at Chautauqua County Meeting


The Chautauqua County commission sought advice from a local John Deere representative Monday, as the county continues to look into investing in a new motor grader.


The representative, from Murphy Tractor in Park City, Kansas, went over features with the commission and Road Superintendent Mark McCall. A big portion of the discussion centered on whether to purchase or lease the motor grader. Among other purposes, motor graders are typically used for flatting surfaces during grading projects.


A potential lease document would be signed for 5 years and 1500 hours per year. After that, the commission would need to make a decision between walking away or outright purchasing the motor grader. It also includes a DPF warranty for 5 years and 10,000 miles.

Lawsuits Filed Over Redistricting Plan


Kansas officials face two lawsuits over a Republican redistricting law. The lawsuits were filed today to challenge a map that costs the state’s only Democrat in Congress some of the territory in her Kansas City-area district that she carries by wide margins in elections.


A team of attorneys led by prominent Democratic attorney Marc Elias' firm filed a lawsuit in Wyandotte County District Court in the Kansas City area. The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas filed another shortly afterward. The lawsuits argue that the map enacted last week is unacceptable because it splits Kansas City, Kansas, and decreases the number of minority voters in U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids’ district. Republicans reject those criticisms.











Parsons Man Arrested for Domestic Violence



A Parsons man is jailed on an active warrant and domestic assault charges.


Parsons PD responded to a call to the 1500 block of South 25th Street for a report of a man dragging a female into an apartment by her hair. When officers arrived at the apartment, they spoke to the 19-year-old white female, that was the reported victim. While talking to the victim, officers were able to talk to the male, who was Bobby James Duhart of Parsons. Duhart was found to have an active Montgomery County Warrant for his arrest. When told about the warrant he tried to flee out of a second-story window in the apartment. Officers were able to stop him and take him into custody without further incident. Duhart was transported to the Parsons Police Department and processed on the warrant and additional charges of kidnapping and domestic battery.

Units Respond to Rural Structure Fire


Multiple units respond to a rural fire.


Units from the Independence and the Sycamore Division assisted Elk City Rural Fire with a structure fire. First arriving units reported a metal building on fire. The building was heavily damaged and collapsed shortly after arrival.

Inflation Increase Sees 40 Year High


The Labor Department has announced that consumers prices rose 7.5 percent in January as compared to last year’s figure.


This marks the steepest annual increase in prices since February 1982. A combination of supply issues, higher consumer spending and labor shortages are some of the causes that have led to a surge in inflation.


There aren't many signs that this will slow down anytime soon, with those causes still being present. Economists estimate that an increase in gas, food and furniture prices have forced Americans to spend $3,500 more on goods and services in 2020 than in the previous year.


Senator Moran Speaks on Blood Shortage


The American Red Cross is facing its worst blood shortage in over a decade. U.S. Senator Jerry Moran says this blood shortage is affecting patient care in Kansas.


Senator Moran says there is no substitute or alternative they can turn to in the absence of blood donations. To find a time and place to donate you can visit the Red Cross website. You can also schedule a time to donate at any area location on the website.


Redistricting Map Veto Overridden


The Kansas Legislature overrides Governor Laura Kelly's veto of the redistricting map, Ad Astra 2. State Senator Virgil Peck says any map they passed was going to have its critics.


Senator Peck says the next step in the process is for the map to go through the State Supreme Court, and a legal battle is expected.  The veto override was passed in the Senate by a vote of 27-11 and in the House by a vote of 85-37. Senator Peck says they will now work on state House and Senate districts.

Arbor Day Foundation Honors ICC With Recognition


Independence Community College has been recognized for its progress in engaging staff and students in conservation goals.


The Arbor Day Foundation has honored ICC with its "2021 Tree Campus Higher Education" recognition. Formerly known as Tree Campus USA, the program honors colleges and universities for the aforementioned conservation goals and also effective campus forest management.


ICC achieved the title by meeting five standards. That includes maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures, an Arbor Day observance, and a student service-learning project.


Currently, there are 403 campuses, including ICC, that have received this recognition.

Coffeyville Bricks Unearthed in Tulsa


A piece of Coffeyville history or 10,000 pieces have been unearthed in Tulsa. 


Crews working road construction on MLK Blvd in Tulsa have unearthed 10,000 Coffeyville bricks.  The crew discovered the bricks after excavating a couple of layers of asphalt of the old paving.  Most of the bricks are said to be in good condition, in fact, about 7,000 of the bricks are being placed in storage to be used in future brick road repairs.

