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Local News Archives for 2022-12

Home Security System Leads to Arrest for Theft


Two Pittsburg women are arrested on theft charges.


Yesterday morning at around 4:14am, Pittsburg Police officers were dispatched to a residence for a burglary in progress. The 911 call reported two subjects stealing tires from his carport. Officers were able to view surveillance footage of the theft that had just occurred and footage of a theft from the night before. The video from the previous night showed the suspects driving a Buick passenger car.


At around 4:24am, an officer spotted a 2000 Buick Regal occupied by two women, who were identified as 43-year-old Carrie Kay Devore and 41-year-old Kandice Jean Devore. Using the surveillance footage from both nights officers matched the car being driven by Carrie and the clothes worn by both women to that in the video footage. Both women were arrested on one count of burglary and misdemeanor theft. The tires stolen from the victim were located on a nearby property and returned.

Community State Bank Makes Donation to CFA


Coffeyville Friends of Animals Shelter receives a donation from a local bank.


Community State Bank donated $500 to CFA. CSB employees have the option throughout the year to pay to wear jeans on Fridays and this year chose to donate that money to the shelter.


CFA's Becky Barnhart says they appreciate the staff at CSB and thanks them for their continued support.

Caney PD Looking for Serial Scam Artist


The Caney Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a suspect in a recent felony theft.


On Christmas Eve, the Dollar General in Caney was the victim of a scam in which they lost over $1,000 dollars after the suspect tricked the cashier into placing money on a gift card. The crime was not discovered until December 28th when the store manager was reviewing transactions. During their investigation, Caney PD discovered that the suspect has numerous aliases and extensive criminal history in several states for similar types of crimes.


The suspect is 43-year-old Latosha Devonne Norwood, that is her real name, her aliases include Latosha Devonne Stewart, Latoshia Stewart, Latoshia Gentry, Latosha Norwood, and Latiashia Stewart. She is known to frequent the Wichita area as well as the Tulsa area. She has either been charged or is a suspect in similar crimes in Kansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Anyone with information should contact their local law enforcement or Caney PD at (620)879-2141.

Independence City Hall Announcement


Independence City Hall will close for the New Year holiday. All city offices will be closed on Monday and will reopen at 8:00am on Tuesday.


There will not be sanitation services on Monday as well as they will be shifted to Tuesday. Leaf Pickup will resume on Wednesday with zone 5 being picked up.

New Year Holiday Courthouse Closure Pushes Commission Meeting To Tuesday


The Montgomery County Courthouse will be closed in observance of the New Year holiday.


All county offices will be closed, including the Coffeyville Tag Office on Monday. The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners will meet on Tuesday at 9:00am in the lower level of the Judicial Center in downtown Independence.


Human Resources Director, Becky Lewis will have a resolution update. Dennis Webb will report to the board about community corrections and Duane Powell will discuss the Children Services side. No other business is planned at this time. The public is encouraged to attend or you may view the meeting via Facebook live or Zoom.

Senator Virgil Peck Speaks To Governor Laura Kelly's Proposed Tax Cuts


A 3-part plan to cut taxes for Kansans proposed by Governor Laura Kelly may find bipartisan support.


The first part of her plan is to immediately eliminate the sales tax on groceries, diapers, and feminine hygiene products. Last year the legislature passed a bill that would phase it out over time. Senator Virgil Peck says he feels that the loss in revenue for the state should be spread out so that budgets can be adjusted.


The second part of the Governor's proposal would be to create an annual 3-day 0% sales tax holiday every August for parents and caregivers to buy school supplies. This is a measure Senator Peck has fought to get passed for some time.  Senator Peck says he is in favor of cutting taxes on income to keep good people here in Kansas and not penalize those who work.


Senator Peck says the final part of the plan should play well with Republicans. The Governor plans to raise the amount retired Kansans drawing social security can earn without having to pay taxes on that income. Governor Kelly wants to raise it from 75,000 per year to $100,000. A similar proposal to eliminate income taxes on social security was put forth by then Gubernatorial Candidate Derek Schmidt during last year's campaign.

Local Business Offers Reward


A reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of those involved in the theft of a Delco car hauler.  Pro-Ag Services is offering a $1000 reward in an effort to apprehend the suspects and recover the car hauler that was stolen from their West facility.


The suspects left from Pro-Ag Services on 4000 Rd West of Independence and went south on 2100 rd. The suspects placed a tarp over their vehicle when they entered the parking lot where the trailer was kept, but video footage shows that the suspect's vehicle may be an ’80s or ’90s Chevy S10. Anyone with information is asked to call the Montgomery County Sheriff's office at (620)330-1000.


Images of the trailer and the video footage of the vehicle used to steal the trailer can be seen below:



Kansas Senator Jerry Moran Named To Co-Chair Bipartisan Senate Subcommittee


The Senate Army Caucus replaces retiring Co-Chair Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe.


Senior Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense and member of the US Military Academy Board of Visitors, Kansas Senator Jerry Moran was named the new Co-Chair of the Senate Army Caucus. Senator Inhofe says he was honored to support the US Army during his time as Army Caucus Co-Chair and he is certain that Senator Moran will continue to keep the best interest of the US Army at heart as he co-leads the caucus into the future.


The bipartisan Senate Army Caucus includes more than 30 Senators from across the country. The caucus meets regularly with Army leadership to receive updates on the service’s readiness, assess soldier quality of life initiatives and develop legislation to advance the goals of the Army.

Caney Residents Help Revive Water System


Community cooperation gives the residents of Caney much needed repairs and higher PSI levels in their water system.


Mayor Josh Elliott says pressure at the tower dropped to Zero PSI yesterday morning at the tower, and when the request was made on the radio and on Facebook, Caney residents jumped into action.


Elliott says the entire town is receiving water, and the PSI levels were around 21 yesterday evening. He says he is proud to be the mayor of a town whose residents work together to help the entire community. He adds that the public works department went above and beyond their job descriptions as well to help bring the water system back into operation.  The City of Caney continues to be under a boil order until at least Monday when samples can be tested by the KDHE.


Area Seeing Limited Drought Relief Over Last Month


There has been some improvement in drought conditions in southeast Kansas during the past month, although not much has changed from last week's drought report.


According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, most of Cherokee, Crawford, Neosho and Labette counties have seen improvement in drought conditions during the past month. All of Montgomery and Labette counties in Kansas and Craig, Nowata and Washington counties in Oklahoma are still in the D3 drought category. Northwest Montgomery county, most of Wilson county, and all of Elk and Chautauqua counties are in D4, which is the worst drought category. In Oklahoma, much of Osage county is in D4.


According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Southeast Kansas needs three to six inches of rain to end the drought. Northeast Oklahoma only needs a trace to three inches.


KDOT Tips For Car Seat Safety


The Kansas Department of Transportation wants parents and caregivers of children who should be in car or booster seats to remember that car crashes are a leading cause of death for children. You can reduce the risk as it’s estimated that since 1975 there have been over 11,000 children under the age of 5 were saved because of child restraint use.


With the cold winter weather, KDOT reminds parents that coats should not be worn underneath the harness of a car seat. A bulky coat can result in the harness being too loose to be effective. To keep your child safe and warm, once you fasten and adjust the harness you can turn the coat around and pull their arms through the holes, like a blanket. You might consider a lightweight sweater and a cap or you can simply tuck a blanket over them after fastening the safety harness.


If you are unsure that your seat is correctly installed, Child Passenger Safety Technicians are available to help you make sure as your child's life could depend on it. To find a technician in your area or for more information follow the link here.

Third Party Litigation Funding Exposed as a New Threat To National Security


A new threat to US national and economic security is exposed by the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform newly released report. The report highlights the near-total lack of transparency concerning Third Party Litigation Funding.

TPLF is a murky multibillion-dollar global industry that started in Australia and has spread worldwide. It allows hedge fund managers from all over the world to secretly invest in US lawsuits in exchange for a cut of any award or settlement.


The report found a growing concern that a large volume of foreign-sourced money may be pouring into the US litigation system. The report says if there’s no disclosure of who’s funding a lawsuit, a foreign government could invest in US litigation for it’s own nefarious needs and desires by gaining access to sensitive or confidential information about US companies.


The report outlines a series of judicial, legislative, and federal agency solutions that would help curb the threat, the first of which is to require disclosure of all TPLF in all civil cases. For more information or to read the report in full, follow the link here.

Federal Funds Earmarked To Aid Kansas Families Impacted by Drug Addiction


Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) will receive Federal funds to support kids exposed to drugs at home.

KDHE’s All Hands on DECK (drug-endangered children in Kansas) project will receive nearly $3 million from the US Department of Justice to better identify and support children who are endangered through the generational impact that drugs have on Kansas’s families.

Governor Kelly’s press release says that it’s estimated that over 140,000 children in Kansas live in environments where their parent or caregiver has a substance use disorder, and it is estimated that over 5,000 infants are born exposed to substances every year.

The All Hands on DECK project will divide the state into six regions to ensure geographic equity between rural, urban, and Kansas tribal lands. For more information, click on the link here.

Caney Police Request Help To Identify Person of Interest


The Caney Police Department is asking for the public’s help to identify a person of interest. The images were taken at the Caney Dollar General and are in connection to an apparent theft. Caney PD asks that if you have any information that might lead to the identification of the person please call them at 620-879-2141. You can remain anonymous.


















Low Pressure Once Again In Caney


 The town of Caney is once again experiencing low pressure at its water tower.


Mayor Josh Elliott says that the water system and the clear well are working as they should, and the town is producing water, but the water tower is reading zero PSI.  Elliott is asking residents to check their meter pits, to see if the leak indicator is spinning.


 If your indicator is spinning, please call city hall at 620-879-2772. The Public Works Crew is also out looking for possible leaks as well.

Charges Filed in Murder of Chanute Woman


An arrest has been made on second-degree murder charges for the murder of a Chanute woman.


According to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, 37-year-old Joseph R. Deluca was served an arrest warrant at the Cumberland County Detention Center in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Deluca was already incarcerated at the jail on unrelated charges. The new charges stem from the murder of 47-year-old Elaina M. Asprea earlier this month.


On December 6th Neosho County Sheriff Deputies were conducting a welfare check after receiving information from the Cumberland Sheriff's Office. Deputies located the body of Asprea next to a field near the residence. Deluca, who had been arrested in North Carolina the day before, became a person of interest in the case at that time. The investigation is ongoing.

Son of Former KGGF Owner Passes Away


Longtime newspaper publisher and former Pulitzer Prize Board Chair Edward Seaton has died at the age of 79.


According to the Manhattan Mercury, Seaton died of natural causes Monday night at his home in Manhattan.


The Seaton family has a long history in Coffeyville. KGGF General Manager John Leonard says Edward's father, Richard M. Seaton moved to Coffeyville in the 1940s when the family purchased the Coffeyville Journal and KGGF. Richard oversaw the daily operations of the Coffeyville Journal until 1978.


Edward grew up in Coffeyville helping his father at the Journal before he moved to Manhattan in 1969 to serve as the Mercury's publisher and associate editor.


Seaton went on to advocate for press freedom around the world, was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, served as chairman of the Kansas Press Association and is a member of the Kansas Newspaper Hall of Fame.

Arctic Blast Impact on Livestock and Crops


With the subzero temperatures behind us, there are still some questions about the impact it had on agriculture. United States Department of Agriculture Meteorologist Brad Rippey says it doesn't appear to have had a massive impact on livestock.


Rippey says they won't know the impact the weather had on wheat crops until the spring when the crop becomes vegetative again. Most of the sugar cane crop in Louisiana was harvested before the cold front, while the remaining crop received damage Rippey says much of it can still be harvested. There is still concern about the effect the weather had on citrus crops in Florida and Texas.


Public Hearing for Possible Atmos Rate Increase


A possible rate increase could be coming to Atmos Energy customers in the State of Kansas.


Atmos Energy is requesting a net revenue increase of $8.3 million from the Kansas Corporation Commission. The requested increase would affect the portions of a customer's bill that relate to the delivery of gas by Atmos Energy to customers, including the fixed monthly facility charge and commodity charge. If approved, the average monthly bill for residential customers will increase by around $5.60 per month or a 6.4% increase.


The KCC has scheduled a virtual public hearing, via Zoom, to allow customers the opportunity to learn more about the application and to speak to the KCC about the proposed rate increase. The public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, January 11th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Those who wish to provide comments during the virtual hearing will need to register by noon on January 10th. A link to register can be found here.

Caney Water Update


PSI was the topic of conversation in the latest Facebook Live update from Mayor Josh Elliott and the City of Caney. 

Elliott says the water system, skids, and tower are operating at almost 100%; the only problem they are having is with the PSI level.  Elliott says the system is operating at the moment at 19 PSI, but to be able to lift the boil order, the system needs to operate at 23 or 24 PSI. The lower number is affecting the area known as "The Hill". 

Elliott says the boil order should be able to be lifted when the PSI returns to normal levels. 

Goal Setting for the New Year


A new year can mean setting new goals to accomplish, whether that's short-term goals for the year or long-term goals. Kansas State University Family Resource Management Specialist Elizabeth Kiss says when it comes to setting goals we often think it’s all or nothing but that’s not necessarily the most successful way to achieve them.


Kiss says routine can help accomplish a goal but it's okay if an intended outcome isn't met early on.  Kiss says it can help to write down goals, share them with others and review them periodically, but don’t obsess over them. She says goals can change over time from focusing on healthy living to saving for retirement.

Gov Kelly to Give 5th State of the State Address


Kansas Governor Laura Kelly will give her State of the State address on January 11th.


Governor Kelly was invited by the Speaker of the House-Elect Dan Hawkins to give her address in person to a joint session of the legislature. The House will convene at 6:00pm and Governor Kelly will give her speech at 6:30pm.


KGGF will have the broadcast of the State of the State address on the Mighty 690 at 6:30pm.   

KHP Works Four Fatality Accidents Over Christmas Holiday


The number of fatality crashes over the Christmas Holiday weekend doubles compared to the previous year.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, there were four fatality accidents that resulted in four fatalities, which is up from two in 2021. None of the four were DUI related, which is the third year in a row there have been zero DUI-related fatalities over the Christmas Holiday.


KHP says there were 16 DUI arrests, there were 416 speed citations issued, 41 seat belt citations issued and KHP assisted 512 drivers. The reporting period for the holiday ran from 6:00pm Friday through 11:59pm on Monday.  

Missing School Could Have Big Impacts on Students


Missing too many days of school can have an impact on a student's success both in the classroom and in the future. USD 445 Superintendent Dr. Craig Correll says missing just a couple of days each month can really add up.


Dr. Correll says there is a correlation between students' attendance and graduation rates.  Dr. Correll says, in addition to missing out academically, low attendance can also set a pattern in behavior. He says employers want to hire graduates who value attendance and understand that it is a life skill.

Caney Waiting For Approval To Lift Boil Order


Residents of Caney are once again able to shower and do laundry after 96 hours of not being able to do so.


According to Caney Mayor Josh Elliott, the water system is keeping up with the demand of residents. The tower is once again full, and the water pressure is good as well. Elliott says the last remaining valve to the town has been opened, however, concern remains with the area called “The Hill”.


Elliott says the town understands that water usage will be higher than normal for a few days as residents get caught up on showers and laundry, but he expects to see a leveling of water usage soon. He also reminds residents that the town is still under a boil order, but that order will be lifted as soon as the town is given permission to do so by the KDHE.

Gov Kelly Bans TikTok on State Devices


The app TikTok has been banned on all state-owned devices in Kansas.


Governor Laura Kelly becomes the first Democratic Governor to directly take this step. The governor issued an executive order banning the social media platform on all executive branch agencies, boards, and commissions and their employees, and prohibits access on the state network. This order is in response to the national security and privacy risks posed by TikTok, whose parent company is a Chinese-owned company subject to Chinese government requests for data, technology and other intellectual property.


Governor Kelly says she is taking common-sense steps to protect Kansans’ privacy and security. She says TikTok mines users’ data and potentially makes it available to the Chinese Communist Party, which is a threat recognized by a growing group of bipartisan leaders across the United States. Kansas joins 19 other states that have banned the app in some way including Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

Multiple Wrecks Causing Delays On I-44

 There are multiple accidents in the westbound lanes of I-44, west of Joplin, toward the Oklahoma state line. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says traffic behind the wrecks are starting to cause delays in travel. There is no word on if high winds are the cause of the accidents.

 It is advised to find alternate routes to avoid the interstate until the wrecks can be cleared.

Interest Rate Increases Impact Ag Industry


Experts with the Department of Agriculture expect grocery store prices to continue to rise and outpace overall inflation again next year. In November the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that food prices increased by 10.6% while overall inflation hit 7.2%. Overall inflation, supply chain issues and costs associated with the nationwide drought conditions caused costs to producers to increase.


