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Local News Archives for 2023-01

Riverton Woman Sentenced to Eight Years in Jail


A Riverton woman is sentenced in Cherokee County Court.


37-year-old Shayna Nichole Cowgill-Wittenmyer was sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and aggravated child endangerment. The charges stem from an August 2018 raid conducted by Cherokee County Sheriff's Investigators on Cowgill-Wittenmyer's residence, where they discovered a meth lab along with children in the home.


In September 2022, a second suspect arrested at the time of the raid, Adam C. Evans, was sentenced to 104 months in prison.

Bartlesville Man Arrested in Montgomery County


A Bartlesville man flees a sheriff's deputy but is arrested in rural Montgomery County.


On Sunday at around 9:40pm, a patrol deputy was traveling south on Highway 75 near Bolton. A vehicle driving north was clocked driving 108mph in a 65mph zone. The deputy attempted to pull over the driver but they failed to stop for the deputy. After a brief pursuit, the vehicle finally came to a stop.


The driver was identified as Kyler Dowell. During the stop, the deputy could smell alcohol coming from the car. Dowell was transported to the Montgomery County Department of Corrections for speeding, fleeing law enforcement, expired registration and a DUI.  

KDWP Needs Info On Hunting Incident


 The KDWP Game Warden Division is seeking information about an injury hunting incident that took place Saturday, January 28th, at the Hillsdale Wildlife Area.


 If anyone has any trail cameras, or observed any parked vehicles that afternoon near Hillsdale Point, or any other information regarding the incident, please contact Lt. Game Warden Wonderlich at (785) 256-3611.

Bartlesville Man Arrested For Shooting Man With BB Gun


 A Bartlesville man is facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon after shooting someone with a BB gun.


 Arrest records show that Ricky Lewis was taken into custody on January 26th. Lewis was parked in a green SUV that was parked in front of the victim’s house. When the victim misidentified Lewis and attempted to make contact with the driver, Lewis pointed a firearm at the victim’s face. Lewis then shot him with a BB gun, and before leaving Lewis allegedly told the victim that he would be back later to “finish the job.”


 Lewis is being held over on a $75,000 bond. His next court date is set for February 3rd.

Two Arrested In Joplin For Mail Theft


 Two Joplin residents are being charged with stealing mail.

 JPD says 27-year-old Emily Sturgis and 30-year-old Aaron Blake have stolen mail from more than 170 victims in the Joplin area. The investigation led authorities to a hotel room east of Duenweg where both Sturgis and Blake stayed. During the search, opened mail that contained W-2 forms was found, plus car titles, financial statements, plus checks and credit cards belonging to additional Jasper County residents.

 Sturgis has also been previously charged with Forgery and similar other crimes in Newton County.

Rainfall Still Needed In Region


 The latest rainfall numbers are out from the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service.


 For the month of December, rainfall totals averaged 0.75 of an inch throughout the state, with the Southeast district recording the highest precipitation at 1.61 inches and the Panhandle district recording the lowest precipitation at 0.18 of an inch.


 According to the January 24th US Drought Monitor Report, 98 percent of the state was in the abnormally dry to exceptional drought category, up two points from the previous year. Additionally, 89 percent of the state was in the moderate drought to exceptional drought category, up one point from the previous year.


 Statewide temperatures averaged in the 30’s, with the lowest recording of 5 degrees at Boise City on Sunday, January 29th and the highest recording of 65 degrees at Hollis on Saturday, January 28th . Topsoil moisture conditions and subsoil moisture conditions were rated mostly adequate to short.


 Winter wheat grazed reached 36 percent, points from the previous year points from normal. Rye grazed reached 22 percent, points from the previous year points from normal. Oats grazed reached 36 percent, points from the previous year points from normal. Pasture and Livestock: Pasture and range condition was rated at 45 percent good to fair. Livestock condition was rated at 75 percent good to fair.

Neodesha Fire Department Changing to 48 Hour Shifts


The Neodesha Fire Department is changing their shift schedule for the first time since 1980. Fire Chief Keenan Fyfe says they are switching from 24 hours on, 24 hours on call and 48 hours off to 48 hours on and 96 hours off.


Fyfe says another benefit of the shift changes is there will be more staff at the firehouse during a shift. Fyfe says he has several firefighters who have been with the department for a long time and are excited for the change. The “A” shift, who started yesterday will work the first ever 48-hour shift in department history.


Nowata County Commission Approves New Truck


The Nowata County Commission has accepted a bid for a new truck.


At their meeting yesterday, commissioners accepted a bid for a 2021 RAM 2500 Tradesman Crew Cab 4x4 Long Box in the amount of $40,380 to Bartlesville CDJR.  The Commissioners also discussed a donation made to the local sheriff’s office.


The Commissioners will meet again next Monday at the Nowata County Courthouse Annex at 9 a.m.

Montgomery County Moving Forward with County Health Grant


The Montgomery County Commission received an update this afternoon regarding the grant request that was submitted for the County Health department.


County Health Director Carolyn Muller says that all items from the original grant request relating to a new trailer were approved, with the exception of fencing. However, after contacting the state, it was determined that fencing could be used with the grant money.


The next steps for the county will be to search for bidders and decide which organization to partner with for this project. Muller says that Montgomery County has until June 30th to decide before the grant money expires.


Additional items of discussion at the Montgomery County Commission meeting were an executive session with Public Works Director Jim Wright regarding acquisition of real property, as well as granting permission for the public works department to solicit bids for chemicals for noxious weed.


Montgomery County Commission meetings take place each Monday afternoon at 1:00 p.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.

Trail Enthusiasts Meet At Capitol


 Trail enthusiasts are meeting at the Kansas State Capitol today to celebrate Sunflower State Trail Appreciation Day.


 Proponents of the trails are meeting to showcase their projects, talk about the health and economic benefits of trails and speak with lawmakers about the positive role public trails play in Kansas communities. Kansas Lieutenant Governor David Toland and Mike Passo, Executive Director of American Trails, are expected to speak.


The Sunflower Foundation's mission is focused on promoting healthy living for Kansas communities and schools, improving health care, and developing leaders of Kansas organizations to be effective advocates for the causes and communities they serve. For more information, visit their website here.

Parsons Woman Arrested For Assaulting Officers


 A Parsons woman was arrested after assaulting three Parsons police officers.


 Officers on patrol late last week observed 52-year-old Melissa Kuffler standing outside of a residence in the 3100 block of Main Street. Kuffler had multiple warrants for her arrest from the Labette County District Court. When Officer Christian Smith and Officer Luke Schibi made contact with Kuffler, she fled into a residence but was arrested soon after. During the arrest, Kuffler punched and spat on the two officers. Kuffler's behavior continued during processing when she struck another officer.


 Kuffler was arrested on a Felony Aggravated Failure to Appear and a Failure to Appear warrant, as well as new charges of Felony Interference with Law Enforcement, and three counts of Felony Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer.


 This continues to be an ongoing investigation. Citizens are encouraged to “See It, Hear It, Report It.” If anyone has any further information on this incident or any other criminal activity, please contact the Parsons Police Department at 421-7060 or call the Tip Line at 421-7057.

Noel Man Found Deceased In Burning Shed


 The Noel Police Department is investigating the death of a man found in a burning shed.

 A call came into McDonald County 911 just before 7:00 Sunday morning reporting a structure fire on North Kings Highway and Railroad Street in Noel. The  Noel Fire Department responded and found a shed fully engulfed in flames. When fire crews arrived to extinguish the fire, a subject was discovered that had perished in the fire.

 The Missouri State Fire Marshal will assist with the investigation. Officials believe the deceased was living inside the shed. 

An autopsy will be conducted this week.

Death In Commerce Prompts Investigation

 The Quapaw Nation Marshals Office is investigating the death of a Commerce resident.

 The investigation began Sunday evening after officers were called to a residence on Vine Street in Commerce.

 There is no threat known to the community. No names have been released in this ongoing investigation.

Weather Causes Tractor-Trailer Runoffs


 Two slide-offs by tractor-trailers close a major intersection just west of Neosho.

 Just after 7:00 Sunday night, two tractor-trailer units left I-49 and crashed down the embankment onto Highway 60. One went through the median between the bridges over US-60.

 One of the tractor-trailer crashes included a trapped driver. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the crashes around the interstate are only showing non-life-threatening injuries to drivers and passengers.

Parsons Police Recover Stolen Vehicle


 The Parsons Police Department recovers a stolen vehicle after a short investigation.


 Late last week, Parsons police officers were called to the 800 block of North 16th Street for a report of a stolen 2012 Volkswagen Jetta with a firearm inside.


 The stolen vehicle was located backed into a driveway in the 1600 block of Gabriel Avenue, where 29-year-old Brandon Lee Parks was located. Parks, seen on security footage earlier, was still wearing the same clothing. It was determined that the firearm was no longer in the stolen Jetta. Parks had taken the firearm out of the vehicle and taken it into the residence. He was also found with a number of an illegal controlled substances as well.


 Parks is a convicted felon and is restricted from being in possession of firearms.


 Charges of Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Theft of a Firearm, Criminal Possession of a Weapon by a Convicted Felon, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Violation of Offender Registration are being sought through the County Attorney's Office.


 The investigation is ongoing. If anyone has any further information on this incident or any other criminal activity, please contact the Parsons Police Department at 421-7060 or call the Tip Line at 421-7057.

Former ICC President Arrested


 The former president of Independence Community College was arrested Friday afternoon for nine counts of alleged business or service thefts.


 Independence Police Chief Jerry Harrison says the investigation showed theft of property or business services of less than $1,500 from three separate establishments within a 72-hour period. Harrison says the acts in question happened between December 16, 2022, and January 27, 2023.


 Formal charges have not been filed as of yet by Montgomery County Attorney Melissa Johnson.  IPD responded to the 100 block of South Peter Pan Road late Friday afternoon to make a report on the discovery of those nine thefts.  54-year-old Daniel Barwick was booked into the Montgomery County Department of Corrections Friday and held on a $1,500 bond.


 Barwick served as ICC president from 2011 to 2019. He was recently hired to run the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s School of Dentistry's philanthropic giving and foundation division. He also has served as the director of giving at Indiana State University.



School Closings, Wind Chills to Start the Week


Wind chills are impacting the four states today, with slick conditions bringing school closings in Oklahoma and Kansas.

This morning's wind chills are are around zero in Coffeyville, with colder temperatures to the north and west.  In Oklahoma, slick conditions combined with the cold are prompting Tulsa area schools to close.  Riverton, Galena, Baxter Springs and Joplin schools have also closed.  Highs today in the area will largely stay below freezing with Coffeyville making it to 26 degrees. 


A list of school closings is available here.



Second Flooding Town Hall in Miami


The City of Miami is hosting a second public meeting to discuss flooding issues and ongoing legal processes related to flooding.


Speakers from the City’s legal and technical teams will present information regarding the issues of repetitive flooding and backwater effecting Miami and the surrounding area and share updated information regarding flooding in Miami and across Ottawa County. The first City of Miami Flooding Town Hall drew a crowd of hundreds of residents who stayed through the evening last June to hear speakers and participate in an open forum. The forum will start at 6 p.m. on Thursday, February 16th in the Coleman Theater in Miami.

UPDATE: Joplin Teen Found


 The Joplin Police Department is seeking your help to locate a missing teen. 

 14-year-old Alivia D. Hubbard is described as a white female, approximately 5’2 with red and black hair. Hubbard was last seen wearing a black hoodie with jeans in the area of 4th St. & Maiden Lane. If you have any information, please contact the Joplin Police Department at 417-623-3131 x1885 or x1637. 

Caney Search Warrant Results In Three Arrests


 A domestic disturbance in Caney leads to the arrest of three Caney residents.


 Wednesday morning, officers with the Caney Police Department responded to a domestic disturbance in the 500 block of West 4th Street. 19-year-old Breandra Hall of Tulsa was arrested for obstruction of a law enforcement officer.


 After her release, Hall requested an officer standby at the home so she could retrieve personal belongings. With a Caney officer on site, probable cause evidence was obtained, and a search warrant was granted to search the residence for drugs.


 Officers executed the search warrant early yesterday morning, and located numerous weapons in the residence along with over 450 grams of marijuana, methamphetamines, drug paraphernalia and a small marijuana grow operation.


 20-year-old Caelob Tidwell, 47-year-old Michael Vaughn, and 42-year-old Angel Amber Dawn Benefiel were booked into the Montgomery County Jail on multiple drug and weapon-related charges. Benefiel faces an additional charge of obstruction of law enforcement.

FKHS to Crown King and Queen Between Games


Field Kindley High School's Homecoming Coronation is tonight.


Queen candidates include Chaunte Porter, Melissa Ortiz, Diane Ramirez, Jenna Wasson and Makayla Strickland. King Candidates are DeAndre Shobe, Drew Stukesbary, Rickey Loffer, Aiden Caron and Devon Vincent. The crowning of the king and queen will take place between the girl's and boy's games against Labette County. The games can be heard on Sonshine 98.9 KQQF and the winners will also be announced on air before the boy's game.


In celebration of Homecoming, StoreNado will be raffling off a Weber grill. Customers will receive one ticket per item purchased in the store. The drawing will be during halftime of the boy's game.

Coffeyville Fire Department Partners with Oilers for Fundraiser


The Tulsa Oilers hockey team is teaming up with the Coffeyville Fire Department to raise money for downtown Coffeyville.


The Oilers will be partaking in First Responders Night for their February 25th game against the Rapid City Rush. Coffeyviille Fire Captain Mike O'Connor says that the department will be able to use a portion of ticket sales to help raise money for the Midland Theater.


The original goal for the fire department was to sell 50 tickets for the event, but they have already surpassed that total. O'Connor says tickets are available for another month, and will be eligible to support the Midland until the day before the game.


You can purchase tickets by visiting the International Association of Firefighters- Local 265 Department Facebook page.



Former Carl Junction Officer Charged With Abuse Of Minor


 Sexual abuse charges have been filed against a former Carl Junction police officer convicted 10 years ago of possessing child pornography.

 39-year-old Seth Wilkins, of Jasper, was charged late last week with first-degree sodomy and first-degree sexual abuse of a 9-year-old girl.

 The probable-cause affidavit states that Wilkins inappropriately touched the girl in December at a rural Barton County residence.

 According to the Joplin Globe, this isn't the first time Wilkins has been charged. As a member of the Carl Junction Police Department, he was charged in  2010 with possession of child pornography. Court records say he admitted having downloaded about 100 videos from the internet. He plead guilty to the charge in November 2012, and was discharged from probation in August 2015.

Southeast KS Student Regional Winner in Essay Contest


A student from Ottawa is being recognized as a regional essay contest winner.


The League of Kansas Municipalities and Kansas Association of Counties co-hosted Local Government Day this week. More than 200 city and county government officials met in Topeka for the event. Students from around the state were recognized as regional winners for the annual “My City, My Home” essay contest. Representing the southeast region of the state, Ottawa Middle School Student Brody Rockers was one of five regional award winners in addition to the overall winner, who was Jocelyn Leanna of Phillipsburg. Each year, the League hosts the competition for seventh-grade students, asking them to explain why their city is “home” and what they like about their community. Hundreds of students participated in the contest.


