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Local News Archives for 2023-02

Police Looking for Two Runaways After Stealing and Crashing Car


Law enforcement is looking for two young girls after running away multiple times and stealing a car.


On Sunday, three 12-year-old girls were reported as runaways. Two girls were in foster care and the third lived in the home. A tip led to the location of the three girls in an abandoned house. The two in foster care were turned over to TFI Family Services and the third was placed out of the home. At around 2:35pm yesterday, Parsons Police received a call from TFI Family Services that the two girls under their care had run away again.


Yesterday at around 5:30pm, Parsons Police were dispatched for a report of a stolen vehicle. Officers determined that the two runaways had stolen the car. Kansas Highway Patrol then notified Parsons Police that the stolen Nissan had been located after a collision on Highway 400 about 20 miles outside of Parsons. The two girls had fled from the vehicle and into an adjacent field and were unable to be located. They are still being sought as runaways and also as juvenile offenders for felony theft of a motor vehicle.

Governor Kelly Announces Rail Projects


 Governor Laura Kelly announces nine short-line rail maintenance and rehabilitation projects, totaling nearly $5 million as part of the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Short Line Rail Improvement Fund program.

 These projects support rail enhancements to expand carload capabilities, reduce truck traffic, increase operating speeds, and improve operating efficiencies.

 State funding for the nine projects will be enhanced by a 30% match from each recipient, resulting in a total rail infrastructure investment of nearly $6.5 million.

 One of the projects is taking place in Crawford County. Scoular Grain in Pittsburg is receiving a siding extension for just over $580,000.

 This is the third and final round of funding for the program through IKE, the state’s 10-year bipartisan transportation program. SLRIF made available $5 million each for state fiscal years 2021, 2022, and 2023.

Congressman LaTurner Announces Mobile Schedule


 Congressman Jake LaTurner announces his March Mobile Office Hours.

 LaTurner says his staff hosts Mobile Office Hours to assist residents with veterans benefits, Social Security applications, passport processing, Medicare & Medicaid assistance, Housing and Urban Development, and all other issues involving federal agencies.

 LaTurner's staff will be at Coffeyville City Hall tomorrow at 9:30, and in Neodesha at the W.A. Rankin Memorial Library tomorrow at noon. Thursday, staff will be at the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce beginning at 9:30, and in Galena at the Municipal Court Building at 3:00 pm.

 For questions or more information, call 785-205-5253.

Bartlesville Woman Charged With Aggravated Assault


 A Bartlesville woman charged with multiple counts of felony assault was back in court yesterday.

 38-year-old Amie Danae Terry-Jackson was arrested on February 17th. She's been charged with counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and domestic assault with a dangerous weapon. Court records state Terry-Jackson allegedly assaulted a victim by stabbing them with a pair of scissors. She also threatened to stab the roommate of the victim.

 Terry-Jackson is currently being held on a $100,000 bond. Her next date in Washington County Court has been set for March 24th.

Body Found In Galena


 The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Galena Police Department are investigating a man’s death after remains were found yesterday afternoon in Galena.

 Galena PD received a call around 3 p.m. reporting a body found in a field, near 11th St. and Wood St. When officers responded, they located the badly decomposed remains of a man. Galena PD requested assistance from the KBI at approximately 3:30 p.m.

 At this time, the man has not been identified. Due to the condition of his remains, positive identification is expected to take longer than in typical cases. The body has been taken to the medical examiner's office in Kansas City for autopsy.

 If you have information about this case, please contact the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME, or the Galena Police Department at (620) 783-1900.

 The investigation is ongoing.

Galena Man Sentenced on Assault Charges


A Galena man has been sentenced in Cherokee County Court.


Fifty-year-old James Bilke Jr. was sentenced to over a year imprisonment earlier this month in Cherokee County District Court. The 15-month sentence comes after Bilke pled guilty to attempted aggravated assault stemming from a January 2020 altercation. Bilke is being held in the Cherokee County Jail pending transfer to the Kansas Department of Corrections.


Project on 400 to Start Next Week


A resurfacing project on U.S. 400 will begin next week.


The Kansas Department of Transportation plans to begin the project in Greenwood County east of the junction of K-99 and U.S. 400 and continue east for 15 miles, ending at the Greenwood-Wilson county line. Project activity includes placement of a 3-inch overlay, centerline rumble strips, shoulders and edge wedge. Flaggers and a pilot car will direct one-lane traffic through the work zone. Expect delays of 15 minutes or less during daylight hours. KDOT awarded the construction contract of $12.9 million to APAC-Kansas Inc., Shears Division, of Hutchinson. Weather permitting, the project should be finished by late September.

Bartlesville Man Arrested On Second DUI In Two Weeks


 A Bartlesville man faces charges of DUI for the second time in two weeks.

 Brian James Werry was out on bond from his first DUI when he was charged with an aggravated DUI for the second charge, due to blowing over a .15 blood alcohol level. Judge Russell Vaclaw in Washington County Court set Werry's bond in the second case at $25,000, due to Judge Vaclaw's feelings of Werry being a danger to the public. Werry's next court date is set for March 8th.

Montgomery County Approves New Software


The Montgomery County Commission has approved the Attorney's Office to use grant money to update the software system.


County Attorney Melissa Johnson says that the current system is not web-based, and is no longer supported for updates or modifications.


With the new system being web-based, and not print-based, Johnson says it will be easier for employees to do remote work, something that was challenging during the COVID pandemic.


Additional items of discussion at the County Commissioner meeting were an executive session with the Montgomery County Action Council and the Environmental and Zoning Department regarding a solid waste plan, and a conversation with the Ranson Financial Group regarding county budget and potential debts.

Senator Marshall Hears Plan For Solving Flooding


 US Senator Roger Marshall says his office will continue to look for all available funding for the Coffeyville levee project.

 Marshall met with city and county leaders late last week in Coffeyville to discuss what needs to be done to keep waters from overflowing again.

 Because of two major floods in the last fifteen years, over 850 homes have been torn down in the Coffeyville city limits, prompting officials to not only plan for economic regrowth for its residents, but for current and future businesses as well. The plan calls for an increase in the size of parts of the levee, plus the removal of sediments from the US-169 corridor to allow for better water flow.

 Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Rick Whitson says the plan to address the flooding issue is done, the next step is to secure funding.

 Whitson says leaders have identified the top three items that need to be addressed immediately. He says state and national government organizations are on board to fix the flooding issues as soon as funding can be secured for the project.

Surveying The Damage Across Kansas & Oklahoma


 Parts of Oklahoma and Kansas are counting the injured and surveyed the damage today after tornadoes and other powerful winds swept through.

 Police in Norman, Oklahoma, responded last night to storm damage in parts of the city, about 20 miles south of Oklahoma City. Officials said there were 12 confirmed weather-related injuries there, none considered critical.

 Crews canvassed the damaged area looking for others who might be injured. Possible tornadoes and wind gusts as high as 90 mph were reported in Oklahoma, with downed trees and power lines, road closures, and damage to homes around Norman and Shawnee.

 Frances Tabler, of Norman, told KOCO-TV that she suffered a small cut on her head when a storm hit her home, tearing off much of its roof and sending debris flying. She said it was a miracle her children weren't hurt, although her daughter was trapped for a while in a bedroom.

 A tornado touched down last night near Liberal. More than a dozen homes were reported damaged, according to KSNW-TV. One person had minor injuries.

 Bob Oravec, a lead forecaster for the National Weather Service says there were reports of nine tornadoes in Kansas, Oklahoma, and northwestern Texas. Weather service teams are surveying storm damage today to determine the strength of the tornadoes.


The severe weather threat remains today, with thunderstorms expected to produce damaging gusts across the Ohio Valley, according to the Storm Prediction Center. At least a few tornadoes are possible, especially across Ohio this afternoon.


Congressman LaTurner Seeking Answers For Train Derailment


 Congressman Jake LaTurner, Chairman James Comer, and the rest of the Oversight and Accountability Committee Republicans are launching an investigation into the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, and the ensuing environmental and public health emergency.

 The committee is concerned about what they call U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s failure to promptly respond to resolve the ongoing emergency and is requesting all documents and information related to the train detrainment.

 A Norfolk Southern freight train’s derailment and the ensuing response released highly toxic chemical materials into the air, water, and soil—forcing residents of East Palestine to evacuate. Republican lawmakers say the incident is an environmental and public health emergency that now threatens Americans across state lines. Residents continue to report dead animals, strong odors, burning sensations, rashes, and watery eyes. The fallout from the Ohio train derailment continues to develop.

 Republican lawmakers are seeking all documents and information related to DOT’s response to the catastrophe.

Storms Move Through Oklahoma and Kansas


 Powerful storms with widespread wind gusts and reported tornadoes swept across Oklahoma and Kansas, leaving more than a dozen people injured.

 About 20 miles south of Oklahoma City, the Norman Police Department responded last night to storm damage on the south and eastern sides of Norman. Officials say there were 12 confirmed weather-related injuries, but none were considered critical.

 Crews were canvasing the damaged area looking for others who might be injured. Possible tornadoes and widespread wind gusts up to 90 mph were reported in Oklahoma, with downed trees and power lines, road closures and damage to homes around Norman and Shawnee.

 A tornado touched down Sunday near Liberal, Kansas, the National Weather Service said, and more than a dozen homes were reported damaged, according to KSNW-TV. One person had minor injuries.

 The Storm Prediction Center said that the severe weather threat remained Monday as thunderstorms were expected to produce damaging gusts across the Ohio Valley.

 In Coffeyville, the storms did not produce much rain, with only 16 hundredths of an inch recorded at KGGF. Wind gusts were recorded as high as 58 miles per hour.


Joplin Man Captured After Eluding Police For Two Weeks


 A Joplin man on the run for over two weeks has been captured.

Friday night around 11:20 pm, Joplin Police conducted a traffic stop on a white Chevrolet Tahoe near 2315 West 7th Street. Officers believed 34-year-old Adam Kastler, who was wanted on several felony warrants, was a passenger in the vehicle. During the stop, Kastler forcefully stole the vehicle from the owner and fled the scene. During the pursuit, Kastler fired multiple gunshots at pursuing Joplin Police Officers at multiple times in the pursuit. When the pursuit entered Kansas, the suspect vehicle crashed west of Galena. Kastler was taken into custody without further incident.

 No officers were injured and no officers discharged their weapons during the incident. Additional criminal charges are being sought against Kastler, in addition to the active felony warrants out of Newton County for Failure to Appear and a Joplin Municipal warrant for Failure to Appear.

Liberty Utilities Upgrades Towers


 Some southeast Kansas residents could see more reliable power after 100-year-old towers are replaced.

 Liberty Utilities completed the project to replace the towers with new steel poles and higher capacity lines. A twenty-six-mile stretch from Riverton to Neosho County has new lines and towers.

 The project took almost 100 liberty employees six years to complete. It will double the capacity of overloaded lines in the southwest power pool.

KS Crop Values Down over 2021


The value of Kansas’s 2022 field and miscellaneous crops is forecast is down 20% from 2021.


According to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, last year's estimated total crop value is $9.51 billion. The value of sorghum production is down the most at 54% from last year at a total of $737 million. The value of corn production is expected to total $3.68 billion, down 19% from the previous marketing year. Kansas's corn price is projected to average $7.20 per bushel, up $1.18 from the last marketing year. The value of soybean production is expected to total $1.90 billion, down 23% from the previous marketing year. Kansas's soybean price is projected to average $14.40 per bushel, up $1.50 from the last marketing year. The value of winter wheat production is expected to total $2.15 billion, down 12% from the previous marketing year. Kansas's winter wheat price is projected to average $8.80 per bushel, up $2.06 from the last marketing year.