Police Accountability Measures


Accountability is something that is looked for in any profession, but it is especially higher when it comes to being on the police force.


One of the things that are looked into when it comes to staffing the police force is the hiring practices. Independence Police Chief Jerry Harrison says that applicants for IPD go through several rigorous steps.


Chief Harrison says another thing that helps with police accountability is the use of body cameras.


Chief Harrison says there are other things like GPS tracking devices and a year-end report that is published on the department's Facebook page to show transparency to the community.


Elevated Fire Threat for SEK

Above normal temperatures, strong winds, and continued dry conditions will support elevated grass fire danger Friday and again on Tuesday.


According to the US National Weather Service in Wichita, much of central, south-central, and southeast Kansas could see mild conditions that could lead to elevated grassland fire.


Be mindful of anything that causes sparks, and please avoid burning.


CFD Responds to House Fire


The Coffeyville Fire Department and Police Department respond to a house fire in Coffeyville.


The fire was on the corner of Beech Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets. Fire crews were inside the home working on putting out the fire. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. Police are asking people to avoid the area at this time. More information will be provided as we have it.

Sen Marshall Responds to Proposal to Hand out Free Crack Pipes


A United States Senator from Kansas speaks about the latest $30 million grant program from the Biden Administration to fund the distribution of crack pipes.


Senator Roger Marshall says as he just finished up 15 town halls this past weekend, he can tell you he's never seen Americans so upset.  Senator Marshall says it’s time to refund the police, it’s time to secure the border and to hold criminals accountable.

Washing Winter Off Your Car


Mostly warmer temperatures are expected over the course of the next week and after last week's winter weather AAA Kansas is encouraging drivers to wash the winter off their cars.


Spokesman Shawn Steward says taking the time for a quick car wash now could save drivers both time and money down the road. He says corroded brake lines, which are often the result of road salts and de-icers, can cost hundreds of dollars to replace. AAA Car Care estimates the minimum cost to repair brake lines is around $150, but the fix could cost up to $1000 or more depending on the vehicle.


Washing winter off your car is not just about savings, it’s about safety as well. Corrosion of brake components could lead to brake failure, especially in older vehicles. 

Sen Moran Speaks on Rising Crime


The lead Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science speaks on the rising crime in America. Senator Jerry Moran says we are a country designed to be based on the rule of law.


Senator Moran says this is the time to prioritize investments in solutions that will have a lasting impact on law enforcement personnel, solutions that allow them to meet the challenging situations they face when they put on their uniforms.

Storm Fury on the Plains Presentations Headed to SEK




Meteorologists from the National Weather Service office in Wichita will be presenting information that will help prepare storm spotters and weather enthusiasts for the upcoming storm season.


The NWS staff will provide an in-depth weather presentation that will engage the audience by teaching them about the different types of storms, the individual storm features that help a person to recognize the storm's potential severity, how to report hazardous weather, and severe weather safety.  For the first time since 2019, the NWS will be offering a few advanced spotter talks. These talks will go more into the science of severe storms along with some of the tools and techniques that the NWS uses to forecast them.


Four of the stops will be in the SEK including the first stop this Tuesday at the Labette County High School Auditorium in Altamont.  Other stops in the SEK include March 1st at the NCCC Auditorium in Chanute, March 29th at the Neodesha Civic Center, and April 6th at Memorial Hall in Independence. All presentations begin at 6:30 pm.  There will also be two virtual presentations on March 15th and April 12th.



Rep LaTurner Speaks Against Mask Mandates in Schools


A United States Congressman from Kansas spoke in support of the Unmask Our Kids Act. Representative Jake LaTurner says this legislation would prohibit local education agencies from receiving Department of Education funding unless schools are open for in-person learning and allow parents to opt-out of mask mandates on behalf of their children. 


Representative LaTurner says it’s been over a year since the CDC implemented universal mask mandates in schools with no science to back up their claim. He says study after study has shown that students can safely return to pre-pandemic educational settings, meaning in a classroom and without a mask.

Police and Sheriff's Departments to Meet with Labette Commissioners


Law enforcement officials will meet with the Labette County Commission next Monday to begin a dialogue regarding safety and proper funding in the county.