Name Region School City
Jocelyn Leanna Northcentral and Overall Winner Phillipsburg Middle School Agra
Brody Rockers Southeast Ottawa Middle School Ottawa
Halle Schroeder Southwest Hodgeman County Jr. High Jetmore
Jorgen Stewart Northwest Quinter Junior High School Quinter
Parker Costley Southcentral Resurrection Catholic School Wichita
Rylan Rodvelt Northeast Jackson Heights High School Holton

Montgomery County Cracks Down On DUI's

 The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office is conducting a traffic campaign this Sunday.


 The sheriff's office Facebook page says they and other multiple agencies throughout Kansas with be enforcing and cracking down on DUI's and other traffic infractions between 3:00pm and 3:00am.


 They remind everyone to be responsible and do not drive intoxicated. Have a friend or a family member who has not been drinking give you a ride home.


 "You drink, you drive, you lose".

The Latest Information On Galena Attempted Carjacking


 More information has been gathered concerning an attempted carjacking in Galena.


 The attempt took place around 7:00 a.m. yesterday morning at Casey's at 7th and Main. Cherokee County officials say the car owner saw a man getting into her vehicle. The woman was able to pull him out of her vehicle. The man then fled on foot.


 The Galena Police Department says several calls also came in around the same time with complaints of additional carjacking attempts. An abandoned vehicle was also located, which turned out to be stolen from Neosho.


 Law enforcement started canvassing neighborhoods around the stolen vehicle's location, and soon after, suspect Chris Hood was located. He was found just over the state line in Missouri, near the power plant in Asbury.


 The Galena School District was put into a brief lockdown because the stolen vehicle allegedly had weapons inside. Charges against Hood are pending.

Independence Police Department Approved for New Scanner System


A more consistent and efficient method of communication is coming to the Independence Police Department.


Police Chief Jerry Harrison was approved to convert the police scanner system to UHF-Digital, following a presentation at tonight's city commission meeting. Harrison says that their current system, VHF, is not adequate and creates danger for officers.


Harrison also suggests that Independence put in place a Public Safety Answering Point Boundary Line, in the event of 911 services. This would ensure that 911 Ambulance Call Transfers from one PSAP to another are reduced.


Additional items of discussion at the Independence City Commission meeting are a spot open on the Planning Commission, with an application deadline of February 3rd.


Also, the commissioners set a public hearing for March 23 to consider the condemnation of 1000 W Chestnut as dangerous and unsafe. The residence was significantly damaged in a structure fire on January 20th.

Attempted Carjacking in Galena


 An attempted carjacking in Galena leads to a lockdown of some Galena schools.

 Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves says the call came into dispatch at 6:00 a.m. this morning, concerning a man suspected of attempting to steal vehicles. The suspect also allegedly attempted a carjacking at the Casey’s gas station at 7th and Main.

 Groves says the suspect then took off on foot, which led to the lockdown of the surrounding schools.

 The suspect was found around 9:30 a.m. by Jasper County, Missouri deputies, near the Liberty power plant.

 The suspect's name has not been released at this time.

Agency Delays Protections for Prairie Chicken, Bat


The Biden administration is temporarily delaying legal protections for two species after getting pushback from congressional republicans.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last November designated the northern long-eared bat as endangered. It also listed one population of lesser prairie chickens as endangered and another as threatened. The designations were scheduled to take effect this month., but the agency has delayed them until late March to give affected industries such as logging and ranching time to adjust. GOP lawmakers including Kansas Senator Jake LaTurner and Oklahoma representatives and senators have criticized the designations on prairie chickens. Environmentalists say the delays could give critics an opportunity to derail the protections.


New Penny's Diner Opens in Coffeyville


A new diner has opened its doors in Coffeyville.


Penny's Diner, a popular chain diner that has nearly 30 locations nationwide, has introduced a brand new Coffeyville location. Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce Director Candi Westbrook says the diner officially opened for business to the public on Monday, and is open 24 hours.


The menu showcases classic diner favorites such as hamburgers, meatloaf, old-fashioned sundaes, milkshakes, and malts. Penny's also takes pride in making everything from scratch, as well as an authentic 1950s style and presentation.


Penny's Diner is located at 820 East 11th Street in Coffeyville, and you can contact them at 316-630-6342. 

KS Milk Production Up Over 2021


Milk production in Kansas was up during the end of 2022.


That's according to the latest milk production report released by the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. In December 2022, production totaled 354 million pounds, up 4% from December 2021. The average number of milk cows was 175,000 head, which is an increase of 7,000 from December 2021. Milk production per cow averaged 2,025 pounds.


Bryce Introduces Bill to Display "In God We Trust"


Kansas House District 11 Representative Ron Bryce is introducing a bill to require public schools to display the national motto in classrooms.


This is Bryce's first bill since taking office earlier this year, and he says passing down American values is important to him.


If passed, Bryce says the program would not cost the state or taxpayers any money as plaques for classrooms would come from private organizations.


Bryce says the cost would likely be less than $100 per school. Some states including Arkansas have passed similar laws require the motto be displayed if signs are donated, while other states simply encourage the action.

Nowata County Scam Alert


The Nowata County Sheriff's Office is alerting citizens to a new scam.


A man is calling Nowata County citizens claiming to be a deputy named Rick Harper. According to the sheriff's office, there is no one employed or affiliated with them by that name. The number the scammer is calling from is (405)230-4461, but he could also be spoofing the sheriff's office number. The purpose of the scam is to get personal information in order to get money from the victim. The scammer states he has a file on the victim and has warrants.


If you receive a call from this person hang up and call the Nowata County Sheriff's office at (918)273-2287.

Teen Seen on Charge of First Degree Murder


A teen in Washington County is being tried as an adult in a first-degree murder case.


Heidi Dutton is accused of killing her parents, Larry and Deborah Dutton. According to the arrest affidavit, Dutton was taken to the Bartlesville Police Department for questioning after a search warrant led to the discovery of blood-stained walls and shoes with blood evidence on them. During questioning, Dutton confessed to shooting her mom in the head before stabbing her with a knife. The next moment her father started towards her to try and stop her, and he was allegedly stabbed three times by Dutton, twice in the head and once in the abdomen. Dutton would later recant her story partially, saying that she had a male counterpart, Lucas Anthony Walker that actually did the killings for her.


When asked why it was done, Dutton simply stated that it was just because she “wanted them dead.” Both are currently being held over in the Washington County Jail and Dutton’s bond is set at $2 million. Dutton’s next court date is set for February 3rd.


Kelly Talks Education in State of the State


Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly is calling on Kansas officials to stop distracting themselves with what she calls wedge issues in education.


That was part of Kelly's message last night during her State of the State address, rebuking the republican-controlled legislature pursuing policies she says cater to conservative parents unhappy with public schools. Kelly wasn’t specific, but top Republicans have promised to pursue several ideas passed in GOP-led states including restrictions on what public K-12 schools can teach about gender and sexuality. Kelly also toughened her rhetoric in advocating for legalizing marijuana for medical use.


In Republicans' official response, taped two weeks ago, Senate President Ty Masterson, a Wichita-area Republican, said that under Kelly, the state is on a path toward making K-12 schools into what he calls “factories for a radical social agenda.” Masterson also said after the speech that the Senate would consider medical marijuana proposals this year.

Woman and Baby Die in Labette County Crash


A woman and baby are dead after a crash in Labette county.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, the accident happened four miles west of Parsons on U.S. 400 on Monday. A Buick driven by 30-year-old Valerie Montgomery of Parsons was eastbound on 400, went left of center, and struck a Chevy Silverado head on. The baby was not identified.


The Chevy was driven by 41-year-old Brian Brooks of Thayer, who was taken to a hospital with a suspected minor injury, along with occupant Brittany Abshere, also of Thayer, who had a suspected serious injury. Three juveniles were present in the Chevy, but no information is available on their status.

City Approves Incentive Programs for Community Development


Several programs utilizing the new ½ cent sales tax approved by voters in 2021 are now approved by the City Commission.

The money will start going towards programs involving housing and community development, park improvements and historic downtown programs. The city is providing incentive money on a first-come basis of $3,000 for new single-family home construction and $1,500 per unit for multi-family construction. Director of Housing Charla Brown says this is aimed at dealing with the lack of housing in the city.

The city will also provide a $1,500 incentive for first-time home buyers and senior assistance programs for low and moderate-income individuals. The city will also provide up to $300 for painting any home, and additional USDA housing programs will also be available.

Money will also be available for improvements to downtown buildings where the city will match 50 percent of the money for projects in different categories up to $5,000 per year. A $5,000 incentive will also be available to businesses looking to relocate downtown.  City Manager Mark Hall says this is a big step forward for Coffeyville.

The sales tax money will also fund one park improvement each year, the first of which will be Sycamore Park just west of Community Elementary on 1st street.


Senator Peck Introduces Several Bills In Topeka

Senator Virgil Peck is introducing several bills early in this legislative session in Topeka.


One is a bill to exempt disabled veterans from paying sales tax in Kansas. The bill is similar to one Peck introduced in 2020, however, this version will provide greater tax savings. Purchases made by, or on behalf of, a disabled vet or their widow, until they remarry, would be exempt if passed.


Peck also testified on his bill to provide Kansas with a back-to-school tax holiday in Topeka last week, saying he found broad support and he expects the tax committee to work the bill in the not-too-distant future.


Peck has introduced similar bills while serving in the House and the Senate, as he said he could see firsthand for years the losses Kansas municipalities on the border have when Oklahoma and Missouri hold their school tax holidays. There are several other school tax holiday bills that have been introduced this legislative session including one backed by Governor Laura Kelly.

KS State of the State Address Tonight


Kansas Governor Laura Kelly will deliver the State of the State address tonight.


The address was rescheduled from earlier this month due to Kelly testing positive for COVID-19. That test was later determined to be a false positive. The governor will address a joint session of the legislature tonight at 6:30. Due to scheduling conflicts with K-State basketball that starts at 7 p.m., we will not be able to carry the address live on KGGF, but will have a recap on Wednesday morning.

Caney City Council Makes Changes


 Residency requirements were expanded in a special session of the Caney City Council Monday night.


 Caney Mayor Josh Elliott says the mileage requirement for both emergency and non emergency personnel living outside of the Caney city limits is now the same.


 In other business, the removal of Facebook and YouTube as a city platform was approved, and preliminary approval was given to El Charro's of Caney for a liquor license, pending proper paperwork.

KCC To Hold Workshops On Resource Adequacy


The Kansas Corporation Commission is hosting workshops on the topic of renewable energy resources and their reliability.


Each workshop will feature experts on resource adequacy and will answer questions from KCC commissioners and staff as they discuss the intermittency of renewable resources, fuel availability, and outage rates for all generation types. The KCC says that careful planning is required to ensure adequate energy and reliability in the event of extreme weather events.


The first workshop is on January 25th from 9 am until 11 and can be seen live on ZOOM or on KCC’s YouTube channel.


For more information and a list of other workshop dates click on the link here.

UPDATE: Two Charged with 1st Degree Murder--Victims ID'd


The suspect in a first degree murder case is charged in federal court.


Twenty-year-old Lucas Anthony Walker, was charged in federal court in Tulsa by Criminal Complaint with first degree murder in Indian Country and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Walker made his initial court appearance on Monday.

The matter will proceed in United States District Court in Tulsa, where the Complaint is currently pending. A Complaint is a temporary charge alleging a violation of law. For the case to proceed to trial, the United States must present the charge to a federal Grand Jury within 30 days. Once a Grand Jury returns an indictment, a defendant has a right to a jury trial at which the United States would have the burden of proving the defendant’s guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The FBI, Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation are the investigative agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric O. Johnston and Shakema M. Onais is prosecuting the case.



Victims ID Update:


Washington County Undersheriff Jon Copeland is releasing the names of the victims in the double homicide investigation from over the weekend.  Two bodies were recovered yesterday during a joint operation between the FBI, OSBI, Medical Examiner's Office and the WCSO.  Confident is high that the identity of the two bodies are that of Larry and Deborah Dutton, both of rural Washington County, Oklahoma.  Full confirmation is expected from the Medical Examiner's Office and expect that information to be forthcoming in the next few days.  


Two arrests have been made, as previously released, in connection with this homicide investigation. Lucas Anthony Walker and a juvenile have been arrested this past Friday.  Mr. Walker has had charges filed in Federal Court - Tulsa, for Murder in the First Degree and Discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.  The juvenile will be seen in Washington County District Court where they will be charged with 2 counts of first degree murder.  The 11th Judicial District Attorney, William Drake, will be seeking to charge the juvenile as an adult. The juvenile's name will be withheld until such time court proceedings have occurred permitting the release of the name. 


Original Story:


Two suspects in a first degree murder case are in custody in Washington County


The investigation is ongoing and Washington County Undersheriff Jon Copeland provides an update.


While investigating a possible missing persons incident, sheriff's department investigators and deputies developed probable cause for a search warrant. The search warrant was for a single-family residence northeast of Dewey in rural Washington County. Two people were taken into custody on First Degree Murder complaints.


The investigation continues with help from the US Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the OSBI, the Tulsa Medical Examiner’s Office and the 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Washington County.

CPD Arrest Coffeyville Man For Drugs


The Coffeyville Police Department arrest a Coffeyville man for drugs and interference with a law enforcement officer. 31-year-old Brittain Woods was charged late last week with possession of an opiate, possession of drug paraphernalia, and interference with a law enforcement officer.


Records of the arrest have been sent to the prosecuting attorney’s office for review.

Updated Snow Forecast for Coffeyville


More snow is expected in southeast Kansas with the coming winter weather.


Two to five inches of snow is now predicted for Coffeyville, with higher snow totals expected in northeast Oklahoma and especially in northwest Arkansas. Rain this morning and early afternoon will transition to snow by the afternoon, which could impact the evening commute. A winter weather advisory goes into effect from 9 this morning until 6 a.m. tomorrow for southeast Kansas. A winter storm warning goes into effect from noon today until 6 a.m. tomorrow for areas south and east of Bartlesville into all of southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas. Most snow will fall this afternoon through the early morning hours. Stay tuned to KGGF for updates and any closings should they be announced.



South Coffeyville Gym Bond Issue Going to Voters


The decision to build a new gym for South Coffeyville Schools is now in the hands of voters.


During a special meeting today, the South Coffeyville Board of Education voted to move forward with a special election to let voters decide on the bond issue. Superintendent Daryl Pruter says the decision is a big step forward.


The board now has better information on the proposed cost to taxpayers, which is now estimated at $11.24 per month per $1000 of taxes. Pruter says the addition of 12 mills instead of 16 as previously estimated will still make taxes in South Coffeyville less expensive than in surrounding areas.


The special election on the new gym will be held on April 4th.

Montgomery County Reviews Grant Plan


The Montgomery County Commission meeting took place this morning, with initial discussions for a comprehensive grant plan the main focus of discussion.


City of Independence Assistant City Manager and Zoning Administrator Kelly Passauer says that the next plan should be to file a Request for Proposal (RFP), in order to best organiaze and specify the most important things the county wishes to have addressed.