Fertilizer and fuel expenses led the way, according to the Bureau of Labor, however, the farming sector’s biggest increase has been interest expense on loans. The Federal Reserve’s aggressive hikes to curb inflation have hit farmers and ranchers especially hard. According to the Department of Agriculture, many farmers each year take out short-term, variable–rate loans to pay for everything from seed to machinery. Farmers have to decide if they will reduce planting, put off purchasing cattle or eliminate other expenses as they struggle to repay loans that have seen interest rate expenses almost quadruple in the past few years the USDA reports. To stay in business farmers and ranchers must get more for their products and ultimately prices to the consumer will rise as well.

The farming sector’s total interest expense is forecast to hit nearly $26.5 billion. That is 32% higher than last year the USDA reports.

Demand High Across Many Ag Sectors


The United States Department of Agriculture Cattle on Feed report shows marketings of fed cattle is high. Prices set by feedlots were the highest for November since the series began in 1996.


In Kansas demand remains moderate to good for feeder cattle, with fed slaughter steers and heifers in the feedyards sold steady compared to last week at $155. Cattle and calves on feed for the slaughter market in the US totaled 11.7 million head on December 1st and that was down 3 percent from last year.


The Kansas hay market continues to have very strong demand and prices strengthened, in all regions ahead of the holidays and the anticipated winter storm. For those in Southwest Kansas, drought conditions remain in extreme drought D3 and D4 categories with little moisture received. In Northwest Kansas, drought conditions continue to worsen, while Southeast Kansas accumulated heavier rains leading to some improvements in the drought situations. Large round alfalfa in fair to good condition sold for 240 per ton. Large round bluestem in good condition sold last month for $150 per ton and brome grass was for sale between $9 and $9.50 for small squares.


Consumer Egg prices will continue to rise. In the Midwest, egg prices were 23 cents higher for extra large and large and 16 cents higher for medium. Producer prices were unchanged however demand is moderate to good while offering and supplies are light to moderate. The mixed supplies are reflective of the disruptions caused by the holiday and winter storm.


Gift To KHP Helps Keep Kansans Safe and Strengthens Taxpayer Dollars


For three decades Fuel True – Independent Energy and Convenience, previously known as Petroleum Marketer and Convenience Store Association of Kansas, has helped to make sure the Kansas Highway Patrol is out patrolling the highways as the New Year holiday approaches. For 32 years Fuel True has graciously donated nearly 35 tanks of fuel for troopers to use. The KHP says the fuel definitely helps their agency and their efforts to keep Kansas roadways safe. To find out more about the program or Fuel True you can follow the link here

Good News For Caney's Water Issues


The City of Caney’s water situation is improving. As of late last night, the City of Caney says that thanks to customers limiting their water usage the level in the tower is climbing. The City asked that everyone should continue to avoid doing dishes or laundry and that there is still a boil order in place until further notice. For more details, you can click on the link here.

Wind Advisory Today for KGGF Listening Area


A wind advisory is in effect now until midnight tonight for the four states.


South winds 25 to 30 miles per hour are expected with gusts up to 50 possible. The National Weather Service reminds drivers operating high-profile vehicles to use extra caution. The advisory includes southeast Kansas, portions of northwest and central Arkansas and east central, northeast and southeast Oklahoma.

Coffeyville City Commission Passes Budget Amendments, RV Ordinance


The Coffeyville City Commission has approved amendments to the 2022 budget.  Finance Director Stephanie Richardson explains the process.


The total amendments for entities including the airport, aquatic center, and electric and water utilities came in at $78,196,185, bringing the total 2022 budget to $100,839,530.


The commission also passed an ordinance regarding the location and use of recreational vehicles.  City Manager Mark Hall says the goal is to help clarify vehicle use.


New Police Officers Taylor Adamson and Abby Worlein were also sworn in at the meeting last night, which was the last commission meeting of the year.

Caney Water Update (Updated 7:11 p.m. 12/27)

 Here is the latest news on the water situation in Caney.

 According to Mayor Josh Elliott, both skids are working at basically full capacity, but the tower is not filling at this time. Elliot is asking residents to only use water that is necessary, such as flushing toilets, until 9:00 p.m. 

 Elliott will continue to update residents as much as possible through the City of Caney Facebook page. The link to that page is here.

Two Arrested in Pittsburg for Armed Robbery


Two are arrested after an armed robbery in Pittsburg.


Late last week, Pittsburg Police officers were on patrol when they observed a white male running down an alley before entering a waiting vehicle. At the same time dispatch received a call that a convenience store had just been robbed. After a short pursuit, the male, identified as 29-year-old Benjamin Lewis, ran from the vehicle and attempted to hide under a house. The driver of the vehicle, identified as 27-year-old Cheyenne McNaught, was detained. Both were transported to the Crawford County Jail.


Lewis is booked for aggravated robbery, possession of drug paraphernalia, obstruction of the legal process and a no-bond warrant from the Kansas Department of Corrections for previous aggravated robbery charges. McNaught is being held in lieu of a $75,000 bond.

Caney PD Looking for Man Wanted for Questioning



The Subject Has Been Identified.


The Caney Police Department is requesting help identifying a person of interest.


The person was seen at Bubbas Bubbles laundry mat on Saturday around 4:00pm. They appear to be a white male with dark-colored hair wearing a ball cap and glasses. Caney PD believes he was driving a white pickup truck.


Anyone with information should call Caney PD at 620-879-2141. You can remain anonymous.

Caney Water Situation Improving


Water is running in the City of Caney again.  Mayor Josh Elliott says the clear well didn't gain much water yesterday because parts that control the river pumps kept freezing, however, the news on the pumps is better today.


Skid A is pumping around 256 gallons a minute and Skid B joined the water production early this afternoon. Water production for showers and washing dishes should be close to normal by the end of the day. Elliott says the water tower will need time to fill.


Potable and bottled water are still available at City Hall until the water system is back to normal. Elliott says with everyone's cooperation, the water situation will be back to normal soon.


Four Arrested for Distribution and Manufacturing of Illegal Drugs


The Coffeyville Police Department arrests 4 individuals on a number of charges.


Late last week, CPD officers arrested 60-year-old Joseph Rickman, 42-year-old Larry Voris, 43-year-old Adamma Meyer, and 29-year-old Florette Collins for alleged distribution and intent to manufacture illegal drugs, unlawfully obtaining prescription-only drugs, and no drug tax stamp. Rickman, Voris, and Meyer also had open warrants from Montgomery County Sheriff’s office. Collins received additional charges of possession of marijuana and criminal use of a financial card and theft by deception.


It is unknown if the arrests are connected.

Traffic Stop in Coffeyville Results in Arrest


A traffic stop in Coffeyville results in citations and an arrest.


Late last week, 62-year-old Darryle Vernon was cited for operating a motor vehicle without liability insurance and driving while suspended. During the traffic stop, Vernon was arrested for possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, transporting an open container of alcohol, interference with a law enforcement officer and altering or destroying evidence.

Coffeyville City Commission: Second Reading of RV Ordinance Tonight


The Coffeyville City Commission will continue discussing an ordinance regarding the location and use of recreational vehicles at their meeting tonight.


The second reading of the ordinance seeks to clarify what City Manager Mark Hall says boils down to a zoning issue.


Hall says the city understands that people use recreational vehicles to visit relatives and the city has provisions for that. RVs and mobile homes are classified as vehicles and are allowed in town as long as they are zoned properly.


New Coffeyville police officers will also be sworn in at tonight's meeting in addition to several budget items for the coming year. The meeting gets underway at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall and the public is encouraged to attend.

Fall HEAL Grants Announced


A local Southeast Kansas Community is one of 15 communities across the state to receive a portion of this round of Historic Economic Asset Lifeline or HEAL grant funding.


The Patterson Family Foundation was the driving factor in the creation and development of the HEAL Program. Administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce, the project has rehabilitated 32 dilapidated downtown buildings across the state since its inception in 2021. The funding is an effort to turn underused and deteriorating commercial buildings into economic drivers, especially in underserved communities and neighborhoods.


In Woodson County, the Revitalize YC nonprofit organization will receive $75,000. Revitalize YC was founded in 2018 and is focused on the revitalization effort of Yates Center. The grant project will be under their direction.

Rep. Jim Kelly Reflects on Time in Office


Kansas House District 11 Representative Jim Kelly will soon pass the baton of office to representative-elect Ron Bryce of Coffeyville.  As Kelly closes out 12 years in office, he's been able to reflect on some of his accomplishments while in office.


During his time in Topeka, Kelly says he learned that the problems facing southeast Kansas are not necessarily unique to the area.  Kelly says having the opportunity to represent the area where he grew up is something he'll never forget.


Kelly says after he wraps up his tenure, he plans to continue some part-time work banking. His last official day will be January 9th.


Secondary & Gravel Roads Refreeze Overnight Creates Hazardous Morning Commute


With the melting of snow along roadways yesterday, combined with temps in the teens overnight, unpredictable slick spots may occur. Be aware that many of the secondary and even the gravel roads refroze last night and it will be noon before air temps will be above freezing.


Take care in your morning drive, give plenty of space between you and the next car, and remember it's more important for you to get to your destination tomorrow and many more days in the future than it is to have the unthinkable happen rushing to get to your destination a few minutes quicker today.

A Water Update From Caney Mayor Josh Elliott

In a Facebook Live update earlier this evening on the City of Caney page, Caney Mayor Josh Elliott gave an update on the status of the water treatment plant, and when the system might be back to operating at 100% capacity.

 Elliott says the water on the skid A side of the system was treated today, and the skid B side of the system will be treated Tuesday. 

 If everything goes as planned, the boil order could be cancelled sometime Thursday, after testing by KDHE is completed. 

 Bottled water continues to be available at the police station and fire department, with non pottable water available at City Hall. 

 In the meantime, Elliott asks residents to open a faucet before 4:30 a.m.; that's when the city will start opening the lines to remove the air from them. 

A link to the Facebook Live post is available below:

Update: Caney Water Problems Continue

The city of Caney is once again dealing with water pressure issues from its water tower. Frozen water lines over the weekend caused water pressure throughout the town to drop considerably. Officials say the frozen line was located Sunday evening, but low-pressure problems continue to linger after city personnel began the thaw-out process. The boil order is in effect until further notice.


According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, customers should boil water for one minute prior to drinking or food preparation or use bottled water. You should also dispose of ice cubes and not use ice from a household automatic icemaker.


If your tap water appears dirty, flush the water lines by letting the water run until it clears.

City officials say bottles of water are available at the Police Station and the Fire Department for free!

 If you have questions, contact the water system at 785-343-2394, or KDHE at 785-296-5514. Restaurants and other food establishments that have questions about the impact of the boil water advisory on their business can contact the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s food safety & lodging program at or call 785-564-6767.

GOP Convention To Be Held Tuesday

 Wilson County Republican Central Committee Chairman Mark Baker announces a convention to find the replacement for Kansas House of Representatives District 13's Joe Newland.


 According to the Wilson County Citizen, Newland, from Neodesha, resigned earlier this month, as he has been elected state president of Kansas Farm Bureau.


 The convention will be held Tuesday at the 4-H Community Building located at 713 South Fry in Yates Center. Check-in for credentialing precinct committee members begins at 5:30, with the convention beginning at 6:00. Those interested in the position, as well as the general public are welcome to attend.

Man Dies After Train – Pedestrian Accident

 A Sarcoxie man has died after he was struck by a train Sunday evening. According to KOAM-TV, the accident took place just before 10 p.m., when a southbound Kansas City Southern train, loaded with grain, struck 26-year-old Ranon Chiles.

 According to Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper B.A. Walker, Chiles died at the scene.

 Carl Junction Fire, METS ambulance, and Jasper County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the call.

 No public intersections were blocked by the stopped train, with no intersection or rail crossing involved in the incident. The investigation is being conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Parsons P-D Taking Down DUI's

 The Parsons Police Department is joining other local and state law enforcement agencies across the state, including the Kansas Highway Patrol, in the Taking Down DUI traffic enforcement campaign. 

  According to information released by KHP, the New Year's Holiday period outranks most other holidays in number of crashes in which at least one of the drivers is impaired by alcohol and/or other drugs.

 Kansas Patrol Lieutenant Kyle Wiford reminds everyone to not use any impairing substance if you plan on driving. Line up a ride with a sober acquaintance or other safe transportation before you go out.

 The Taking Down DUI traffic enforcement campaign runs through January 2nd.

Christmas Day Meals Served in Bartlesville


Many people turned out for a free Christmas dinner yesterday at the Adams Boulevard Church of Christ in Bartlesville.


Rides were provided for those who could not drive or felt uncomfortable doing so with the residual ice and snow on the roads. Volunteers helped prepare and serve the meals to a couple of hundred or more participants. Entertainment was also provided with Maria Gus telling several Christmas jokes.


Friends in-Deed, a non-profit based in Bartlesville, was created to help bring some Christmas cheer to those who might not otherwise have it. They do it through their annual Christmas Day dinner, held on December 25 each year at Adams Boulevard Church of Christ.


The dinner was started by a group of people who saw the need for providing a place to have a meal and socialize to those who have no family or could not be with family on Christmas Day.


Holiday Trash and City Office Schedules


Area government offices are closed today in observance of Christmas. The Independence City Hall will reopen at 8 a.m. tomorrow. Coffeyville city offices will also open tomorrow.


Independence sanitation service will not run today and pickups will shift to tomorrow. In parsons, the Friday trash route was not picked up due to equipment issues. Friday's routes will be picked up tomorrow. In Coffeyville, if your regular trash day was Thursday or Friday, your bulk item pickup will be today.

Re-freeze Ice Possible This Morning


You may need to keep an eye out this morning for ice on roads and walkways.


According to the National Weather Service office in Wichita, ice has formed overnight from melting yesterday and re-freezing overnight. Untreated roads and walks will be icy and slick, especially bridges, overpasses, sidewalks and parking lots. This is expected to continue through mid-morning. You may also need to plan some extra time this morning to scrape your windows if your car has been stored outside.

A Boil Order For Caney Begins on Christmas

 A boil order has been issued by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) for the City of Caney. 
 According to the KDHE, customers should boil water for one minute prior to drinking or food preparation or use bottled water. You should also dispose of ice cubes and do not use ice from a household automatic icemaker.

If your tap water appears dirty, flush the water lines by letting the water run until it clears.

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

 Water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled. Supervision of children is necessary while bathing so that water is not ingested. Persons with cuts or severe rashes may wish to consult their physicians.

 The advisory will remain in effect until the conditions that placed the system at risk of bacterial contamination are resolved.  
 For consumer questions, please contact the water system at 785-343-2394, or KDHE at 785-296-5514. For consumer information please visit KDHE’s PWS Consumer Information webpage:

Restaurants and other food establishments that have questions about the impact of the boil water advisory on their business can contact the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s food safety & lodging program at or call 785-564-6767.

Senator Moran Pleased With Passage of Cleland-Dole Act


Cleland-Dole Act passes the Senate as part of the Omnibus Appropriations Package. Kansas Senator Jerry Moran, the lead Republican on the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, was pleased with the passage of the bill he helped to write.

Also included in the bill is a new crisis hotline: 9-8-8, which will provide mental health services and care for post-911 veterans. Moran says the legislation will help the VA meet the unique healthcare needs of our nation's heroes and save lives.

This legislation combined provisions from bills passed by the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees to expand and strengthen veteran access to health care and benefits.

More Federal Money To Assist With Broadband Access in Kansas


Kansas will receive almost $5.7M to expand broadband access. The funds are part of the designated $65 billion as outlined in the federal bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or Internet for All Initiative. Kansas Department of Commerce’s Office of Broadband Development will hold events to engage with stakeholders around the state beginning in January to develop a Statewide Digital Equity Plan. Special attention will be paid to groups and communities that are disproportionately impacted by digital inequity.


OBD will use the funds in a variety of ways. Almost $5 million will be used to deploy the Broadband, Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program that is part of the Internet for All Initiative. The remaining $692,000 will be used to deploy the first phase of NTIA’s Digital Equity Act.


Tip Leads to Burglary Arrest


A Chanute man was charged with burglary after officers responded to a report of someone trespassing. Earlier this week officers with the Chanute Police Department were called to the 1500 block of S. Edith Ave. for someone who appeared to have been trespassing. After an investigation and speaking with those involved, 22-year-old Ian Faller was subsequently arrested for aggravated burglary, theft, and criminal trespass. The arrest report was forwarded to the Neosho County Attorney’s Office for review.


Schmidt Reflects on Time in Office


On January 9th, 2023 a new attorney general for the State of Kansas will take office. Current AG Derek Schmidt, who served the second-longest tenure in the state's history, says it has been a good run.


Schmidt says they have focused on their capacity to investigate and prosecute two groups of crimes in particular.  Schmidt says he will leave the attorney general's office for his successor better than he found it and will always remain grateful for having served. Kris Kobach will take over as attorney general in January.   

Utility Bill Deadline Extended for Caney


The City of Caney has extended the deadline for utility bills.


The city says that due to City Hall being closed to the public because of the below freezing temperatures, the have extended the utility bill deadline until end of business on Tuesday. The city will process shutoffs on Wednesday.


To make any payment arrangements contact City Hall at 620-879-2772 for more information.

Kansas Law Enforcement Agencies to Receive New Funding


Over $13 million in new funding has been made available for Kansas law enforcement in the Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations Package.