In a message posted Wednesday to the Parsons Police Department website, Chief Robert Spinks outlined his intentions to share several concerns with the commission. That includes understaffing, underfunding, and community safety issues, most of which Spinks attributes to county funding decisions.


One such issue is the county attorney's office, which is currently operating with just one full-time attorney. This, according to Spinks, slows the processing of cases in both Parsons and Oswego courtrooms. He further claims that the wages offered to assistant attorneys are not good enough to attract those qualified to the county.


County attorney Mandy Johnson, Labette County Sheriff Darren Eichinger, and other law enforcement officials will join Spinks at next Monday's meeting. You can read Spinks' post in full here.

Felony Drug Arrest in Columbus



After a successful search warrant, a Columbus woman is facing felony drug charges.


Columbus PD executed a search warrant on the home of 34-year-old Callie Lorraine Smith. As a result of the search, Smith is being held in the Cherokee County Jail on allegations of possessing heroin, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia and two counts of aggravated child endangerment.

Schoolbus Crash in Labette County



A school bus collided with another vehicle and left one injured in Labette County.


47-year-old Rebecca Gray was westbound on 6000 Road when she entered the uncontrolled intersection and collided with a school bus. Gray's vehicle entered the ditch east of Trego Road, and the school bus came to a rest in the middle of the road. Only Gray was injured, she was taken to St. Francis Tulsa with a serious injury. Gray was wearing her seatbelt.

Caney Man Arrested After Traffic Stop


A routine traffic stop in Caney leads to an arrest on two active warrants. Earlier this week, Caney Police Officers stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation at Boarding and Smith Street.


During the stop, it was discovered that the driver 38-year-old Jesse Wheatley, of Caney, did not have a valid driver's license, proof of insurance and was displaying an expired tag. He also had two active warrants out of Montgomery County for failure to appear. Wheatley was arrested and transported to the Montgomery County Jail.  

Two Vehicle Crash in Rural Montgomery County Leaves on Injured


Multiple units respond to a two-vehicle crash, that leaves one injured, in rural Montgomery County.


Early this week, Montgomery County Deputies, Independence EMS, Independence Rural Fire, Havana Rural Fire and the Caney Fire Department responded to Highway 75 and County Road 2100 near Wayside for a two-vehicle injury accident. 25-year-old Devante McFarland, of Cherryvale, was traveling south on County Road 2100. McFarland, while attempting to cross Highway 75, was struck by 46-year-old Robert Lewis, of Sedan, who was traveling north on Highway 75.


The jaws of life were used to free the occupants of Lewis's vehicle a Toyota 4Runner. Independence EMS requested a medical helicopter to transport Lewis's passenger, 73-year-old Pamela Lewis, due to the extent of her injuries. Both drivers were uninjured.

SE 90th Street Section Closes on U.S. 166 Expansion Project


The Kansas Department of Transportation has closed SE 90th Street for the first mile south of U.S. 166 in Cherokee County.


No through traffic is allowed. Local traffic can access SE 90th from the south.  The road closure is part of the U.S. 166 expansion project in Cherokee County.


Coffeyville City Commission Meeting Tonight


A few items including the purchase of two vehicles for Coffeyville Power & Light and a CDBG grant extension highlight tonight's Coffeyville City Commission meeting.


After the consent agenda, which will look into the vacation of a public utility easement, the city will discuss the purchase of two new vehicles for CP&L. Coffeyville City Manager Mark Hall describes what is under consideration by the commission. The second vehicle under consideration by the commission is a 2021 F-150 Crew Cab Truck.


Also on the agenda for tonight deals with a time extension for a CDBG grant.


The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 pm in the commission room on the second floor of city hall.

Caney Brothers Arrested After Altercation


Two Caney brothers were arrested after getting into a physcial altercation on Sunday.


Officers from the Caney police department responded Sunday to a report of a fight in progress on East 5th Avenue. On arrival, officers discovered that two brothers, 37-year-old Donald Martin and 42-year-old Robert Martin, had been in a physcial altercation with each other.


Donald Martin had already left the home, but was later discovered and arrested on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear. Robert Martin was also arrested for domestic battery, without incident.


Both men have posted bond and are scheduled to appear in court at a later date.

Labette Commission Approves Longevity Pay


A bonus has been approved in Labette County for employees for how long they've worked and will continue to work for the county. Commissioner Cole Proehl says they hope the longevity pay will help keep their most experienced employees.