Additional items of note at the County Commission meeting was the discussion of a renewed insurance plan with EBMS and Micah Boulanger, as well as a conversation with Public Works Director Jim Wright regarding modifications to the county's solid waste plan.


Montgomery County Commission meetings take place each Monday morning at 9 a.m. in the lower level of the Judicial Building in downtown Independence. All meetings are open to the public, as well as streamed live on Facebook and Zoom.



Former Neodesha High School Teacher Charged On Crimes Involving Minor

 A former Neodesha School District band teacher is facing multiple charges for sexual crimes involving a minor.


 According to Wilson County court documents, 28-year old Quinton Bockhold is charged with 19 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child and one count of Electronic Solicitation of a Child.


 The complaint states Bockhold allegedly contacted someone he thought was a minor, between April 10-15, 2022, for sexual purposes, using electronic communication. If convicted, this level three felony charge is punishable by up to 247 months in state prison.


 The complaint also charges Bockhold, in the same time frame, with nineteen allegations of alleged unlawful possession of a visual depiction of a minor. The level five felony charges are punishable for up to 136 months each for the 19 counts in the Kansas Department of Corrections.


 Bockhold is being held in the Wilson County Jail in Fredonia with no bond. He is also no longer employed by the Neodesha School District.

Cq Board of Commissioners Hear From Local Taxpayer


The Chautauqua County Board of Commissioners heard from a local taxpayer with questions about his delinquent property tax during the public comment section. He was concerned that he had to appear on the court date on his letter and pay the fees and costs on that day. County Treasurer Amy Goode was able to shed some light on the situation.


Commissioner Rodney Shaw had a question about holiday pay for county employees. Shaw asked if a holiday falls on a Saturday for instance, regular employees will get their holiday pay on Friday, but do certain employees that work on holidays like deputies and trash collection employees still get that pay? Human Resources Director Crystal Wade says that yes they will get both the paid holiday and will get paid for the hours they work as well.


In other business, the commissioners unanimously approved the payout for the county insurance.

Biking Across Kansas Finalizes 2023 Route


 Biking Across Kansas has announced the B-A-K 2023 route!


 Biking Across Kansas is an annual, eight-day, bicycle tour across the state of Kansas, promoting health and wellness through bicycling. B-A-K also promotes the history and beauty of the Kansas, and the warm hospitality of the Kansas towns and people.


 This year's bike runs from June 10th through the 17th, with overnight stops in Elkhart, Satanta, Spearville, Stafford, Newton, Eureka, Chanute and Garnett, with the trek ending in Pleasanton.


 Mileages and a detailed GPS map can be found here:


Special Meeting in South Coffeyville on Gym Bond Today


The South Coffeyville Board of Education is holding a special meeting today regarding a potential new gym for the district.


The board will gather information and work to get a bond issue on the ballot for voters in February. If passed, the one million dollar project would raise the mill levy from 75 mills to around 90 mills, which would result in a $15.68 tax increase on every $1,000 of taxes, according to Superintendent Daryl Pruter. If the bond issue goes forward, the gym would be paid off within 10 years. Currently, the school shares one gym between K through 12th grade, which delays practices late into the evening and board members say it is inadequate to host area tournaments. The special meeting starts at 4 p.m. this afternoon in the school cafeteria.


Snow Expected Tuesday - Most Accumulation in OK, MO, AR


Accumulating snow is possible for the four-state area late Tuesday evening into early Wednesday morning.


Mostly rain is expected for southeast Kansas, but northeast Oklahoma and the Ozarks could see much better chance for snow. The latest forecast shows 1-2 inches for Bartlesville and Miami. Tulsa could see 2-3 inches, and areas south could see up to a half inch. Northwest Arkansas could see 7-8 inches of snow. A winter storm watch is in effect starting Tuesday afternoon for areas south of Tulsa extending east into Arkansas and Missouri.



KS Rep Ron Estes Introduces Bill to Ban Abortions On Babies With Down Syndrome


Kansas Representative Ron Estes reintroduces a bill to protect individuals with Down syndrome. The bill honors the rights of individuals with Down syndrome by federally banning doctors from knowingly performing an abortion because a baby received a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. The legislation also prohibits anyone from forcing a woman to have an abortion because the baby has Down syndrome. Violators can face a fine, imprisonment of up to five years or both. Mothers are barred from being prosecuted or held liable for any violation. This ensures responsibility to follow the legislation is on the doctors performing an abortion.


A recent Marist Pool found that a majority of Americans, 60% are opposed to abortion if the child will be born with Down syndrome. Typically, babies with a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome face an abortion rate of 67% in the


One Rescued from Indy House Fire


Independence firefighters rescue a person from a house fire.


Fire and EMS responded to a structure fire in the 1000 block of West Chestnut in Independence yesterday to a fully involved fire on the front of a house. Upon arrival, bystanders reported an entrapment. With help from the Independence Police Department, firefighters were able to rescue one person who was scene flighted to a regional burn center. Cherryvale Fire and EMS, and Independence Rural Fire also assisted in efforts. The fire did extensive damage to the structure and is currently under investigation.


Snow Today for Parts of KS


Snow is expected today for parts of central Kansas, while the four-state area should see mostly rain.


Wichita will see a mix of rain and snow starting after 10 a.m., changing over to snow after 7 p.m.  Areas north and west of Wichita and Emporia could see between a trace and several inches of snow, with accumulation chances increasing to the north and west.  In southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma, rain is likely in the afternoon, possibly changing over to snow during the overnight hours with little to no accumulation expected.

Kansas Man Convicted of Threatening to Kill LaTurner


A federal jury has convicted a Kansas man who admitted he threatened to kill a congressman.


Chase Neill represented himself at the trial and questioned U.S. Rep. Jake LaTurner on the witness stand. Neill said he was a messenger from God, warning that the congressman would die for ignoring his concerns about wizards and extraterrestrials. The judge found Neill competent to stand trial and act as his own attorney despite a past serious head injury. Threatening a public official is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Winning Lotto Ticket Sold in SE Kansas Remains Unclaimed


A $1 million dollar unclaimed Mega Millions Lottery ticket was sold in Southeast Kansas. The Tuesday, January 10th Mega Millions drawing remains unclaimed. The Kansas lottery says the Mega Millions ticket was sold in SE Kansas and it won $1 million. The ticket matched all five numbers but not the Mega Ball. The Kansas Lottery definition of SE Kansas includes the area counties of Elk, Wilson, Neosho, Chautauqua, Montgomery, Labette, and Cherokee.

Upcoming National Spouses Day


National Spouses Day is coming up and Kansas has one of the highest percentages of married couples in the nation. According to Kansans ranks among the top in the percentage of married couples. The top 10 states, including #6 Kansas, have marriage rates over 50%. However, nationwide the number of married Americans dropped from 50% in 2015 to 45% in 2020. Kansas averages 39 weddings per day with over 1 million married people each year. Kansas women are edging out the men by about 2500 per year. You and your spouse can celebrate National Spouses Day on January 26th.

ICC Hosts Courageous Conversations About Race


Independence Community College and the Independence Diversity Task Force are hosting several community-involved discussions about race and academic performance. The meetings are open to students, faculty, staff, and community members.


The discussions will be centered around the book 'Courageous Conversations About Race, a Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools and Beyond' by Glenn E. Singleton, and will be facilitated by ICC Vice President of Student Affairs, David Adams. He says that he hopes to not only gain wisdom from the book but from the different perspectives of those who attend.


The events will take place in the Cyber Café in the ICC Student Union, and will be on the 3rd Monday of each month starting at noon. The first meeting will be this Monday, January 23rd.

New Member of ICC Board of Trustees


The Independence Community College Board of Trustees has a new member.  A retired attorney, Patricia Snyder was elected to the Board during the regular meeting of the Trustees this week.  Snyder was interviewed for the position on Monday.  The Board Chair, Cynthia Sherwood says Snyder’s experience as an attorney working with fiscal entities such as the FDIC will be a tremendous asset to the Board.  

Snyder moved to Independence in 2021 due to family ties after spending 30 years practicing law.  She currently serves on the Board of the Independence Historical Museum and Arts Center and is active in the Independence Garden Club.

US Red Meat Production Down


In 2023, consumers can anticipate a greater availability of pork, chicken, and turkey, but less beef is expected. This is according to data from the USDA’s December 2022 Slaughter report which shows red meat production is down by 7%. For producers, this means that fed cattle and feeder steer prices in 2023 are raised on firm demand, according to the report.


Additionally, the report says that pork and chicken may fill the void left by beef supplies, as supplies are expected to decline by 3 pounds per person. Conversely, pork consumption and supplies are expected to climb about 1 pound per person in 2023, and broiler meat is projected to increase by about a half pound, which is at a slower pace due to the bird flu outbreak. Turkey will rise over 1 pound, the first increase in 7 years.

Fireball Reported Overnight


Reports are coming in of fireball early this morning in the four state area.


According reports submitted to the American Meteor Society, people as far south as Muskogee and Fayetteville and as far north as Osawatomie reported a loud boom, white flash or combination of the two around 3:30 this morning.


If you saw or heard something and would like to submit a report, you can do so here.


Parsons Man Arrested After Foot Chase


A foot chase in Parsons leads to a weapons charge and arrest.


Yesterday around 9:50pm, Parsons Police Officers spotted 31-year-old Deandres Marques Green walking in the 1800 block of Main. Dispatch informed the officers that Green had an active felony warrant from the Kansas Department of Corrections for a parole violation. Officers stopped Green but he took off on foot. The pursuit went North into the 1700 block of Washington Ave where Green was tased by other responding officers and taken safely into custody.


Officers found drug paraphernalia, pills, a crystalline substance and a 9mm pistol on Green. The pills were preliminarily identified as Oxycodone Hydrochloride, and the crystalline substance field tested positive as methamphetamines. The narcotics are being sent to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation crime lab for official identification. In addition to the warrant Green is charged with interference with law enforcement, possession of a stimulant, controlled substance and drug paraphernalia and criminal possession of a firearm by a felon. 

Entrepreneurial Mindset Program Coming to Independence


A new entrepreneurship program is coming to Independence later this month.


The Entrepreneurial Mindset Program will begin on January 30th, and continue for eight weeks. The program will take place at Founders Place- Indy and will help individuals to develop an entrepreneurial mindset as well as critical thinking skills and problem solving.


Program facilitator Brittany Holum says that this class is for anyone, and not just those looking to start a business.


Holum says that the purpose of the program is to teach people crucial communication and workplace skills to use, no matter where life takes them.


The cost of the program is $150 and registration can be found at Classes run each Monday night from 6-8 p.m. beginning January 30th and ending on March 20th.

PSU Students Raise Awareness of Sex Trafficking


A Pittsburg State University student organization is hosting an event to shed light on the ongoing crisis of Human Sex Trafficking.


In recognition of Human Traffic Awareness Month, the organization Students for Violence Prevention at PSU will host the event, which is open to the public. It will begin at 7 pm on Wednesday, January 25th, at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts in the Miller Theater, located at 1711 S. Homer in Pittsburg. There is no charge to attend.


A screening of “Surviving Sex Trafficking”, an award-winning documentary that examines the ongoing struggles of survivors as they fight to break free of the past and begin the healing process will kick off the night. A question and answer session with Representatives of the Regional Intervention of Sexual Exploitation Coalition, the SafeHouse Crisis Center, and the Pittsburg Police Department will follow.


For more information call the Coordinator of Advocacy Services and Wellness Education at PSU, Megan Johnson at 620-235-4831.

A Coffeyville Woman Arrested For DUI & Drugs


According to the Coffeyville Police Department a Coffeyville woman is arrested as a result of a traffic offense. Earlier this week officers with the CPD pulled over 39-year-old Heather Giovianzzo and cited her for driving while suspended. After an investigation, Giovinazzo was also charged with driving while under the influence and possession of opiates.

Arrest reports have been forwarded to the prosecuting attorney for review of the charges filed.

NASS Broiler Report Reflects Rise in Egg Prices


According to the National Ag Statistics Service weekly broiler report for Oklahoma and Texas eggs placed in incubator numbers are down. Oklahoma’s number of chicks placed for meat production was up 24% from the previous week and up 34% from a year ago.  While Texas’s number of chicks in meat production was down only slightly from last weekend and a year ago.


The report reflects the recent sharp rise in consumer egg prices, with producers struggling to keep up with demand. The price increase is blamed by most experts on the outbreak of bird flu. The virus has led to the deaths of more than 57 million birds in 47 states and more than 43 million egg-laying hens. This surpasses the 2015 avian influenza outbreak, according to the USDA. Higher production costs for farmers have also played a big part in the increase as well.


Bird Flu is not a foodborne illness, so poultry and eggs in grocery stores are safe to eat.

Deadline Nears To Apply For Utility Payment Hardship Program


A program is available to Kansas residents to help with the costs of water, sewer, and trash payments. The City of Independence says the criteria are based on the HUD model for Extremely Low-Income Limits. The deadline to apply for utility payment hardship rates is January 31st. Even if you are already participating in the program, you must reapply every year.

A link for more information is here or you can call the City of Independence at 620-332-2500 with further questions.

Bartlesville Attempted Kidnapping Suspect in Custody


Bartlesville Police have taken a kidnapping suspect into custody.


Quincy Wilson is accused of attempting to kidnap a worker at the Lowe's in Bartlesville on Tuesday. Surveillance video showed Wilson trying to physically force the employee outside of the store.  BPD Captain Andrew Ward says Wilson was found in Tulsa.

Ward thanks the Tulsa Police Department for their assistance.

Fredonia PD to get K-9 Unit


The Fredonia Police Department is adding a four-legged member to their force.


The City Commission is giving approval to move forward with a K-9 program for the police department. Sergeant Jeremiah Hazelwood says the program will benefit the county and neighboring cities as there are no K-9 units in the immediate area.


Hazelwood will serve as the department K-9 handler and says dog will provide many benefits to the city.


The department used to have a dog, but hasn't for years. Police Chief Bradley Pflueger has been pushing the program since taking office late last year, and the plan is to obtain a full working dog from Jefferson Working Dogs in Oregon. The cost for the K-9 and handler training is $5,000, and an additional $5,000 specialty kennel will be purchased through money from municipal court diversion and donations. Officers are soliciting donations from area businesses now that the program has been approved.

Burglary Suspect in Custody in Caney


A Caney man is arrested on multiple counts.

According to the Caney Police Department at about 6:30 pm on Tuesday a suspicious person was seen entering an unoccupied vehicle in the 600 block of South High Street. The witness was able to provide a description but officers were unable to locate the suspect.

Later that evening at about 9:30 another call came in and officers were dispatched to the 800 block of N. State St. in reference to a suspicious person. The officers were able to make contact with a person who matched the description of the suspect involved in the earlier car burglary.

After questioning 39-year-old Julius White, officers booked him into the Montgomery County Jail and White was charged with Burglary of Vehicle to commit felony theft or sexually motivated crime, criminal trespass, possession of marijuana and use or possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia into the human body, and criminal threat.