U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, who is the lead Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, says Kansas law enforcement officers need the best tools and training to be able to do their jobs and keep their communities safe. He says he appreciates the county sheriffs, chiefs of police, state troopers and officers who speak with him frequently about what their departments are facing and inform him of the resources they need to be successful.


There are two law enforcement agencies in the area that are receiving federal resources, the Independence Police Department and the Allen County Sheriff’s Office.


Fredonia Solar Farm a Go


The City of Fredonia is moving forward with building a solar farm.  At their meeting last night, commissioners adopted a resolution to secure funding for the project not to exceed five million dollars. The two-megawatt solar farm has been a continuing topic of discussion for several months, and when completed will provide for some of the city's peak energy needs.


Commissioners got some hard numbers from Priority Power Management last night on quotes received over the past week, including the cost of steel, trackers for the panels, inverters, transformers and safety equipment. The total project cost is estimated at $4.4 million. The extra cost that may add up to five million includes interest and extra money for potential change orders.


Financing and project documents will be finalized in early January for the mayor's signature. The commission will take its final action on January 4th when they can pass the final ordinances authorizing the project. Once funding is received in mid-January, construction can begin. To take advantage of federal grants and labor rule savings, five percent of the project money must be spent by January 29th. If all goes according to plan, the farm can start operation in June and could save the city around $100,000 by the end of next year.


Prevention of Frozen Pipes Could Save Money


Prevention of frozen pipes in a home could save the homeowner thousands.  The average cost to hire a plumber is around $100 per hour and possibly double that or more for an emergency or if it's after hours. If pipes burst due to sub-zero temperatures it could cost more than $4000 in just labor, depending on the damage.

Tips to help prevent frozen pipes include insulating exposed pipes with foam or heat wraps before it gets cold and making sure to plug in or turn on the heat wrap when necessary. Once the winter weather arrives, open doors on cabinets that contain water lines, especially if the pipes are in an exterior wall. Hot water freezes faster than cold water so turn on the hot and cold water. It will need to be a steady stream of water as a dripping faucet can freeze.  If the pipes freeze, shut off the water at the main and call a plumber.

Additional Jail Time For Convictions Related to Autopsy Services


A former Caney businessman has been sentenced to 12 months in jail and 12 months of probation on criminal charges relating to illegally providing autopsy services in Wabaunsee County, Kansas.


43-year-old Shawn Parcells, who was already sentenced to 69 months in federal prison for a related felony wire fraud conviction, received an additional 12 months for 3 counts of misdemeanor criminal desecration. Judge Jeffrey Elder ordered Parcells to serve 12 months in the Wabaunsee County Jail after his release from the 69-month federal term.


In a separate civil case, Parcells and three corporate entities he controlled were permanently banned in August from doing business in Kansas and ordered to pay more than a half million dollars in fines, damages and civil penalties.

Kansas & Oklahoma Under State of Emergency


Certain motor carrier rules and regulations have been conditionally and temporarily suspended by executive order. Governor Laura Kelly acknowledges and concurs with the Kansas Division of Emergency Management’s declaration of a state of emergency in Kansas. The order applies to motor carriers directly participating in relief efforts.   Some of the restrictions the order lifts, such as some driving time limitations is in an effort to expedite the delivery of relief supplies, needed fuels, and other items to areas impacted by the winter storm. The state of emergency will remain in effect until rescinded or until January 20, 2023, whichever comes first.


In Oklahoma, as they brace for the dangerous severe weather, Governor Kevin Stitt also issues an executive order suspending certain specific motor carrier vehicle requirements as well. The order, similar to Kelly’s, is an effort to insure needed supplies, especially propane, heating oil, natural gas, and supplies used for power restoration to those areas affected as quickly as possible.


2022 Ag Census Underway In Kansas


Kansas farm operations of all sizes; urban and rural are required by law to respond to a questionnaire. The Census of Agriculture questionnaire was mailed by the National Agriculture Statistics Service last month to all known ag producers across the nation. The deadline to respond is February 6th, 2023.


The NASS Statistician for Kansas, Doug Bounds says producers, policy-makers, and business leaders all use Census data to make informed decisions that will shape the future of agriculture.


Ag producers that sold, or normally would have sold, $1000 or more of ag products in 2022 are required to respond. All information given must be kept confidential by NASS and the data is only used for statistical purposes, and only may be published in aggregate form, thus preventing the disclosure of the identity of any individual producer or farm operation.

Area Road Conditions


Road conditions continue to worsen across southeast Kansas with today's winter weather.


Many roads are partially covered with snow. US 59 to the north between Parsons and Erie is completely covered with mixed snow ice or slush.  US 160 between Oswego and Columbus is completely covered as well.


A link to check road conditions is available here.

Winter Storm Arrives: Updated Snowfall Information


The four states are in the middle of a winter storm that will last through tonight, with wind chill warnings that will continue through tomorrow.  In Kansas and Oklahoma, wind chills will be between 20 and 30 degrees below zero at times through Friday at midday.



Snowfall forecasts have been updated, with two to three inches of snow possible for Coffeyville.  Timing of the off-and-on snow will be between now and 1 p.m. this afternoon for southeast Kansas.  



In addition, a winter weather advisory has been issued for northeast Oklahoma, parts of northwest Arkansas, and southwest Missouri.  Some of southeast Kansas is also included in the winter weather advisory including Cherokee and Crawford counties.  Stay tuned to KGGF for continued updates on this winter weather.  Weather-related closings can be found here.



Make Preparations for Livestock During Cold Weather


Temperatures are going to be dropping into the single digits during the day and will fall below zero overnight. Livestock Production Agent Wendie Powell says to increase the feed for livestock when the weather gets cold.


Powell says to keep the livestock out of the wind and as dry as possible.  Powell says to make sure the animals have access to water, whether it's a stock tank with fresh water or a place where ice has been broken up at the edge of a pond.


Multiple Law Enforcement Agencies Search for Suspect in Cherokee County


Cherokee County Sheriff Deputies pursue a suspect into a rural wooded area. The suspect fled after striking a woman in the head with a gun, which had jammed when he attempted to shoot her.


Just after 4:00pm yesterday, deputies responded to the scene just west of Baxter Springs. Deputies, with assistance from the Baxter Springs Police Department, Kansas Highway Patrol and the Quapaw Nation Marshal's Service established a perimeter. The Miami Police Department and Kansas Bureau of Investigation also responded to provide support. In addition to searching the wooded areas and fields within the vicinity, deputies also searched a camper on the property.


During the search of the camper, deputies located the suspect hiding in a closet. The suspect was identified as 46-year-old Joseph Gunsolus, who died at the scene of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The woman was transported to a local hospital where she was treated and released.

Sedan Park To Recieve New Equipment


New playground equipment is coming to the Sedan Park. Earlier this week Sedan was awarded over $49,000 through the Strategic Economic Expansion and Development grant program. City Clerk Sherri Miller says the equipment should be up by this summer.


The City applied for the grant under the category of community vibrancy, which according to the Department of Commerce, are projects that refresh, re-energize and unlock the attractiveness of rural communities. The new equipment will be placed on the northeast side of the park next to the ball fields. The last playground equipment placed in the park was second-hand to the City donated by the school over a decade ago.


The cost of the project will be around $55,000. A final number should be set within days. According to the DOC and the terms of the grant program, the City has one year to complete the project and must provide at least a 10% match for the outlined project.



City Of Independence Closures and Schedule Changes Due To Upcoming Weather


Upcoming winter weather prompts closures and schedule changes for the City of Independence. Riverside Park and Ralph Mitchell Zoo will be closed Thursday and Friday. Trash pickup services will be canceled on Thursday and Friday as well. Residents can drop off trash at the city Sanitation Yard at 21st and Maple from 8 am to 2 pm. Commercial sanitation pickup routes will resume on Saturday if the weather permits. Next week, the Christmas Holiday will be observed on Monday, and all sanitation services will be shifted by one day, with services resuming Tuesday, December 27th and running Monday routes.

Special Labette County Commissioner Meeting Called


A special session has been called for the Labette County Commission. Chair of the Labette County Board of Commissioners, Lonnie Addis has called for a special session on Friday, December 30th at 8 in the commission room in the Oswego Courthouse.


The board plans to approve abatements, accounts payable, payroll and department head evaluations. At 9 am the regular meeting will take place and the board will address any business that comes before them at that time.


Due to the courthouse closing at noon and the Kansas Open Meetings Act the commission will not be able to meet past noon when the courthouse closes for the year.


In a separate memo, Addis also said that every employee of the county would have an evaluation before an increase in salary can be given. Addis said that although a four-range increase is authorized for the majority of employees, he wanted to stress that not every current employee is deserving of the four ranges at this time.


This will be the final Labette County Commissioner meeting that Addis will preside over and in his memo, he said that as a commissioner not all of his visits were cordial, but without exception, he brags about the people he has worked with and he said he has been fortunate to work with everyone.


Water Shut Off Day is Today for Cherryvale


The City of Cherryvale water shut off day is today.  The city says if you need more time to pay your bill and have not already had an extension, please call City Hall and make arrangements.


Shut off time is 1 p.m. this afternoon. The city says to make sure to call before being shut off as they cannot offer an extension on an account in shut off status. City hall is open Monday thru Thursday 7:30 am to 4 pm this week.

Franklin Wants The People's Voices Heard


 A proposed tax increase, approved by the Caney City Council in November, is now headed to a vote of its residents.


 According to Montgomery County Clerk Charlotte Scott Schmidt, a petition organized by Christian Franklin provided more than twice the number of enough valid signatures of Caney registered voters to put the issue to an election ballot, likely to be held sometime in February or March of 2023.

 Franklin says the issue should be decided by a vote of the people, not just a vote of the council.

 The proposed tax increase, approved by the Caney City Council in November, would allocate an additional 2-mills in local property taxes for police, fire and EMS equipment and vehicle purchases. Franklin believes the motion to approve the tax increase was done too hastily, and says other options should have been considered. However, Franklin also says the outcome of the vote does not matter to her, as long as people vote.

 The cost and the actual date of the special election are yet to be determined.

Wind Chill Warnings Start Tonight


Double-digit-below-zero wind chills are on the way for Thursday morning.  Wind chills as cold as 20 to 25 degrees below zero are possible for southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma. There has also been a change in the snowfall forecast. Now, less than an inch of accumulation is expected for Coffeyville. Areas to the northwest will see less snow accumulation, while Chanute could see one to two inches of snow.


In the four states, wind chill warnings go into effect from 10 p.m. tonight until 1 p.m. on Friday. In addition, a winter weather advisory goes into effect from midnight tonight until 6 p.m. tomorrow for southeast Kansas. In Oklahoma, the advisory runs from 4 a.m. through 6 p.m. tomorrow.




Boil Water Advisory Rescinded for Galena


The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has rescinded the boil water advisory for the City of Galena.


The advisory was issued after a waterline break caused a loss of pressure in the distribution system. Laboratory testing samples collected from the City of Galena indicate no evidence of bacteriological contamination and all other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed safe by KDHE.

Pittsburg Man Arrested for Theft


A Pittsburg man is arrested in Cherokee County.


Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a Weir home yesterday afternoon after an unknown person was discovered inside a residence. Law enforcement arrived and apprehended the suspect, who was reportedly intoxicated. Inside the suspect's vehicle, deputies discovered electronics, which had been stolen from an area health organization.


30-year-old Aaron Don Span was transported to the Cherokee County Jail on allegations of aggravated burglary, aggravated assault, criminal possession of a firearm, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving under the influence.


Nado Assistant Football Coach Arrested


A Field Kindley High School assistant football coach has been arrested after fleeing from a traffic stop.


A Montgomery County Sheriff's deputy observed two vehicles, a dark-colored Chevy Camaro and an SUV, fail to yield to a stop sign. The deputy pulled over both vehicles and instructed the driver of the Camaro to wait while he talked to the driver of the SUV. The driver of the Camaro fled from the scene and the deputy began pursuit. The deputy reported the Camaro doing speeds of over 140mph in a 55mph zone and over 80mph on a gravel road. Another deputy joined the pursuit and with the help of a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper, they were able to bring the chase to a stop.


The driver was identified as 22-year-old Jaylen Logan of Coffeyville. Logan was transported to the Montgomery County Department of Corrections where he was booked on numerous traffic violations, fleeing from law enforcement and reckless driving.

Sedan To Use Grant Money For New Park Playground Equipment


The City of Sedan will add new playground equipment to the City Park. Earlier this week Sedan was awarded over $49,000 through the Strategic Economic Expansion and Development or SEED grant program.


The City applied for the grant under the category of community vibrancy, which according to the Department of Commerce, are projects that refresh, re-energize and unlock the attractiveness of rural communities. The new equipment will be placed on the northeast side of the park next to the ball fields. The last playground equipment placed in the park was given to the City by the school over a decade ago.


When the City applied for the grant over 6 months ago they received bids and those will have to be verified that they are still in effect before work begins and the equipment can be purchased as the grants were supposed to be announced in October. According to the DOC and the terms of the grant program, the City has one year to complete the project and must provide at least a 10% match for the outlined project.

Kansas Highway Patrol Shares Letter


The Kansas Highway Patrol shares a letter of thanks from someone who had been pulled over. The letter dated November 10 thanked the trooper who made the stop for saving their life that day.


The writer said, “ I thought about it a million times but if you wouldn’t have pulled me over I don’t think I would of made it. I was risking my life and the life of other people as well.”


The Kansas Highway Patrol says that once in a while in their careers they get confirmation on why they choose to wear the uniform. KHP believes that the letter perfectly conveys the dangers of drinking and driving and the serious consequences of that choice.


A link to the full letter can be found here.

Bell Ringers Needed in Coffeyville


The Salvation Army is looking for bell ringers in Coffeyville this holiday season.


Montgomery County Salvation Army Coordinator Joe Brooks says that it's been difficult to have bell ringers and participate in community holiday activities compared to years past.


The bell ringing will continue through December 25th, and Brooks says he's been coordinating the event for 13 years, but has been participating for as long as he can remember.


Small red kettles are also being placed in various locations around Coffeyville for those who would like to donate. All collections stay local in Coffeyville, and any help is greatly appreciated.


For more information or to volunteer, contact Joe at 620-870-9261.

Sedan's Christmas In The Hollow Event Results


Sedan's Christmas in the Hollow will remain open nightly until New Year's Eve. The lights will go on at dusk and off at dawn. Last weekend's festivities saw Riley Walters take first place in the Kid Round of the Puzzle Contest. 2nd place went to Angel Walters and Kiara Lee came in 3rd. In the Adult Round, Jessica Roggow won first, Shiela Robertson took 2nd and Chasity Preedin ended up in 3rd.


Since thanksgiving night "Santa Rocks", rocks painted with Santa's face on them and numbers on the back for points, have been hidden in the Hollow, and children have been finding them and turning them in. Winning first place by a wide margin was Glenlee Bane, who turned in 263 points. In 2nd place was Shaunacee & Kayauna Robertson with 125 points, but with only 2 fewer points John Wyatt Miller took a close 3rd.


The Christmas in the Hollow is free and open to the public, however, donations are appreciated and will help to continue and expand next year's event.

Caney Citizens Force Special Election


The citizens of Caney have provided enough signatures to force a proposed city tax increase to an election ballot. According to the Montgomery County Chronicle, resident Christian Franklin organized the effort to require the City to hold a special election in early 2023 to decide the issue.


Montgomery County Clerk Charlotte Scott Schmidt has been asked for a cost estimate to conduct the special election, which will likely be held sometime in February or March 2023.


The proposed tax increase for Caney would raise an additional 2-mills in city property taxes with the revenue slated for police, fire and EMS equipment and vehicle purchases.


The signature initiative needed 59 signatures to force the issue to a vote. The campaign received 138 total signatures and 127 were deemed valid by Scott Schmidt.

Fredonia Christmas Pageant Postponed Due to Illness


The 89th Annual Christmas Pageant at Fredonia-USD 484 has been postponed until the new year.  According to the Wilson County Citizen, more than 90 students were absent last week due to illness, prompting administrators to postpone the pageant until the first day of school on January 4th.


On the 4th there will be a retiree luncheon at noon followed by the dress rehearsal at 1 p.m. The Pageant will take place at 7 p.m. at Bateman Auditorium.


Warrant Results in Arrest for Stolen Property


A search warrant turns up stolen property and drugs in Chanute.


Earlier this week, 29-year-old Brianna Dodd of Chanute was served with a search warrant in the 1800 block of S. Santa Fe Avenue. During the search, officers with the Chanute Police Department arrested Dodd with felony possession of stolen property, marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Winter Weather Forecast Update


The National Weather Service has changed a few parts of their forecast as winter weather nears. Specific snow forecasts have been released and two to three inches of snow are now expected for Coffeyville and the surrounding area. The timing of the show is expected between 11 a.m. on Wednesday and noon on Thursday. Timing of wind chills are now expected earlier on Thursday, with southeast Kansas seeing 15 degrees below zero on Thursday overnight and 24 below zero wind chills on Friday morning. A wind chill watch is in effect for the four states from Wednesday night through Friday at noon.