Cattle on Feed Down in KS


Cattle on feed inventory in Kansas is down 4% from last year.


According to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, Kansas feedlots with capacities of 1,000 or more head, contained 2.45 million cattle on feed on February 1. This inventory was down 4% from last year. Placements during January totaled 500,000 head, up 4% from 2022. Fed cattle marketings for the month of January totaled 430,000 head, up 2% from last year. Other disappearance during January totaled 10,000 head, unchanged from last year.

More Information Concerning A Bartlesville Bank Robbery


 The Bartlesville Police Department continues to search for a man responsible for robbing a Bartlesville bank.

 Bartlesville Police Captain Andrew Ward says the robbery took place at Truity Credit Union at 2612 SE Washington Boulevard around 3:30 on Friday. The suspect slipped a note to one of the tellers during the robbery. No weapons were used and no one was injured.

 Ward says the suspect drove a black un-tagged Chevrolet Equinox and exited the parking lot north on Washington Boulevard. An undetermined amount of cash was taken.

 The suspect is described as being around 6'1', caucasian, slender, and smelling of gasoline. He was wearing a black jacket, black hat with white lettering, black gloves, blue jeans, and blue mask.

 That Truity location is temporarily closed, with workers temporarily relocated to the Johnstone Avenue location.

 The suspect and the suspect vehicle (with no tag) are pictured in the online version of this story at Contact Bartlesville Police at 918.338.4001 if you have any information.

Bartlesville Police Searching For Bank Robber


 The Bartlesville Police Department is looking for a person responsible for robbing a Bartlesville bank.

 Bartlesville Police say the robbery took place at Truity Credit Union at 2612 SE Washington Boulevard this afternoon around 3:30. A picture of the suspect and the suspect vehicle (with no tag) can be found below.

 Contact BPD at 918.338.4001 if you have any information about the robbery.

 This is an ongoing investigation.


Broadcast Rights Senate Bill Headed to House


A bill that would benefit local high school broadcasters being able to cover the postseason is moving ahead to the Kansas House.


The bill would prevent local broadcasters from being excluded from a school's postseason activity, provided the broadcasters cover at least one-third of the regular season events and entered into valid broadcast agreements with the school.  Senator Virgil Peck says the current broadcast regulation is an exclusive agreement between the Kansas High School Activities Association and the National Federation of State High School Associations.


Peck says that Senate Bill No. 13 would change the rule that stations like KGGF are kept out of postseason broadcast coverage.  The bill passed 39-0 with no opposition in the Senate, and will move to the Kansas House next.


Coffeyville Reawakening Looking for Garden Supplies


The Fresh Start Youth Garden is asking for the community's help with supplying gardening materials for the upcoming Monarch Project.


Beginning in March, several teams of youth will be creating pollinator gardens which serve as Monarch Way stations. This event could have as many as 30 youth participate, and the following additional supplies are needed:


1. Eight 50-foot tape measures

2. Six dirt shovels

3. Three picks

4. Nine garden spades

5. 16 large plastic buckets

6. Cans of spray paint (red, orange, yellow, pink, black, blue)

7. 12 tarps

8. Gravel

9. Treated Lumber for raised flower beds


If you wish to donate any of these needed materials, you can bring them to the Coffeyville Reawakening Headquarters at 115 W. 9th Street.

Independence Employees & Citizens Recognized In Life Saving Effort


 Citizens, police officers, and fire and EMS employees were recognized yesterday for their service in rescuing a victim in a structure fire.


 During the Independence City Commission meeting, Independence Fire-EMS Chief Shawn Wallis presented Life Saving Awards to firefighter and paramedic Shaycee Mendoza, who entered the structure and brought the victim to the window, firefighter EMT Joe Reyes, who assisted in getting the patient out of the window, and paramedic Jessica Bates, who provided advanced life support treatment and transport of the patient to a Medflight helicopter.


Independence Police Chief Jerry Harrison awarded Officer Seth Lloyd and Sgt. Jason Reddy. Citizens awarded were Jacob Smith, Isaac Sherwood, Zachary Hammer, and Darren Goins.


Cherokee Nation Reaches Citizen Milestone


 The Cherokee Nation has hit 450,000 citizens.

 The Cherokee Nation is the largest federally recognized tribe in the United States; the tribe has processed a record number of citizen applications since COVID-19. Cherokee Nation Tribal Registrar Derrick Vann says as many as 3,000 to 5,000 applications were being processed per month, but the tribe is back to working on current applications.

 Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. says COVID-19 showed that there is a great need in terms of broadband, food insecurities and vital services that Cherokee people need. He says with engaged citizens, it's a sign that the Cherokee Nation government is strong and focused where it should be, continuing to be an important force for economies, education, health care, and quality of life.

 For Cherokee Nation citizenship, an individual must prove direct lineage to an ancestor on the Dawes or Freedmen Roll. To contact the Registration office call 918-453-5058.

Governor Kelly Cashes In


 Governor Laura Kelly cashed in yesterday, donating the first legal sports bet in Kansas, and the winnings, to the 15 and the Mahomies Foundation.

 Her September wager was on the Kansas City Chiefs to win the Super Bowl. Kelly donated the $150 she won, in addition to her original $15 bet, to Chiefs quarterback and Super Bowl 57 MVP Patrick Mahomes’ charity,. The PENN Entertainment Foundation donated an additional $1,500 to the charity as well. 

 Kelly says she can’t think of a better way to honor the Chiefs and Super Bowl 57 MVP Patrick Mahomes than by giving her winnings to his foundation, which is doing so much good for children.

 Mahomes’ organization, 15 and the Mahomies Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of children by enacting initiatives that target health and wellness in communities in need. The foundation’s signature program, 15 for 15, supports 15 initiatives that focus on youth academics, science, the arts, classroom supplies, athletics, children with disabilities, after-school programs, and more.

Wintry Mix Possible This Afternoon


A mix of freezing drizzle, sleet and snow is possible across the four states today.


The best chance will be after noon today for all of southeast Kansas including Coffeyville and Independence.  Light icing is possible today for Oklahoma, mainly west of highway 75 this afternoon.  The best chance for slick spots is on elevated surfaces.


Sidewalk Improvement Projects Coming to Area Cities


Sidewalk Improvements are coming to several area communities.


The Kansas Department of Transportation plans to begin a sidewalk improvement project in Oswego on Monday, followed by Chetopa and Baxter Springs. Project activity includes the installation of ADA ramps, curb and gutter, signs and pavement markings. Sidewalk will be removed at some locations. The sidewalk improvements at Oswego will be constructed at the intersections of U.S. 59 and Illinois, Ohio and Depot streets. After finishing work in Oswego, the contractor will move to Chetopa to make improvements at the U.S. 59 intersections with Plum, Locust, 3rd , 4 th, 5th and 6th streets. The project will conclude at Baxter Springs, with construction at the intersections of U.S. 166 and Washington, Cherokee, Chouteau, East, Lincoln, Ottawa and Wyandotte avenues. Additional sidewalk improvements will take place at U.S. 69 and 10th Street, and U.S. 69 and 18th Street. KDOT awarded the $137,303 construction contract to Heck & Wicker, Inc., of Parsons. The project should be completed by June.

Last Day To Buy Hockey Tickets to Support Midland


Today is the last day to buy tickets for tomorrow's Tulsa Oilers game that supports the Midland Theater.


The Oilers are partaking in First Responders Night this Saturday for their 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.


You can purchase tickets here.

Arrest Made After Borrowed Vehicle Isn't Returned


An arrest is made after a vehicle borrowed from the owner was never returned.


On Saturday, a vehicle was reported stolen to the Caney Police Department. Upon investigation, it was determined that the vehicle was actually borrowed from the owner but was never returned. Yesterday, a Montgomery County Deputy located the vehicle and made a traffic stop.


The driver of the van, Harley Dean, was also the person the van had been loaned to. Dean was arrested for criminal deprivation of property and transported to the Montgomery County Jail.

KDOT Now Accepting Cost Sharing Applications


 The Kansas Department of Transportation is accepting applications for the spring 2023 round of the agency’s Cost Share Program.

 The Cost Share Program provides financial assistance to local entities for construction projects that improve safety, leverage state funds to increase total transportation investment, and help both rural and urban areas of the state improve the transportation system.

 All transportation projects are eligible, including roadway, rail, airport, bicycle/pedestrian, and public transit. Candidate projects should include investments that provide transportation benefits and are not eligible for other KDOT programs. This round of grant funding has an overall budget of $11 million, with a maximum awarded amount of $1.5 million per project.

 The deadline to submit applications is March 23. More information and the application link are available here.

Bartlesville Man Arrested On Assault Charges


 A Bartlesville man was arraigned in Washington County Court yesterday on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

 Eugene Drake was arrested on February 21st after Bartlesville PD was called in reference to an assault. Officials say Drake was one of the workers working on the victim's home. When the victim asked Drake to stop making inappropriate jokes about women in front of his girlfriend, he was allegedly hit in the back of the head by a hammer drill by Drake. The victim responded by attacking Drake, grabbing him by the throat and slamming him into the side of the home, then he punched Drake twice to get him to drop the drill hammer. Drake was then fired by the victim and homeowner. Drake then allegedly grabbed a hammer from the bed of his truck and tried to run at the victim.

 The victim then threw cement at Drake to protect himself, which caused Drake to leave the scene.

 Drake is currently being held on a $50,000 bond. His next court date has been set for February 27th.

Car Fire Spreads To Two Houses


 What started out as a car fire ends up damaging two houses.

 Dewey Fire Department officials say they received a call early this week to a house fire in the 300 Block of Shawnee Avenue. DFD crews found an exterior fire with a fully involved vehicle between two houses. The fire had spread to the attic of both residences. Crews got the fire under control in less than an hour. No injuries were reported.

 Dewey Fire, along with mutual aid from Bartlesville, Copan, and Washington County Emergency Management battled the blaze. The investigation is ongoing.

Neodesha to Acquire Plate Reading Technology


The City of Neodesha is joining the list of cities installing license plate reading camera equipment.


City Administrator Ed Truelove says the technology is offered by Flock Safety.

Truelove says many cities in the area already have this technology or are actively looking at acquiring it.


City commissioners and Police Chief Sam Tomlinson were in agreement at yesterday's meeting that cameras will be useful in fighting crime and for Silver and Amber Alerts. Truelove stressed the importance of safeguards to ensure that the technology is not misused.  Commissioners approved up to $5,700 to Flock Safety. One camera costs $2,500 per year, which works out to $6.85 a day per camera.


CPD Looking For Impaired Drivers


 The Coffeyville Police Department will be looking for impaired drivers this weekend.

 Public Information Officer Melissa Carter says additional officers will be patrolling the streets Saturday between 11:00 p.m. And 3:00 a.m.

 The patrol is a part of the Impaired Driving Deterrence Program coordinated by the Kansas Department of Transportation. CPD reminds everyone to drive safely and to designate a sober driver if you are drinking alcohol.

KCC Schedules Public Hearing On New Transmission Line


 The Kansas Corporation Commission has scheduled two public hearings to give Kansas residents an opportunity to learn more about and make comments on an electric transmission line siting application filed by NextEra Energy.