Hutchison Inmate Dies While In Custody

 The KDOC and KBI are investigating the death of a Hutchinson Correctional Facility resident .

 30-year old Juan Caballeros-Yescas was found unresponsive in his cell this morning. Staff began life-saving measures immediately and continued after emergency medical services arrived.


 Caballeros-Yescas was serving a 270-month sentence, based on convictions in Sedgwick County, Kansas of First-Degree Murder, Aggravated Robbery, and three counts of Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon.


 The cause of death is pending the results of an independent autopsy.

 Per protocol, when a resident dies in the custody of the KDOC, the death is under investigation by the KDOC and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. The investigation is currently ongoing.

Caney Looking For Officers


 The Caney Police Department is looking for officers to join its department.


 During Coffee With The Cops this morning, Chief Kevin Kitterman said finding those who want to work in law enforcement is becoming difficult, not only for his department, but others across the nation.


 Kitterman says anyone interested in becoming an officer would need to take the written, physical, and psychological tests, but those would be done through the Caney Police Department.


 Although a new ordinance was passed Tuesday evening by the Caney City Council requiring emergency personnel to live within twenty miles of the Caney city limits, it is up to the discretion of Kitterman to hire a new officer who lives outside that boundary.


 For more information, contact the Caney Police Department at 620-879-2141.

Wilson County Commissioner Officially Sworn In


A Wilson County Commissioner was officially sworn in during today's county commissioner meeting.


Jerry Scott, the District 1 representative in Wilson County, made his committment to the county and the state of Kansas with the assistance of County Clerk Kayla Busch.


In other news, Local Environmental Protection Program Manager Amy Lell issued an update on the county health department. Lell says that the department was awarded grant money for upgraded resources, and that the county plans to use a portion of the money on facility upgrades.


Addtional items of discussion at the Wilson County Commissioner meeting were the approval of tax roll corrections for both 2022 and 2023, as well as continuing discussions with Road and Bridge Department Supervisor Kary Tatum on priority projects for the 2023 calendar year.


Wilson County Commissioner meetings take place at 9 a.m. Wednesday mornings in Room 101 of the Wilson County Courthouse in downtown Fredonia.

Miami Museum Moving to New Location


The Dobson Museum in Miami is taking big steps to move to a temporary location.


According to the museum, staff and volunteers have been working over the past several weeks to pack items and preparing for the move. Earlier this week, several loads were taken from the current museum to the annex downtown, which will serve as a temporary home while the museum undergoes renovations. The museum would like to thank the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College students and volunteers who helped with the move.


The museum will reopen March 1st at the temporary location of 23 N. Main in Miami. The museum at 110 A Street SW will be renovated during 2023 and 2024.

KDWP Investigates Reports of Feral Hogs In Garden Plain


Southeast Kansas farmers and ranchers are concerned about recent feral hog reports.


Earlier this week there were several reports of wild pigs, or feral hogs as far north as Garden Plain, Kansas. Garden Plain is about 15 miles straight west of Wichita on highway 400. According to K-State Research and Extension Wildlife Agent Adaren Scronce there have been some unconfirmed reports in SE Kansas. 


According to wildlife experts, feral hogs can be as expensive as they are prolific.  Total US damages are estimated at a minimum of $2.5 billion a year. It’s not just crops, they out-eat deer and turkey, as well as eat turkey eggs and even fawns. Each female can have a litter of between 4 and 10 piglets and can have two litters per year and begin to reproduce within 6 months of age. Scronce says if you see feral hogs call the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.


Despite spending more than $100 million in federal money to stop them, an estimated 6 to 9 million feral swine plague landowners nationwide.

AG Kobach Joins 21-State Coalition Challenging ESG Practices


Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach joins a 21-state coalition challenging the Environmental Social Governance practices of two proxy advisory companies.


A proxy advisory firm advises institutional investors on how to vote on the thousands of shareholder resolutions that arise.


A letter sent by the coalition states, that the actions of the two companies, International Shareholder Services, Inc. and Class, Lewis and Co. threaten the economic value of our States’ and citizens’ investments and pensions and that monetary interests that may take second place to their social and environmental beliefs, or those of their clients.


A link to view a copy of the letter sent to ISS and Glass, Lewis & Co., click here.

Officer Involved Shooting Ends With Apparent Suicide


A report of a disturbance and an ensuing chase by officers with the Cherokee County Sheriff's office leads to an apparent suicide.


According to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, a woman called 911 late Monday from a residence in Galena to report a disturbance where a man was being held at gunpoint by another male subject. The armed man left the residence in an F-250 flatbed truck, however, Cherokee County deputies spotted the truck. The driver, 28-year-old Phillip A. Doerr of Falls City, Nebraska did not stop and a short pursuit ensued. According to the deputies, Doerr exited the truck while firing a handgun and multiple rounds hit the patrol vehicle. Both deputies returned fire, and Doerr fled into a tree line. Approximately 4 minutes later a single gunshot was heard by the deputies coming from the treed area.


A perimeter was established and deputies called in for drone and aircraft assistance where Doerr was discovered deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.


According to the KBI, an autopsy will be conducted, however, no other gunshot wounds were evident. No law enforcement officers were hurt during the incident. No further information will be released until the KBI concludes its investigation.

Neodesha Clears up Confusion on Air Ambulance Letters


The City of Neodesha is advising residents to disregard membership renewal letters from Air MedCare regarding air ambulance service.


The city pays for free air ambulance service for citizens, but has recently switched providers. According to the city, the new Air Methods air ambulance transport service provides expanded coverage that now includes anyone living within a Neodesha zip code. The city asks residents to discard any information received connecting Air MedCare to the City of Neodesha as membership is not necessary to receive the new service from Air Methods. Anyone with questions can contact city hall.

Slight Chance of Thunderstorms this Afternoon


A rainy start to the day may lead to some thunderstorms this afternoon for southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma.


Rain chances continue today with a few embedded storms possible this afternoon. If thunderstorms do form, they may be capable of small hail and perhaps a brief tornado. This will not be a widespread event and storms may not even form. Rainfall amounts around a quarter inch are forecast with up to an inch locally. KGGF will provide severe weather coverage should storms develop.

Residency Requirements Change In Caney


 A change in the residency requirement was the main item of discussion in the Tuesday night Caney City Council meeting.


 Mayor Josh Elliott says the requirement to allow Caney city employees and emergency personnel to live outside the city limits was proposed in October of 2021, but was never ratified. Last night's approval allows city employees and emergency personnel to live within a twenty mile radius of Caney city limits. Any employee wishing to continue to live outside that radius would have to be approved by the city council or police chief.


 Elliott says housing concerns is the main reason for this ordinance.


Elliot says using the Neighborhood Revitalization Plan and the Land Bank should help Caney with nice and affordable housing in the next three to five years, but allowing employees to live within a reasonable distance now helps the city gain essential employees in the present.

New Coffeyville School Holds Open House

A new school opening in Coffeyville this fall held an Open House Tuesday evening.  The Vanguard Christian Academy will open it’s doors in August in the former First Christian Church at 9th and Elm Streets.  One of the school’s founders Jason Swindell said the school’s curriculum will be based in the Bible and Christian liberty and heritage.


Vanguard Christian Academy will begin with students from K through 5 and hopes to add a grade per year up to 12th grade.  The Open House was well attended and visitors had the opportunity to view the progress of the remodeling as well as learn  more about the school’s philosophy and plans.  An enrollment fair is planned for March.

Nowata County Commission Looks at Truck Bids


The Nowata County Commissioners is taking a look at bids for a new truck.


In their meeting pushed back to today because of the Martin Luther King holiday, commissioners read bids for a 2021 or older Ram 2500 Crew Cab 4x4 truck. No bids were awarded, as they will be decided next week.  There was public comment from Steve Kloehr who mentioned that the Nowata County Commissioners should video and possibly live stream the regular Monday meetings or to keep open records of the meetings. Chairman Troy Friddle says he's not opposed to the idea.


Meeting are currently not streamed or recorded.  The commissioners will meet again next Monday in the Nowata County Courthouse annex at 9 a.m.

Smith Leaves Legacy In Passing


 A lifetime of service is being remembered as the community of Dearing and the surrounding area mourns the loss of Dearing Rural Fire Department Chief Marty Smith.


 Smith passed away Monday at the age of 64, after serving the community for over 49 years.  Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Rick Whitson says Smith is the definition of care and concern for his community.


Whitson says Smith's volunteer department was the busiest in Montgomery County, with the department running more than one hundred calls annually over the next busiest department. He says Smith never lost his drive to help people.


 Funeral services will be held Saturday at 10:30 a.m. At Dearing Christian Church.

Montgomery County Receives 2022 Website Statistics


The Montgomery County Commissioners received the final 2022 statistics and information for the county website today.


County GIS Director Anne Miller is in charge of tracking information such as website traffic, common searched words and departments, and which staff members are the most searched. Miller shared which search engines are being used to find the county website.  Miller says the search engine statistic is important for the county because it can portray how users are interacting and locating information.


Miller also says that the home page continues to be the most viewed page on the website, and that other department pages tend to vary throughout the year.


Additional items of discussion at this week's county commissioner meeting were the purchase approval of new laptops for the 14th District Community Correction Department and Director Duane Powell, as well as an update from Public Works Director Jim Wright.


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



Open House Tonight for New Coffeyville School

A new school opening in Coffeyville this fall will be holding an open house this evening.  Vanguard Christian Academy, which will be taking students k thru 5 this fall with plans to add a grade each year up to 12th will hold an open house from 5 until 8 tonight.  The school is located in the former First Christian Church Building at 906 Elm Street in downtown Coffeyville.

Trial to Start for Man Accused of Threatening LaTurner


A criminal trial is set to start in federal court for a northeastern Kansas man charged with threatening to kill a state congressman.


The start of 32-year-old Chase Neill's trial was to come weeks after a judge concluded evidence of mental illness didn’t mean Neill can’t help his attorney or follow what happens in court. Federal prosecutors argue in court documents that the Lawrence, Kansas, resident developed a fixation on Republican Rep. Jake LaTurner of eastern Kansas. Neill is accused of threatening to kill LaTurner in a June 5 voicemail message left at LaTurner’s office and continuing to make threatening calls the following day.


LaTurner was a Kansas state senator and state treasurer before winning his U.S. House seat in 2020. Until the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature redrew political boundaries last year, LaTurner's eastern Kansas district included Neill's hometown of Lawrence.


Meth and Guns Seized in Baxter Springs Raid


One suspect is in custody after Cherokee County Sheriff Investigators seize meth and firearms from a rural Baxter Springs home.


According to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department, around 7:30 a.m. yesterday, a search warrant was executed on Southeast Prairie Road as the result of an ongoing criminal investigation into suspected drug activity. Fourty-four-year-old Jason Tessman was transported to the Cherokee County Jail where he is being held on allegations of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute, criminal possession of firearms and possession of drug paraphernalia.


Wichita Woman Dies in Wilson County Crash


A Wichita woman is dead after a crash in Wilson county.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, Eighteen year-old Taylor Chrisman was traveling east on U.S. 400 one mile south of Fredonia when she crossed the center line and struck a vehicle driven by 44-year-old Shelli Nayambane of Parsons. Christman's car struck the front of Nayambane's SUV, and both vehicles came to rest in the eastbound ditch. Chrisman was pronounced dead at the scene and Nayambane was taken to a hospital in Wichita with a suspected serious injury. The cause of Christman's vehicle crossing the center line has not been determined.

Traffic Stop in Chanute Results In Drug Arrest


A traffic stop in Chanute leads to a drug arrest. Earlier this week officers with the Chanute Police Department conducted a traffic stop in the 2100 block of S. Santa Fe Ave. After an investigation and speaking with persons involved, officers arrested 52-year-old William Riley of Chanute for possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of cocaine. Upon completion reports will be forwarded to Neosho County Attorney’s Office for review and consideration of charges filed.

Coffeyville Man Arrested for Aggravated Criminal Sodomy


A Coffeyville man is arrested on multiple counts including aggravated kidnapping and aggravated criminal sodomy. Earlier this week officers with the Coffeyville Police Department arrested 38-year-old Matthew Shamblin for alleged aggravated criminal sodomy, lewd and lascivious behavior, battery, arson, criminal damage to property, failure to stop at an accident, flee or attempt to elude a law enforcement officer, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated endangering a child; reckless situation to a child under 18, driving under influence; 3rd conviction with a child present, Interference with LEO, no vehicle liability insurance, and operating a motor vehicle without a valid license. No other information is available at this time.

City of Independence Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr


The City of Independence celebrated Martin Luther King Day with a full community celebration full of performances and community on Sunday.


The event took place at Independence High School, and featured a featured speaker in Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree, as well as addresses from Chamber President Lisa Wilson and City Mayor Louis Ysusi.


Ysusi also made a proclamation as mayor to officially classify January 15th as Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Day in the city of Independence.


The community celebration saw numerous performances from talented music groups around the area, such as the Independence Community College Chorale, the Independence High School and Community Jazz Band, and the memorial Community Choir.


Wilson also awarded the Spirit of Unity Award, which is given to an individual who went above and beyond to represent the values of community and service.


The celebration event will become an annual community honoring of Dr. King with expanded resources for both the city of Independence and the Diversity Task Force.

Caney Man Honored With State Award


A Caney man is being recognized by the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development.


According to the Montgomery County Action Council, Businessman Danny Scott is being named Leader of the Year in the Community Service Category. After the grocery store in Caney closed, Scott and his wife Norma worked with others and county extension agents to form the Caney Community Betterment Group Foundation. The group has encouraged economic development, including the opening of a municipal-owned grocery store and attracting more businesses to downtown. Scott was honored at a ceremony in Manhattan last week.

Senator Peck To Testify On Behalf of Tax Free Holiday Bill


Senator Virgil Peck will be testifying in Topeka before the Senate Tax Committee to start the 2023 legislative session. Peck is the lead proponent of SB 29; a bill to provide a 4-day back-to-school sales tax holiday in early August.


This is the Senator’s 8th attempt to pass legislation that would provide parents, grandparents, and others a tax cut when they purchase school supplies, clothing, computers, and computer peripheral devices.


Peck will testify this Thursday, January 19th.

CQ Board of Commissioners Meet Tomorrow


The Chautauqua County Board of Commissioners meeting has been pushed back due to the Martin Luther King holiday. The board will meet tomorrow January 17th at 8:30 am on the 2nd floor of the Chautauqua County Courthouse.


You can view the meeting in real-time on Facebook Live.


The link is here.

Textron Delivers 3,000th Caravan


With a delivery to an airline in Brazil, Textron Aviation is marking off a milestone with 3,000 Cessna Caravans shipped around the world.


The single-turboprop aircraft was first released in 1985 and is now built in Independence. Textron Aviation employees and representatives from the Brazilian airline, Azul Conecta, celebrated with a special delivery ceremony at the Independence plant late last week.


According to Textron, Caravans are designed for use in remote areas with extreme weather changes, mountainous terrain and rough landing conditions. The aircraft's versatility makes it popular around the world for hauling freight and passengers.

One Dead in Fatality Collision Near Hominy, OK


A Tulsa man is killed in a fatality collision near Hominy over the weekend.