Traffic Stop Multiplies Into Felony Drug Charges


A Chanute man is arrested for alleged drug distribution near a school. During a traffic stop in the 600 block of N. Santa Fe Ave. in Chanute officers with the police department cited 31-year-old Joel Maple for an expired vehicle registration and no insurance.


After an investigation Maple was also charged with the distribution of methamphetamine and marijuana within 1000 feet of a school and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Dewey Man Wins Grill Listening to Outdoor Show on KGGF


A local listener to KGGF wins a grill from a nationally broadcast outdoors showAmerican Outdoors Radio is hosted by John Kruse and plays on KGGF from 6:00am to 7:00am every Saturday morning. Winner Robert Cook says he listens to the show every week.


Cook sent an email to the show saying he'd like to win the grill and then last week was emailed back notifying him that the first winner hadn't responded and he had been chosen as the new winner. Cook says the grill arrived at his house within just a few daysCook, who lives in Dewey, says he's listened to the Mighty 690 all his life and never expected anything like this to happen. He says he can't wait to get the grill assembled and ready to cook.


Safety Tips as Below Zero Weather Approaches


With temperatures expected in the negatives by the end of the week, it could be important to be prepared for the cold weather. Montgomery County Emergency Manager Rick Whitson says to have an emergency kit in both your car and your home.


Whitson says to be prepared when going outside as well, whether it's just cold outside or if it has snowed.  Whitson says to use caution when using external sources to heat a home, and not to leave anything out of sight to prevent something from catching on fire.


Montgomery County to Participate in Homeland Security Inspection


Montgomery County will register for a security inspection with a branch of the state's Department of Homeland Security.


County Emergency Management Director Rick Whitson says that the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency offers a free of charge service to inspect both physical and cyber aspects of county security.


With the basic inspection of the Protective Security Advisor Program, Montgomery County can receive feedback on both the Courthouse and the Judicial Center.


Whitson says that CISA offers constructive criticism on the best possible way to protect valuable county information.


Additional items of note from this week's County Commissioner Meeting are the approval of three new tractors for the Public Works department, the renewal of a two year occupational license for Independence Country Club, as well as the sign off on a Neighborhood Revitalization Project at 2165 County Road 5600 in Elk City.


Montgomery County Commissioner meetings take place on Mondays at 9 a.m. in the lower level of the Judicial Center in downtown Independence. There will be no meeting next week, December 26th, due to the holiday. Meetings will resume on January 2nd.

Governor Laura Kelly Announces "Axe the Tax"


Governor Laura Kelly is releasing a 3-part plan to cut taxes for Kansans. Earlier today Governor Kelly called on legislators to join her in a push to immediately axe the tax on groceries and eliminate the state sales tax on diapers and feminine hygiene products. The plan if passed would deliver on her campaign promise.


The second part of the proposal would create an annual 3-day 0% sales tax holiday for school supplies every August. A measure Senator Virgil Peck has been requesting for some time.


The final part of the plan is to raise the amount of earnings Kansans who receive social security can earn before they are taxed on the income from $75,000 per year to $100,000 per year.


A link to the entire bill can be found here.

Last Candlelit Tour of Brown Mansion


This year’s last Candlelit Tour of the historic 1906 Brown Mansion will mark another successful holiday season. This Friday the 23rd will be the last tour of the year. You must schedule a tour at 5:30, 6:30, or 7:30 pm and each tour is limited to 100 visitors at a time. Last year sold out. But, you can reserve your spot anytime by purchasing your tickets online. The cost is only $6 per person.

SEED Grants Announced


Local counties to receive a portion of nearly $2.7M in new Strategic Economic Expansion & Development or SEED grant program.


Awardees must be located with a population of 5000 or fewer and are also required to provide at least a 10% match.  In Montgomery County, the City of Cherryvale will receive almost $46,000 for its library. In Chautauqua County, the City of Sedan is awarded just over $49,000 for Community Vibrancy. Elk County’s Community Foundation will get just over $49,000 for a library. In Labette County, the city of Edna is awarded just over $49,000. Neosho County will be awarded over $35,000 for Thayer’s FRC City Library. Wilson County will also get just over $49,000 for Fredonia’s Library and childcare.


Funding for the SEED program, which is administered by the Kansas Department of Commerce, is provided through the Technology Enabled Fiduciary Financial Institutions Development and Expansion Fund. The grant program was enacted in 2021 with bipartisan support to promote economic development throughout the state.

Dewey Man Wins National Radio Contest


The weekly national radio show American Outdoors Radio announces the winner of a $1300 Camp Chef pellet grill.  Host of the show, John Kruse announced that Robert Cook of Dewey won the grill on the show over the weekend.


American Outdoors Radio airs on 130+ stations across the country including KGGF 690AM on Saturdays from 6:00am to 7:00am. The show features interviews with experts to help improve skills in the field and on the water and it shares the latest outdoor news and destinations from across the continent.


Arctic Blast Coming This Week


A surge of arctic air is expected Thursday morning for the four states.  Wind chills will near 30 degrees below zero by early Friday morning.  Air temperatures in Kansas and Oklahoma will fall below zero in the single digits Thursday and Friday night and strong winds will cause wind chills to reach the double digits.  


In addition, accumulating and blowing snow early Thursday morning with 40 to 50 mile per hour gusts may cause blowing snow and low visibility.





Montgomery County Offices Close For Holidays


The Montgomery County Courthouse Offices as well as the Tag Office in Coffeyville will close for two days for the Christmas Holiday. Montgomery County Clerk Charlotte Scott Schmidt has announced that all county offices will be closed Friday, December 23rd, and Monday, December 26th. On Friday, December 30th all county offices will close at noon and will reopen on Monday, January 2nd, 2023 in observance of the New Year’s Holiday.

Fatal Crash in Galena


A man is dead after a car accident in Galena.  According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, late last week 57-year-old James Snow of Galena was traveling north on Wood street when he rear ended a Honda driven by 63 year-old William Reagan. Snow's vehicle left the roadway to the right then overcorrected to the left where it crossed south Wood Street and struck a Ford driven by 30 year-old Jacob Laster of Joplin.


Snow was taken to a hospital in Joplin where he was pronounced dead. Reagan was taken to the hospital with a suspected minor injury. Laster had no apparent Injury.

Montgomery County Commissioner's Meeting Agenda


The Montgomery County Commissioners will hear from Emergency Manager Director Rick Whitson. He will speak about the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.


On Monday, starting at 9, the regular meeting of the Montgomery County Commissioners will also include a report from Anne Miller about GIS, Public Works Coordinator Jim Wright will give his report, then IT Director Jason Clubine will speak to the Kwikom Broadband Project. Healthcare Consultant Michah Boulanger will address Insurance Benefits and Health Department Coordinator Carolyn Muller is on the agenda for school inspections.


In other business the board will have a two-year occupational license renewal for the Independence County Club, signatures are needed on a neighborhood revitalization project in Elk City and Montgomery County Action Council’s Small Business Specialist Laura Keller will update the board about the Community Development Block Grant.

Galena Still Under Boil Water Advisory


The City of Galena is still under a boil water advisory after a water main break over the weekend.  According to Public Works Superintendent Josh Reed, city crews located a leak on Saturday morning around 15th and Joplin streets. The leak was caused by a crack in a line that had to be cut out and replaced. The entire city water system was shut off in order to make the repair. Water pressure started returning to normal Saturday evening.


Because of the nature of the break and repair, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a boil water advisory for anyone on Galena water. KDHE will have to finish testing the water before the advisory can be lifted.

Caney PD Investigating Theft at Myrtles Market


The Caney Police Department is investigating a theft.


Caney PD took a report of a theft at Myrtles Market yesterday. A female in a white vehicle, believed to be a Ford Escape, was seen on security cam footage at the store. Photos from the surveillance footage can be seen below.


Caney PD is asking for the public's assistance in identifying the suspect or the suspect's vehicle. Anyone with information can call Caney PD at (620)879-2141. All information given is confidential and information can be given anonymously.


Independence Public Schools Kids CREW Shop With A Cop


The Independence Public Schools Kids CREW report another successful year of Shop with a Cop. The Kids Crew wishes to thank the Coffeyville Boys and Girls Club for helping to put the event together. Thanks also go out to the Independence Police Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, and the Kansas Highway Patrol for helping the children pick out gifts for their family and friends. Kids Crew say that all the students left Walmart with arms full and huge smiles. Independence Walmart provided the gift cards for the event.

Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Speaks AT Local School


Officers with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office had the chance to speak to 4th-6th graders at a local school.


Lieutenant Detective Chad Dunham, Detective Kyle Hand, and Detective and K9 handler Jeremy Hunsucker spoke at the Community Elementary School of Coffeyville about the DARE program.

The officers talked about the many kinds of drugs, ways to avoid using drugs, and what to do and say if they are offered or find drugs. Hunsucker and Police Service Dog Hector demonstrated how Police Service Dog Hector does his job and what his responsibilities are at the Sheriff’s Office.


The officers say they were very appreciative of the opportunity to visit with the kids.


Senator Jerry Moran Backs Afghan Adjustment Act


Kansas Senator Jerry Moran joins legislation to help resettle Afghan Refugees. Yesterday Senator Moran joined a group of other bipartisan Senators in backing legislation that would establish a task force to develop and implement a strategy for supporting Afghan allies who were left behind in Afghanistan. The Afghan Adjustment Act would also require the Department of State to respond to congressional inquiries about those eligible for Special Immigrant Visa applications.

Retired 1st Sergeant Slade Deister of Leavenworth says if Congress does not act to support its allies by passing the Afghan Adjustment Act, potential allies in future combat zones are going to be less likely to support U.S. missions after seeing our Afghan partners abandoned.

The legislation has received the endorsement of many organizations including the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion.

Christmas Break Starts for Local Schools


Students at area schools are finishing up the semester.


Today is the last day for Coffeyville Public Schools. USD 445 students will return to class on January 3rd.


There's no school today for Caney Public Schools and Christmas break starts Monday. Caney students will return on January 3rd as well.


In Independence, IHS Christmas break will start next Wednesday and continue through the 2nd. Middle school students will return to class on the 2nd, and Eisenhower students will return on the 4th.


In South Coffeyville Christmas break starts Monday and students will return on the 3rd.


Sedan schools have early release today and will return to class January 4th.


Cherryvale-Thayer schools have early dismissal today at noon. Students will return to class on January 3rd.


Oklahoma Union has early dismissal today. The first day back to school will also be January 3rd.

Coffeyville Christmas Light Map Available


The Coffeyville Area Chamber of Commerce is compiling a map of area Christmas light displays.


The goal of the map is help people find light displays to view as they drive around town. If you have or know of a display that should be included, you can call the Chamber and they will add it to the map. You can call 620-251-2550 or email or just stop by. The link to the map is available here.


Sedan's Christmas in the Hollow Final Weekend of Events


Sedan’s Christmas in the Hollow hosts the final weekend of events. This Saturday starting at 5 there will be kid’s crafts and face painting in the schoolhouse. From 6 to 8 Santa will be in the schoolhouse as well. At 6 a puzzle contest will test abilities. A live nativity will perform on the Boardwalk stage at 6:30 and 7 and caroling will round out the evening from 7-8. Activities at Sedan’s Christmas in the Hollow are free, however, donations are very much appreciated.


New State 4-H Leader Excited for New Role


The Kansas 4-H Youth Development program has over 70,000 members. New Kansas 4-H State Leader Sarah Maass says she has been a part of 4-H for most of her life.


Maass says 4-H can help develop useful skills for the future. Maass, who took over as the State 4-H leader in October, says she looks forward to her new role. She plans to do a mini tour of the state and host a few listening sessions, so she can listen to what the extension agents, parents and students think they need.


Have Your Vehicle Ready for Winter


Weather can change quickly in this area so you want to make sure your car is prepared for the winter. Kansas State University Meteorologist Chip Redmond says a winter weather safety kit should be assembled and kept in your vehicle for emergencies.


Redmond says outside of emergency situations there are some other items that are important to have in a car during the winter.


Redmond says it is important to winterize your vehicle to make sure everything is in good working condition, including the battery, tires and windshield wipers. He says it is good to know where the anchor points are on the vehicle in case you get stuck and need to attach a chain to get pulled out.   

Firefighters Respond to Attic Fire in Indy


Independence Fire-EMS respond to a structure fire.


Late last night, first responding units found smoke showing from the attic at 1016 E. Edison. Firefighters battled the fire from inside taking a line to the second floor of the residence. While one group fought the fire from inside other firefighters assisted with ventilation. The fire was quickly brought under control but the second floor sustained extensive damage.


Independence Rural and Dearing Rural Fire assisted with the fire. There were no injuries.

Final Weekend for Brown Mansion Candlelit Tours


Only four days left to experience the Brown Mansion candlelit tours this winter. The historic 1906 mansion has been decorated for the holiday season, and tours are available three times daily this weekend and on Friday, December 23rd.


Coffeyville Reawakening's Denise York says it is a can't miss experience.  Tour times are at 5:30pm, 6:30pm and 7:30pm each night. Tickets are $6 each and tours are limited to 100 visitors each.


York says that while plenty of tickets are still available, make sure you secure yours as soon as possible. Tickets can be bought at Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce or online at

Beefing Up Security At Caney Elementary


Security measures were a topic of conversation earlier this week during the Caney School Board monthly session.


Superintendent Blake Vargas says the entranceway to the elementary school campus is being examined again, with the goal of filtering visitors through the office before they can go anywhere else in the building. Vargas says that even though a hallway entrance is common, especially with districts the size of Caney, they would like to see a more secure entrance built.


Vargas says this isn't the first time this discussion has taken place. Vargas says the cameras are doing their job at helping identify people before they enter the building, but a routed entrance would help increase the comfort level for school officials concerning the well being of all elementary students.

KanREN's Internet To Local Schools & Institutions Is Operational


Internet for area schools and institutions impacted by the cut fiber optic lines are now operational.


Interim Executive Director at KanREN Bradley Hook says that yesterday was a highly unusual day as a total of four physical disruptions occurred throughout their service area. Because of the redundancies in their network, some outages were not felt. Hook went on to say that in the case of Pittsburg State University, the first of the redundant fiber lines were cut by Evergy construction crews yesterday morning and traffic was rerouted through Wichita until a Cox construction crew cut the second line later in the afternoon. Hook says the owners of the fiber routes were able to restore one of the routes around 3 am, which brought PSU and all local entities who connect through that location online at that time.


Finally, Hook says that simultaneous fiber outages in four geographically diverse portions of the state is unheard of in the entire history of KanREN’s network.

Cut Fiber Optics Lines Cause Problems For Area Schools and Institutions


Cut fiber optic lines at multiple locations shut down the internet to local schools and regional institutions. Yesterday, KanREN, the internet service provider to Pittsburg State University, the City of Pittsburg, Pittsburg USD 250, Frontenac USD 249, Fort Scott Community College, Fort Scott USD 234, Central Burden USD 462, Prairie View USD 362, and the Linn County Library went down after fiber links were cut between Pittsburg and Kansas City and Pittsburg and Wichita.


PSU has a full ring network for redundancy – one line to Kansas City and one to Wichita. Chief Information Officer for PSU Angela Neria, said that both lines have not been cut since the ring was put into place over a decade ago, and unfortunately it happened during finals week for students which made for a truly perfect storm.


KGGF news has confirmed that PSU’s internet is back up and running this morning. See the story above for information about the outage and steps taken to correct the situation from  KanREN's Interim Executive Director Bradley Hook.

Mission: Secure Oklahoma Schools Near Completion


Oklahoma Highway Patrol is closing in on completing Governor Kevin Stitt’s Executive order. Governor Stitt issued the mandate requiring all troopers to complete active shooter emergency response training by January 1, 2023. The Executive order is known as Mission: Secure Oklahoma Schools. The OHP is utilizing Louisiana State Universities National Center for Biomedical Research and Training/Academy of Counter-Terrorist Education for this training.


According to the OHP, more than 700 troopers have gone through the training so far.

Head-On Collision on Highway 99 Claims Life


A portion of Highway 99 was shut down after a crash claims the life of a Hominy woman.


The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said 61-year-old Terri L. Covington was traveling southbound when she crossed the center of the road and collided with 20-year-old Chloe Shadlow’s vehicle. OHP said although Shadlow swerved in an attempt to avoid a collision, both vehicles hit head-on.


Covington was pronounced dead at the scene. OHP said Shadlow was admitted to a local hospital in fair condition.

Two Juveniles Arrested At Independence High School For Drugs


A report of 2 youths possessing illegal drugs leads to arrests at Independence High School. Earlier this week law enforcement officers responded to the high school, and after an investigation, 2 juvenile males were taken into custody and processed on charges of Possession of Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia. The report has been sent to the County Attorney’s Office for review.

Southeast Kansas Leads State in Winter Wheat Condition


Southeast Kansas is leading the state in condition and percentage of winter wheat emerged. K-State Extension Crop Agent James Coover says that's not always the case historically.


Coover says the area has seen near-ideal rainfall recently for winter wheat production, and the forecast looks like it may cooperate as the crop enters dormancy.