Commissioner Proehl explains how the longevity pay will work.  Proehl says employees who are employed longer than forty years will still receive the bonus it will just cap at the $2000. The pay is not retroactive and will only begin this year. The commissioners approved the resolution on a 2-0 vote with Commissioner Lonie Addis choosing to abstain.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Coming to Kansas



The Kansas Department of Transportation has awarded $2 million to install electric vehicle charging stations.


KDOT received 32 project proposals seeking to use $2 million of the state’s allocation of Volkswagen Mitigation Trust funds dedicated to the installation of Direct Current Fast Charging stations. KDOT had identified 12 priority locations for these funds to improve public access to charging stations along some of the state's most traveled highways. Staff from KDOT, the Kansas Department of Health & Environment, and a team of consultants evaluated each project proposal and made selections based on criteria provided in a Request for Proposals announced in October 2021. You can find a list of what projects were awarded on

Stay Informed, Avoid Tax Scams



As we move closer to the annual tax filing season, it is important to stay informed to avoid tax scams.



Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves says, “Thieves understand many American's are concerned about the accuracy of their tax filings and they use the fear of dealing with the Internal Revenue Service as a means to take advantage of others”. It is important to remember that the IRS will never call, email, or text you asking about your taxes. The IRS will reach out via the United States Postal System, any other attempt at contacting you from someone claiming to be the IRS is most likely a scam and should be avoided.


New FedEx Ground Distribution Center Coming to Pittsburg


FedEx is building a new distribution center in Pittsburg. The City of Pittsburg and Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce made the announcement today.


Construction on the new 250,000 square-foot FedEx Ground facility is currently underway next to Kansas Crossing Casino. The distribution center is the latest example of the significant growth in Pittsburg and is expected to employ a mix of full and part-time team members.


The City of Pittsburg and Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce worked with the developer, Kansas Crossing Casino, the Kansas Governor’s office, and the Kansas Department of Transportation for nine months to bring this project to fruition. According to Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, the completion of the four-lane U.S. 69 highway expansion to Pittsburg was a critical part of this business investment in Southeast Kansas.


The new distribution facility is slated to open in October of 2022.


Two Juveniles Arrested for Burglary, Theft


Two male juveniles have been arrested after an early morning arriving clerk at a business in Parsons saw two subjects inside the closed business and called 911. Parsons Police Cpl Kyle Shields and K-9 Karim were the first to arrive. Cpl Shields and K9 Karim contained two males in the business until backup arrived on the scene.


One of the suspects was armed with a realistic-looking handgun that was a BB gun. The suspect put the weapon down when officers entered the building and confronted the suspects. The two male suspects were taken into custody without incident inside the store. Both suspects were 15-year-old juveniles who are Parsons residents and one of the suspects was already on juvenile probation in Neosho County.


Both suspects are being charged for Non-Residential Burglary, Criminal Damage to Property, and Theft. The juvenile with the BB gun received an extra charge of Criminal Carrying of a Weapon. Both suspects were transferred to the Southeast Kansas Regional Juvenile Detention Center.

Beef Demand High Domestically and Overseas


The latest number for demand of U.S. produced beef is looking good for the cattle industry. Kansas State University Livestock Economist Glynn Tonsor says beef demand is trending upwards ending 2021 and starting 2022.


Tonsor says while the numbers for the domestic demand of beef were very good the export demand was even stronger.  Tonsor says seeing the high demand for beef coupled with the lack of supply it's no surprise we are seeing higher beef prices.

Pandemic Continues to Have Major Impact on Mental Health


As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a major impact on the community, Crawford County Mental Health Center is encouraging residents to seek out and connect with their local mental health center.


Both adults and children are facing daily challenges that can be stressful, overwhelming, and cause heavy emotions. Public health actions, such as social distancing, mask mandates, and quarantines can leave us feeling isolated and lonely with the burden of increased stress and anxiety. There are a handful of ways to learn how to manage your mental wellbeing during the pandemic in a healthy way.


Take a media break, mind your physical health, connect with others, do something you enjoy, and ask for help. Learning to manage your mental wellbeing in a healthy way and practicing self-care is important during these tough times. Finding ways to stay connected is vital, as is reaching out when we need assistance.


If you are noticing early warning signs of stress, call 620-231-5130 to schedule an appointment or visit for more information.


Indy City Hall Open, Trash Services Resumes Today


The City of Independence has provided a snow adjusted schedule for the day.