The one-vehicle crash occurred on Saturday just before 2 p.m. on State Highway 20, 2 miles west of Hominy in Osage County. According to OHP, 49-year-old George B. Schulz of Tulsa, was a driving a Chevy Suburban eastbound on State Highway 20. He departed the roadway right, then overcorrected, re-entering the roadway, then departed the roadway left, striking a barbed wire fence, continuing through the fence then striking trees. The vehicle continued down a ravine and overturned in a pasture.  Schulz was pronounced dead at the scene from injuries sustained in the collision. The cause of collision and condition of driver are under investigation.


Kansas Century Farm Applications Open


Nominations are now being taken for Century Farms in Kansas. The Kansas Farm Bureau recognizes members who own farms of at least 80 acres within the same family for 100 years or more. KFB also recognizes milestones of 150 years, and so far they've recognized just over 3,000 Century Farms in the state. The deadline for consideration to be a part of the 2023 program is May 15th. Complete details are available here.

MG Board of Commissioners to Meet


The 14th District Community Correction Juvenile Service Director, Duane Powell will be requesting purchase approval for laptops from the Montgomery County Commissioners at this week's meeting. Tomorrow at 9 the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners will meet for their regular weekly meeting in the lower level of the judicial center in Independence. The agenda shows Anne Miller will give a website update and speak about commissioner districts and Jim Wright will give his report on the Public Works as well. As always the meeting is open to the public or you can view it live on Facebook and Zoom.


El Dorado Correctional Resident Dies Unexpectedly


 The KBI and the KDOC are investigating the unexpected death of an El Dorado Correctional Facility resident. 

 42-year old Erik Lawrence DeLeon died unexpectedly Friday, January 13, 2023. The cause of death is pending the results of an independent autopsy.


 DeLeon was serving a 188-month sentence, based on convictions in Ford County, Kansas of Aggravated Robbery and Criminal Possession of a Firearm.


 Per protocol, when a resident dies in the custody of the KDOC, the death is under investigation by the KDOC and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. The investigation is currently ongoing. 

Sewer Work Starting In Independence


The City of Independence will be working on the sanitary sewer system next week.


Crews and equipment will be working in the alleyways and streets between 6th and 9th Streets along W. Walnut, W. Maple, and E. Main. The work will begin on Monday and is not expected to impact residences, businesses or traffic flow.


The city says there may be steam rising from manholes, but that’s just part of the process. The city asks that drivers use extra caution around these areas and watch out for workers.

King Lake In Emporia Now Has Trout


Emporia State University's King Lake has trout for the first time.


The lake, which opened to the public for fishing in April 2022, now joins other lakes and ponds across Kansas that offer winter fishing opportunities through the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Park’s trout stocking program. Approximately 1000 trout were introduced into King Lake.


Other areas that offer winter trout fishing include Le Clere pond in Coffeyville, Mined Land Unit #30 near Oswego and Lake Tanko in Cherryvale. A trout permit is required to fish for trout in Kansas during trout season.  Trout season runs from November 1st to April 15th.  Trout can still be fished for after April 15th without a trout permit, but the limit of 5 trout per day and 15 in possession is still active.


US Reps LaTurner of Kansas and Cole of Oklahoma Reintroduce Social Security Legislation

Kansas Congressman Jake LaTurner and Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole reintroduce Bipartisan Social Security Commission Legislation. According to the Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees 2022 Annual Report, Social Security’s combined trust funds will be exhausted in 2035, providing that no policy changes are made.


The Legislation reintroduced by LaTurner and Cole will be modeled after the 1983 Social Security Commission and would create a 13-member commission made from members of both the House and the Senate. 12 of the members would be appointed by leadership from both parties in the House and Senate, with 2 of the 12 being non-elected experts. The commission is chaired by the 13th appointee, which is named by the President. The President’s appointee would mean that the President’s party would have 7 members and the other party would have 6.)


According to the bill, the Commission would be required to report to Congress on the 75-year health of Social Security and provide recommendations as to how to improve the program. The legislation based on the commission’s plan would then receive expedited consideration in Congress for an up or down vote.

2022 Kansas Crop Report Reflects Drought Impact


Crop production in Kansas was down across the board in 2022. With the only exception of other hay production, which was up only slightly from 2021. According to the 2022 Annual Crop Production Summary by the National Agricultural Statistics Service Corn for grain production was estimated at 511 million bushels, which is down 32% from 2021. Yeilds were also down by 24 bushels per acre from last year.


As a consequence of the drought much of the corn planted was converted to silage, which saw an overall rise in production of 7%, however, yields were also down 7 tons per acre for silage at 11 tons per acre on average from last year.


The lowered production due to the drought also diminished grain and hay stocks in Kansas. Corn and Wheat stored in all positions fell in 2022 by more than 20%. While Sorghum and Soybeans stored fell by more than 30% from 2021 and in fact Sorghum stored on-farm was down over 54% in 2022. The only grain that increased in storage was oats, which was up by 19% over 2021 levels.


To see the report in its entirety click on the link here.

Osage County Man Dies in Collision


On Osage County man is dead following a fatality collision around 3:10 pm on County Road 2130, one half mile west of County Road 2140 and nine miles west of Avant.


According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, 48-year-old Bradley D. Prather of Skiatook was traveling eastbound on County Road 2130 in a Ford F350 pickup, and 58-year-old Westley W. Bonniger of Mannford was driving a tractor trailer westbound on the same road. Prather's vehicle went left of center on a curve, striking the semi head on. 


Prather was pinned for approximately 45 minutes. He was extricated by Skiatook Fire Department utilizing a variety of tools, but was pronounced dead at the scene from injuries sustained in the collision. Prather's body was transported to the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office in Tulsa.


The driver of the tractor trailer was not injured. OHP says the incident is under investigation.

Vacancy Available On CCC Board of Trustees


There is a vacancy on the Coffeyville Community College Board of Trustees.


CCC has posted the vacancy that has occurred and the Board will appoint a new trustee to fill the spot. Those who are interested in applying for the position should send their application to Douglas G. Ott of Hall, Levy, DeVore, Bell, Ott and Kritz P.A. at 815 Union, P.O. Box 9 Coffeyville, KS 67337.


The Board will appoint a new trustee no sooner than 15 days after the position is posted publicly, which occurred yesterday.

City of Independence Elects New Mayor


The City of Independence commissioners meet for the first time in 2023 and assigned roles including a new mayor.


Louis Ysusi was nominated and elected Mayor and Dean Hayse, who had been serving as Mayor, was chosen as the Vice Mayor.  Ysusi has served two previous terms as Mayor, from January 2019 to January 2020 as well as January 2021 to January 2022.


In other business, commissioners announced January 15th will be Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Day and the city will provide funding to the Diversity Taskforce for the recording and live streaming of the community events this weekend.  Additional items of discussion were the adoption of a resolution pledging commitment to a Multimodal Transportation and Enhanced Trail Project policy regarding the use of Pathways to a Healthy Kansas, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas grant dollars. There was also an executive session regarding data relating to second parties' financial affairs or trade secrets.


Independence city commission meetings take place on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the lower level of Memorial Hall in downtown Independence. Meetings are open to the public, and recordings of all meetings as well as agendas are posted to

MLK Memorial Celebration Coming to Independence


The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Community Celebration is coming to Independence this weekend.


Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Wilson says that the Independence Diversity Task Force began organizing events to promote community acceptance and respect back in 2008.


The celebration will include a free soup luncheon at 2 p.m. as well as an adress from featured speaker Mark Dupree, and musical performances from Independence Community College Chorale, the Independence High School and Community Jazz Band, and the Memorial Community Choir. 


The Dr. King celebration will also include a Food Fight, where local schools and community members compete to donate and collect non-perishable food items for the Independence Food Basket. 


Diversity Task Force member Kathy Shepard says that a Spirit of Unity award will also be given to a local community member who went above and beyond to represent the values of inclusion and service.


This event has historically brought the best of community and comradery on display in the Independence and Southeast Kansas community. Diversity Task Force member Charles Barker says he's just happy to be a part of it.


The celebration begins with the soup luncheon at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Community Room of Independence High School. The ceremony and corresponding events will begin at 3 p.m. in the high school performing arts center.

Midwest Consumer Price Index Shows Little Change


Food prices continue to rise slightly while the energy index decreased for the month of November in the Midwest.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices overall for the Midwest Region fell .2% in November, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.

Food prices rose .2% last month with indexes for fruits and vegetables and bakery products contributing most to the increase with an over 1% rise. Foods such as meats, poultry, fish, and eggs dropped by .8%.

The energy index decreased by 3.7% last month, but compared to November 2021 energy prices increased 11% over the year. Prices paid for gasoline went up 12.2% while natural gas increased 12% and electricity costs advanced 7.8% over the year.

All items less food and energy rose 0.1% last month. Some items increasing in price were cost of residence by .7%. Education and communications costs saw a .8% rise. Notably, the price of used cars and trucks fell 2.9% and since November of 2021, prices paid for used vehicles have declined 3.5% in the Midwest area.

KanDrive App & 511 System See Huge Rise In Use


The use of the Kansas Department of Transportation’s new app and the improved 511-phone system is soaring.


The new app was rolled out in October and the 511-phone system was updated then as well. From November through December KanDrive App sessions went from almost 7,000 to over 44,000 – an over 500% increase. During the same time frame, the number of 511 calls expanded by almost 400% as well. No doubt the Christmas holiday storm that brought record-low temperatures prompted many people to give the new App and improved 511-phone system a try.


The new App contains all the features on the KanDrive website but also includes a hands-free/eye-free feature that announces upcoming traffic events. The 511 system’s voice quality and speech recognition features have been improved and will allow motorists to ask for reports on a specific route, in a city, or between cities.


For more information on KanDrive services or to download the App, click on the link here.

Caney PD To Host Coffee With A Cop


The Caney Police Department is hosting a local Coffee with a Cop. The event is Wednesday at 9:00am at the Eggberts in Caney.


Police Chief Kevin Kitterman says they want to have honest conversations about issues affecting citizens and the city.


Coffee With A Cop began in Hawthorn, California in 2011 and has grown to all 50 states. Coffee with a Cop can open the door for interactions outside of the crisis situations that typically bring law enforcement officers and community members together.


Former Neodesha Police Chief Dies


Longtime officer, Neodesha Chief of Police, and former President of the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police Danny Thayer has died.


According to the Neodesha Police Department, Thayer passed away on the evening of January 10th surrounded by family.  Independence Police Chief Jerry Harrison says Thayer helped him when he moved to the area.


Harrison says Thayer's death is a loss to the community.  Thayer retired from the force in 2017.

LaTurner To Serve On Powerful House Committee


Kansas Congressman Jake LaTurner is being nominated to what political scientists say is one of the most powerful House Committees.


Republican House Steering Committee for the 118th Congress named LaTurner to the House Appropriations Committee yesterday. The House Appropriations Committee decides how American tax dollars are spent, including funding the federal government. The committee touches on several important issues impacting the US including defense, agriculture, energy, healthcare, border security, and more.


LaTurner says he is humbled and honored to be selected and looks forward to working with his colleagues on the committee to deliver results for communities across Kansas.

Accident in Downtown Coffeyville


An accident is currently blocking the intersection of 8th and Elm in downtown Coffeyville.  A four-door sedan with extensive damage and airbag deployment is in the middle of the intersection.  First responders are assisting with the cleanup.  No one was injured in the accident.  Updates will be shared when available.

Rain and Snow Mix This Morning


A mix of rain and snow is falling across the area this morning.  Now through 8 a.m., we could see between a trace and an inch of slushy snow accumulation southeast of the Kansas Turnpike.  Roads north Eureka, Chanute and Fort Scott are reported as completely covered with snow.  US 400 west of Neodesha is partially covered.  In Oklahoma, minor accumulations are possible but travel impacts are not expected.  You can check the latest road conditions here.




Joplin Man Arrested for Two Kansas Burglaries


A Joplin man is arrested for two burglaries in Weir.


37-year-old John Matthew Chew was taken into custody by Cherokee County Sheriff's Investigators this afternoon. Chew is being held in the Cherokee County Jail as the result of investigations into a September 2022 burglary of a building in Weir, where a welder was stolen and a December 2022 burglary of another building in Weir, where multiple tools were stolen.


Chew is facing two counts of felony burglary, one count of felony theft and one count of misdemeanor theft.

FKHS FFA Welding Team Takes Second


Both Field Kindley FFA welding teams see success at the District Welding Contest.


The ATeam finished 2nd high overall out of 25 schools. Members of the A Team include Emma Thompson, 6th place, Will Smith, 7th place, Jaylan Mark, 10th place, and Ethan Stotts. The B Team finished 5th overall. Team members include of Kenedi Redden, Damaris Smith, Hubert Webber and Cane Wheeler.

Delaware, OK Man Arrested in Nowata County


A Delaware, Oklahoma man is arrested after a traffic stop in Nowata County.


56-year-old Jerry Anderson Jr was arrested by the Nowata County Sheriff's Office for possession of methamphetamine, fentanyl and drug paraphernalia and felon in possession of a firearm. Anderson was stopped in the northwest area of Nowata County for a traffic violation. During the stop, a substance believed to be methamphetamine mixed with fentanyl was found in the vehicle and in his shirt pocket. A loaded semi-automatic handgun was also found in the vehicle.


Anderson is currently on bond in Cherokee Nation Tribal Court for trafficking methamphetamine and felon in possession of a firearm from a July 2021 arrest in Nowata County. A tribal judge set Anderson's bond at $10,000 for his new arrest.


Kansas State of the State Address Rescheduled


The Kansas governor reschedules the State of the State address.


Governor Laura Kelly, due to testing positive for COVID, has moved the State of the State address to January 24th. The address was originally scheduled for tonight at 6:30pm. Governor Kelly will still give the address to a joint session of the legislature which will convene at 6:00pm.


The address will be given at 6:30pm and will be heard live on the Mighty 690 KGGF.


Two Arrests In Chanute Resulting From Search Warrant


Two Chanute residents were arrested after a search warrant was served by officers with the Chanute Police in the 100 block of S. Wilson Ave. After an investigation and speaking with the persons involved, CPD arrested 62-year-old Mark Tasche of Chanute and 43-year-old Tera Damron also of Chanute. Tasche was charged with alleged possession of methamphetamine, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia. Damron was charged with alleged possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.

Reports of the arrests have been forwarded to the Neosho County Attorney’s Office for review and consideration of charges being filed.

Ralph Mitchell Zoo Announces Death of "Label"


Riverside Park and the Ralph Mitchell Zoo are saddened to announce the death of their most senior resident. Label, the zoo’s oldest black-handed spider monkey, passed away at the age of 46. She was born on August 12, 1976, at Sedgwick County Zoo and came to Ralph Mitchell Zoo on March 21, 1988.


Because the Ralph Mitchell Zoo functions as a Geriatric Zoo and cares for species in their senior years, the zoo has lost several older animals in the last year. The Zoo posted on its Facebook page that it’s always hard to say goodbye and they are privileged to have the opportunity to care for them and share them with visitors for whatever time they have. The Zoo says its Master Plan includes goals to acquire new species and younger animals when possible as space and circumstances allow.