According to the latest USDA report, southeast Kansas leads the state at 93 percent of winter wheat emerged. Winter wheat conditions across the state are listed at 18% very poor, 24% poor, 36% fair, 20% good and 2% excellent.

Improvements Underway at Fredonia Animal Pound


City employees in Fredonia are making big improvements to conditions at the animal pound.  After receiving seven violations from the Kansas Department of Agriculture, staff has been working to correct these issues over the past month including the replacement of older wooden and mesh pens with much sturdier metal pens. The larger pens will provide more space for animals are painted with heavy-duty epoxy paint to make them last longer.


City Administrator Wesley Young says the city is deeply appreciative of the ingenuity and efforts of staff including Junior Hufford, Kim Hord and Missy Rice. Young estimates their work has saved the city $13,000 based on quotes for similar work submitted previously.


Stolen ATV in Cherokee County


The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office is looking for a stolen ATV. The 2019 Polaris Ranger was stolen from the rural Columbus area.


The ATV is camouflaged in color, has oversized Ford Ranger tires, a windshield winch, back glass and a roof.  Anyone with information should contact the sheriff's office at (620)429-3992 or submit a tip by texting “tip Cherokee” with whatever information is available to 888777.

Wilson County Names New Revolving Loan Fund Representative


The Wilson County Commissioners have named the new county representative to serve on the Southeast Kansas Revolving Loan Fund Board.  Wilson County Coordinator Kris Marple says that Alex Jones, who currently serves as the Vice President of the Bank of Commerce in Neodesha, will assume the role.


Jones replaces Chad Estes, who resigned from the position a few months ago.  Other items of business at the weekly commissioner meeting was the discussion of a new salt truck needed for next winter, the initial construction of a new guardrail on Coyville Road, and the approval of 2.5x pay for Christmas Day employees, as well as a 5% cost of living that was agreed upon by consensus.


Wilson County meetings take place Wednesdays at 9 a.m. from the County Courthouse in Fredonia. There will be no meeting next week, and meetings will resume on December 28th.



Operation Christmas Child


Southeast Kansas and Northeast Oklahoma area volunteers are celebrating the collection of gift-filled shoeboxes. Global charitable organization Samaritan’s Purse hopes the boxes send a message to children around the world that God loves you, and you’re not forgotten.

Volunteers locally and globally contributed to Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse by packing shoeboxes filled with fun toys, school supplies, and hygiene items. The global Christmas project will deliver these gifts to children in need.

Samaritan’s Purse says although drop-off locations have closed, there is still time to share hope and love with children overseas by packing a gift-filled shoebox online. Shoeboxes built online go to some of the hardest-to-reach areas in the world. For more information on how to participate click on the link here.

Dive Sober or Get Pulled Over


The Kansas Department of Transportation in conjunction with law enforcement agencies across the state hope you don’t make a deadly decision this holiday season.


Officers will be especially focused from this Friday, December 16th to January 1st to remove impaired drivers from Kansas’s roads. According to KDOT, there were 18 people killed, and more than 700 were injured from over 2,000 crashes during the same 15-day time frame last year.


KDOT Behavioral Safety Manager Gary Herman says it’s so important that drivers act responsibly and never drive impaired from any impairing substance.


The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is funded by federal traffic safety funds and administered by KDOT.

Erection of Tower Slated For Today


Many people have inquired about the construction taking place behind the KGGF KQQF KUSN studios. We are happy to report the erection of the new tower should be completed by 2 pm today.


Texoma Contractors Foreman Mikie Porter says that although most of the tower is still on the ground they will have it up thanks to the help of the crane lifting it into place.


The tower will help the station send out a more reliable signal.




KDOT Closes I-70 At Oakley


Winter weather has forced the Kansas Department of Transportation to announce an interstate highway closure. This morning KDOT announced Interstate I-70 at Oakley, Ks has been closed to all westbound traffic. Motorists are advised to delay travel if possible in far western Kansas.


KDOT wants to make sure motorists buckle up and stay alert for changing road and weather conditions.  For the latest on road closures and conditions, visit or call 511 in Kansas or 866-511-5368 outside Kansas.

Parsons Man Sentenced to Life in Prison


A Parsons man is sentenced to life in prison for his conviction under the Kansas Jessica's Law statute.


38-year-old Jered W. Bybee was sentenced in Labette County District Court on two counts of aggravated criminal sodomy. The crimes occurred between 2013 and 2016 involving two different victims under the age of 10.


Judge Steve Stockard sentenced Bybee to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years on each of the charges. The sentences are to be served concurrently. Bybee pleaded no contest to the charges in April.

Bomb Threat In Yates Center High School


A bomb threat forced the evacuation of the Yates Center High School. The Woodson County Sheriff’s Office says they received a call at about 5:05 pm on Monday from a subject who said they were a student of YCHS. The caller claimed they were bullied earlier in the day and had broken into the school via a window.


All students, faculty, and everyone participating in multiple basketball games were evacuated. Assistance was given by more than 6 local first responder departments, including the Kansas Fire Marshal’s Office in evacuating the building and surrounding residences.


A search was conducted by officers with the Yates Center PD and WCSO with no threats identified. The investigation is still ongoing with no threat deemed active at this time.

Area Counties Set To Receive Funding For Bridge Replacement Projects


Montgomery, Chautauqua, Labette, and Neosho counties are to receive state assistance for local bridge projects. Governor Laura Kelly announced the first of two local bridge improvement programs taking advantage of new revenue created by the federally approved Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.


This round of selections by the Off System Program received 99 applications with requests totaling more than $83M.


22 were approved for the fiscal year 2024 including Montgomery County for the bridge on 1800 Road, 1.5 east of Coffeyville. The county’s share will be nearly $71,000 and the state will kick in almost $1.5 million.


Chautauqua County for the bridge 6 tenths of a mile south and 2 miles east of Cedar Vale will contribute $60,000, but the state’s share will be $600,000.


In Labette County, the bridge on 25000 Road, 4 miles east of Parsons will be replaced. The county’s share is almost $104,000 and the state will fund $960,000 of the project.


Neosho County’s bridge 2 miles north of Chanute was approved for replacement with the county’s share slated to be just over $2.2M and the state’s portion will be $5.4M. The funding for it comes from the Kansas Local Bridge Improvement Program for the fiscal year 2023. Labette County was one of the 11 selected from the 114 requests totaling more than $126M.

Park Improvements Coming to Coffeyville


Improvements are coming to city parks in Coffeyville. The city commission has approved the purchase of playground equipment for the stone shelter area at Pfister Park.  City Manager Mark Hall says this is the start of a plan to improve one park each year, starting in 2023.


Hall says Grace Park will eventually close and a new park will be built for Coffeyville's south side.


In other business at their meeting last night, the commission approved board appointments, fee schedules and passed an ordinance regarding the location and use of recreational vehicles aimed at addressing RVs being stored on the street or in front of houses for long periods of time or being used for housing. This ordinance does not prohibit storing an RV in a driveway, alley or backyard.


Electric Buses Coming To Caney


The Caney School District is one of six districts in the state to receive a grant for electric buses.

Caney Superintendent Blake Vargas says the district will receive two electric buses with charging stations and the infrastructure needed to operate the buses, with the cost covered by the grant from the state. He says the grant funding couldn't have come at a better time for the district.

Vargas says the electric buses would save the district at minimum twenty four cents per mile compared to the diesel buses currently in use.

Vargas says the mechanics that work on the current fleet would also be able to maintain the electric buses, and the locations to host the charging stations won't need much of an upgrade to be compatible with the needs of the new buses.

Midwest Area Prices Down For November


The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the results of the November Consumer Price Index for the Midwest.


Prices for All Urban Consumers declined by 0.2% last month with most of the decline as a result of decreased energy costs by 3.7% with lower gas prices being the largest contributor.


The index for all items less food and energy increased by 0.1%, while the food index rose by 0.2% over the month prior however, prices for owners’ equivalent of rent of residence contributed most to the rise.


Over the last 12 months, the index rose by 6.8%. Food prices were up 11.7% compared to their November 2021 levels and energy prices rose 11%, led by the increase in the price of gas over November of last year.


Traffic Stop Nets Drugs & Metal Knuckles


A Leroy man is arrested for drugs and carrying metal knuckles during a traffic stop in Chanute. Late last week 29-year-old Michael Williams of Leroy was stopped by an officer with the Chanute Police and after speaking with the persons involved Williams was arrested for alleged possession of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, interference with law enforcement, and the criminal carry of metal knuckles. The Neosho County Attorney’s office will review the arrest and consider final charges.

Buffalo Woman Arrested in Chanute For Drugs


An investigation into a screaming person results in a drug arrest. Officers with the Chanute police responded Sunday to the 200 block of W. Cherry St. for a report of a person screaming in a vehicle. After an investigation officers arrested 57-year-old Sherrie Boan of Buffalo for alleged possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and disorderly conduct. The report of the arrest has been forwarded to the Neosho County Attorney’s Office for review and consideration of the charges filed.


Final Weekend of Sedan's Christmas in the Hollow


Sedan’s Christmas in the Hollow hosts the final weekend of events. This Saturday starting at 5 there will be kid crafts and face painting in the schoolhouse. From 6 to 8 Santa will be in the schoolhouse as well. At 6 a puzzle contest will test abilities. A live nativity will perform on the Boardwalk stage at 6:30 and 7 and caroling will round out the evening from 7-8.

$56M In Food Assistance For Kansas Children


A one-time food assistance program is expected to help over 189,000 Kansas children.


Governor Laura Kelly announced yesterday that $56M in food benefits will be loaded onto a Kansas Benefits Card for those families who had children eligible for free or reduced-priced lunches during the 2021-2022 school year. Almost 80% of those eligible will have the benefit auto-issued beginning yesterday and staggered based on the last name of the child and will be completed by December 21.


In those cases where auto-issuance is not possible, parents and guardians will need to apply through the Department for Children and Families Self-Service Portal from January 1-31, 2023.

The program is through the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Program. More details and frequently asked questions can be found by clicking the link here.

National Archery in the Schools Program State Tournament Finds Home


A State Tournament will be held in Hutchinson next year and for the next four years. The National Archery in the Schools Program was adopted in Kansas in 2006 and has grown to be part of the curriculum in more than 350 schools and community organizations in Kansas.


Due to the positive feedback from the Tournament being held in Hutchinson in 2021 they have reached a multi-year agreement to hold the NASP yearly Tournament in Hutchinson.


Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks outdoor skills and recruitment coordinator Lyndzee Rhine says the program has opened outdoor recreation opportunities for thousands of Kansas youth.


The 2021 State Tournament gave away $3500 in scholarships in addition to personal archery equipment. The activity is praised for the fact that it does not discriminate based on popularity, athletic skill, gender, size or academic ability.

South Coffeyville School Board Takes Next Step on New Gym


An additional gym for South Coffeyville Schools is one step closer to reality. Members of the school board voted unanimously to hire Crossland Construction as project manager for a new bond for the project. Crossland will help to try and pass the bond and assist with soliciting bids from contractors.


The cost for the gym is expected around one million dollars. According to Superintendent Daryl Pruter, the bond will ideally be passed in April. Currently, one gym is shared between the elementary, middle and high school, which leads to congestion and challenges during wet weather for recess options.


In other business, the board approved the annual Christmas stipend of $100 for all staff.

USD 446 Issues New Computers to Students


USD 446 is beginning to issue new Apple computers to students to improve learning resources.


Independence High School principal Kurt Seiler says that nearly 90% of the student body have already completed the necessary steps for the new computers, and expects more to follow suit.


Seiler says he has enjoyed the gratification from helping these students succeed, and thanks the school board for their investment in the quality of education the disctrict provides.


Other items of business at the December school board meeting were the discussion of the new Early Learning Center. Multiple architecture pitches for the new building will be presented to the board next month at the January meeting as that project continues to move forward.


The March board meeting has been moved from March 13th to March 20th as well, due to the district being on spring break.


USD 446 School Board meetings take place at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month from the Community Room at Independence High School.

Montgomery County Attorney Approved for New Cell Phones


The Montgomery County Attorney's office will be getting new cell phones for work purposes.


New County Attorney Melissa Johnson says that it's been difficult for the attorneys to separate their personal obligations from their professional ones with the county.


Other items of business at this week's County Commissioner meeting were the presentation of the 2023 budget for the County Attorney's office, the approval of a Neighborhood Revitalization project on County Road 5400 in Independence.


There was also a work session with the Kansas 911 Coordinating Council group as well.


Montgomery County Commissioner meetings are each Monday beginning at 9 a.m. in the lower level of the Judicial Center in downtown Independence. All meetings are open to the public, as well as streamed on Facebook and Zoom.

USD 445 Continues to Work on School Lunch Improvement


Changing the focus from food service to child nutrition in the school district. The USD 445 Board of Education received a report of some of the changes to the school lunch program. Child Nutrition Director Casey Worden says they try to use local ingredients and make food from scratch.


Worden says there are studies that show the correlation between child nutrition and success in the classroom.  In other business, the board approved the fiscal year 2022 audit report, approved the purchase of social studies texts books for $71,812.44 and hired a new custodian and teacher assistant at Community Elementary School.


SERT Team Assists IPD in Arrest


The Independence Police Department calls for emergency response backup in an arrest of an Independence man. Saturday just before noon, IPD requested assistance from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team.


IPD Officers responded to the scene in reference to Kyle Harris, who had felony aggravated offender registration warrants. Officers attempted to call Harris out of the residence, but he refused. Officers were told that Harris was in the bedroom, hiding under the bed and was possibly armed. The SERT team arrived on scene at around 1:00pm. During their evaluation, the SERT team established a perimeter around the apartment, cleared the apartment and were able to confirm that Harris was under the bed.


The team entered the apartment and located Harris. It appeared Harris was having some kind of medical issue and was transported by Independence EMS to Labette Health before being booked into the Montgomery County Department of Corrections on the felony warrants. 

Sedan Schools Rebound After Last Week's Poor Attendance


Sedan USD 246 was hit hard by illness, as nearly a third of the 199 students enrolled were out sick. Principal Karla Cherico says last Wednesday was the worst day for attendance.


This week's attendance is much better with only 15 students out today. Some schools in Wichita were closed all this week due to the outbreak of several illnesses not limited to Covid 19 and its variants.

Chautauqua County's Burn Ban Ends


The Chautauqua County Board of Commissioners met and discussed rescinding the burn ban presently in effect for Chautauqua County. Commissioner Rodney Shaw said that although the county as a whole hasn't seen enough runoff rain to fill up the ponds, the likelihood of a fire quickly spreading was low and so he moved to remove the burn ban as of today. 

The board also began employee evaluations today.

Independence Lions Club Donates to IHMAC Forever Campaign


The Independence Historical Museum and Art Center is one step closer to their $500,000 fundraising goal after a donation from the Independence Lions Club.


Lions Club President Warren Tharp has pledged to donate $2,500 to the IHMAC Forever Campaign, which aims to restore the 110-year-old federal building that houses the museum and art center.  Campaign funds will be used for exterior stone and window renovation, interior restoration, and safety and archival enhancements.


During their 100 years, the Independence Lions have served their community with programs for youth, scholarships, support for health initiatives, and more recently has worked with the Riverside Park staff to improve Kiddyland.

Nowata School Board Meets Tonight


The Nowata Board of Education will meet tonight to discuss a variety of items including a possible student trip to the U.S. Capitol.


On the agenda are reports for November from various departments and financial funds, a status report for the Nowata Classroom Teachers Association, the principal reports from each school, the superintendent’s report on the Hickory Creek Wind Project, roof repairs and the purchase of a mini bus, and discussion of a possible trip of six students to Washington DC.


The public is welcome to attend the meeting which starts at 6 pm tonight in the Nowata High School Commons Area at 707 West Osage.


Dewey Christmas Parade Draws Crowd


The streets of Dewey were lined with onlookers as over 80 floats passed by for the annual Dewey Christmas Parade on Saturday evening.


Float winners in the commercial category were Arrowhead Veterinary Clinic and Case and Case Electric. The Bartlesville Roundup Club and Bartlesville Elks Lodge took first in the non-commercial category. Dewey FFA and Top Notch Baseball took top place in the youth division, and Dewey United Methodist Church and Dewey Ministerial Alliance won the Religious category.


A link to watch the full parade is available here.

Shop with a Cop Starts This Week


The Boys and Girl's Club of Southeast Kansas is hosting their Shop with a Cop program this week.  Director Griffin Walker says the program has made an impact on the community over its 12 years.


Walker says in addition to providing for families in need this Christmas, the program also allows children to have a positive experience with law enforcement.


Shop With a Cop is tomorrow in Independence and Friday in Coffeyville. The 250 children participating this year have already been chosen based on their attendance at Boys and Girl's Club activities, but Walker says if your family is in need this holiday season, you can always reach out to the club.

Results For Local Kansans In The National Finals Rodeo


The National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas is in the books and Coffeyville’s own Jake Long and partner Clay Smith came in 15th in the average in team roping, as they did not score on 6 head this year.