 NextEra is requesting permission to site a 94-mile, 345 kV electric transmission line connecting the Wolf Creek Substation in Coffey County to the Blackberry Substation in Jasper County, Missouri, less than one mile over the state line.  If the proposed route is approved, the line will pass through Coffey, Anderson, Allen, Bourbon, and Crawford counties.

 The first public hearing will be on March 1 at Iola High School, 300 E. Jackson Street in Iola, beginning at 6:00 p.m. The second hearing will be on March 2 at the Girard Public Library at 128 W. Prairie Avenue, with the public hearing beginning at 6:00 p.m. Written public comments on the application will be accepted through March 9th at 5:00 p.m.

 The Commission will issue an order on the application on or before May 24th. A link to comment and find out more information about the line is available here.

Location Change for Labette County Storm Spotter Talk


There's one more opportunity this week for storm spotter training from the National Weather Service.


Meteorologists from Wichita will share a presentation tonight in Altamont at the Labette County High School. The presentation has been moved from the theater where it is normally held to the tornado shelter just across the parking lot from the high school at the corner of Karner and 7th. The presentation will start at 6:30 p.m. and lasts roughly two hours. Meteorologists will explain severe weather formation and what to look for in developing storm systems. The spotter talk for Elk County is coming up next Thursday, March 2nd at 6:30 p.m. in the Cox Building in Howard.


Milk Production Up to start 2023


Milk production in Kansas is up to start the year. Production for January 2023 totaled 355 million pounds, up 3% from January 2022, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. The average number of milk cows was 174,000 head, 5,000 head more than January 2022. Milk production per cow averaged 2,040 pounds.

Sen Marshall to Visit Coffeyville


A U.S. Senator from Kansas will be making a stop in Coffeyville.


U.S. Senator Roger Marshall is scheduled to meet with Coffeyville city officials on Friday. They will be discussing mitigating risks to the city’s levee system.


The event will be at City Hall from 1:30pm to 2:00pm.  

Wilson County Receives COVID Update


The Wilson County Commissioners received a COVID update from the county Health Department.


Health Department Administrator Amy Lell reported six active cases of COVID, and one hospitalization, since her most recent report. Lell also presented and was approved for new flooring at the Health Department, amounting to over $39,000 in renovations.


Additional items of discussion at the Wilson County meeting were the approval of two used 2018 CAT 120M motor graders for the Road and Bridge Department, and the approval to alter the maximum speed limit to 25 MPH on Tank Avenue between Neodesha city limits to Water Plant Road.


The Wilson County Commissioner meeting scheduled for March 29th has been canceled. All meetings until that date will continue on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. in the County Courthouse in Fredonia.


Montgomery County With New Open Postions


Montgomery County is searching for candidates to fill a variety of open positions within the county office.


The current openings are a Deputy and Dispatcher in the Sheriff's Office, a Legal Assistant and Victim Witness Coordinator in the Attorney's Office, a Bridge Operator in Public Works, a Jailer in the Department of Corrections, and an Administrator with the Health Department.


For additional information or to apply for any of these openings, visit the Human Resources page of the Montgomery County website.


An additional item of discussion at this week's County Commission Meeting was information regarding the 2023 Valuations for the county. County Appraiser Melody Kikkert says that Montgomery County ended the previous year with a 13% trend index, which is about average when compared to nearby counties.


There was also a discussion of the solid waste plan with Environmental Health and Zoning Director Matt Debo, as well as an Advisory Board Appointment for Community Corrections Director Dennis Webb.

Parsons Police Survey Exceeds Expectations


 Community input was sought, and community input was given for a survey concerning the Parsons Police Department.

 Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks says the Parsons Police Community Survey tallied over 750 responses. The surveys are being sent to the Fort Hays State University Docking Institute for professional tabulation and extrapolation. Once the information is returned, it will be made available to the public.

 Spinks says the information will be used for agency strategic planning on large-scale budget items as well as future programs for the police department. It will identify perceptions the public has and if factual information is getting to all parts of the community.

 Spinks says more surveys were returned than they expected, and his department is excited to see what the results are going to look like. Results should be available in the next couple of months, and they will be shared on the city of Parsons website, Facebook, Twitter, and at

Missing Washington State Boy Found In Jasper County


 An eight-year-old boy, missing from Washington state since June 2022, has been located in Jasper County.

 According to KOAM-TV, late last week, Breadson John was safely recovered. Charges of Custodial Interference were filed against Breadson's Grandparents, who were shown as the boy's last known guardians and persons of interest in the case.

 Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Seattle field office Richard Collodi says the recovery wouldn't have been possible without the efforts of multiple departments, including the Vancouver Police Department, FBI Kansas City, and the Jasper County Sheriff's Office.

Pittsburg Man Arrested on Multiple Charges In Domestic Dispute

 A Pittsburg man is arrested on multiple charges involving a domestic disturbance.

 Pittsburg Police received a call just after 5:00 p.m. Saturday of a domestic disturbance at 1504 South Joplin Street. Crawford County EMS was also requested for injuries related to that incident. Officers found 20-year-old Jordan Issiah Hayes in the home. Hayes had three outstanding warrants for his arrest but was not responding to police attempts to contact him. Officers believed Hayes to be an armed and barricaded suspect, so members of the Pittsburg Police Department Special Response Team responded to assist with Hayes' apprehension. Entry was made and Hayes was apprehended without further incident.

 Hayes was arrested on charges of criminal restraint, interference with law enforcement officers, aggravated domestic battery, choke in rude manner, obstruct in felony warrant service or execution, and possession of methamphetamine. He was also arrested on charges of possession of marijuana, and failure to appear.

 Hayes is being held without bond. The investigation is ongoing.

Parsons Man Arrested On Stolen Gun Charges


 A traffic stop leads to the arrest of the driver and a passenger.

 Late last week, officers made a traffic stop in the 3000 block of Washington in Parsons. When contact was made with the driver and the passenger, the officer was able to see illegal substances in the vehicle. During the vehicle search, officers found a stolen Bushmaster AR-15 rifle. The weapon was reported stolen to Parsons Police in August 2022. It was also discovered that the driver, John Hall-Kennedy, was a felon and could not legally possess a firearm. Officers also discovered drug paraphernalia and illegal substances. Kennedy and passenger Stacie Michelle Brooks were arrested at the scene.

 The vehicle Kennedy was driving is also suspected of being involved in the theft of an enclosed trailer from a residence in Parsons.

 Kennedy is being held on charges of Criminal Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, Driving While Suspended, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Narcotics, Possession of Stolen Property, Criminal use of Weapons, and several traffic infractions. Brooks is being held on charges of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Narcotics, Possession of Stolen Property, Criminal use of Weapons, and a traffic infraction.

 The investigation is ongoing.

Two Plate Reader Cameras Approved for Osage County


The Osage County Commission is approving the purchase of two portable license plate reader cameras.


Osage County Sheriff Eddie Virden says he understands privacy concerns and the department is trying to limit information collected.


The two portable cameras cost $6,000. Commissioners decided to table a decision on 15 fixed cameras. Flock Safety is the same company that will be providing cameras for Coffevyille, and the city of Neodesha will consider an agreement with Flock at their meeting this afternoon.

Bill to Limit Ballot Drop Boxes Advances


A measure regarding ballot drop boxes in Kansas cleared a Senate committee yesterday despite a split among republicans.


An effort is currently underway in Topeka to limit each county in Kansas to one drop box, only inside its election office and only when two people from different political parties are constantly monitoring the box. Counties currently can have as many drop boxes as they want and 167 were in use in last year’s election. Republican Attorney General Kris Kobach backs the bill while GOP Secretary of State Scott Schwab opposes it. The bill was approved on a 5-4 vote.


Weather Update: Stronger Storms in Oklahoma


We'll see a storm system move quicky through the fours states this morning.  The chance for severe weather has shifted more to the south of Coffeyville, with the area most likely to see severe weather south of Tulsa as of this morning.  Southeast Kansas still has a chance of small hail and 50 to 60 mph winds.  Listen to KGGF this morning for any severe weather updates should they be needed.


NADO Fest Comes To Coffeyville


A new event is coming to Coffeyville’s Community Elementary School this weekend.   


The first ever NADO Fest is this Saturday.  In addition to guest speakers the District’s Student Services Coordinator Alexis McMillin says it will be a fun event designed for the whole family with food, fun and prizes.

NADO Fest will be held from 9:30am until 12:30pm at CES.

Fredonia Declines Offer to Scrap Old Power Plant


The Fredonia City Commission is declining an offer to scrap equipment at the former power plant located at the Mill Dam Park.


At one time, a company approached the city with a plan to remove diesel generators inside the old plant for scrap, however, that project would require the removal of a wall. The company said it could replace the wall or demolish the whole building. Commissioners expressed concern with both of these plans, although they agree that the building no longer is serving a purpose. Commissioners have agreed to decline the original deal and leave the building alone at this time.

Caney Tables Time Sheet Entry Problem


 A light agenda saw the Caney City Council table a request for a Time Sheet entry program to bring together two programs that aren't seeing thumb to thumb.


 City Administrator Kelley Zellner says the two programs don't match well together, but city supervisors are unable to check and see if the thumb print time card system actually worked until the end of pay period information is printed. He says the system will enable supervisors to keep better track of employee times, if needed.


 Zellner says the Incode program costs just over $6,300 plus the $700 a year maintenance fee, but adds that the cost will be less than supervisor's using their time to enter hours manually.


 The council tabled the motion to purchase the program until other options are examined to make sure the most cost efficient method of time keeping is used.

Caney Schools Looking At All Options For Newly Acquired Building


 What Possibilities was the theme of yesterday's Open House with the Caney School District, as residents came to look at the facility and offer ideas on how to use it.

 Caney Superintendent Blake Vargas says ideas have been presented to use the building for Vocational Agriculture Education, to an indoor practice facility for the junior high and high school athletes, to an Early Learning Center. Vargas says no matter how the just under 14,000 square foot building is used, it will help alleviate some space issues for the district.

 Vargas says a cool feature of the existing building is the dance floor. He says the goal is to cover the floor so it can be used for bigger gatherings such as prom, the sports and FFA Banquets, and the Staff Appreciation Dinner.

 Residents are encouraged to continue submitting their ideas with the school board and superintendent's office.

Multiple Hour Standoff with Police Leads to Arrest


A Coffeyville man is arrested after a multiple-hour standoff with police.


Early Saturday morning at around 2:00am, a Coffeyville Police officer attempted to make contact with 38-year-old Timothy Padilla in the 1100 block of west 3rd Street. Padilla, who had outstanding warrants for felony drug charges, fled from the officer and into a residence. The occupants of the residence exited confirming Padilla was inside. Officers formed a perimeter around the residence with assistance from sheriff's deputies.


After several hours with no contact from Padilla the CPD Special Operations Team was activated and a search warrant was obtained. Padilla was located hiding in the attic area. Padilla was arrested for the outstanding warrants and is charged with felony interference with law enforcement.  

Chip Company Plans To Build In Coffey County


 Governor Laura Kelly announces EMP Shield is building in Coffey County.

 EMP specializes in protecting electronic devices from destructive magnetic pulses. They plans to invest $1.9 billion in a computer chip manufacturing facility in Burlington. The facility is expected to create more than 1,200 jobs with salaries averaging $66,000 a year. EMP Shield will build on 300 acres at Silicon Prairie Industrial Park. The company will be joined by six out-of-state suppliers, resulting in an additional 1,000 jobs created in Coffey County. 

 Plans are to have four production lines producing thousands of chips per week. EMP Shield will seek state support through CHIPS Act funding for construction and beginning operations.