The zoo says Label had a great long life and they are thankful the zoo could be her home for so many years.

Coffeyville Woman Arrested For Aggravated Endangering Of A Child


A Coffeyville woman is arrested for driving under the influence with a child present. The Coffeyville PD stopped 41-year-old Kiia Kendrex and after an investigation, Kendrex was charged with driving while suspended for the 3rd or subsequent conviction, no proof of liability insurance, assault on a law enforcement officer, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, aggravated endangering a child under 18, driving under influence 2nd conviction competent evidence with a child present, criminal damage to property and driving while a habitual violator.

Coffeyville Police Arrest Man On Multiple Charges


An alleged kidnapper is arrested by the Coffeyville Police Department. Late last week the CPD arrested 34-year-old Joseph Dillon Hall for Aggravated assault, use of a deadly weapon, criminal restraint, kidnapping, and interference with a law enforcement officer by filing a false police report. Hall also faces charges for fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement while engaged in reckless driving twice, interference with law enforcement officers by obstructing or resisting felony warrant service twice, operating a motor vehicle without a valid license twice, and misdemeanor interference with a law enforcement officer.

Speeding Violation Results in DUI


An Orange, Texas man is arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Earlier this week officers with the Caney Police pulled over 18-year-old Jadyn Whaley of Orange, Texas for speeding. After an investigation, Whaley was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, possession of a controlled substance, and drug paraphernalia. The reports of the arrest have been turned into the prosecuting attorney’s office for review and final charges.

Counterfeit Bills Being Passed In Independence


Several counterfeit bills have been reported in Independence. Since early this week the Independence Police Department has had 3 incidences of Counterfeit bills being turned in from city banks and businesses. If you receive or even think you’ve received a counterfeit bill you should immediately contact your local Police and they will contact the United States Secret Service. Only hand it over to a properly identified Police officer or Special Agent. For tips on spotting counterfeit bills click here.

Garage Fire in Neodesha


No injuries are reported after a garage fire in Neodesha. The Neodesha Fire Department responded to the fire at a home just south of Neodesha Plastics to find a fully involved detached garage fire that had extended into a field and the vehicle that was parked in front of the structure. Due to the location of the structure and lack of nearby fire hydrants, an additional engine and brush unit was deployed for the fire that had extended into the field. The fire was brought under control in 15 minutes. The cause is still under investigation.

Coffeyville Mayor and Vice Mayor Reelected


The Coffeyville City Commission structure is remaining unchanged. At their meeting last night, Current Mayor Ann Marie Vannoster was reelected as mayor, and Justin Doane was reelected vice mayor.


The Commission also heard a presentation from Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce Director Candi Westbrook, who recapped the past year and shared how the Chamber has been working to help area businesses during 2022.

Governor Kelly Tests Positive for COVID-19, State of the State Postponed


The State of the State has been postponed after Governor Laura Kelly tests positive for COVID-19.  In a statement released today, Kelly started experiencing minor symptoms this afternoon.


The Governor’s Office has informed Inaugural Ball attendees, participants in the Inauguration ceremony, and attendees of the Executive Order signing this morning and encourages them all to test immediately as a precautionary measure.


The State of the State will be postponed to Tuesday, January 24, at 6:30 p.m. The Governor’s Budget will still be released Thursday to the legislature as planned.

USD 446 Makes Personnel Changes to Start 2023


The USD 446 Board of Education met to finalize staff and personnel changes with the beginning of the new calendar year.


Board President Sam Blackard announced that Independence schools will see four resignations, seven hirings, and one transfer to start the 2023 year. Five of the new staff members will serve as either support staff or teachers for the district's Kids Crew after-school program for grades K-6.


Additional items of discussion at the January meeting were a donation to the Riley Early Learning Center, reports from Tri County Special Education Cooperative Representative Melissa Small and Director of Learning Services Kellie Puderbaugh, and the planning of a Midwest Auction to sell various shop items at the High School, which will be announced at a later date.


USD 446 meetings take place on the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Community Room at Independence High School. All meetings are open to the public.

Caney One Step Close To Electric Buses


 Electric buses are one step closer to becoming a part of the fleet in the Caney School District.

 Superintendent Blake Vargas says the district is looking at four bus manufacturing companies. He says they will choose the one that benefits the district the most. 

 Vargas says the new electric buses could be charged every other day, with the actual buses, charging stations and infrastructure covered by grant funding. He says the warranty and lifespan of the buses would be the same as a diesel bus currently in use.

 Vargas says the grant funding used for purchase of the electric buses allows them to address other needs within the schools and community.

South Coffeyville School Board Looks to Pass Bond for Gym


The South Coffeyville Board of Education is taking the next step on a bond issue for a second gym. Superintendent Daryl Pruter says the district can spend a maximum of one million dollars on the gym, which will be funded by a mill rate increase if passed by voters. South Coffeyville currently has one of the lowest mill levies in the area at 75 mills, compared with Nowata at 94.5 mills and Oklahoma Union at 92. Pruter says the gym project would put South Coffeyville at a similar level to other districts.


If passed, the bond issue would result in increased costs for taxpayers. Pruter says this is not something to be taken lightly.


If passed, the bond would be paid off in 10 years and would provide additional capacity for South Coffeyville Schools, which currently share one gym between all grades. A special meeting on the bond will be held on Monday, January 23rd at 4 p.m. in the school cafeteria to discuss the next steps on the proposed project and get the issue on the ballot for voters in February.

New USD 445 President and Vice President Elected


The USD 445 Board of Education elected a new president and vice president for the new year.


Former President Darryl Harbaugh nominated Jason Barnett to serve as the new board president. Barnett was voted on unanimously to fill that role. President Barnett then nominated Harbaugh to fill the role of vice president and he was also unanimously approved by the board. Board Member Bob Roesky was chosen unanimously to continue his role as the representative to Tri-County Special Education Cooperative.


In other business, the board heard an update from Student Services and approved the contract extensions for a number of administrators and directors in the district.


Governor Kelly Sworn In for Second Term


Kansas's governor is sworn in for her second term. Governor Laura Kelly and Lt. Governor David Toland were both sworn in earlier today on the steps of the State Capital building.


Governor Kelly first became the 48th governor of Kansas on January 14th, 2019, pledging to rebuild Kansas by reaching across the aisle. Since then, she has worked with a bipartisan group of legislators to fully fund schools, axe the sales tax on food, close the Bank of KDOT, and recruit the largest economic development project in state history. Governor Kelly says we are often told that there’s “a fork in the road” and you have to make a choice to either go right or left. She says she believes that's a false choice and the best choice is right down the middle of that road.


The governor will give her State of the State Address on Wednesday at 6:30pm, which you can hear on the Mighty 690 KGGF.

New Commissioners Sworn In


A new District One Commissioner takes office in Labette County for the first time in forty years.


Commissioner Vincent Schibi, who takes over for retiring Commissioner Lonie Addis, was sworn in front of his family, county employees and citizens. District Two Commissioner Terry Weidert was also sworn in for the first time as an elected official having served last year as an appointment.


The commissioner elected a new chair and vice chair during their first meeting of the new year. Commissioner Weidert was selected as the chair on a 2-0 vote as Commissioner Cole Proehl chose to abstain and Commissioner Schibi was chosen as vice chair on a 3-0 vote. Labette County goes from one of the most experienced commissions in the state to one of the least with three years of service between the three commissioners.


Labette to Recognize Juneteenth Holiday


The Labette County Commissioners vote to add Juneteenth to their paid holidays for county employees. Commissioner Cold Proehl, who unsuccessfully tried to add the holiday last year, says they are a very diverse and accepting county.


Proehl says they aren't the first county to recognize this holiday but he hopes they aren't the last. The resolution passed on a 3-0 vote. Governor Laura Kelly signed a proclamation on January 12th, 2022 recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday for the state.   

New Board Assignments for 2023


Montgomery County delegated new board assignments for the 2023 calendar year at today's Commissioner meeting.


County Commissioner Robert Bever says that there will be two additions to the county department employees, with Paul Kritz serving as County Counselor, and Lavern Strecker serving as In-House Auditor.


Bever says that the Commissioners also decided which county boards each of them would be assigned to for 2023.


Additional topics of discussion at this week's meeting were the approval of a Neighborhood Revitalization Project at 3394 County Road 2200 in Independence, the issuing of a Cereal Malt Beverage License to AKAS I LLC, a state liability company, and an update on the change of status of the Support Service Officer in Emergency Management from Director Rick Whitson.


Montgomery County Commissioner meetings take place on Mondays at 9 a.m. in the lower level of the Judicial Center in downtown Independence. All meetings are open to the public, and also streamed on Facebook and Zoom.

Skeletal Remains Identified


 Skeletal remains found in Colorado are those of a former Joplin man, missing since 2021.

 According to KSNF-TV, hikers in Colorado discovered the remains September 25th around Middle Mountain Road in Pagosa Springs.

 The Pagosa Springs Police Department announced late last week that the remains were officially identified as 42-year-old Michael Kroll.

 Authorities say Kroll was listed as a Joplin resident, but add that he had been in the Pagosa Springs area shortly before being reported missing October 19, 2021.

 The investigation remains ongoing.

K-DOT Awards December Bids

 The Kansas Department of Transportation approves bids for state highway construction and maintenance projects.

 The letting took, which took place in December, includes six projects in Southeast Kansas.

Here is the list of projects for District Four:

 Crawford - U.S. 69, bridge #004 over First Cow Creek Drainage located 2.25 miles north of the north junction of U.S. 69/U.S. 69 Alternate in the City of Frontenac, bridge replacement, Mission Construction Co. Inc., St. Paul, Kansas, $1,666,387.63.

 Greenwood - U.S. 400, from 11.2 miles east of the Butler/Greenwood county line east for 1.9 miles, grading and surfacing, 1.9 miles, APAC-Kansas Inc. Shears Division, Hutchinson, Kansas, $9,347,358.53.

 Linn - K-152, from the K-7/K-152 junctions to the U.S. 69/K-152 junction, milling, and overlay, 12.9 miles, Superior Bowen Asphalt Company LLC, Kansas City, Missouri, $2,819,604.07.

 Neosho - U.S. 169, from 0.7 mile north of the U.S. 169/K-47 junction north for 1.8 miles, grading and surfacing, 1.8 miles, Clarkson Construction Company, Kansas City, Missouri, $6,592,327.12.

 Neosho - U.S. 169, from 1.2 miles north of the Labette/Neosho county line north 2.3 miles, grading and surfacing, 2.3 miles, Clarkson Construction Company, Kansas City, Missouri, $8,346,246.81.

 Neosho - U.S. 169, from the Labette/Neosho county line north 7.05 miles to the south city limits of Thayer at the Portland cement concrete pavement excluding from 1.2 miles north of the Labette/Neosho county line north 2.3 miles covered by the passing lane project 169?67 KA?5789?01, grading and surfacing, 4.8 miles, Clarkson Construction Company, Kansas City, Missouri, $6,727,657.47.

Arizona Man Convicted In Kansas On KUSA Violations


 An Arizona man has been ordered to pay $550,000 in restitution for violations of the Kansas Uniform Securities Act; that's according to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

 68-year-old Kenneth Marg of Scottsdale, Arizona plead guilty in September 2022 in Johnson County District Court on two counts of securities fraud and one count of employing an unregistered agent. Marg was ordered today in Johnson County District Court to serve 60 days in jail, 36 months of probation, and to pay the restitution to two Kansas victims.

 The case was made from an investigation by the Office of the Kansas Securities Commissioner involving investor funds solicited by an individual on behalf of an Arizona business. Marg operated the business and employed Daniel Madasz, of Raymore, Missouri, to solicit investors. Madasz was convicted in February 2021 on two felony counts of securities fraud and one count of acting as an unregistered investment adviser. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison and to pay $550,000 in restitution.

McCarthy Gets House Speaker; CD-2 Brecheen Explains Initial "No" Votes


Kevin McCarthy’s difficult road to becoming House speaker ended in his election early Saturday morning.


Oklahoma Congressman for District 2, Josh Brecheen, eventually voted for McCarthy. Brecheen tells Bartlesville Radio that he held out for an agreement to stop out-of-control spending such as the Omnibus bill and to break up the power held by only a few house members.


The 15th and final vote for House speaker gave McCarthy 216 votes, a bare majority that was lower than the normal 218 votes needed because all six of his remaining GOP opponents voted "present." In the end, no Republican voted against McCarthy.

Convenience Store Burglary in Osage County


The Osage County Sheriff's Office is investigating a burglary at the Shop and Save Convenience Store at State Highway 97 and Shell Creek Road near Sand Springs on Saturday around 2:40 a.m.

According to the sheriff's office, It appears that a male with most of his face covered gained entry into the store and took items from the store.

The vehicle that was used by the individual was dumped after the burglary and recovered by the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office.

The individual arrived at the store traveling north on Highway 97 and left the area going west on Shell Creek Road. Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Office at 918-287-3131. You can remain anonymous.

LaTurner Sworn In


 Congressman Jake LaTurner, representing the 2nd District of Kansas, was sworn into the 118th Congress Friday night.


 LaTurner says he is humbled and honored that Kansans across the Second District elected him to fight for them. LaTurner says he understands that many families and businesses are having trouble succeeding in Kansas, and he will work tirelessly to deliver commonsense solutions to get the nation back on track.

State Prisoner Dies


 An investigation is underway by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas Department of Corrections into a homicide that took place Friday night at the Lansing Correctional Facility.


Initial investigation reports say correction officers were called Friday, just before 8:30 p.m., to a two-person cell. 62-year-old Gary Raburn appeared to have been attacked and strangled and was found unresponsive in his cell. The KBI was contacted and arrived just after 9:30 p.m.


 By state law, the KBI investigates the deaths of prisoners in the custody of Kansas jails and prisons, unless the inmate who dies is being regularly attended to by a physician, or the death is ruled natural by autopsy.


 Corrections officers and EMS responded and attempted life-saving measures, however, Rayburn was declared deceased at approximately 9:30 p.m.


 An autopsy will be conducted and the investigation is ongoing. A suspect has been identified, and charges are pending.

Governor Kelly Appoints Iola Man to District Court


Governor Laura Kelly has appointed an Iola man to a new position in the 31st Judicial District.


According to the Governor's office, Tod Michael Davis will step up to a judgeship position in the 31st Judicial District. Davis currently serves as a Magistrate Judge for the district, which includes Wilson, Woodson, Neosho and Allen counties.


Davis is active in the legal community with memberships in the Kansas Bar Association, Allen County Bar Association, and the Neosho County Bar Association, and says he's honored to be selected for this opportunity.


District Court Judges in the 31st Judicial District are appointed by the governor and selected from nominees chosen by a district nominating commission. Judges in nominating commission districts are subject to retention elections every four years.


The other nominees selected by the district nominating commission were Thomas P. Mikulka and Dennis Depew.