Also in the team roping event, Buddy Hawkins formerly from just north of Sedan came in 4th with his partner Andrew Ward. Hawkins also came in 4th in the World standings with just over $225,000 earned.


Tanner Brunner from Ramona, Kansas came in 6th in the average and 9th in the World with almost $175,000 earned in the steer-wrestling event.


Waverly, Kansas Cowboy Jess Pope won the Bareback Riding and was named the 2022 World Champion. Pope won the average by a wide margin with 860 points, a full 12 points higher than 2nd place. This is the 3rd year in a row Pope has won the average. That put him #1 in the world standings with nearly $391,000. The earnings also propelled Pope to 3rd in the RAM Top Gun Standings.


Local Oklahomans Place In National Finals Rodeo In Las Vegas


The National Finals Rodeo results are in and several local Oklahomans did quite well.


Pawhuska’s barrel racer Wenda Johnson took 5th in the average and 5th in the world with almost $232,000 earned in 2022 improving her 9th place finish in 2021.


Rookie barrel racer Leslie Smalygo from Skiatook had a good showing and ended up 15 in the average and came in 10th in the world with just over $158,000 earned.


Pawhuska’s cowboy, Tyler Milligan came in 5th in the average in the tie-down event this year in Vegas.

Decision on Fredonia Solar Farm Coming This Month


A decision on the Fredonia solar farm project should be coming on December 21st.  In a special meeting yesterday afternoon, the Fredonia City Commission voted to approve Mitch Walter with the Gilmore Bell financial law firm to draw up a initial financial proposal subject to approval on the 21st. This process will solicit actual bids from companies to get hard costs on the project instead of the estimates the commission has been using.


If the project comes in at $4.4 million or less, commissioners believe it is worth moving forward with. That number does not include the extra cost of interest and other fees associated with the project, which would make the total project cost around $5.2 million.  The solar farm will handle some of the city's peak energy load and the hope is to save money on utility bills and give the city some its own power generation ability.

Neighborhood Courtesy Leaf Pickup To Begin


The City of Independence will begin the annual process of courtesy neighborhood leaf pickup. The city will start this Tuesday and the crews will run through mid-Feburary, contingent upon weather and equipment. The city has been mapped into 15 zones. Crews will start Tuesday with zone 1, which is the southwest corner of the town, and will go in numerical order. A color-coded map of the leaf pickup zones can be viewed on the City’s website by clicking here.

Headlights Are Required For Foggy Conditions


The Kansas Highway Patrol warns motorists to turn on their headlights.


The recent fog and low visibility prompt the KHP to remind drivers that if there are less than 1000 feet of visibility, then headlights are required. Those who drive a silver or white vehicle are especially difficult to see in the fog.


The KHP wants to make sure drivers check the website to see if there may be slick spots or any other hazards along your route.

Christmas Activities Continue


 Christmas activities continue Saturday in the area, with parades and craft fairs in Edna and Nowata.


 Edna is holding their annual Christmas Craft Fair and Parade. The craft fair begins at 8:00 am at the Edna Community Building, followed by the Christmas Parade through downtown beginning at 2:00 pm.


 Nowata's Hometown Christmas celebration begins at 11:30, with the theme of Dr. Seuss. Before the parade at 6:30, activities include a cookie eating contest, a scavenger hunt, and a beard contest. For more information, visit the city of Nowata Chamber's website at

Traffic Stop In Chanute Nets Drugs


A Chanute man is arrested for multiple drug charges.


Officers with the Chanute Police Department conducted a traffic stop in Santa Fe Park for curfew violation. Earlier this week, after an investigation officers arrested 31-year-old Jordan Loftis of Chanute for alleged possession of marijuana, methamphetamine, Adderall, and drug paraphernalia. According to officers with the CPD Loftis was also driving while his license was suspended, canceled, or revoked.


Reports of the arrest have been forwarded on to the Neosho County Attorney for review.

Rep LaTurner Supports National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2023


Kansas Congressman Jake LaTurner has voted yes on the National Defense Authorization Act.


LaTurner says one of Congress’s most important duties is to ensure our troops have the resources they need to defend America’s interests at home and abroad. LaTurner went on to say that the bipartisan legislation eliminates President Biden’s military COVID-19 vaccine mandate, provides resources to help military families combat soaring inflation, and includes increased defense funding to counter the growing threat from Communist China, Russia, and our other adversaries.


LaTurner represents the 2nd District of Kansas in Washington.

Caney Police Arrest Minor For DUI


A traffic stop in Caney results in arrest for Driving Under the Influence under the age of 21. Earlier this week an officer with the Caney Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a silver Toyota truck that failed to use a turn signal. During his investigation he believed the driver to be intoxicated. After a field sobriety test 20-year-old Camdyn Melchiori of Caney was transported to the Caney Police Department where he was arrested for unsafe driving, driving under the influence under the age of 21 and unlawful use of an ID card. Reports of the arrest have been sent to the prosecutor for formal charges to be filed.

Ninth Concert Coming to Meadowlark Lounge


The Meadowlark Lounge will showcase the ninth concert in the venue's history tomorrow night.

A set list of four singers and songwriters will be on display from the Independence Historical Museum and Art Center. The performance will be acoustic with guitars and a Steinway grand piano. Meadowlark Lounge Organizer Mike Flood says the style of music and the atmosphere of the venue is closely modeled to the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.


Performer and KGGF's own Chris Freund says a venue of that size brings a much more intimate performance. Joining Fruend in tomorrow night's show are Country Musician Dillon Kuehn, Charlie Benedict performing gospel pieces and Bryton Stoll showcasing his brand of tropical rock.


The concert is a benefit to the Independence Historical Museum and Art Center. Tickets are $20.00 per person and can be purchased at the museum at 123 N 8th Street in Independence or over the phone. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the museum at 620-331-3515.

Kansans To Watch For in the NFR in Vegas


The 8th round of the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas is in the books.


Bareback bronc rider Jessie Pope who is from Waverly, Kansas ended the 8th round in a 3-way tie for 2nd place with a score of 87 and earned $17,410. That makes Pope nearly a lock for #1 in the world standings with over $308,000 earned.


Coffeyville hometown cowboy Jake Long and his partner Clay Smith tied for 12th place in the 8th round yesterday in Team Roping turning in no time. The pair goes into the 9th round tonight still 14th in the average with 4 head. Long has dropped to 8th in the World Standings.


Buddy Hawkins formerly from north of Sedan, ended up the 8th round in 8th place with a time of 4.5. That puts Hawkins and his partner Andrew Ward remain in 4th place in the average on 6 head. Buddy is still 4rd in the world standings with just over $190,000 earned.


Tanner Brunner from Ramona, Kansas tied for 12th last night in the steer wrestling with a time of 5.8. Brunner is still in 6th place in the average going into the 9th round tonight. He stayed at 11th in the World Standings with over $130,000 earned.



KGGF will update you tomorrow on tonight’s 9th round.


Oklahomans To Watch For In The NFR in Vegas


8th Round National Finals Rodeo results for local Oklahomans are in.


Pawhuska’s barrel racer Wenda Johnson finished the 8th round with a time of 18.89 which put her in 15th place. That dropped Johnson from 1st place to 6th in the average. She remains 3rd in the world standings.


Rookie racer Leslie Smalygo from Skiatook came in 1st last night, following up on her 2nd place showing on Wednesday, with a time of 13.41 seconds netting her $28,921. The effort moved Smalygo up to 9th in the average and up to 7th in the world with over $158,000 in earnings this year.


Pawhuska’s native cowboy, Tyler Milligan placed just out of the money with 7th place in the Tie Down Roping Event with a time of 9.3 seconds. Milligan moves up to 7th in the average but ticked down a place to 12th in the World Standings.


The NFR will continue tonight with the 9th of 10 rounds culminating this weekend.

Candlelit Tours Start This Weekend at Brown Mansion


Candlelit tours start this weekend at the Brown Mansion.


The historic 1906 Mansion has been decorated for the holidays and Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce Director Candi Westbrook says it's a can't miss event and ordering tickets is a simple process.


Tickets are $6 per person. Tour times are 5:30, 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. Tours run this weekend, next weekend, and the 23rd. There is a limit of 100 visitors per tour time.  Tickets can be purchased at the Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce or here.

Sedan's Inaugural Christmas in the Hollow Has Events & Activities For All


Join Sedan’s Christmas in the Hollow for a big celebration with a small-town flair.

Tomorrow you can take in the beautiful light display that rivals that of much larger cities and then stay for the soup dinner from 5 to 7 pm in the School Cafeteria by free-will donation.

Santa will be in the schoolhouse at the Hollow from 6-8 to hear the kid's Christmas lists and pose for photos. There will also be a live nativity showing at 6:30 and again at 7 on the Boardwalk Stage. The Hollow Express will be shuttling visitors for free between the school parking lot and the park. Stop by the schoolhouse and warm up with some free coco and kids' crafts.

Take the short trip to Sedan tomorrow and join in on the fun. Donations are always appreciated.

Christmas on the Plaza Continues This Weekend


The final weekend of Christmas on the Plaza starts today. The local vendor market will open tonight at 5:30, and shopping will also be available at the North Pole Headquarters around the corner on 9th street. Carriage rides will also begin at 5:30 p.m. Coffeyville Reawakening's Denise York Explains.


In addition to carriage rides, the Grinch will also be on the plaza for photos. Tomorrow, shops will open at 4 p.m., plus The Polar Express movie will be shown inside the Reawakening headquarters at 115 west 9th at 6 p.m. Santa will also be on the plaza from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. York says The North Pole Headquarters will remain open for the next couple weeks for holiday shopping.

MG Board of Commissioners Agenda, Special Session & Announcement of Christmas Closing Dates


The dates of the courthouse closing for the Christmas holiday have been announced. Montgomery County Clerk Charlotte Scott Schmidt says all county offices will be closed on Friday, December 23, and Monday, December 26.


Schmidt also released a memo that, following the regular weekly meeting this Monday the Board will meet for a scheduled Work Session for 911 at 1 pm in the Commission Room in the Basement of the Judicial Center in downtown Independence. The regular session will start as usual at 9 am this Monday. The Agenda for this Monday includes a report from Jim Wright regarding county public works projects. The County Treasurer, Nancy Clubine, and a business representative will meet with the board. In other business, the board will discuss neighborhood revitalization approval for CR 5400 in Independence.

Fog Continues This Morning


Dense fog continues this morning for southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma.


A dense fog advisory is in effect until 7 a.m. for Chautauqua, Montgomery and Labette Counties in Kansas.  In addition, a freezing fog advisory has been issued for Cowley county.  


In Oklahoma, dense fog advisories have been issued for areas southeast of Tulsa, while much of northwest Arkansas is also part of the advisory.  The National Weather Service says to watch for patchy slick spots on roads and bridge decks where temperatures are below freezing.


New Bridge Open in Labette County


A new bridge has opened up in Labette County.


Earlier this afternoon, The Kansas Department of Transportation opened the new Labette Creek bridge on Highway 59 and Highway 160. The bridge is located about 6 miles northwest of Oswego. The work zone has been closed to traffic since late March. 


Check KDOT’s updated traveler information website,, for more highway conditions and construction details.

Kansas Rep. Ron Estes Introduces New Lesser Prairie-Chicken Legislation


New legislation regarding the lesser prairie chicken has been introduced in Congress. The Promoting Local Management of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Act is introduced in response to the US Fish and Wildlife placing the lesser prairie-chicken on the threatened and endangered species lists. Representative Ron Estes, who introduced the legislation, says energy producers and ranchers have the right to preserve their land.


Estes says the bill will ensure that the lesser prairie chicken's habitat protection remains under local control.


Estes says the US Fish and Wildlife's inclusion of the lesser prairie chicken on the threatened and endangered lists was nonfactual and disregarded the preservation efforts of energy producers and ranchers who best know their land.

Whitetail Rut Season Nears


The time of the year in the 4 State area is upon us when the whitetail bucks are single-mindedly searching for a mate and that means that collisions with the uninhibited four-legged fauna can be unavoidable.


If you see a doe cross in front of you on the roadway or ditch, be alert and slow down as there is more than likely a buck following her with his head down and he is completely oblivious to everything including you and your vehicle. You may not even have time to get your foot off the gas.


If a collision is unavoidable with a deer or any other large animal the Sedan Police Department reminds drivers to NOT swerve. Brake firmly and hold on to the steering wheel with both hands. Come to a controlled stop and move the vehicle out of traffic to a safe location.   

South Coffeyville's K-9 Officer Taz Laid To Rest


South Coffeyville’s veteran K-9 officer Taz took his last ride with officers. Taz’s health unexpectantly took a turn and the department laid him to rest yesterday.


Flags flew along Taz’s final route as he was escorted by several local agencies from South Coffeyville to the Barta Animal Hospital in Independence. Former handler Sheldon Rivers says they hoped to send Taz out on a positive note and with the respect he’s earned.  All of the officers that knew and worked with Taz were in agreement that losing him will leave a big hole in the community.


Taz was 7 years old.

MG Board of Commissioners To Meet For Work Session


Montgomery County Clerk Charlotte Scott Schmidt announced a work session for the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. Following the regular weekly meeting, this Monday the Board will meet for a scheduled Work Session for 911 at 1 pm in the Commission Room in the Basement of the Judicial Center in downtown Independence.


The regular session will start as usual at 9 am this Monday.

National Finals Rodeo 7th Round Results of Local Kansans

The 7th round of the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas is in the books.



Coffeyville hometown cowboy Jake Long and his partner Clay Smith tied for 5th place in the 7th round yesterday in Team Roping. The pair goes into the 8th round tonight still 14th in the average with 4 head. The earnings moved Long up to 5th in the World with slightly more than $173,000 in earnings. He is only about $2000 ahead of 6th place Levi Lord, but $17,000 less than 4th place local heeler Buddy Hawkins.


Buddy Hawkins who grew up just north of Sedan and now lives in Stevensville, TX.  He ended up the 7th round in a tie for third place with a time of 4.4 seconds winning $14,690 in the Team roping event. That puts Hawkins and his partner Andrew Ward in 4 place in the average on 5 head. Buddy dropped from 3rd to 4rd in the world standings with just over $190,000 earned, but Hawkins announced last week that he had surpassed the one million dollar mark in lifetime earnings.


Bareback bronc rider Jessie Pope who is from Waverly, continued his domination of this year’s NFR. Pope rode Big Stone Rodeo Inc.’s Mayhem to an 89-point ride for first place last night netting him $28,914 for his efforts. He increased his lead in the average to 606 points on all 7 head, 11 and a half points higher than 2nd place Kaycee Field. That pushes his earnings in the World Standings even higher to almost $291,000.


KGGF will update you tomorrow on tonight’s 8th round.

Oklahomans To Watch For In The NFR in Vegas

7th Round National Finals Rodeo results for local Oklahomans are in.



Pawhuska’s Wenda Johnson finished the 7th round with a 1st-place ride. The champion barrel racer put in a time of 13.60 seconds earning her $28,914. That puts Johnson solidly in 1st place in the average and moved her up to 3rd in the world standings moving over $206,000.


Rookie racer Leslie Smalygo from Skiatook came in 2nd yesterday with a time of 13.64 seconds netting her $22,851. The effort moved Smalygo up to 10th in the average and up to 13th in the world with over $129,000 in earnings this year.


Pawhuska’s native cowboy, Tyler Milligan placed 11th in the Tie Down Roping Event with a time of 20.2 seconds. Milligan moves up to 9th in the average and remains in 12th place in the World Standings.


Tanner Brenner from Ramona placed 4th last night in the steer wrestling. He earned $9,793. Brenner is still in 7th place in the average going into the 8th round tonight. He moved up to 11th in the World Standings with over $130,000 earned.


The NFR will continue tonight with the 8th of 10 rounds culminating this weekend.

Decision Pushed Back on Fredonia Solar Farm Project, Special Meeting Friday


No decision has been made yet on the proposed Fredonia Solar Farm project.  The Fredonia City Commission voted to table their decision on the project until their next scheduled meeting on December 21st.  A special meeting will be held tomorrow at 4 p.m. in city hall to discuss the project further.  Mayor Bob McKenney says he feels like the city is being rushed to make a decision.


McKenney and the commissioners wrestled with the decision for nearly an hour before making the motion to table the discussion. Commissioner Bill Jones says it's a difficult decision not being able to predict the future.


According to City Administrator Wesley Young, the proposed 2-megawatt solar farm would handle some of the peak energy needs of the city and reduce the amount of more expensive peak power the city has to buy, thus saving money in the long term. Some of the pressure to make a decision on the project comes as the city is hoping to take advantage of a federal program which may pay 50 to 60 percent of the project cost, which is currently estimated between $4.2 and 4.4 million which does not include increased costs associated with a lease purchase agreement, which would make the total cost around $5.2 million. 

Riverton Man Sentenced for Burglary and Possession


A Riverton Man is sentenced in a burglary and methamphetamine case. 34-year-old John Wesley Potter is sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty in Cherokee County District Court.