 EMP Shield is working with area partners such as Coffey County; Flint Hills Technical College; Allen County Community College; Pittsburg State University; the University of Kansas; Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce; Wichita Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and Unified School Districts 243, 244 and 245. 

 Kelly says the new facility will be a win-win situation for all parties involved.

ATF Arrests Man For Stealing Weapons


 Agents with ATF and the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office have arrested a man for selling guns he allegedly stole from a Miami pawn shop.

 Dravon Drayton was arrested for stealing multiple rifles and pistols and for selling the guns using selling platforms like Facebook Marketplace.

 The guns that were stolen and illegally resold are an RF-15 5.56 caliber rifle, a Walther PPS 9mm caliber pistol, a Walther P22 .22 caliber pistol, and a Masada 9mm caliber pistol.

 If you have any information related to the stolen weapons, please contact the ATF Office in Tulsa.

Parson Maintaining Water Tanks In The Next Two Weeks


 Parsons residents may notice tastes and odors of chlorine in their water over the next couple of weeks.

 City officials say they are conducting scheduled maintenance to their chlorine contact tank at the Water Plant. Because of this, the smell and taste of the water may be different than normal until the maintenance concludes.

 Residents with questions or concerns should contact Director of Utilities Derek Clevenger at 620-421-7000.

Storm Chances Wednesday Morning for Four States


Tomorrow morning could be a bit of a stormy one, with the chance for some severe weather.


Straight line winds will be the primary concern, although brief isolated tornados can't be ruled out.  The area where storms could form includes Coffeyville and Independence, plus northeast Oklahoma including Bartlesville, and southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas.  Storm timing is expected after 5 a.m. tomorrow morning until the early afternoon.  Tune to KGGF for severe weather coverage should it be needed.



US Congressman Brecheen Holds Bartlesville Town Hall


U.S. Congressman Josh Brecheen held several town halls yesterday in Oklahoma.


Brecheen represents Eastern Oklahoma and stopped in Okmulgee, Claremore and Bartlesville. The Bartlesville town hall took place in the Bartlesville Community center in front of a large crowd. As the town hall began, Brecheen asked the crowd to join him in the pledge of allegiance and then he reminded everyone how to best interact with one and other during the town hall and to always keep challenging views respectful. Brecheen says he's hopeful to continue these town halls during his time in Congress.

Storm Spotter Talks This Week in SEK


Storm spotter presentations from the National Weather Service continue this week in southeast Kansas.


Meteorologists from the Wichita office of the National Weather Service will give a presentation tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Sedan Senior Center, and Thursday at the Altamont High School Theater at 6:30. The talk goes over severe weather formation, spotting and weather safety. Presentations last roughly two hours and there will be a question-and-answer session as well. Talks for Elk and Wilson counties are coming next month.

Two Kansans Injured in Crash in Oklahoma


Two Kansans are injured in a fatality accident in Sperry, Oklahoma.


A 2001 Toyota Corolla driven by 22-year-old Dalton Wright, of Sperry, failed to yield at a stop sign. The Corolla struck a 2020 Ford Ranger driven by 67-year-old Richard Pugh, of Coffeyville, and his passenger 62-year-old Marla Pugh, of Caney.


Wright was pronounced dead at the scene by the Owasso Fire Department.  Richard and Marla were transported to St. John Hospital in Tulsa.  According to a Facebook post by Richard, he has been released from the hospital but Marla has four broken ribs, her sternum broken in two places, a broken foot that will require surgery and a broken and dislocated elbow that will also require surgery.

ELC Teacher Recognized


A Coffeyville Early Learning Center teacher has won the Kansas Horizon Teacher Award.  The award was given to second-year preschool Teacher DeLaney Russell. ELC Principal Amanda Cavaness says Russell was nominated by parents, fellow teachers and administration.


Cavaness says one thing she's noticed about Russell is that is she both very teachable and very reflective. Russell says it was an honor to receive this recognitionRussell says she became a teacher because of the impact a teacher had on her. She says her goal for the future is to continue to push herself to grow knowing there is a learning opportunity every day.   

Kansas AG Suing US EPA


 Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach has joined more than 20 states in a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, asking a federal court to vacate the newly published final rule redefining Waters of the United States and declare it unlawful.

 The United States Army Corps of Engineers are also named as defendants. The new final rule defines the geographic reach of the EPA’s and Army Corps of Engineers’ authority in regulating streams, wetlands, and other water bodies under the Clean Water Act. It follows the Trump Administration's 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule, which offered a more restrained vision of federal jurisdiction under the CWA.

 The new rule redefines “navigable waters” to include ponds, certain streams, ditches, and other bodies of water under the CWA, as determined by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.

 According to the coalition, the rule will affect farmers who may need to get permission from the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to fill or dredge wetlands or waterways, depending on whether those features fall under the federal government’s purview. Developers, miners and other property owners wishing to make use of their land will face implications as well.

 The Supreme Court is expected to issue a key decision on the scope of WOTUS in the next few weeks.

 A copy of the lawsuit is available here.

Seatbelts Are For Everyone Says KHP


 The Kansas Highway Patrol is joining other Kansas law enforcement agencies in partnership with the Seat Belts are For Everyone program for a two-week seat belt enforcement now through March 5th. Troopers are focusing on drivers and passengers in and around elementary and middle schools.

 According to the 2019 Kansas observational seatbelt survey, children are much more likely to be buckled up if the driver is wearing their seatbelt. If the driver is buckled, about 97% of the children are restrained. If the driver is not buckled, only about 30% of the observed children were buckled.

 Superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol Colonel Herman Jones says it's their goal to make sure all citizens of Kansas buckle up in all seating positions. Troopers will be extra vigilant when patrolling around schools. Law enforcement officers will continue to educate drivers and passengers about the importance of using seat belts while in their vehicles. They say adults need to model good driving behaviors for children, and it starts by always remembering to buckle up.

 For the latest data and to see more about Kansas safety belt laws, the link can be found here

R U O K Coming To Fruition In Parsons


 A new community outreach program toward physical and mental health is in the works for the Parsons Police Department.


 The program, called “R-U-O-K”, is a computerized system geared toward helping people with medical conditions, mental health, and well-being concerns, as well as those who are at high risk for falls. Information such as an address, medical history, and emergency contacts can also be entered. Daily automated calls to those enrolled in the program will be made. If after three attempts, if the call isn't picked up, an officer would be sent to check the person's well-being.


 Parsons PD hopes to start the program by April 1st.

MSHP & Vernon County Sheriff Seeking Whereabouts Of Missing Man


 The Missouri State Highway Patrol and Vernon County, Missouri Sheriff's Department are seeking the whereabouts of a Nevada man missing for more than two weeks.

 25-year-old Brayden Miller of Nevada has been missing since January 30th. He is a white male, approximately 6 feet tall weighing 150 pounds. He has brown hair, blue eyes, and numerous tattoos. He was last seen wearing a black hoodie, blue pants, and black tennis shoes.

 Miller was last living at the 71 Motel in Nevada, and he does not have his phone. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please contact the Vernon County Sheriff’s office at 417-283-4400 or the Missouri State Highway Patrol at 866-362-6422.

Kansas Farm Numbers Lower


Kansas's number of farms and ranches declined during 2022, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.


The number of farms and ranches in the state, at 57,700, was down 900 farms from 2021. Numbers of farms and ranches in Kansas with less than $100,000 in agricultural sales decreased 800 farms from a year earlier while operations with agricultural sales of $100,000 or more decreased 100 farms. Land in farms and ranches in Kansas totaled 45.7 million acres, unchanged from 2021. The average size of operation, at 792 acres, was up 12 acres from a year earlier.


Two Arrested In Crawford County Murder


 A Weir man has died after a conflict near Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg.


 The Pittsburg Police Department says a call came into 911 Friday around 2:30 pm from 43-year-old Collin Gebford reporting someone being shot. 51-year-old David Mays, of Weir, was found on the road at 1023 North Main in Pittsburg, with a fatal gunshot wound to the chest. The Crawford County Sheriff's office requested the help of the KBI, and after the joint investigation began, it was determined an altercation resulted in gunfire.


 Gebford was arrested and charged with suspicion of attempted premeditated first-degree murder and felony murder. Another person of interest who was involved in the altercation, 32-year-old Travis Conness, of Neosho, Missouri, was arrested a short time later. Conness has been arrested and will be charged with suspicion of attempted premeditated first-degree murder and felony murder.


 An autopsy will be performed tomorrow. The investigation is ongoing.

Mushroom Identifier Class Coming Next Month


K-State is holding an online class for anyone interested in harvesting and selling wild mushrooms.


The class will be put on in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Agriculture and will be focused on the wild morel mushroom. The classes are intended to help ensure that wild-harvested mushrooms are safe to consume. Current Kansas Department of Agriculture regulations require mushrooms picked in the wild for sale must be inspected by a registered mushroom identifier. The upcoming classes will help participants become a registered identifier through an online exam. Two separate classes will be offered on March 15th from noon to 1 p.m. and March 16th from 6 to 7 p.m. The cost for the class is $5 and a link to register is available here.

Work on 400 Near Fredonia Starts This Week


Concrete repairs are starting this week on U.S. 400 north of Fredonia.


The Kansas Department of Transportation plans to begin concrete patching from the Greenwood-Wilson county line southeast to K-47. Temporary signals will control one-lane traffic on 400 at the work zone. Drivers can expect brief delays because of this. Weather permitting, the road work should be finished by mid-April. KDOT urges all motorists to be alert and obey the warning signs when approaching and driving through a highway work zone. You can check KDOT’s updated traveler information website for more highway condition and construction details at

Update: Police Have Left the Scene

UPDATE: As of 10:55 a.m., the scene has been cleared.  No further information is known at this time.


Original story:


The 1100 block of 3rd street is blocked off right now with Coffeyville Police and SWAT team on the scene. 


This is near the intersection of 3rd and Rosevelt, just east of Coffeyville Regional Medical Center.  Coffeyville police will not share any additional information other than confirming the location.  Residents in the area have been told via loudspeaker to stay in their homes, and cones have been used to block off the street ahead of the scene.  We will share more information if it becomes available.

More Money in Oklahoma State Budget


 A panel led by Gov. Kevin Stitt says Oklahoma lawmakers will have about $2 billion more to spend in next year's budget than they did in the current one.


Yesterday, the Board of Equalization certified that the Legislature will have $12.6 billion to spend in the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. That's an increase of more $2 billion from last year's $10.6 billion in authorized spending. The Legislature also has another $1.4 billion stashed away in state savings accounts and $700 million that was appropriated last year to help lure a manufacturing facility to Oklahoma that didn't materialize.

Minors Found Working For Meat Packing Cleaning Service in KS


The Department of Labor says one of the country's largest cleaning services for food processing companies employed more than 100 children at 13 meatpacking plants across the country, including on in Kansas.


The agency said yesterday that Wisconsin-based Packer Sanitation Services Inc. has paid over $1.5 million in civil penalties. At least three of those minors were injured on the job, burned by caustic cleaning chemicals at the JBS plant in Grand Island, Nebraska. Twenty six children were found working at the Cargill plant in Dodge City, Kansas. Other plants with violations include those in Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Tennessee and Texas. The Labor Department also searched a Tyson facility in Sedalia, Missouri, but found no verifiable violations there. The agency says it's seen about a 50% increase in child labor violations since 2018.


Person Rescued from Burning Shed in Bartlesville


A person is hospitalized after being rescued from a burning shed in Bartlesville.