New Details in Osage County Murder Investigation


New information is available about an Osage County Murder investigation after a man was found dead in a pasture.  Six people are already behind bars for killing Corey Sequichie, but Sheriff Eddie Virden said more arrests are coming.  Dacia Dorris, Justin Jordan, Robert McCully, Randy McDonald, Nolan Osten and Dillan Plank are all in jail and Sheriff Virden said they expect to arrest four to five more people, most of whom are already in prison.


Virden believes the six people in custody now are responsible for the actual murder, but it was planned and organized from behind prison walls.  At this time, the six people in custody are charged with conspiracy to commit a felony, but Virden said murder charges are coming.


Cherryvale Man Barricades Himself Inside Building


A Cherryvale Man is in custody after barricading himself a building. Late last week, Montgomery County Detectives along with agents from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation were attempting to serve a felony rape of a minor and criminal threat warrant on Niklas Nelson. Upon arrival, agents and detectives contacted Nelson’s father and gathered intel that Nelson was hiding inside the large metal shop on the property and might had a handgun in his possession. Officers surrounded the shop and began attempting to call Nelson out using a PA system.


Detectives then obtained a search warrant for the property. The Montgomery County Emergency Response Team was activated and responded to the scene. KBI responded with their Armored Rescue Vehicle for the SERT team to use. Kansas Highway Patrol responded with their helicopter to assist in case Nelson fled on foot. With the use of less lethal chemicals and other less lethal tools, the SERT team was able to take Nelson into custody.

Nelson was transported to the Montgomery County Department of Corrections where he was booked on the arrest warrant for rape, interference with law enforcement, and possession of methamphetamine.

Evergy Outage in Coffeyville and Independence


A number of power outages have been reported in Coffeyville and Independence.


The Evergy Energy Company is working this morning to restore power to select people in Mongtomery County. The power outage was first reported at approximately 8:30 a.m.


Evergy representatives anticipate power to be restored to the impacted customers by 10:30 this morning, according to the outage map on the company website.


If you are without power, you can report the outage to Evergy at

Update: Missing Teen Found


According to a family member of the teen, Gideon was found and is now back home with his family. 


The Bartlesville Police Department is looking for a missing teenager.


On Monday, the parents of 14-year-old Gideon Stevenson Fridenburg reported him missing just after 9:00pm. Fridenburg's parents say he was last seen in his bedroom at their residence in the 1500 Block of SW Colorado around 7:00pm Monday night. He was wearing a gray long sleeve button-up shirt. Fridenburg is a white male, about 5'5” and weighs around 120 pounds. He is known to hang out around 16th and Penn Street.


BPD has information that he could be in the Independence, KS area. Anyone with information should call BPD at (918)338-4001.

Independence Mayor Gives 2022 Review


The city of Independence had the First Friday event to kick off the 2023 calendar year.


City of Independence Mayor Dean Hayse spoke and recapped the 2022 accomplishments. Among the items of note were beautification projects for fencing and demolitions in Independence as well new public and private partnerships in the downtown area.


Hayse says that the city also put in the necessary steps to be approved by the state for a Rural Housing Incentive District project.


Independence has plenty of goals and projects planned for the new year, and Hayse says that there are city board positions available for citizens looking to help the city grow.


Independence also saw a major growth in commercial investment in 2022, with the addition of corporations such as Fed Ex, Precision Railway, Domino's Pizza, Scooter's, and more.

First Baby of New Year at CRMC


The first baby of the new year has been born at Coffeyville Regional Medical Center.


Waylon Michael Traylor was born on January 2nd to parents Alexis Latta and Gage Traylor. Waylon weighed 7 pounds 4 ounces and measured 20.5 inches in length.


For having the first baby of the new year the Traylor family receives three certificates from KGGF courtesy of G&W Foods in Neodesha and Independence and the Woodshed in South Coffeyville and Edna.  

Caney PD Trying to Identify Two Men


The Caney Police Department is looking to identify two men caught on surveillance footage.


The two men were seen on camera footage at a Caney business yesterday. Caney PD is unable to provide any additional information at this time.  Anyone with information is asked to contact Caney PD at (620)879-2141.


Photos of the men can be seen below:

Hostage Situation Resolved in Independence


An Independence man is arrested after police respond to a hostage situation.


Just before 3:00am, officers responded to a 911 hang-up in the 200 block of West Magnolia. Officers spoke with a female who was with one adult male and one juvenile male. Officers had difficulty communicating and called a translation service as the two males went back inside the home. The adult male, the female victim's boyfriend, had cut her face and stabbed her in the abdomen and leg. Officers did not think the knife wounds appeared to be serious.


Officers could not get the suspect to come out and the suspect would not allow the juvenile male to leave. Police blocked off the area and requested the Kansas Highway Patrol Special Response Team. KHP negotiators were able to get the suspect to release the hostage and surrender peacefully just before 9:00am. 31-year-old Antonio Lopez Samayoa is being held on charges of aggravated domestic battery, criminal threat and kidnapping.

Oklahoma Congressman Updates on House Stalemate


The U.S. House of Representatives continues to be split on a decision to name the next Speaker of the House.


Oklahoma District 2 Congressman Josh Brecheen says he's not completely against Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy, and the most important thing is to come to a solution.


Today marks the fourth day the House is attempting to elect a new Republican speaker. Current numbers show that approximately 20 Conservative House representatives fear McCarthy is not conservative enough.


Brecheen says that the future of the country is more important to him than his own personal future in politics.


KGGF will provide updates regarding the Speaker of the House election as they become available.

CCC Offers Travel Option To Campus


 Coffeyville Community College students needing transportation options to campus for the start of the upcoming spring semester have a way to travel as a group.

 CCC officials say transportation from the Tulsa International Airport by bus will be available free to students, however individual transportation will not be. If the bus schedule does not accommodate the students' flight schedule, transportation to campus will be the responsibility of the student.

 For the return from winter break, buses will leave Tulsa International Airport for the campus on January 10th and 11th at 10:00 am & 4:00 pm.

 Here is the link to the sign-up page.

Vehicle Plows Through Barber Shop in Bartlesville


A vehicle went through the front window of a business in Bartlesville.


Witnesses saw a red Chevy crash into the A+ Barber Shop, located at 416 SE Washington Boulevard next to the UPS Store. The accident occurred around 6:00 p.m. last night.

There is no word yet as to what caused the collision, nor are we aware of any injuries at this time.

We will have more information when it becomes available.


Fort Scott Woman Sentenced for Elder Abuse


A Fort Scott woman has been sentenced to prison in an elder abuse case.


65-year-old Kenna G. Smith was sentenced on one count of mistreatment of an elder and ordered to serve 32 months in a Department of Corrections facility and has to pay more than $500,000 in restitution. Smith pleaded no contest to the charge in April 2022.


The case stems from an investigation by the Fraud and Abuse Litigation Division of Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office and the Kansas Department for Children and Families which determined that Smith mistreated an elder Bourbon County resident between July 1, 2014, and March 16, 2017. Schmidt says elder abuse cases are something his office has worked hard on during his 12 years in office.

KDOC Honors Coffeyville Business


A Coffeyville business is recognized by the Kansas Department of Commerce. Coffeyville Coffee Company has been awarded the To the Stars: Kansas Business Awards Regional Award in the category of Welcome Back in the Southeast region. Owner Ron Bryce says it was important to him to move back to this area and try to make an impact.


Bryce says they want Coffeyville Coffee Company to inspire people.  Governor Laura Kelly congratulated the Coffeyville Coffee Company saying they have demonstrated the tenacity, determination and creativity needed to prosper regardless of circumstance and these values are at the heart of what it means to be a Kansan.

Neodesha Authorizes New KMEA Energy Contract


The city of Neodesha has partnered with the Kansas Municipal Energy Association regarding an internal generation project.


Neodesha City Administrator Ed Truelove says that the city has been searching for responsible and efficient ways to provide backup generation for customers.


KMEA's Mark Walker says that this agreement signifies that Neodesha is prepared to pursue the project, as well as helps keep KMEA in line with the Caterpillar Construction services.


The KMEA is committed to helping serve the state navigate a complicated era of energy preservation, and engage with members to help solve short, medium, and long-term energy needs.

Clerk's Office Offers Free Assistance in Processing The Homestead Tax Refund


The staff at the Montgomery County Clerk's Office will assist Montgomery County Seniors for free. Those who would like assistance in filing their Homestead or Safe Senior Property Tax Refund for Low-Income Seniors can go to the County Clerk's Office. Election Deputy Santana O'Rear says the program can save seniors some money.

O'Rear says you must be a homeowner and pay property taxes to qualify for the Homestead Refund and have not filed a Federal or State tax return.

The clerk's office will be available to assist applicants from 9 am to 4 pm Monday thru Friday starting January 17th to April 17th. Contact the County Clerk's Office with any questions at 620-330-1200. A link to the list of the information you will need to bring with you is here.

Kansas Walmart Receipts May Be Incorrect


Walmart customers in Kansas who purchased food on Sunday, January 1st may need to check their receipts. The Kansas Department of Revenue released a statement that said customers with grocery purchases made on or after January 1 should have seen a 2.5% reduction in the state sales tax rate. If a customer did not see that reduction on approved grocery items, they should seek a refund for the excess tax charged. Walmart acknowledged the mistake, and refunds will be given.


The state food sales tax was lowered from 6.5% to 4% this year. The tax on Kansan’s food will drop to 2% in 2024 and in 2025 there will be no sales tax on food in Kansas.

Defective Tail Lamp Results In Arrest


A Coffeyville woman is arrested in Caney during a traffic stop for a defective tail lamp. Late last week Vanessa Reed of Coffeyville was cited for a defective tail lamp and after an investigation, officers with the Caney Police Department arrested Reed for alleged possession of controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.


Reed has posted bond for the charges.

Two City Board Positions Available In Independence


The City of Independence has two openings on City Boards.


The Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals is needing another member. The Planning Commission makes recommendations to the city commission regarding rezoning, conditional use permits, and platting. Variances are considered by the Board of Zoning Appeals.


The second position available is for the Economic Development Advisory Board. The vacancy is for an unexpired term ending on January 1, 2025. The Economic Development Advisory Board recommends and reviews the city’s economic development policies and prepares strategies and policies as determined by the Board or requested by the city commission.


Applicants on either board must live within the city limits of Independence. Individuals wishing to serve on either board need to turn in an application by noon on January 20th.  


For more information click below:

Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals

Economic Development Advisory Board


To Apply:

Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals

Economic Development Advisory Board


Fredonia Solar Farm Moves Forward, New Mayor Sworn In


The project to build a solar farm in Fredonia is officially underway.


City Commissioners cleared the last hurdle of the project by approving an ordinance authorizing the city to enter into a lease purchase transaction, which will be used to pay the costs of financing the acquisition and construction of the farm, which will supply two megawatts of power to the city under ideal conditions.


City Administrator Wesley Young says he thinks the farm will make a positive impact on the city.


If all goes according to plan, the $4.2 million project will be up and running by June.


Since last night's meeting was the first of the year, new Mayor Allen Miller was sworn in by outgoing Mayor Bob McKenney.


In other business, the commission heard year-end updates from city departments, approved employee heath insurance and accepted electric department bids.

Caney Boil Order Lifted


The Boil Order for the City of Caney has been rescinded.


The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has rescinded a boil water advisory for Caney's public water supply system. The advisory was issued because of low water pressure in the distribution system. Failure to maintain the required water pressure may put the system at risk for bacterial contamination.


Laboratory testing samples collected from Caney indicate no evidence of bacteriological contamination and all other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved. 

Independence Begins Groundwork for New Sports Complex


The city of Independence has been awarded a grant to develop a new Central Park Sports Complex.


City commissioners accepted a grant of over $2 million to support Phase 1 development of the proposed multi-use complex on North Park Boulevard.


Independence City Finance Director Lacey Lies says that a major source of inspiration for the complex was the startling statistic that Montgomery County is one of the unhealthiest in the state.


The Phase 1 construction of the complex will feature a socer complex, a four-plex and baseball and softball fields, a fitness court, lighting and parking improvements, and a 1.1 mile hiking trail adjacent to the complex. Phase 2, which will come at a later date, will add baseball fields, basketball courts, pickleball courts, and batting cages.


Campaign Committee Member Ian Oliver says that as a former athlete that competed in similar complexes, the current facilities Independence offers just aren't good enough.


Lies expects the bid will be awarded to a contractor later this month, with the initial construction of Phase 1 for the Central Park Sports Complex anticipated in March of this year. 


Ribbon Cutting for L2 Realty in Independence


A new Independence business will participate in a ribbon cutting tomorrow as they officially open their doors to the community.


L2 Realty Inc. will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow to highlight the newest business in Independence, as well as offically joining the Chamber of Commerce.


Independence Chamber President Lisa Wilson says that L2 Realty has remodeled their office from a former pet store, and are located in a very convenient location.


L2 Realty is located at 4045B County Road 3900 in Independence, right next to the Barta Animal Hospital. All ribbon cuttings are open to the public.

Wilson County Signs First Resolutions of 2023


The Wilson County Commissioners signed and approved the first two resolutions of the 2023 calendar year during today's meeting.


The first resolution regards financial statements and financial reports pertaining to the Kansas Cash Basis and Budget Laws for the 2023 fiscal year.


The second resolution authorized participation in the Rural Opportunity Zone Student Loan Repayment Program for the 2023 year.


Additional items of discussion were the renewal of the County Coordinator roles, with Casey Lair serving as county chair, Andrew Miller serving as vice chair, and Jerry Scott serving as the additional district representative on the County Commissioner Board.


Also, Wilson County will begin to review potential bridge construction projects needed for the 2023 year, per Road and Bridge Supervisor Kary Tatum.


Wilson County Commissioner meetings take place on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. from the County Courthouse in downtown Fredonia.

Livestock Brand Renewals Open


The 2023 Livestock Brand Renewal window is now open.


Livestock producers who have an email address on file should have received a brand renewal email. Livestock producers who do not have an email on file will receive a renewal letter in the mail. Livestock brands are due for renewal by April 1st to assure retention of ownership for another five-year period.


Brands that expire will become openly available to the public for registration after June 1st.

Schmidt Becomes Current Longest Serving AG


Kansas's attorney general becomes the longest-serving attorney general in office in the United States.


With Iowa and Idaho's attorneys general leaving office earlier this week, AG Derek Schmidt becomes the longest currently serving until he leaves office on the 9th. Schmidt says there is no prize for this milestone but it is a fun bit of trivia. This appears to be the first time a Kansas attorney general has held this distinction. When Schmidt’s term ends, Alan Wilson of South Carolina will become the nation’s longest-serving attorney general still in office. Wilson began his service two days later than Schmidt in January 2011.


In 2017, Schmidt became the fourth Kansan to serve as president of the National Association of Attorneys General since the organization was founded in 1907. Schmidt also received the organization’s prestigious Kelley-Wyman Award in 2019, which honors an attorney general for their outstanding professional contributions to the office and the role of attorneys general nationwide.

Pittsburg Teen Arrested for Assisting Another Teen Runaway


A Pittsburg teen is arrested after taking his mom's car and helping a young teenage run away.