The charges stem from a November 2020 incident, where Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputies responded to the burglary of a Riverton home and subsequently arrested Potter, who was also found to be in possession of methamphetamine. Potter was prosecuted by the Cherokee County Attorney's Office and is being held in the Cherokee County Jail pending transfer to the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Former Firefighter Saves Victim from Fire While on Delivery Route


A former firefighter turned FedEx driver saves a man by pulling him out of a burning home. Delivery Driver Bryce Koester says he was delivering a package in the neighborhood when he saw smoke coming from a house.


Koester spent a year and a half with the Parsons Fire Department and says his instincts and training kicked in. He says he was glad to be in the right place at the right time. CFD Chief Kenneth Ward says they are thankful someone was there to help assist the victim. CFD believes the cause of the fire was a propane heater. The house is considered a total loss.


Senator Peck Listening Tour Culminates In Montgomery County


State Senator Virgil Peck’s bi-annual listening tour will culminate in Montgomery County. The tour is designed to give area residents an opportunity to express thoughts and ideas about the state government in Topeka.


This year Senator Peck, to reach as many constituents as possible, has scheduled his stops later in the day or on the weekend. In an effort to maximize the benefit to area residents, he has invited State Representative Doug Blex to join him at his stops on Friday. From 3:30 to 4:30 Senator Peck will be at the Caney City commission room at 100 W 4th and then he will travel to Coffeyville to meet with the voters at Hersh’s Ice Cream at 123 W 9th at 5 pm.


Representative-elect Ron Bryce plans to join Senator Peck on Saturday morning at Cherryvale at the City Commission Room at 123 Main at 9 then they will go on to the Independence Historical Museum at 123 N 8th at 10:30. Senator Peck says his past listening tours were very helpful to him as a legislator and he expects this year’s tour to yield similar results.

Oklahomans To Watch For In The NFR in Vegas


Results from the 6th round at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas are in and several Oklahomans’ are doing quite well.


In a very close contest, Pawhuska’s champion barrel racer Wenda Johnson finished the 6th round just out of the money by 6 one-hundredths of a second. She placed 7th with a time of 13.76. First place was a tie with a time of 13.57, so only 2 tenths of a second separated 1st place and 8th. Rookie racer Leslie Smalygo from Skiatook came in 10th yesterday with a time of 18.54.


Pawhuska’s native cowboy, Tyler Milligan placed 12th in the 6th round of the Tie Down Roping Event with a time of 13.8 seconds. Milligan is 10 in the average and is sitting in 12th place in the World Standings with total earnings so far of $135,707.


Local Rodeo Cowboy JL Tunison says to look out for Tanner Brenner from Ramona. Brenner placed 3 last night in a tie with Nick Guy who both recorded times of 3.9 seconds in the steer wrestling. Both earning $14,690. Brenner is in 7th place in the average going into the 7th round tonight. He moved up to 12th in the World Standings with $120,961 earned.


The NFR will continue tonight with the 7th of 10 rounds culminating this weekend.

Third Quarter Abatement Totals Announced for Montgomery County


Montgomery County has announced the third quarter abatement totals.


County Commissioner Robert Bever, along with County Clerk Charlotte Scott Schmidt relayed the totals during the county commissioner meeting on Monday.


Also discussed during the meeting was an update from KPERS. Montgomery County Human Resources Director Becky Lewis says that while speaking with Alan Conroy of KPERS, he offered his thoughts on numerous issues such as being more climate friendly.


Additional items of note from this week's county commissioner meeting were the official welcoming of new County Attorney Melissa Johnson, as well as the decision to continue a working partnership with Parmac LLC in Coffeyville.


The county commissioners also scheduled a private executive session with the Montgomery County Action Council this morning.


Montgomery County Commissioner meetings take place every Monday at 9 a.m. in the lower level of the Judicial Center in downtown Independence. The meetings are open to the public, as well as streamed live on Facebook and Zoom.

Kansans To Watch For In The NFR in Vegas


There are many local Kansans competing in the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.


Coffeyville’s own team-roping heeler Jake Long and his partner Clay Smith tied for 12th place in the 6th round yesterday. The team goes into the 7th round tonight 14th in the average with 4 head.


Local Rodeo Cowboy, JL Tunison of Belknap says to watch out for some other local Kansas cowboys like Buddy Hawkins who grew up just north of Sedan and now lives in Stevensville, TX. Hawkins who is a heeler and his partner won the average last year at the NFR in the team-roping event. This year Hawkins and his partner Andrew Ward are 6th in average on four head. Hawkins ranks 3rd in the world standings with $175,514 earned.


Bareback rider Jesse Pope who is from Waverly, Kansas is another to watch Tunison said. Pope was just out of the money in a 3-way tie for 8th place yesterday with a score of 85. He is the leader in average with 517 points.  Pope is #1 in the world with $262,063, almost $55k more than 2nd place Cole Reiner.


KGGF will update you tomorrow on tonight’s 7th round.

Veteran Students Receive Critical Assistance From ICC


Independence Community College continues to make veteran student assistance a priority. ICC’s unique Veteran Student Success Center says a holistic approach is the only way to meet the complex needs of today’s veteran students.


ICC, a designated Purple Heart College as well as a Military Friendly School, have an entire team of dedicated individuals, professionals, and the services of numerous agencies to meet all the various needs of their veteran students. The Veteran Student Success Center at ICC says eliminating barriers and obstacles paves the road to a brighter more productive future for the veteran student and the entire community.


For more information contact the Veteran Student Success Center at ICC by calling 620-332-5477 or click on the link for their website in the online version of the story at


Bartlesville Water Supply Levels Drop, Conservation Encouraged


Drought conditions across the region are prompting Bartlesville officials to encourage conservation.


Water Utilities Director Terry Lauritsen says small steps can make a big difference.


Lauritsen says lake levels this week are at 69 percent of the City's available water supply, which puts the area just barely into Stage Two of the City's Drought Contingency Plan, developed in 2002.

Fatal Crash in Cherokee County


A Grove, Oklahoma man dies in a head-on crash near Baxter Springs.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, the crash happened Monday around 3 p.m. on Highway 69 Alternate just north of US 166. Twenty-year-old Trey Cunningham was driving a Pontiac G6 north and crossed the center line. He hit a GMC truck driven by 51-year-old Shannon Taft.


Cunningham was taken to a Joplin hospital where he was pronounced dead. The other occupant of the Pontiac, 21-year-old Valeria Lerma of Miami was taken to the hospital with a suspected serious injury.  Taft, of Baxter Springs, was also taken to the hospital with a suspected serious injury.

City Of Independence's December Floodplain Tips and Winter Readiness Plan


The City of Independence wants to help you prepare for winter with a few tips to prevent flooding. The city says that you can’t control the weather but you can prepare for it.


Some tips to make sure you don’t have a flood disaster at your home include: Clean the storm drains of leaves and debris, and make sure pipes and ditches on your property are not obstructed. Check your sump pumps and have a battery backup or generator with plenty of gas and have emergency supplies available for at least 3 days. Report flood hazards or concerns to the City Floodplain manager at 620-332-2528.


For more tips and useful information visit the City of Independence’s Facebook page. The link is here.

The City Of Caney Water Worries Continue


The City Council of Caney rejects water rate increases. According to the Montgomery County Chronicle City Administrator, Kelley Zellner proposed a 5% rate hike across the board for usage and base fees.


The proposal would have seen most customer’s bill increase by a few dollars in fees and an increase in usage fees would see prices rise from $2.85 per 100 cubic feet to $2.99 per 100 cubic feet for in-city customers and would increase from $3.10 per 100 cubic feet to $3.26 per cubic feet for out-of-town customers. The projected additional tax income would have generated at least $30,000 per year for the Caney water fund, which is expected to finish 2022 in the red.


Zellner said that the water shortage and costs associated with it were not the only reason for increased outlay to the city as the costs for chemicals used for the treating of water have gone up by $20,000 this year alone. The increase is blamed mainly on the inflationary trends that have made everything higher.


The measure failed on a 5-3 vote. Aaron Elliot, Nathan Rains, Keith Butts, and Shirley Davis rejected the hike, and councilors Lori Patterson, Marianne Ranes, and Debbie Wood cast yes votes.

Senator Peck Continues Listening Tour With A Few Changes


Republican State Senator for District 15 Virgil Peck of Havana is trying something different this year in his listening tour.


Today Senator Peck will be in Altamont at the Sr. Citizens Center at 414 S. Houston at 3:30 pm and at Oswego in the City Commission Room at 5 pm. Senator Peck wants to hear from as many voters as possible but in an effort to allow constituents to maximize their time he has asked State Representatives to join him at all of his tour stops.


Peck expects to discuss the many issues the 2023 Kansas Legislature will face, including tax reforms or cuts and some form of marijuana legalization.

Webb City Man Receives Prison Sentencing


A Webb City man receives prison term. 39-year-old Larry Dustin Flowers was handed down a prison sentence in Cherokee County District Court.


Flowers received a 16-month sentence after pleading guilty to fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement in April and another 40-month sentence after pleading guilty to fleeing and attempting to elude law enforcement and possessing methamphetamine in August. The 16-month sentence and 40-month sentence are set to be served consecutively.

Local Food Pantries Hit Hard


A slow economy and rising prices have hit local food pantries hard. 


Prices at the supermarket have increased by 8.5% to 18% in the past year.  That, combined with other factors such as scarcity of some food products has made things tough for pantries that try to keep people fed.  The Director of Genesis Food Pantry Linda Follet says that they are seeing more people than ever in need of help with groceries.


Follet says that making things even harder is fewer volunteer workers.  She says when Covid hit many of the volunteers stayed home and have not yet returned. Follet made the remarks while speaking to the Coffeyville Rotary Club.

Fed Ex Driver Pulls Victim Out of Burning Home


One is injured in a structure fire. The Coffeyville Fire Department received the call of a structure fire on Cherokee between 3rd and 4th Street at around 1:20pm. Smoke was seen coming out of the front and back of the residence and crews battled the blaze from the inside and the outside. South Coffeyville and Dearing Fire Departments responded to assist and firefighters had the fire under control by around 1:45pm. One person was inside the home at the time of the fire and was transported to Coffeyville Regional Medical Center with unknown injuries.


According to a witness at the scene, a Fed Ex delivery driver was delivering a package at a nearby home when he heard someone calling for help from the residence on fire. The witness says the Fed Ex driver pulled the victim out of the home while the witness says they called 911. The home is a total loss and the cause of the fire is unknown at this time. This is the second house fire CFD has responded to today.

County Emergency Response Unit And Others Train Caney Valley USD 436 Faculty


Caney Valley USD 436 gave students an extended weekend as a training class on active shooters was provided to the teachers and staff.

Caney Police, the Montgomery County Sheriff, Coffeyville PD, and Montgomery County Emergency Preparedness teamed up yesterday in a proactive move to train the Caney Valley faculty on what to do if the unthinkable happens. The county emergency response unit was on hand to advise and answer questions as well.


Army Awards Bell Textron $1.4 Billion Contract


Spirit AeroSystems, with manufacturing facilities in Wichita, Tulsa, and locally in Chanute will benefit from the US Army’s decision to award a $1.4 billion dollar contract to Bell Textron Inc. to build the Army’s future long-range assault aircraft.

Although Bell Textron, based out of Wichita, will lead in the development and manufacture of the US warfighter, Spirit AeroSystems produces the aircraft’s fuselage.

Kansas Senator Jerry Moran, who is a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, congratulated Textron and Spirit Aerosystems. Moran went on to say that the Army’s decision was a testament to the vital role Kansans play in our national security.


Sedan's Christmas in the Hollow Packed With Events


Don’t miss Sedan’s Christmas in the Hollow as it will have something for everyone and it won’t break the bank to attend.

This Saturday come see for yourself the beautiful light display that rivals that of much larger cities and stay for the soup dinner from 5 to 7 pm in the School Cafeteria by free-will donation.

Santa will be in the schoolhouse at the Hollow from 6-8 to visit with the children and take photos. A live nativity showing will be at 6:30 and again at 7 on the Boardwalk Stage. The Hollow Express will be shuttling visitors for free between the school parking lot and the park. There will also be free cocoa and cider and kid crafts in the schoolhouse.

That’s this Saturday. If you get there by 5 you won’t miss a thing.

Older Driver Safety Awareness Week This Week


The Kansas Highway Patrol asks are you concerned about an older loved one’s ability to drive? As part of Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, the KHP reminds you that simply getting older doesn’t mean it’s time to hang up their keys, but you should evaluate and know the warning signs.

If you or your loved one has unexplained damage to the vehicle, if they frequently fail to use the turn signal or forget to turn it off, or if they miss highway exits, and get lost more often, then these small warning signs should not be ignored and may result in the difficult discussion about handing over the keys. For more tips or ways you can address the situation with your loved one visit the Kansas Highway Patrol’s Facebook Page.

Chanute PD Pulls Over Bicyclist Results In Pot Distribution Bust


A Wellington man is arrested in Chanute after being pulled over on his bicycle. Late Sunday night, officers with the Chanute Police Department stopped a bicycle in the 300 block of W. Cherry St.


Officers cited 25-year-old Donavon Knoffloch for riding a bicycle not equipped with a lamp when in use at night. After an investigation and search officers also charged Knoffloch with the alleged distribution of marijuana within 1000 feet of a school, possession of drug paraphernalia, and criminal carrying of a weapon.


Reports of the arrest have been forwarded on to the Neosho county Attorney’s Office for review.

House Fire on North Park Boulevard in Coffeyville


A house on N Park Boulevard caught fire this morning in Coffeyville.


The Coffeyville Fire Department, with the help of the Dearing and South Coffeyville Fire Departments, were able to control the flames around 9:30 a.m.


The house was engulfed in smoke when responders arrived, and at least seven emergency vehicles were part of the first response team. The entrance to N Park Boulevard from 1st street is still blocked off at this time.


The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Livestock Production Agent Shares Tips on Reducing Hay Waste


With hay supplies dwindling, K-State Research and Extension experts ask you to consider how hay is being fed.


Wildcat District Livestock Production Agent Wendie Powell says a traditional hay ring without a skirt can result in 15 - 18% waste.


Powell says a better solution is a cone-style hay ring to reduce waste.


Powell also says not to unroll bales unless you have newborns on the ground. In addition, she says to only put one bale at a time out since having multiple bales available causes waste to skyrocket.  If you have questions on how to reduce waste in your operation, the Wildcat District Extension agents are happy to help. You can contact them here.

Osage County Commission Approves Grant Application


The Osage Co. Commissioners have approved several new action items.


At their meeting yesterday, the committee approved to sign an application for the Rural Economic Plan Grant from the Indian Nations Council of Governments and authorized Jerry Roberts as the designated alternative.


District Three Commissioner Darren McKinney thanked his crew for helping clean hay from the roads yesterday.


The commissioners meet every Monday at 10 a.m. in the women’s building at the Osage Co. Fairgrounds in Pawhuska.

Representative From Red Cross Addresses Chautauqua County Commissioners


A representative from the American Red Cross addressed the Chautauqua County Commissioners. During their regular session today, Deb Vinegar with the Red Cross spoke to the board about the various services that the Red Cross provides in Kansas and Chautauqua County in particular.


Brinegar said most people only think about disaster relief and blood drives, but the Red Cross assists individuals who have been impacted by home fires, they provide emergency financial assistance to help families on the path to recovery, they also install free smoke alarms and engage community members in lifesaving skills training such as CPR and First Aid.


The rest of the meeting was short as Commissioner Deal was absent due to illness. The Board will convene next Monday at 8:30 am in the Commissioner's meeting room on the second floor of the courthouse in Sedan.

Senator Virgil Peck Continues Listening Tour


Republican State Senator District 15 Virgil Peck of Havana continues his 2022 listening tour this week. Senator Peck said his focus is to make it easier for voters to express their thoughts, opinions, and concerns regarding the actions and decisions in Topeka. Senator Peck said he feels that it is important for him to hear directly from individual constituents and that he is sent to Topeka to represent their values and interests, and not those of outside or special interest groups.  To further that effort Senator Peck is trying something different this year by conducting stops in the tour later in the day, in the hope that more constituents will be available to attend.


Wednesday, December 7th Senator Peck will be in Altamont at the Sr. Citizens Center at 414 S. Houston at 3:30 and at Oswego in the City Commission Room at 5 pm. In an effort to maximize the opportunity for area residents, Senator Peck has invited District 7 Representative-elect Dan Goddard to be involved in the meeting in Altamont, and District 1 State Rep Mike Houser has been invited to join the Oswego event.


Peck expects to discuss the many issues the 2023 Kansas Legislature will face, including tax reforms or cuts and some form of marijuana legalization.

Drugs, Cash and a Handgun Seized During Stop


Drugs, cash and a handgun are seized during a traffic stop in Labette County.


Late last week, while on routine patrol a Labette County Deputy conducted a traffic stop for a vehicle driving 75mph in a 55mph zone. The driver was identified as Shontes Wright and the passenger as Diego Cornelio. The deputy detected a strong odor associated with burnt marijuana coming from the car.