Bartlesville Police and Fire Department responded to the 100 Block North Kaw Wednesday night at about 7:45 in reference to a shed that was on fire with a possible person inside.  As of yesterday, Bartlesville Police Captain Andrew Ward says the person is in critical condition.


The identity of the person has not been released at this time.

USDA to Survey Planting Intentions


As the 2023 crop production season begins, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service is contacting producers nationwide to determine their plans for the upcoming growing season.


According to Kansas State Statistician Doug Bounds, the March Agricultural Survey is one of the most important surveys conducted each year. NASS will mail the survey questionnaire this month, asking producers to provide information about the types of crops they intend to plant in 2023, how many acres they intend to plant, and the amounts of grain and oilseed stored on their farms. NASS encourages producers to respond online or by mail. Those producers who do not respond by the deadline may be contacted for a telephone interview. NASS safeguards the privacy of all respondents and publishes only aggregate data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified. Survey results will be published in the Prospective Plantings and quarterly Grain Stocks reports to be released at the end of March.


Some KS Lawmakers Object to Naming TikTok in Ban


Some Kansas lawmakers are objecting to banning TikTok from government devices.


Banning the Chinese phone app has been enjoying bipartisan support across the U.S., but a few Democratic legislators in Kansas object to expanding a ban imposed by Democratic Governor Laura Kelly because they don't want a state law to target a company by name. The Republican-controlled Kansas House voted 109-12 yesterday to pass a bill to prohibit any electronic device owned or issued to a state employee from accessing TikTok. A new law would apply a ban to more agencies than Kelly's order, and it also would apply to any app or website from TikTok's Chinese parent company. Congress and more than half of U.S. states have imposed bans. TikTok says the bans don't improve security. The bill now moves to the Senate.

Two Arrested in Pittsburg on Theft


A Pittsburg couple is arrested on theft charges.


On Monday, Pittsburg Police officers were dispatched to Harris Heating & Air in reference to a report of a burglary and theft. Officers reported that on the previous evening, suspects had broken into a storage container belonging to the business and stole several items, including scrap air conditioning units and a large amount of copper tubing, valued at over $2,000. Yesterday, law enforcement officers located some of the items at a residence. When officers arrived on the scene, two suspects fled into the residence and refused to come out.


A search warrant was obtained and during the search items stolen from Harris Heating & Air were located. Additionally, stolen property from an AT&T storage site that was reported earlier yesterday morning was located. Officers also located a stolen 2017 Chevy Sonic hatchback, which had been reported stolen on January 10. 30-year-old Mackenzie E. Jenkins and 30-year-old Heather L. Williams were both arrested on numerous felony theft and burglary charges and are being held without bond.

Caney PD Looking for Driver of Red Car


The Caney Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in identifying the owner and or driver of a vehicle.


The vehicle in question was part of an incident that occurred in Caney yesterday. The vehicle is a red car and photos can be seen below. Anyone with information should call Caney PD at (620)879-2141.


FirstOak Bank Launches ICC Field House Project


Independence Community College, along with FirstOak Bank, announce the launch of the Field House NEXT Project.


The project will be an approximate $1.5 million update of the facility, the first major renovation for the field house in over 25 years.


Some of the upgrades include a new court, bleachers, lighting, as well as other improvements to the interior gymnasium. The men's and women's locker rooms, athletic training room, and lobby are also scheduled to be updated once funds have been raised.


With the partnership, the Field House will officially be renamed to "The FirstOak Bank & Oakes Family Field House at Independence Community College." There is no scheduled timetable for completion of the renovations at this time.

Flooding Town Hall In Miami Set For Tonight


 Flooding is the topic of a town hall meeting set for tonight in Miami.


 Experts and City leaders will give presentations and updates on flooding, and answer questions concerning the flooding situation in the town. City officials say the meeting is for everyone who lives, works, owns property in town, whether it floods or not, or has an interest in the future of Miami and the community.


 City leaders also say it's a chance to get the facts, not rumors or scare tactics.

New Senior Center Facilitates Community Engagement


The Independence Public Library is taking steps to increase community involvement with a brand new Senior Center.


The Senior Center will operate in cooperation with the library, and is located on the second floor. Library Senior Services Coordinator Nancy Kishpaugh says that the pandemic caused many seniors to feel lonely and detached from their community.


An additional goal of the Senior Center is to schedule activities during the evenings and weekends, to create even more connection opportunities for seniors. Program Coordinator Theresa Mitchell says a program promoting physical and mental health and wellness will be launched in the spring.


Some of the resources that are provided in the Senior Center are free wifi, meeting rooms, computers, and a coffee bar with snacks. The center will be staffed Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

South Coffeyville Power Restored


 South Coffeyville residents were without power for several hours yesterday as strong winds led to the falling of several power poles.


 City officials say the maintenance department worked through the afternoon, evening, and early morning hours to restore the poles and power. Assistance was also provided by workers from the City of Coffeyville. Officials say they appreciated town residents for their patience.


 Power has been restored to the town. If you are without power, notify City Hall at 918-255-6045, opt. 1 or 918-255-6060 after 5:00 pm.

Traveling Lincoln Exhibit at Independence Art Center


The Independence Historical Museum and Art Center has a limited time Abraham Lincoln traveling exhibit open to the public.


The exhibit details President Lincoln's time in office as well as how the development of photography influenced his public image. Lincoln was the first U.S. President to utilize photography for portraits.


The portfolio was designed by he National Portrait Gallery, who have a full collection of traveling exhibits, with the goal of telling the story of America by portraying people who shape history, development, and culture.


The exhibit is currently available at the museum and will be on display until Saturday. Hours for the Independence Historical Museum and Art Center are 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday. Admission is free.



Burglaries Down In Cherokee County


 The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office saw a reduction in burglaries in 2022.


 Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves says the county saw a fifty percent decrease in burglaries in 2022 compared to 2021. He credits everyone involved with the department for the reduction, from the Communications Dispatch Center to the residents of the county doing a good job at documenting their possessions. Groves says it's a good idea to take photos of your valuable items to give officers an extra resource in case it’s stolen.


 Cherokee County also saw an increase in funding for housing out-of-county inmates. Agreements with other jurisdictions netted the county

$479,000, more than $77,000 more than in 2021. Groves says those dollars will benefit all citizens of Cherokee County.

Area Airports to Receive State Funding

Several airports in southeast Kansas are receiving money from the state to fund improvement projects.


Governor Laura Kelly announced yesterday that more than $11 million will go to 66 airports that have been selected for grants through the Kansas Airport Improvement Program.  Locally, Coffeyville is receiving just over $272,000 for crack sealing and runway remarking. Independence will receive just over $136,000 for a new rotating beacon and tower. Chanute will receive over $600,000 for apron construction and perimeter fencing and Fort Scott will get $57,000 for taxiway rehabilitation.  The Kansas Department of Transportation received 153 applications and was able to fund 22% of projects requested. Projects were awarded according to impacts on flight safety, economic growth and regional benefit.


Fairland Police Officers Resign


 Three Fairland police officers, including the third police chief in eighteen months, resigned last week from the city of Fairland.


Interim Police Chief Ron Shirley, and officers Michael Fromeyer and Cheyenne Howard resigned because of problems they say is with the current Board of Trustees and its lack of support for the police department.


Shirley says he has serious concerns with ethics, procedure protocols, and questionable treatment of current law enforcement officers, adding that the lack of support from the Board of Trustees is shown by not providing insurance, or not providing vacation, and not providing a retirement option. There is also no benefits for an officer’s family should an officer become ill or die in the line of duty.


The resignations will take effect on February 24th.

Storm Spotter Presentation Tonight


Meteorologists from the Wichita office of the National Weather Service will be in Montgomery County tonight.


The annual “Storm Fury on the Plains” spotter talk will be tonight at 6:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall in Independence. The two-hour presentation will help prepare storm spotters and weather enthusiasts for the upcoming severe weather season. Education on how to recognize severe weather and ways to report it to the National Weather Service will be discussed. If you can't make the presentation tonight, there will be a presentation at the Sedan Senior Center at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, and one Thursday at the Altamont High School Theater at 6:30. Presentations for Elk and Wilson counties will be coming next month.  A full schedule is available here.

Sen Moran Ranking Member of Subcommittee on Aviation


U.S. Senator Jerry Moran will serve as the ranking member of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Aviation. Senator Moran says Kansas is the aviation capital of the world with over a century’s worth of rich aviation history.


Senator Moran says it’s imperative for this committee to pass long-term reauthorization.  In addition to long-term reauthorization, Senator Moran says his other priorities for this committee include bolstering the aviation workforce, strengthening the supply chain, addressing FAA backlog, modernizing the FAA and addressing new entrants into the airspace.

USD 445 Hosting Community Event on Student Health and Nutrition


USD 445 is hosting a Nado Fest at the end of the month. Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services Lora Stalford says they have a number of presentations and booths for community members to visit ranging from nutrition to behaviors and mental health.


Stalford says when you arrive you'll be given a punch card that you can enter to win prizes at the end of Nado Fest.  Stalford says Nado Fest is open to all members of the community to learn about the beneficial things being offered to children in the district. Nado Fest is on Saturday, February 25th, from 9:30am to 12:30pm at Community Elementary with breakfast and lunch available.   

Coffeyville PD Adding Technology To Department


 The Coffeyville Police Department is adding five automated license plate readers to the busy traffic ways of Coffeyville.


 The Coffeyville City Commission gave the go ahead for a one year services agreement with Flock Safety for the readers. Chief Kwin Bromley says the LPR's would help his department efficiently and effectively continue to reduce the crime rate in Coffeyville, as well as to help law enforcement in the area for offenders who might have committed a crime near by and be traveling through the area.


 Bromley explains what the LPR's can do and the process on how his officers get the information.


 Bromley says the technology is already being used in other areas, such as bus terminals and casinos. He says two of the readers will be in the area of Wal Mart, which will help reduce petty crime rates in the area.


 Wal Mart corporate headquarters will contribute $5,000 toward the cost of the LPR's, which will reduce the total cost to $9,250. Bromley says using the technology will be a win-win situation for all parties involved.


Kansas Attraction Grant Program Now Available


 Kansas Tourism announces the Attraction Development Grant program is open for applications.

 $400,000 is available for strategic economic assistance to public or private entities, or not-for-profit groups that are developing new or enhancing existing tourism attractions in the state. The goal of the Attraction Development Grants is to spur economic growth, develop destination-based assets, increase visitation to Kansas, enhance the visitor experience, and improve the quality of life in communities across the state.

 Grant dollars may fund up to 40 percent of a project, with the community or business funding the remaining 60 percent. Funding for Kansas Tourism grants, including the Tourism Marketing Grant, is provided by the Economic Development Initiatives Fund that is derived from state lottery proceeds.

 The link to the application is available here. The deadline for applications is March 31.

Wyandotte Pastor Charged With Abuse


 A Wyandotte, Oklahoma pastor has been accused of abusing a child.


 42-year-old Fred McCoy Gammon, of Miami, is charged in Ottawa County District Court with child sexual abuse. He is accused of sending several sexually suggestive and inappropriate text messages to a juvenile victim. Gammon is the pastor of Wayside Assembly of God church in Wyandotte. Gammon has repeatedly denied the content of the texts, but the affidavit shows messages sent from Gammon's phone to the juvenile's phone. There are also statements from Gammon's wife concerning statements he made to her in the affidavit.


 Gammon is currently free on $35,000 bail.