On December 27th, Pittsburg Police Department officers took a report of a stolen vehicle from Yvonne Timko, regarding her son, 18-year-old Rylie M. Timko taking her vehicle without permission. On December 28th, Pittsburg PD received information from the Fort Scott Police Department, regarding a 14-year-old female runaway, who was likely in the company Timko. The 14-year-old and Timko were reportedly involved in a relationship. On December 31st, officers located the mother's missing vehicle and the 14-year-old hiding in the trunk. On Monday. Timko was located at his mother’s residence and taken into custody for felony contributing to a child’s misconduct.


He was transported to the Crawford County jail and is currently being held without bond. The investigation into the incident is ongoing at this time.

Traffic Stop Leads to Arrest of Unregistered Violent Offender


A traffic stop leads to the arrest of an unregistered violent offender.


Last night at around 11:41pm, a Parsons Police Officer conducted a traffic stop for an equipment violation. The driver, 24-year-old Osric Maleke-Rashaad Edwards was driving with a suspended and expired driver's license. Edwards was also found to be in violation of his Kansas Violent Offender Registration requirements.


Edwards was convicted in November 2018 for criminal discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling and is required to register as a violent offender for 15 years. He was also convicted of aggravated battery in March 2017 for breaking an elderly man's facial bone. Edwards was discharged from the Kansas Department of Corrections in January 2021. Edwards is being held on no bond and charges are being requested through the Labette County Attorney's Office for three counts of violation of offender registration, driving while suspended and defective vehicle equipment

KHP Incident Report for New Year's Weekend


The Kansas Highway Patrol works four fatality crashes with five fatalities over the New Year's holiday weekend.


The reporting period for the holiday weekend is from 6:00pm Friday to 11:59pm on Monday. None of the crashes were DUI related for the third straight year, which makes just one DUI related fatality from Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's holiday weekend.


The KHP assisted 512 motorists down significantly from 906 in 2020 and 648 in 2021. There were 567 speed citations issued and 60 seat belt citations.

House Fire Quickly Contained In Coffeyville


The Coffeyville Fire Department was called to the 1400 block of W. 9th Street for a report of smoke coming from the attic of a home. Firefighters were able to gain access to the attic through a small ventilation window on the outside of the structure and through the ceiling on the inside and extinguished the blaze. The owner of the home was not at home at the time of the fire. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Kansas Department of Commerce Announces BASE 2.0 Funding Available


A second round of Building a Stronger Economy (BASE) grants are available. Yesterday, the Kansas Department of Commerce announced that $50 million in additional funds were designated by the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas Executive Committee and was approved by the State Finance Council in December.

Applicants who were not funded in round one will not need to reapply. County and local governments, economic development organizations, local chambers of commerce, and other stakeholders are eligible to apply for BASE 2.0 funding.

Applications must document how the project was delayed or affected negatively due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn.

The deadline for submissions will be Tuesday, January 31. A webinar on BASE 2.0 is available to the public at 10 am this Friday, January 6th


Email Questions:

Kansas Legislative Information Is A Call Away


The Kansas State Library allows Kansans to pose questions or concerns to Legislators. The toll-free Legislative Hotline is answered by experienced reference and research librarians at the State Library. Citizens can find out the status of bills, where to find historic information and other Kansas government-related questions.

The Hotline is open Monday-Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. After-hours constituents can leave a brief message for their legislators, or for a librarian’s response.

Voice Call: 800-432-3924

Text: 785-256-0733. 



Independence PD Cites Woman Twice For Indecent Exposure


Law Enforcement officers with the Independence Police Department responded to 1100 West Laurel Street for a report of a naked female. The alleged incident took place at about midnight on December 28th. About 5 minutes after the first report officers received a 2nd report of lewd behavior in the 1300 block of N. Pennsylvania Ave.  A third report came in for a suspicious person in the 300 block of N. 19th Street and after an investigation 27-year-old Angie Reyes was cited for indecent exposure. Reyes was also cited for indecent exposure at the 1100 W. Laurel St. incident as well as cited for criminal trespass resulting from a report in the 100 block of W. Locust St.

Monthly Kansas Crop Progress and Soil Condition Report


The US Department of Agriculture released last month's Kansas Crop Progress and Soil condition report. Data for the report was provided at the county level by USDA Farm Service Agency, KSU Extension Service, and other reporters across the State.

For the week ending January 1st, topsoil moisture rated 43% very short, 26% short, 29% adequate, and 2% surplus, and subsoil moisture rated 47% very short, 43% short, 18% adequate, and 1% surplus.

Winter wheat conditions rated 23% very poor, 26% poor, 32% fair, 17% good and 2% excellent, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The next report will be issued on January 30th.

Fredonia Christmas Pageant Today


The 89th annual community Christmas Pageant is coming a little late in Fredonia.


According to the Wilson County Citizen, the pageant was delayed from December 15th due to widespread illness in the USD 484-Fredonia school district.


The pageant will be performed tonight at Bateman auditorium at 7 p.m. A dress rehearsal will start at 1 p.m. this afternoon and is also open to the public. Admission to the rehearsal and pageant is free, however donations are welcome to help with the cost of costumes, scenery and sheet music.

Nowata Officer Stable After Being Hit by Car


A Nowata police officer who was hit by a car on Monday night appears to be in stable condition.


Nowata County Sheriff Jason McClain says they are hoping and praying for the officer and wishing him a speedy recovery.


The Nowata County Sheriff's Office originally reported that the officer was hit while directing traffic after a car stalled on the side of the road and a trailer went into a ditch. Deputies said the officer was going to be evacuated by helicopter, but had to be driven to the hospital because of severe weather.


McClain says a broken leg and wrist are only a few of the injuries that the officer suffered in the accident. We will have more information when it becomes available.


CCC to Host Area High School Choirs


High School Choirs from around southeast Kansas will be gathering in Coffeyville for a joint performance.  The Coffeyville Community College Choir will be hosting a Choir Festival on January 19th.  CCC Choir Director Markel Porter says a number of different high school choirs will be coming to Coffeyville for this joint performance.


Porter says the choirs will be coming in and learning four songs and then will perform them at 4:30 that afternoon.  The Choir Festival is January 19th and the public is invited to attend the performance.

Montgomery County Review 4th Quarter Abatements


The Montgomery County Commissioners met to discuss and review the 4th quarter abatement totals in the county.


The meeting was rescheduled to this morning due to the New Years holiday being observed at the county office during the normal Monday meeting time.


Topics of discussion at this week's meeting were the resolution of an 8% salary increase for employees with Human Resources Director Becky Lewis, a presentation from the Community Corrections staff of Dennis Webb and Duane Powell regarding county roles and responsibilities, and the official review and approval of the Quarter 4 abatement totals for Montgomery County.


County Commissioner meetings take place on Mondays 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 live on Facebook and Zoom.

New Commissioner Starts in Nowata County


The Nowata County Commission met for the first time with their new commissioner.


Paul Crupper won election last year over previous-elect Burk LaRue and had the opportunity to join the board this week. The commission also voted on a new chairman and vice chairman.


In other business, commissioners approved donations and purchase agreements for new tasers for officers. The Commissioners will meet again next Monday at 9 am in the Nowata County Courthouse annex.


Representative Ron Estes Denounces New WOTUS Rule


The US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of the Army is announcing a final rule establishing a new definition of waters of the United States. The agencies decision on December 30th expands protections that were in place prior to the 2015 Clean Water Act and would now include upstream water resources that affect those waters.

The agencies say the action will strengthen fundamental protections for waters that are sources of drinking water while supporting agriculture, local economies, and downstream communities.

Kansas Representative Ron Estes disagrees, saying the EPA’s WOTUS rule increases bureaucratic control over private land that includes virtually any waters, including many areas that only temporarily hold water.

The upcoming Supreme Court Case, Sackett v. EPA, is supposed to be heard this spring. Many opposed to the new rule wanted the EPA to wait until that case is determined as it will test the action’s constitutionality. However the agencies went ahead with implementation.

Estes says Kansas farmers and ranchers are the best stewards of their land, but the final WOTUS rule hands over private property decisions to Washington bureaucrats and that it disregards the common sense conservation techniques employed by the men and women who actually work the land.

Miami Oklahoma Man Dies In Crash In Cherokee County Kansas


An Oklahoma man dies in a single-vehicle crash in Cherokee County Kansas. According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a silver HHR was traveling west on Bagdad Road, went off the roadway, overturned, and struck a tree late last week. A passenger in the vehicle, 59-year-old Benster Syne of Miami, made his way to the Q Store near Downstream Casino and reported the crash, but could not tell officials where the crash occurred. Multiple agencies responded to the call from all three states. Eventually, the crash site was found and the driver was identified as 21-year-old Asthy Zarred of Miami.  Zarred was pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger in the fatal crash, Benster Syne was not injured.

Active Weather Night in Oklahoma


It was an active weather night across the area, with several tornado warnings and severe thunderstorm warnings in Oklahoma.


Two storms prompted warnings, one near Adair and the other was not far from Muskogee. According to Muskogee County Emergency Management Director Jeff Smith, a roof was blown off a barn into the side of a single family home in the Keefton area around 6:30 p.m. No injuries or other damage was reported in the area at the time other than tree debris.


The storm near Adair weakened and prompted a severe thunderstorm warning for northeast Oklahoma. Down trees and small hail were also reported with the storm.


According to state Mesonets, parts of Oklahoma and Kansas received nearly an inch of rain at most, although rainfall amounts varied widely. In Coffeyville, nine-tenths of an inch of rain was measured here at the radio station.



Nowata Police Officer Hit By Car, Hospitalized


A Nowata police officer is in the hospital after getting hit by a car yesterday evening.


Nowata County Sheriff's Office deputies told our partners at News on 6 that the officer was hit while directing traffic after a car stalled on the side of the road and a trailer went into a ditch. Deputies said the officer was going to be evacuated by helicopter, but had to be driven to the hospital because of severe weather.


We will have more information as it becomes available.

Boy Injured in Nowata County Rollover


An Afton 9 year-old is admitted to a Joplin hospital after being pinned in a semi truck crash.


According to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the child was riding in the semi driven by 43 year-old Scott Heronemus of Afton on Nowata County Road East-West just after 1:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon. Officers learned Heronemus was driving too fast on the slick roadway and the truck slid and rolled 3-quarters of the way over and landed on its side.


Heronemus refused treatment for minor cuts on his arms. The boy was admitted with head injuries.

Disorderly Conduct & Criminal Threat Arrest Evolves Into Felony Drug Charges


Officers with the Coffeyville Police Department arrest a Coffeyville man for criminal threat, disorderly conduct, and felony drug charges. 35-year-old Paul Jaimez was arrested late last week by the Coffeyville PD for a criminal threat and disorderly conduct, and after an investigation, Jamiez was also charged with possession of an opiate, possession of paraphernalia with intent to cultivate, possession of paraphernalia with intent to manufacture a controlled substance, and no drug tax stamp.

Parsons Rec To Hold Father/Daughter & Mother/Son Dance


The Parsons Recreation Commission is hosting a Father-Daughter & Mother-Son Dance. Reserve your spot by January 16 as the event is limited to only 150 couples. All ages are invited to attend the event on February 4th at 200 S. Heacock Ave. You can twirl around the dance floor and have a professional picture taken to make the event even more unforgettable. All girls and moms will receive a carnation at the end of the night.


The cost is only $15 per couple. To reserve your spot or for more information call Parsons Rec at 620-421-7077

$7 Billion In Federal Funds Available For Hydrogen Energy Hubs


Governors of Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana have partnered together to develop regional hubs promoting hydrogen energy. The US Department of Energy last week asked the 3 states and others across the county to submit applications for funding. The Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program is part of the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and will hand out up to $7 billion to 6 to 10 regional clean hydrogen hubs, with the ultimate goal of developing a network of hydrogen energy producers and connective infrastructure.


Governor Kevin Stitt says that leaning into hydrogen makes sense as a way to further diversify Oklahoma’s economy and the nation’s energy portfolio.

American Rescue Plan to Expand Broadband Access in Kansas


The American Rescue Plan is bringing expanded broadband coverage to the state of Kansas.


The global pandemic shifted many businesses and individuals to a work-from-home setting, and it has become increasingly more important to be equipped with high-speed Internet. The federal government is making $42.5 billion available across the states to expand broadband access and improve digital consistency.


Kansas State Senator Virgil Peck says that the state of Kansas will receive nearly $400 million to improve broadband access across the state.


Peck says that the improved broadband will especially impact rural areas, who have been asked to work from home more over the past several years.


The Federal Communications Commission has utilized a new map that attempts to show what internet speeds are available down to specific street addresses.

Boil Order In Caney Remains In Effect


 The city of Caney's boil order continues to be in effect, but bottled water is available. According to the Caney Police Department, a pallet of water was delivered to City Hall this morning and is available in the lobby for residents.


 Mayor Josh Elliott says the New Year's holiday delayed testing procedures by the KDHE. The tower now has the correct PSI readings, and after the 24 hour period ends for testing done Tuesday, the boil order should be able to be lifted on Wednesday.

Risk Of Salmonella Prompts Recall in Kansas


A recall alert has been issued after the discovery of possible salmonella contamination.


SunSprout Enterprises has voluntarily recalled two lots of raw alfalfa sprouts in 4-ounce clamshells. The company distributed several hundred pounds of the product to five food service and grocery customers in Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa between late November and early December. The Food and Drug Administration is investigating an outbreak of illness likely associated with alfalfa sprouts. The FDA says there have been no complaints or reports of illness due to this related product. SunSprout initiated the recall out of an abundance of caution while investigating how the product was handled and stored after it left its Nebraska facility.


According to the FDA, those who have purchased the product should stop using it and throw it away immediately. For more information click here.

Areas of Dense Fog Possible


Drivers need to be alert this morning due to reduced visibility. Early morning drivers may encounter some patchy areas of dense fog. Mainly in low-lying areas east of Highway 75 and from the state line to the north. For a live report of area road conditions, we go to Chris Freund.


As soon as the sun rises, which will be at 7:36 this morning, the fog should be burnt off fairly quickly

Galena High School Band Plays in Alamo Bowl


Most of the time, sirens aren't a good thing, but this is the sound of the Galena Volunteer Fire Department and the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office escorting the Galena High School band back from the Alamo Bowl over the weekend.


The band had the opportunity to perform at the halftime show during the game in San Antonio along with a several other schools from around the country.


The Galena High School Band was one of 43 bands nationwide and four Kansas bands selected to perform in six bowl games this year by educational travel company WorldStrides, which has been providing these kind of opportunities for students for 55 years.


Severe Weather Possible Today


We're starting out the new year with the potential for severe weather.


Watches and warnings are anticipated across the four states this afternoon and evening with the possibility of up to golfball-size hail, damaging winds and the potential for strong tornadoes.


The greatest risk for severe weather is in southeast Oklahoma and much of the state of Arkansas. Southeast Kansas including Coffeyville and Independence as well as northeast Oklahoma are in the “slight” risk category from the Storm Prediction Center. The risk of a tornado is much less in southeast Kansas than it is in central Arkansas and southeast Oklahoma.


Timing of the severe weather is expected after 3 p.m.  Listen to KGGF for severe weather coverage should it be needed.


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