City Hall will reopen for its regular business hours. Trash services will resume today, with commercial pickup starting this morning. Residential pick-up will begin by mid-day starting with Wednesday's pick. Trash service crews will work tomorrow and Sunday to complete the Thursday and Friday routes. Regularly scheduled trash service in Independence will resume on Monday.   

Snow Shoveling Tips


Snowfall is upon us for the first time this year. The Kansas Division of Emergency Management has shared some snow shoveling tips


Make sure you take regular breaks and try not to shovel excessively large piles of snow. Ensure that you're using a proper snow shovel. Make sure you're properly dressed in several layers and drink plenty of water. And above all else, make sure to take it slow and never over exert yourself.


Keep listening to KGGF, KUSN, and KQQF for further weather updates as necessary.

Bottle Bomb Explodes in Independence


Independence Police Officers respond to reports of an explosion.


Earlier this week, IPD officers were dispatched to a report of a chemical bomb that exploded in the 1000 block of West Oak. No injuries were reported. A vehicle had driven by and tossed a bottle out and the bottle exploded. Witnesses identified the driver and passenger. Officers recovered the contents for evidence and the scene was decontaminated by Independence Fire-EMS. Police are not identifying the suspects at this time.


These bombs are made by mixing typical household chemicals. They are unpredictable and may not explode immediately. Victims of similar incidents around the country have suffered amputations and facial injuries as well as severe chemical burns. Police warn citizens to stay away from suspected bottle bombs and to call police immediately. The investigation is ongoing.

K-State Winter Ranch Management Series this Month


Kansas State University will be hosting its annual Winter Ranch Management Seminar Series at several locations across the state. K-State Beef Cattle Nutritionist Dale Blasi says these seminars can benefit producers as well as those presenting the information.


Blasi says the seminar series will be held at four locations throughout the month.  K-State’s beef team will be there to cover a variety of topics as well as to answer participants’ questions. For more information on these meetings, you can go to

Coffeyville City Crews Working on Roads


After getting around four inches of snow the roads in Coffeyville are packed with snow and a layer of ice underneath.


City crews have seven trucks working on getting the snow cleared. The wind has caused multiple snow drifts and many primary routes haven't been cleared yet. The city is encouraging everyone to stay home if you can.


If you have to get out, drive carefully and give the trucks plenty of room to work.  

Weather Related Closings


Snowfall totals are around four to eight inches in most of the Southeastern Kansas area as well as Northeastern Oklahoma. 


Roads are covered in snow and ice.  Many schools are closed and events have been canceled in the area.  You can find a full list of those closings and cancellations here.  You can also find links to road condition maps for Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri.

Sen. Moran Talks About the Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act


U.S. Senator Jerry Moran – lead Republican on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee – spoke on the U.S. Senate Floor regarding the introduction of his bipartisan Health Care for Burn Pit Veterans Act with Sen. Jon Tester.


The legislation, which will be considered during an SVAC business meeting, would offer post-9/11 combat veterans, including those suffering from conditions caused by toxic exposures, access to Department of Veterans Affairs health care.


According to Moran, approximately 3.5 million Post-9/11 combat veterans may have experienced some level of exposure to burn pits during their service - many of whom are living with undiagnosed illnesses linked to military toxic exposures - and nearly one-third of those veterans are currently unable to access VA care.

Protecting Yourself from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning


With the weather cooling down, the use of heaters of different types will be used which could raise the chances of carbon monoxide in the home.


Colorless and odorless, carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that claims the lives of more than 500 Americans each year. Carbon monoxide is produced from burning materials that contain carbon, like gasoline or propane. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you can protect your family and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning by taking a few simple steps.


The CDC also says that if you feel dizzy, nauseous, or lightheaded, seek immediate medical attention.


For more safety tips on how to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, visit


Power Outages Due to Winter Weather

Over 1,800 Evergy customers in Kansas are without power this morning due to the winter storms.  In southeast Kansas outages are reported east of El Dorado around Rosalia and just south of Wichita.  Crews are working to restore power to the affected customers.

In northeast Oklahoma PSO reports that over 200 customers are without power at this time.

Winter Storms Here

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for all of southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma through noon tomorrow.


Road crews were spotted spreading sand on roads at 2:00am when a light mist was falling and temperatures were just above freezing at 33 degrees.  Just an houir later at 3:00am the rain had increased to moderate levels and the temperatures had fallen to just below freezing at 31 degrees.