Fort Scott Police Looking For Vandals


 The Fort Scott Police Department is asking for your help to catch the person or people vandalizing neighborhoods.


 Fort Scott PD responded to 18 calls of vandalism yesterday. The vandalism calls pertained to vehicles, homes, garages, and fences that were spray painted with profanity and other tags. Officers say the calls have been limited to the area of South Crawford to Couch, & 4th to 8th Streets.


 If you have any information, or home security footage that can aid their investigation, contact the Fort Scott Police Department at (620) 223-1700.

Bartlesville Residents Vote on Education Bond


The bond issue in Bartlesville is a go. Voters in the education poll voted to approve a school bond issue measure with 79 percent of votes in favor to 21 percent of votes against. Approval means that a total of $38,000,000 can be raised through the end of the 2027 through a bond issue that will not increase the tax rate and not affect the sinking fund millage.


At the watch party at Bartlesville High School on Tuesday night, Superintendent Chuck McCauley thanked everyone in attendance for getting the word and the the voters for making their voices heard at the polls.


The bulk of the monies from this bond issue will go toward expanding Wayside and Ranch Heights Elementary Schools.

Progress on Pete's Convenience Store


Plans are moving forward on the new Pete's Convenience store on 11th.


The Coffeyville City Commission approved the sale of a vacated portion of 10th street last night for $24,000 behind where the gas station is being built. The money from the sale will go towards park improvements. City manager Mark Hall explains.


Rusty Newman with Pete's says the Coffeyville location will be a prototype store as the chain looks to update their stores across the region. The plan is to have Simple Simon's Pizza and Broaster Chicken available in the store. Newman says the company is looking at an opening in early September.

Coffeyville FFA Hosting a Chili Feed and Silent Auction


The Coffeyville FFA Booster Club is hosting a Chili Feed and Silent Auction fundraiser to support the Coffeyville FFA chapter.


The chili feed will be on Saturday starting at 5:00pm in the Ag room, located in the Coffeyville Community College Technical campus across the street from Field Kindley High School. Chili will be served until it runs out. Silent auction bidding will close around 7:00pm.


The silent auction will include items donated by individuals and local businesses and projects from students in the welding classes. During the chili feed, scrapbooks, photos, newspaper articles, plaques and trophies will be available to view.

Skeletal Remains Found In Delaware County


 Skeletal remains have been found in rural Delaware County, Oklahoma.


 Sheriff James Beck says the remains were found Sunday northwest of Jay by a man cutting wood. When his dog began acting strange, the man found what appeared to be a human skull and immediately called the authorities. Other bones and clothing were discovered at the site as well. Beck says they are checking the remains against their cold case files. More information will be released as it becomes available. This is an ongoing investigation.

USD 446 Looking for New Middle School Basketball Coaches


The USD 446 Board of Education will begin searching for a new head girls basketball coach, as well as an assistant girls basketball coach for Independence Middle School.


Former head coach Ronald Rice and assistant coach Amanda Hightower announced their resignation from the role.


It was also announced that the March meeting would be postponed a week due to the spring break for the district. Board member Charles Barker Sr. made the official motion to delay the meeting, which the board ruled in favor of.


Additional items of discussion at the USD 446 school board meeting were the addition of seven additional staff members to the Kids Crew program, the approval of the 2023-2024 district calendar, and beginning the search process of a new principal at Eisenhower Elementary.


The next USD 446 meeting will be Monday March 20th at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of Independence High School.

Kansas KidWind Challenge Growing


 With wind energy produced in Kansas increasing, the number of students participating in the Kansas KidWind Challenge is growing as well. The annual event has grown to six regional events last year. 96 teams from 55 schools are competing.

 The 2023 KidWind Challenge begins this week with two regional competitions in western Kansas, in Dodge City today, and in Oakley on Thursday. Four more regional events will be held in Overland Park, Hutchinson, Manhattan, and Burlington. The top two teams in each age group advance to the state finals scheduled for March 25 in Topeka. The state winners will then advance to the national competition to be held May 14-17 in Boulder, Colorado.

 To participate in the KidWind Challenge, student teams work together to design, build and test a wind turbine using the materials of their choice. Each team’s turbine is put to the test in a wind tunnel. Scoring is based on turbine performance, a knowledge quiz, a presentation to judges where the team explains its design process, and an instant challenge. Students in grades 4-12 are eligible to participate.

Another Round Of HEAL Grants On The Way



 Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland announces $850,000 for a new round of Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL) grants.

 The HEAL program provides grants to small communities across the state to revitalize downtown buildings. HEAL is designed to bring downtown buildings back into productive use as spaces for new or expanding businesses, housing, arts and culture, civic engagement, childcare, and entrepreneurship, making downtown districts throughout the state more economically vibrant.

 Eligible applicants must be organizations applying on behalf of building owners and may include designated Kansas Main Street programs, economic development organizations, cities, counties, 501c3 or 501c6 organizations, and local community foundations. Private building owners should contact their local organizations to work in partnership on the application and to identify buildings that are strong candidates for the HEAL program. The buildings should be underutilized, valuable to the historic fabric of the downtown district, and have a feasible plan for adaptive reuse.

 HEAL matching grants will be awarded for either façade or building construction projects. Communities that received a previous HEAL grant are not eligible to apply in this round. Proof of matching funds from the building owner will be required at the time of application. The application window opened yesterday and closes on March 31 with award notifications at the end of May.

 Information about the HEAL grant program and the online application can be viewed here

Nowata Commission Announces New Deputies


The Nowata County Commission is welcoming two new deputies to the sheriff's department.


Commissioner Troy Friddle announced the new hires at last night's meeting.


Friddle ended the meeting by announcing that the Commissioners will not meet next Monday due to the President’s Day holiday. They will instead meet the following day on Tuesday at their regularly scheduled time.

Cherokee Nation Announces Plans for Treatment Center


The Cherokee Nation is announcing plans to use a portion of its $98 million in opioid settlement funds to construct a new treatment center in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.


The 50-bed, 17,000-square-foot treatment facility announced yesterday will be completely operated by the tribe. It will provide no-cost treatment for Cherokee Nation citizens struggling with substance abuse. The $18 million treatment center is part of $73 million the tribe plans to spend building facilities across its reservation to address behavioral health needs. Another $5 million will go into a tribal endowment to help pay for Cherokees to go to college and grad school to become therapists and medical professionals needed to staff the facilities.

South Coffeyville Schools Pass Audit


South Coffeyville Schools have completed their audit without any major issues.


At last night's school board meeting, members heard a report from Auditor Jason Harms with a Broken Arrow CPA firm. Harms says no further audit is needed, although he did make some recommendations regarding purchase order and receipt procedures. Business Manager Jade Dolan says she's working to correct those issues.


In other business, the board approved two fundraisers for the football team, voted to rehire Principal Karla Bauer, purchase accounting software, approved a field trip and decided on Cedar Bluff Camp as the location for Prom on April 15th.


USD 445 Makes Appointment to CRC Board


The USD 445 Board of Education makes an appointment to the Coffeyville Recreation Commission Board. There were two candidates who submitted applications, Ashley Rutherford and Josh Cavaness. Rutherford says she's served on this board since 2012.



Rutherford says a current strength of the board is their diversity.  The board voted to nominate Rutherford to the CRC Board on a 5-1 vote with Dr. Jerry Hamm voting no and Jason Barnett absent from the meeting. There are five members on the CRC Board with the city and the school district each appointing two and those four members appointing an at large member.


Montgomery County Receives Update From Chamber


The Montgmery County Commissioners received an update regarding the direction of plans of each town's Chamber of Commerce.


The commissioners heard from representatives from Cherryvale, Coffeyville, and Independence about ideas and events to increase tourism and make Montgomery County a destination county. Coffeyville Chamber President Candi Westbrook says that an exciting opportunity may be coming with a Napa Valley wine group coming to Coffeyville.


Independence is also searching for creative ways to expand tourism and excitement in the area. Chamber President Lisa Wilson says that they have used a large amount of budget on wayward signage, and have received professional opinions on how to become more marketable.


Additional items of discussion at the county commission meeting were a broadband update from Computer Department Director Jason Clubine, as well as an executive session with Human Resources Director Becky Lewis.

Governor Kelly to Donate Winnings from Super Bowl Bet


Kansas Governor Laura Kelly plans to donate her Super Bowl bet winnings.


In September, Governor Kelly placed a $15 bet, in honor of Patrick Mahomes's jersey number, on the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl. The bet was the first legal sports bet in Kansas. Governor Kelly will donate the $165 in winnings plus the original $15 to Patrick Mahomes's foundation the 15 and Mahomies Foundation. The foundation supports Kansas organizations like Big Brothers, Big Sisters Kansas, Harvesters Community Food Network and the Sunflower House in Shawnee.


Kelly says it turns out the Chiefs are always a good bet. Not only did she win this bet but she won her bet with fellow Governor Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania.

Labette to Help Mound Valley with Chip and Seal


The Labette County Commissioners agree to help the City of Mound Valley with street repairs.


The county has agreed to help with a chip and seal project in the city as well as street grading where needed. The focus for the chip and seal will be on the north end of town, which hasn't been resurfaced since 2018. They will also chip and seal on streets that were ground three years ago and have been built back up.


The commissioners also received the annual noxious weed report from Director Ralph George and approved the SQL server software upgrade for a total of $7,725.

Weather: Rain Overnight, High Winds Tomorrow


Rain and wind is on the way for the KGGF listening area.  We can expect widespread rain with isolated embedded thunderstorms tonight through early tomorrow morning. Most locations in eastern Kansas will see between one-quarter and one-half inch of rain. Parts of Labette and Cherokee counties could see up to an inch of rain.


A very windy afternoon is expected tomorrow, with localized wind gusts exceeding 55 miles per hour in southeast Kansas. A wind advisory goes into effect for Oklahoma starting tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. and continues until midnight. Wind advisories in Kansas start at 9 a.m. tomorrow and continue until 6 p.m. tomorrow evening.



CES Raising Money to Support Heart Health


Coffeyville's Community Elementary is raising money to support heart health during the month of February.


The money is being raised through Kids Heart Challenge, which focuses on helping students improve their own health while raising money for the American Heart Association to help kids facing heart-health issues. CES's Isabella Walls is in her third year raising money for KHC and her goal is to raise $1,037. Walls says she enjoys helping people and looks forward to KHC every year.


To go along with raising money this year they are also encouraging one person in each household to learn or know how to do CPR. CES will continue to raise money through the month of February. Their goal as a school is to raise $4,000 they have currently raised almost $2,750.

Chiefs Parade Route To Be Announced This Afternoon

The Chiefs will be celebrating their second Super Bowl victory in four seasons with another parade.


That parade is scheduled for Wednesday beginning at noon. The parade route is expected to be released this afternoon. The celebration will also include a rally at Union Station when the parade ends around 1:45 p.m. Fans are welcome to fill the lawn leading up to the National WWI Museum and Memorial.


Mayor Quinton Lucas says the victory parade will travel through downtown Kansas City, and he looks forward to seeing Chiefs fans from the area show the country, and the world, why Kansas City is a sports town like nowhere else. The event will be family-friendly with the consumption of alcohol prohibited.


Schools across Kansas City are canceling classes to allow students, families, and employees to attend the parade and rally.


More information about the parade, including the route, when announced, is located here.

Joplin Police Search For Person Of Interest


 The Joplin Police Department asks for your help to locate 34-year-old Adam Kastler.