Deputies found a disassembled 9mm pistol, a glass smoking pipe and $6720 on Cornelio. Deputies searched the vehicle and also located marijuana, methamphetamine and Xanax. Cornelio was charged with possession of marijuana, paraphernalia and a controlled substance. He is also being held on an active warrant issued out of Saline County.

Fog This Morning for Southeast KS, Northeast OK


Visibility in Coffeyville is less than half a mile this morning due to fog.


Parts of southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma will see fog continue this morning with visibility less than a mile in some spots.  The fog is expected to lift towards midday.  The National Weather Service reminds you to use caution when driving and use your low beams while in fog.


Coffeyville Friends of Animals Hosts Open House




Coffeyville Friends of Animals hosted their annual Open House over the weekend.


According to CFA's Becky Barnhart, the annual event usually brings out return visitors.


Barnhart says two dogs were adopted yesterday, and lots of visitors came to donate pet food and supplies to the shelter. Several guests brought their dogs and cats for pictures with Santa as well.


The shelter is always looking for donations of food, toys and especially needs blankets this time of year. The shelter is located next to the wastewater treatment plant on the south side of Coffeyville. You can find the latest hours on the Coffeyville Friends of Animals Facebook Page.



Alleged Homicide Occurs Across County Lines With Multiple Jurisdictions Involved


A Petrolia, Kansas man is arrested for first-degree murder in Chanute. KBI agents, along with the Allen County Kansas Sheriff's Office, and the Neosho County Sheriff's Office are investigating a homicide after a man was found dead Saturday evening in Chanute, Kansas. At around 4:50 p.m., 43-year-old Casey M. Dye of Petrolia, Kansas, arrived at the Allen County Sheriff’s Office and provided a statement to sheriff’s deputies.

Shortly after, law enforcement officers located a deceased man in a vehicle inside an automotive glass shop at 7545 Kansas Highway 39, in Chanute. The man, who was identified as 45-year-old Ryan M. Holcomb of Chanute, had suffered fatal gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators allege Dye killed Holcomb Saturday morning at a rural property in Allen County and then moved his body to the business in Chanute where he was discovered.

Dye was arrested for first-degree murder and was booked into the Allen County Jail. Formal charges are pending, and additional charges are expected.

Christmas Parade Brings Crowds to Downtown Coffeyville


The crowds came to downtown Coffeyville Friday night for the Annual Christmas parade.  People lined 8th, Walnut and 9th Streets to see and grab candy from the over 80 entries in this year’s parade.  In addition to Santa making an appearance at the end of the parade, the Grinch seemed to almost steal the show with many of the parade entrants featuring the Grinch character.


Some shoppers also took advantage of the many pop-up shops along 9th Street as part of Christmas on the Plaza.  The Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce organized the parade while Christmas on the Plaza, which will continue over the next few weekends was organized by Coffeyville’s Reawakening.    


The more than one-hour parade was broadcast on KQQF 98.9fm and also live streamed on video on the KGGF KUSN KQQF Facebook page.  The parade can still be viewed on the radio station's Facebook page.

Indy City Payment Dropbox Relocating


The City of Independence is relocating its city payment drop box.


In order to make way for continued renovation work at the 1916 City Hall property, early next week, the city’s payment drop box currently located on Myrtle Street will be permanently relocated. The new location will be inside the semi-circle drive at the entrance to the Independence Civic Center off Locust Street.


A second drop box will continue to be maintained at the current City Hall location, 811 W. Laurel, as long as city offices remain in that facility. In addition to the two available drop boxes, utility payments are accepted in-person at 811 W. Laurel, by phone at 1-844-215-7377 or online. Paperless billing options also are available.


Three New CFD Firefighters Receive Badges


The Coffeyville Fire Department has three new firefighters.


Andrew Hobbs, joined by his fiance Savannah, Brennan Harp, joined by his wife Kristi and their kids, and Alex Wharry, joined by her fiance Briston, completed the badging ceremony at the Coffeyville fire station. All firefighters are moving on from being probationary firefighters after making it off of their recent one-year probationary period.


They completed their requirements of firefighter one and two in order to remove their probationary status.


2022 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo Spotlights Local Cowboys and Cowgirls


Local cowboys and cowgirls are well represented at the 2022 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.


Pawhuska’s own, Wenda Johnson was the winner of the first round of barrel racing with a time of 13.57 seconds, netting her $28,914. Rookie cowgirl Leslie Smalygo, of Skiatook, had a time of 13.80 taking 4th place with a prize of $12,125.


Jake Long, from Coffeyville, will be competing as a heeler in the team roping. Pawhuska's Tyler Milligan is competing in the calf roping event.


Girard Fire Chief Resigns


The city of Girard has received a letter of resignation from the Fire Chief. According to KOAM News, Girard Fire Chief John Moutz, Jr. sent a letter to the city of Girard announcing his resignation citing differences in the management of the department with certain unnamed individuals in the city’s administrative roles. In his letter Chief Moutz, a nearly nine-year firefighter said it was an honor to have the opportunity to work alongside a majority of the employees that he worked with. The Chief went on to say he was offered a position that he could not pass up and that although he was heartbroken that he could no longer serve the citizens of his hometown, he was left with no choice.


The city of Girard sent KOAM News a statement in which they wished the Chief well in his future endeavors and that the City Administration is expected to recommend the promotion of a current volunteer to the Captain role. He, along with another long-time volunteer member and Captain for Girard Fire will assist until a new Chief is appointed.


Chief Moutz’s last day will be December 6th. The full letter and the City’s entire response is below:


“I, Chief John Moutz Jr, will be resigning as Fire Chief for the City of Girard Fire Department.

My last day with the City of Girard will be December 6th, 2022. I would like to thank the City of Girard for giving me the opportunity to serve the wonderful citizens of Girard for the last (almost) nine years.

I was honored to become a volunteer firefighter for Girard Fire Department in April of 2014. I was later hired as a full-time Public Works Laborer in October 2016. Then I was appointed as Fire Chief in February 2021.

It goes without saying my entire adulthood has been dedicated to serving the citizens of Girard.

It has been an honor to have the opportunity to work alongside a majority of the employees that I have worked with.

I have been here to witness a lot of ups and downs while working with the city but lately I have seen the Fire Department decline immensely over recent years.

Unfortunately, a lot has been taken from the Fire Department due to the city’s management.

I have been working tirelessly to try to build this department back to what it should be for the citizens of Girard. It has become very clear that certain individuals in the city’s administrative roles will not take the time to educate themselves and attempt to understand the importance of preserving the city’s fire department and in return has cause the fire department to deplete.

With that being said, my position as Fire Chief cannot be promised to me as a stable employment.

I have been offered a position that I cannot pass up as my first priority is supporting myself and my family.

I am truly heartbroken that I can no longer serve the citizens of my hometown, but I have been left with no choice.

Please accept this as my format resignation.

My last day at Girard Fire Department will be December 6th, 2022,


John Moutz Jr”



The City's full response is below:


“The City always enjoys being able to give employees promotional opportunities and watch them grow. In 2021, the City was able to promote a Public Works employee to the role of Fire Chief. And we wish him well in his future endeavors.

City Administration is expected to recommend the promotion of a current volunteer to a Captain role. This volunteer started his fire career with the City and quickly advanced, eventually taking a full-time position with a larger department. He, along with another long-time volunteer member and Captain for Girard Fire will assist until a new Chief is appointed. Each will be involved in planning for the future and are certified in various areas of fire protection and medical services.“ –

Johanna O’Brien, MPA, SHRM-SCP

City Administrator





Christmas In The Ville Returns To Bartlesville


An annual tradition returns this weekend to Bartlesville, as Christmas in the Ville is back for the 2022 Christmas season.


Greater Bartlesville Chamber President Sherri Wilt says Christmas in the Ville becomes a bigger attraction every year, with activities including Movies in the Park, Pictures with Santa, and Carriage Rides, however, the biggest attraction is the tree lighting ceremony....


Food trucks will begin serving at 5:30pm tonight near the Chamber Depot at 201 SW Keeler, with The Downtown Merchant Crawl also kicking off at that time. The lighting of the Christmas Tree and the park lights takes place at 6:00 pm, with the opening of the ice rink immediately following the lighting ceremony.

Much of Southeast Kansas Experiencing Exceptional Drought


The most recent map of drought intensity across the region shows that a greater portion of Southeast Kansas has moved into the most severe D4 category.


Montgomery County has stayed mostly in the D3 over the past month, but surrounding counties of Wilson, Labette, and Chautauqua have all seen an increase in D4 levels.


The common effects of a D4 drought are severely impacted crops, wildfires, large dust storms, and death of fish and other aquatic species. Nearly 56% of the state of Kansas is in D3, with 35% in D4.


Kansas has the highest D4 levels of any state in the U.S.

ICC Recognized As Best Place To Work


For the second time in as many years, Independence Community College is recognized with a prestigious award. ICC is proud to be Certified by Great Place to Work for the 2nd year in a row. 81% of the employees at ICC said it’s a great place to work, that’s 24 points higher than the average US Company.

Great Place to Work Certification is the most definitive recognition that companies can aspire to achieve. The recognition is entirely derived from what employees report about their workplace.

Vice President of Human Resources at ICC, Lori Boots said they owe their continued success to their team of dedicated employees. Boots went on to say that ICC celebrates and thanks all of its employees for all they do to be able to earn this incredible recognition.


Montgomery County Commissioners Agenda Set


The Montgomery County Commissioners plan to discuss third-quarter abatement totals as well as the Rural Opportunity Renewal Zone. The regular meeting will be held this Monday, December 5th in the lower level of the Judicial Center.

The board will meet with several department heads from about 9 am to 9:45 including Jim Wright with public works, Marci Roberts with the wellness program, Anne Miller about GIS, and Becky Lewis will have an update about KPERS.

After that, in other business, the Commissioners will go over the 3rd Quarter Abatement totals and the Rural Opportunity Renewal Zone will be discussed.

ICC Alum Endows Scholarship on Behalf Of Former Educator


A former Independence Community College student-athlete on the football team as well as an ICC theater student is inspired to endow a scholarship on behalf of an ICC retired faculty member.


Everett Falder, a resident now of Kentucky, attributes his enthusiasm for his college success and the theater to his former educator Gary Mitchell. Mitchell an ICC alum returned to the campus and taught theatre and English for 31 years. Recently he appeared on stage at the William Inge theatre performing a role for the second time for the ICC Fine Arts showing of OUR TOWN.


The Gary Mitchell Endowed Scholarship will be awarded annually to a student involved in football, theater program, or both. Everett, who won the “Best Supporting Actor” Anna Award in 1975, said College brought special people into his life and one of those was Gary Michell. Everett went on to say that Gary made a positive impact and a difference in his life.

High Fire Danger Today for KGGF Listening Area


Strong south winds and above normal temperatures will result in high grassland fire danger today for southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma.


In Kansas, the highest fire danger will be west of I-35.  Local wind gusts over 50 miler per hour are possible.  In Oklahoma, winds will gust around 40 miles per hour.


A wind advisory remains in effect through 6 p.m. for the four states.


Christmas on the Plaza Starts Tonight in Coffeyville


Christmas on the Plaza starts tonight in downtown Coffeyville.


Chamber of Commerce Director Candi Westbrook says there are events before and after the annual parade.


The parade will be broadcast on KQQF 98.9 as well as Facebook Live. Westbrook says shops featuring items from local vendors will be open after the parade as well.


Christmas on the Plaza will continue tomorrow as well with a bake-off and shops opening at 9 a.m. Plus a music event at 1 p.m.  Westbrook is still looking for volunteers to help with the parade, so contact the Chamber if you are interested. If you are participating in the parade, the lineup order information is available below.


Chetopa Woman Identified in Missouri Murder-Suicide


A Chetopa, Kanas woman is identified in a murder-suicide in southwest Missouri.


According to the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office, deputies found two people dead at a residence west of Miller, Missouri earlier this week.


An autopsy determined that 55 year-old Caleb Kingsley of Miller suffered a single gunshot wound to the head while asleep. The other subject found dead was 43 year-old Linda Kennedy of Chetopa. Kennedy's cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.


The Sheriff's Office is concluding the investigation and should have the investigation completed within the next few days and would like to assure the public that there is no threat to the community as both subjects were acquainted with each other.

Caney Christmas Parade Packs Downtown


Downtown Caney was packed with spectators last night taking in the annual Christmas Parade.


Sixty one entries in this year's parade included police, EMS and fire departments from all across the county plus local businesses, the Pride of Caney High School Band, cheerleaders and the wrestling team just to name a few.  A raffle took place before and after the parade, and a food truck and local businesses were open for residents and guests downtown.


The parade was broadcast on KQQF 98.9. Tonight, the Coffeyville Christmas Parade will be broadcast on KQQF and streamed live on Facebook starting at 6 p.m.

Poet Laureate to Speak at ICC Graduation


A Kansas Poet Laureate is set to speak at the Independence Community College Graduation.


ICC's Fall Commencement Ceremony is on Tuesday in the William Inge Theatre. The ceremony will start at 6:00pm and admission is free. This year’s Honorary Speaker is Kansas's 7th Poet Laurete, Huascar Medina who is an author and editor. Medina is the creator and host of Kansas is Lit on and is the Lit Editor for seveneightfive magazine. Medina has published two books of poetry, Un Mango Grows in Kansas and How to Hang the Moon.


Marshall Finishes Kansas County Town Hall Tour


A U.S Senator from Kansas has finished his town hall tour of all 105 counties in the state. Senator Roger Marshall says the best advice Bob Dole gave him was to go out and listen to the people.


Marshall says people want to know if you understand where they live and what it is like to live there.  The completion of Marshall's town hall tour comes just a few weeks before the completion of the 117th Congress, which is his first as a U.S. Senator.


Suspect in Baxter Springs Shooting Charged


The suspect in the Baxter Springs shooting has been charged.


41-year-old Kyle Butts has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder and interference with law enforcement. He is currently being held at the Cherokee County Jail without bond.


Autopsies are scheduled to take place for Jeremy Murphy and Craig Guinn, who were found dead at the scene. The third victim Seth Guinn was transported to Freeman Hospital in critical condition.

Santa Visiting Candy Cane Lane on Dec 17th


If you are looking for a place to see some Christmas lights this holiday season look no further than right here in Coffeyville.


Candy Cane Lane is located 1 block north of 1st street and 1 block west of Willow in the 200 block of Evergreen. If you plan your visit for December 17th, the residents of Candy Cane Lane will be handing out candy canes and hot cocoa and you'll get a chance to meet Santa starting at 6:00pm that night.


You can also drop off letters for Santa anytime in the mailbox located in front of 207 Evergreen marked Letters for Santa. Make sure to leave a return address on your letter so Santa can reply.

Independence Annual Coat Drive Seeking Donations


The Annual Coat Drive in Independence returns this holiday season, courtesy of Sherwin Williams.


With the temperatures dropping across SE Kansas and NE Oklahoma, it becomes critical for people to have access to warm clothes. Independence Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Wilson says that donations will be given to numerous organizations during the winter months.


Donations can be brought to Sherwin Williams at 1802 West Main St through Friday December 9th. Wilson says she also recommends considering giving coats to the Independence schools as well.


For additional information, visit the Independence Chamber of Commerce website. 

High Winds, Fire Danger Today For KGGF Listening Area


Winds out of the south are expected to increase throughout the day and will result in high fire danger for southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma.  Kansas Forest Service Meteorologist Chip Redmond says a strong cold front will move across the region tomorrow.


In Kansas, peak wind gusts will be in the central part of the state today.  Southeast Kansas will see higher wind speeds tomorrow.  In Oklahoma, winds will be lighter today although low afternoon relative humidity will cause an increased fire spread rate.  The peak fire conditions will be between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m. today and tomorrow.


K-DOT Constuction Projects Approved


The Kansas Department of Transportation announces approved bids for the latest state highway construction and maintenance projects.


In Bourbon County, two bridges will be replaced, one located over Owl Creek on K-39, two miles east of the K-3 junction, and the other located over Paint Creek on K-3, just north of the Crawford County line.


 In Cherokee County, the pavement will be replaced on Highway 69, from the Oklahoma/Kansas state line north to the south city limits of Columbus, and from the north city limits of Columbus north to the
K-7/U.S. 160/U.S. 69 junction.


 In Crawford County, the pavement will be replaced on K-47, from the Neosho/Crawford county line east to the west city limits of Girard.


 In Neosho County, 11.1 miles of payment will be overlaid on K-47, beginning at the U.S. 169/K-47 junction east to the north U.S. 59/K-47 junction.

Winter Wheat in Southeast Kansas Above State Average


Southeast Kansas leads the state in percentage of winter wheat emerged.


The latest numbers from the United States Department of Agriculture show southeast Kansas is tied with central Kansas at 90%.  K-State Research and Extension Wildcat District Crop Production Agent James Coover says recent rains have helped crops in southeast Kansas.


Total percentage of wheat emerged in Kansas is 87%, which is behind 95% emerged this time last year, and also behind the five-year average of 92%.  Winter wheat condition across the state is rated at 20% very poor, 23% poor, 36% fair, 19% good and 2% excellent.

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