As of early this morning Montgomery County roads had a thin layer of ice covered by a dusting of snow.  There are a number of reported slick spots especially on bridges and overpasses.  Road conditions are expected to worsen throughout the day as periods of snow are expectred to continue today with heavier amounts tonight.  Motorist that have to be out on the roads are advised to use caution.


Most area schools are closed today as are other events and offices.  A complete list of closings and cancellations can be found under the Community tab on this website.


The Process For Closing Schools


As Winter weather approaches Southeast Kansas, the chance for schools in the area to close gets higher. There is a lot that goes into whether school stays open or closes other than just looking outside.


USD 445 Assistant Superintendent Michael Speer explains a few of the factors that USD 445 uses to make that decision.


Speer says planning starts a few days before the storm but they start putting a lot of the plan into action the night before the storm.


Speer went on to say that they try to make a decision as soon as possible to give parents enough time to arrange child care for their student so they can get to work.


You can listen to the entire interview with Assistant Superintendent Speer here.

Suspect in Custody in Nowata County


A Nowata County man who spent the weekend on the run from law enforcement is in custody.


Zachariah Barnes peacefully surrendered himself over to Sheriff Jason McClain and two deputies at a residence in Childers around 1:00pm yesterday afternoon. Barnes is jailed for two Nowata County warrants for failing to appear for Domestic Violence and Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance. He likely faces charges for running from a deputy as well. Bond for Barnes is set at $27,000. Barnes also has a no bond warrant out of Montgomery County.

Preparation in Labette for Winter Weather


Preparation has already begun in Labette County for the potential of ice and snow tomorrow. Public Works Director Sandy Krider says they are ready for the weather.


Krider says they don't do any pretreating of the roads in the county.  Krider says this will be some of her employees first big event when it comes to ice and snow. She says her staff has done all they can to be ready and she feels like they are ready for whatever comes.


Pursuit Results in Drug Arrest, One Still Loose


A man with multiple warrants is still on the loose after a car chase early Sunday morning in Parsons.


Parsons Police Officers observed multiple traffic violations involving a vehicle traveling north on 17th Street in downtown Parsons. After attempting to stop the vehicle, the car fled from the officers. The suspect eventually struck three unoccupied parked cars as he was fleeing from the police. The suspect jumped from his moving vehicle and fled on foot while his vehicle continued to careen into parked cars in a parking lot in the 1700 Block of Broadway before it came to a stop.


36-year-old Jason Anderson-Moseley of Parsons was identified as the suspect will have charges for Possession with Intent to Distribute, Possession of a Controlled Substance and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Reckless Driving, Attempting to Flee, Criminal Damage to Property, Interference with a Law Enforcement Officer, and multiple traffic violations.


Anderson-Moseley's passenger, 19-year-old Amber Leistikow was arrested for Possession with Intent to Distribute, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.


Sheriff Provides Tips for Potential Winter Road Conditions


The potential for a winter mix of rain, ice, and snow is predicted to hit our area. There have been some estimates of up to 12 inches of snow. While it is still too early to predict snowfall totals, it is not to early to get prepared. Montgomery County Sheriff Ron Wade provides some tips to stay safe during the winter storm.


Stay home if you can but if you have to get out make sure you have warm clothes, blankets, a phone charger and an ice scraper ready in your vehicle. Also, notify someone of where you are going and when you arrive at your destination. Make sure to leave plenty of space between you and the car in front of you. When approaching an intersection allow extra room for breaking. Be aware of “black ice” and be careful while crossing bridges and overpasses. If you go off the road and there is no damage to your vehicle or property and you can get your vehicle back on the roadway safely, Sheriff Wade encourages you to do so.

Winter Storm Warning Taking Effect Starting Tonight


A winter storm warning is set to take effect starting this evening.


Most of the SEK region will be under effect of the warning, including Montgomery, Elk, Wilson, Chautauqua, Labette, and Neosho counties. It starts at 9 PM and will expire at noon on Thursday.


The forecast is calling for a wintry mix that may transition to moderate to heavy snow by Wednesay morning. Snow accumulations of 5 to 8 inches are possible. While temperatures will stay above 0F, wind chill values could fall to dangerous levels.


Be sure to stay tuned to KGGF, KUSN, and KQQF for weather updates and school closings/cancellations as they become available.

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