 The Joplin man has active felony warrants out of Newton County for Failure to Appear as well as a Joplin Municipal warrant for Failure to Appear. He is also a person of interest in a shooting that took place last Tuesday at 909 S. Monroe Avenue in Joplin. The victim continues to be in stable condition at a Joplin hospital. The suspect fled before officers arrived. He was described as a white male in his 30s and is approximately six feet tall, and weighing 170 pounds.


 Officials say Kastler should be considered armed and dangerous and to use extreme caution if located. If you know or have information on his whereabouts, please contact your local law enforcement agency immediately.

Officer-Involved Shooting in Eastern Oklahoma


A police officer in eastern Oklahoma shot and killed a 20-year-old man who brandished a weapon and fired at the officer.


According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Damon Dante Henderson was shot and killed Thursday in the town of Spiro, about 17 miles southwest of Fort Smith, Arkansas. The name of the officer was not released. Police told investigators they began searching for Henderson on Wednesday night after receiving a report of a man brandishing a handgun. He was spotted Thursday afternoon and fled on foot. An officer followed in his vehicle, and Henderson stopped, faced the officer and fired a shot, striking the driver's door of the vehicle. The officer returned fire, striking Henderson, who was pronounced dead after being transported to a hospital, according to the statement.

The OSBI said that after its investigation is complete, the results will be forwarded to the local district attorney to determine if charges against the officer are warranted.

PBR Draws Record Crowd to Tulsa


In front of a record-setting crowd Saturday night in Tulsa, North Carolinian Eli Vastbinder wins his career-first Professional Bull Riders Express Ranches Classic.


The event set both a single-day and weekend attendance record for an Unleash The Beast tour stop in Tulsa. On Saturday evening, more than 9,400 fans packed BOK Center, while more than 15,200 attended throughout the entire weekend. Vastbinder first put points on the board in Round 1, delivering the eighth-best score when he covered Lapua for 85.25 points. The Captain of the Oklahoma Freedom in the PBR Team Series, which goes back into action in July, then surged to second on the event leaderboard when he topped bull Mighty Mike for 87.75 points in the second round. With the second selection in the championship round bull draft, Vastbinder elected to go head-to-head with the bull Tulsa Time. Vastbinder matched the powerful animal athlete jump-for-jump en route to a monstrous 90.5 points. The 90-point ride was the seventh of Vastbinder’s career in premier level PBR competition and first since April 2022. Vastbinder’s mammoth score, coupled with the final rider of the night bucking off, clinched his career-first Unleash The Beast victory.


The golden finish brought him a much-needed 126 Unleash The Beast points along with $42,321. Vastbinder catapulted 15 positions in the race for the 2023 PBR World Championship, climbing from No. 31 to No. 16. The PBR Unleash The Beast next travels to Eugene, Oregon on February 17th and 18th.

Cherokee Nation to Disperse Heirloom Seeds


The Cherokee Nation will disperse a limited supply of heirloom seeds to tribal citizens who are interested in growing traditional Cherokee crops.


According to Cherokee Nation Ethnobiology Manager Feather Smith, the seeds chosen are for crops that represent a core part of the Cherokee identity, and they are the same crops that Cherokee people have farmed for centuries. The available seeds for 2023 include multiple types of Cherokee corn and gourds as well as seeds for beans, squash, pumpkins, Trail of Tears beads and tobacco. In 2022, the Cherokee Nation distributed more than 11,000 packages of traditional seeds.


Starting on Feb. 24, seed packages can be requested online through an online portal here.

Kansas Officials Congratulate Chiefs on Victory


Congratulations are pouring in for the Kansas City Chiefs after their Super Bowl victory last night.


Governor Laura Kelly issued words of congratulations in a tweet, reminding Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro about his offer of soft pretzels, cheesesteaks and mini doughnuts if the Chiefs won. Kansas Congressman Jake LaTurner congratulated Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes and the entire Chiefs organization on their season and 38-35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.


Montgomery County Commissioners to Meet Monday


Montgomery County Commissioners will get an update on the county’s broadband when they meet Monday morning.  Jason Clubine from the computer department provides the latest update to the Commissioners.  Commissioners will also get reports on Tourism from the Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce.


The Commission is scheduled to go into an executive session to discuss personnel matters with Human Resources Director, Becky Lewis and will hear reports from Sheriff Ron Wade and Public Works Director. Jim Wright.  The Commission will meet at 9:00 Monday morning in the lower level of the Judicial Center in Independence.

Don't Drive Impaired On Super Bowl Sunday


 The Kansas Department of Transportation urges everyone to observe the Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk safety campaign for this year’s Super Bowl, which is Sunday. Make sure anyone planning to drink alcohol has a designated driver to help them get home safely.

 Impaired driving results from alcohol, drug, or substance use affects the ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, and puts your life and the lives of others in danger. The monetary costs of driving under the influence can have a devastating financial impact and can also affect being able to keep or get employment.

 KDOT Behavioral Safety Manager Gary Herman says they want everyone to enjoy Super Bowl festivities, but they also want responsible drivers on Kansas roads. If you are planning to be away from home during the Super Bowl, make a game plan so you don’t find yourself without a designated driver if you need one. Make a commitment to refrain from impaired driving.

 Remind, Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk. For people hosting parties, make sure those who are drinking have designated drivers. For those drinking alcohol at a bar or restaurant, have sober drivers designated in advance or call a sober person for transportation.

Mattivi Named KBI Director


 Tony Mattivi has been named the 13th director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.


 Attorney General Kris Kobach nominated Mattivi to be KBI director, citing his decades of experience working with law enforcement to put away some of the nation’s most violent and dangerous offenders.


 Director Mattivi served as a federal prosecutor for over 20 years, prosecuting drug trafficking, violent crime, racketeering, organized crime, gangs, money laundering, and terrorism cases. He also worked for the Kansas Attorney General’s Office, the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office, and as legal counsel for Medcor, an international healthcare company.


 Mattivi is a graduate of Metropolitan State College of Denver, and Washburn University School of Law. He was the Antiterrorism and National Security Coordinator for the District of Kansas and recently served as president of the Federal Bar Association chapter of Kansas and Western Missouri.


Kobach says Mattivi will be a great asset to the state of Kansas in this new role.

Bluestem Pasture Survey Open


The Kansas Department of Agriculture is seeking feedback for the 2023 Bluestem Pasture Survey.


The goal of the survey is to collect information on native tallgrass pasture use and practices. The survey provides information to Kansas ranchers and the agricultural community as a whole, with information about native tallgrass pasture availability, leasing rates and fencing rates. The survey is administered through the K-State Land Use Survey Center and will be open through the end of March. Paper and telephone surveys are available, just call 785-564-6726. A link to complete the anonymous and confidential survey is available here.

Sikeston Man Sentenced For Robbery


 A Sikeston, Missouri man was sentenced to seven years in prison for robbery.

 44-year-old Joseph Shipps was sentenced in Cherokee County District Court Thursday for robbery, attempting to elude law enforcement, and driving while suspended.

 The robbery took place in December 2019. Shipps went to a home and asked the homeowner to give him a ride to a nearby store. During the drive, a  Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputy conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle, at which point Shipps forced the man out of the vehicle and fled in it.

Shipps fled into Oklahoma, where the Oklahoma Highway Patrol became involved. The pursuit ended when a Tactical Vehicle Intervention Maneuver was performed on the vehicle.

 Shipps is being transferred to the Kansas Department of Corrections.

BOK Becomes Rodeo Arena For Two Nights


 The BOK Center in Tulsa transforms into a rodeo arena tonight and tomorrow, as the PBR Express Ranches Classic comes to town.


 The top 40 bull riders in the world will compete against the sport's top ranked bovine athletes, showcasing the ultimate showdown of man versus beast. The PBR Express Ranches Classic is a pivotal stop for world champion bull riders, as seven of the last fourteen gold buckle winners have won in Tulsa.


 One of the forty bull riders competing is Hulbert, Oklahoma's Wyatt Rogers. Rogers says it's always a blast riding in front of the home state crowd.


 Rogers has gotten on a hot streak, winning three Challenger series events, which has placed him in the Top five in the tour standings.


 The PBR Express Ranches Classic begins at 7:45 pm tonight and 6:45 pm tomorrow night, at the BOK Center in Tulsa.

Early Voting Today on Bartlesville Bond Issue


Early voting continues today in Bartlesville for the public schools bond election.


Voters are considering a total of $38 million in funding through the end of the 2027 fiscal year to expand area schools. According to the school board, passage of the bond issue would not increase the tax rate as the sinking fund mill rate would remain the same.


Early voting is taking place at the Washington County Election Board Office on the fourth floor of City Hall at 401 S. Johnstone in Bartlesville for residents in the school district who are registered to vote can vote from 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM. Regular voting is Tuesday, February 14 from 7 AM - 7 PM. at your local polling place. Information on the school bond issue can be found at


Independence to Begin City Hall Remodel


The city of Independence is moving forward with remodeling projects for a pair of buildings in the downtown district.


Both the Fire-EMS building and the City Hall will be continuing to undergo rennovations of $32,620.78 after being approved by the city commissioners. Assistant City Manager David Cowan says that a new roof is being put on the Fire-EMS building currently, and will be completed next week.


Other rennovations include changes to the dispatcher access control, floor infill for fire pole, and an electrical double throw switch for City Hall.


Additional items of discussion at the Independence City Commission include a resolution for the Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program for 106-110 N 8th in Independence, as well as an executive session with an attorney regarding matters that would be deemed privileged in an attorney-client relationship.


The next City Commission meeting will be February 23rd at 5:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall of the Civic Center in downtown Independence.

Kansas and Pennsylvania Governors Make Super Bowl Bet


The Governor of Kansas and the Governor of Pennsylvania have made a bet ahead of the big game this Sunday. Kansas Governor Laura Kelly says she placed the first legal sports bet in the state for the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl and she is just as confident now as she was then.


If the Chiefs win, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro will send Governor Kelly soft pretzels, cheesesteaks and mini doughnuts. In September Governor Kelly placed a $15 bet on the Chiefs to win the Super Bowl.

IPD Warns of Publishers Clearing House Scam


Numerous scams have been going around Southeast Kansas. Independence Police Chief Jerry Harrison says they have been dealing with a scam involving the Publishers Clearing House.


Harrison says to search out the Publishers Clearing House website. They say winning is always free and winners never have to pay a fee. PCH will not contact winners via email or phone. They only contact winners in person or through certified mail.

Zellner Discusses Caney Financial Situation


 Caney City Administrator Kelley Zellner wrote a letter to the residents of Caney today, talking about the financial situation of the town.


 Zellner recapped the debt service the town has acquired over the last twenty years, the unincumbered cash flow that is set to be exhausted by the summer of 2024, and the concerns of not being able to pay the city's debt.


 A link to the letter can be found here.


College Heights Christian School On Lockdown

 A high-speed chase that began in Webb City causes a Christian school to go under lockdown.

 Joplin Police says they received a call just before 8:00 a.m. from College Heights Christian Church at 4311 East Newman Road, concerning a suspicious person in the building. This information was immediately followed by an alarm from the facility.

 The suspicious person was involved in a high-speed pursuit earlier in the morning that went through Webb City and parts of Joplin and Duquesne. Officers found the vehicle abandoned near College Heights Christian School. The vehicle's discovery caused officials to place the school under lockdown, due to precautionary reasons, as Joplin officers arrived on the scene.

 Joplin Police, along with assistance from Duquesne Police, MSSU Police, Jasper County Sheriff's Office, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol conducted a search of all church and school property.

 No one was located during the search.

Independence Road Closed For Tree Removal


 Wells Drive, otherwise known as the one-way street in Riverside Park in Independence, is closed to vehicles and pedestrians today until at least 3:30 p.m. Contractors are clearing a large fallen tree. Depending on the work progress today, the road may have to be closed tomorrow as well. Barricades are in place. Motorists and pedestrians are asked to avoid the road until work is completed.

McDonald County Flooding Leads To Two Water Rescues

 Flooding in McDonald County leads to two water rescues.

 The first took place around 3:20 p.m. on Buzzard Glory Road in rural Washburn. The Missouri State Highway Patrol took a report of a UPS truck stuck in Pine Creek. The driver and the truck were pulled to safety before authorities arrived.

 The second rescue took place on Highway KK near White Rock. No word on the incident or the state of the victim.

 McDonald County Emergency Management says they are monitoring both Big Sugar and Little Sugar Creek in McDonald County. They also remind drivers to “Turn Around, Don't Drown”.

Parsons Launches Lead Service Line Inventory Program


The City of Parsons is launching a lead water service line inventory program to identify lead pipes in homes across the City.


Lead is a naturally occurring element that can be harmful to animals and humans when ingested. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, between 10 and 20 percent of lead exposure comes from drinking water. While lead is not present in the City’s source water leaving its water treatment plant, it can enter water through lead pipes and internal plumbing.


With funding assistance from the Kansas Department of Health & Environment, the City will inventory homes to identify lead water service lines at no cost to the homeowner, and is contracting with TREKK Design Group, LLC to complete these inspections. Homeowners are asked to contact TREKK to schedule a free inspection appointment. Access to the home’s interior will likely be required to visually verify the interior pipe material, usually located in crawl spaces, basements and underneath sinks. Evaluations will typically last no more than 30 minutes. To schedule an evaluation, homeowners may call (417) 834-3233 or email

Medical Episode Claims Life Of Bartlesville Driver


 A medical episode while driving claims the life of the driver.

 Bartlesville Police were called late Monday morning to a single-vehicle crash in the 600 block of South Washington Boulevard. Police say two people were transported to Jane Phillips Medical Center, where the driver was pronounced deceased. Police believe the driver died from a medical episode and not from the accident. There's no word on the condition of the second person. The name of the driver has not been released.

Bartlesville Woman Facing Domestic Abuse Charges


 A Bartlesville woman is facing charges of domestic abuse.

 Melissa Ann Richards appeared in Washington County Court yesterday. The affidavit states Richards and the victim were in the house. When the victim started to make food and was making too much noise in the kitchen, a verbal altercation began. Richards says the victim slapped her in the face, and she retaliated. The victim denies striking Richards. Officers say Richards had no visible marks on her face, but the victim had an extremely red and swollen left eye.

 Richards is being held on a $25,000 bond. Her next court date is set for February 17th.

Head of KS Highway Patrol and Adjutant General to Step Down


Kansas Highway Patrol Superintendent Herman Jones, who faces federal lawsuits over sexual harassment and retaliation, will retire this summer.


Gov. Laura Kelly announced yesterday that Jones will step down July 1 after a 45-year career in law enforcement. He became patrol superintendent in 2019. Some Republican lawmakers have suggested making the patrol part of the Kansas Attorney General's office if Jones wasn't removed. Kelly also announced yesterday that Adjutant General David Weishar, who leads the Kansas National Guard and is the state's emergency management director, will step down April 1. She appointed Brigadier General Michael Venerdi to replace Weishar. The governor did not name a replacement for Jones.

Marshall Responds to State of the Union


U.S. Senator Roger Marshall responds to President Joe Biden's State of the Union Address. Marshall says he wanted to see how President Biden would approach this year’s address given the issues facing the country.


Marshall says America is a great Nation, more than capable of addressing all of these problems.  Marshall says while the State of the Union under the leadership of President Biden may not be strong the people always will be as long as we stay true to each other, true to our values and take accountability for our mistakes.

Wilson County Experiencing CO Shortage


Wilson County continues to struggle with obtaining and retaining correctional officers.


County Sheriff Jack Lucke says that another CO has resigned and the county has now less than half the officers they need to perform.


Additional items of discussion at the Wilson County Commission meeting were a discussion with Road and Bridge Director Kary Tatum regarding the purchase of five overhead garage doors, as well as an executive session with County Attorney Brandon Cameron regarding personnel.


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

Moran Reacts To State Of The Union


 Kansas U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, a ranking member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, is reacting to President Biden’s State of the Union address.

 Moran says political bickering is a common theme in Washington, D.C., but supporting veterans is a mission that should break through the gridlock in Congress. Moran uses the 2022 Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee as an example when the expansion of benefits and health care was given to all generations of veterans.

 Moran says reducing veteran suicide and working to improve mental health care treatment is another issue the committee is working to tackle. He says the SVAC is working to increase the number of mental health peer support specialists and makes key improvements to the Veterans Crisis Line and the VA’s prescribing practices through the Commander Hannon Act. Moran says implementing this legislation will help reach the goal of making certain our nation’s heroes receive the care and support they deserve.

Kelly Introduces Legislation For Expanded Healthcare


 Governor Laura Kelly is introducing new legislation to expand Medicaid, with the goal of providing greater healthcare services for more Kansans.

 Kelly says expanding Medicaid will also boost the economy, strengthen rural communities, and bring hard-earned dollars back to Kansas.

 The program will be paid for beginning in 2024 with 90% federal funding. If approved, Kansas could receive an additional $370 million in federal dollars over the next two years. However, if not passed, Kelly says it will result in the loss of $70 million in State General Fund savings for the next fiscal year. 

 Kelly is seeing bipartisan support across the state, with supporters saying an expanded Medicaid would help thousands of people to receive the physical health and mental health care they need, and would maintain jobs vital to the state's economy.

Two Structures In Independence Heavily Damaged In Fire


 The Independence Fire Department & EMS responded to a structure fire this morning.


 The call came at 12:43 a.m. Upon arrival, fire crews found two structures on fire at 217 North 12th, with visible flames from both structures. A second alarm was immediately requested. Mutual aid from Independence Rural, Dearing Rural, Cherryvale Fire-EMS, and Cherryvale Rural responded. The fire was brought under control just over an hour later.


 Two structures are extensively damaged and a third structure has minor damage. The fire is under investigation by Independence Police, Fire, and the State Fire Marshalls Office.

Man Sets Grass Fire Near Governor's Mansion


A man remains in jail after authorities say he intentionally set a grass fire near the Kansas governor’s mansion.


The Topeka Fire Department says police arrested the 36-year-old man while firefighters worked to put out the blaze Monday afternoon. Authorities say the man was seen lighting the fire that burned six acres. The fire department needed nearly two hours to put out the blaze, but a city spokesperson said it was contained quickly so that the fire never got closer to the mansion than between 200 yards and 300 yards. Gov. Laura Kelly was not there at the time of the fire.

Cherryvale PD Warns of Evergy Scam


The Cherryvale Police Department is warning citizens of a scam.


Cherryvale PD says they have received reports of a scam originating from people identifying themselves as Evergy. The scammer is calling and advising the victim that they are a disconnect technician and that the homeowner is two months overdue with payment. They then ask for a prepaid card as payment because they say they are unable to take any other form of payment.


Cherryvale PD says to not entertain these calls as they are a scam.

CCC Choir Offering Singing Valentines


The Coffeyville Community College Choir Program is offering Singing Valentines. Vocal Music Director Markel Porter says they have three different packages, three time frames and three songs to choose from.


Porter says the three time frames to choose from are 10:00am to 11:30am, 11:30am to 1:00pm and 1:00pm to 3:00pm. In addition to the song of your choice, they will sing You are My Sunshine. Porter says you can fill out an order form online or pick one up around town.


Porter says order forms are due this Friday by 5:00pm. Singing Valentines can be delivered anywhere in Coffeyville and South Coffeyville. A link to the order form can be found here.


Joplin Police Investigating Shooting


 The Joplin Police Department is investigating a shooting incident that took place this morning.


 The department says the incident took place at 4:44 when 911 received a call concerning an adult male who had been shot at 909 South Monroe. The victim is in stable condition at a Joplin hospital. The suspect fled before officers arrived.


 The suspect is described as a white male in his 30's, approximately six foot tall, and weighing 170 pounds.


 This is an ongoing investigation.

Caney Approves Neighborhood Revitalization Program


 The City of Caney has approved the Neighborhood Revitalization Program.


 The program is designed to promote the rehabilitation of housing in the Caney city limits, as well as the new construction of homes in town. City Administrator Kelly Zellner says projects started in 2022 through December 31st, 2032 will be if approved, eligible to receive the applicable tax abatement.


 Zellner says the program can be a huge help to bigger room renovations and projects over ten thousand dollars.


 Zellner says the application is available at City Hall. Once the city, the county appraiser's office, and the county clerk's office sign off that the work is complete, the abatement can begin, if qualified, and if the requirements are met.


 A map of qualified neighborhoods, plus a look at the applications, is available here.


Montgomery County Honors Employees for Service


Montgomery County employees were honored and celebrated for service time at this week's county commission meeting.


Human Resources Director Becky Lewis informed the county commissioners which employees reached 20 years of service time.


Employees who reached the five year mark include Rick Whitson, Eric Sandman, Harry Smith, Shannon Thomas, Paul Kline, Jennifer Blair, and James Jones.


Employees who reached ten years of service include Jennifer Meredith and Susan Thompson.


Employees who reached fifteen years of service with the county include Sharon Bowen, Jim Wright, and Jamie Dewitt.


In other business, Maitenance Supervisor Jeff Phelps gave an update on the malfunctioning elevator in the Courthouse. Phelps says that the elevator can be repaired and the county can avoid replacing it.


The county also switched back to the 9 a.m. meet time this week, after the week prior was rescheduled to 1 p.m.

Game Warden Frees Entangled Deer


A county game warden separates two entangled bucks in eastern Kansas.


According to Kansas Wildlife and Parks, Franklin County Game Warden Ryan Twellmann responded to a farm near Rantoul over the weekend, which is between Ottawa and Osawatomie, after a landowner reported seeing two whitetail deer with their antlers locked together. Twellmann found the entangled bucks near the reported location. One buck was still alive, but the other buck had unfortunately already died. Using a shotgun and a slug round, Twellmann was able to separate the antlers and free the buck from the entanglement. The buck immediately ran off unharmed and a salvage tag was issued to the landowner for the dead buck.

Barwick Officially Charged


 Charges have offcially been filed against a former Independence college official.


 Montgomery County Attorney Melissa Johnson filed a charge of business theft yesterday against Daniel Barwick. Court document say Barwick tried to steal from Walmart several times on or around January 3rd. The number of attempts in the amount of time grades the charge as a felony.


 Barwick is a former president of Independence Community College. He was also employed with Indiana State University as the director of development and UM-KC's School of Dentistry, in charge of the school’s philanthropic giving.


 If convicted, Barwick could face from five to 17 months in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

Be Aware Of Super Bowl Scams


 With the Big Game this weekend, Kansas Deputy Attorney General Fran Oleen warns against purchasing counterfeit Super Bowl merchandise.

 Oleen says Chiefs fans should keep up their guard against scammers selling fake merchandise or bogus tickets, looking to make a quick buck off the team’s success. Oleen suggests purchasing tickets through a verified source, like guaranteed tickets and travel packages through the Kansas City Chiefs’ official website. The NFL uses TicketMaster, whose authenticity of the tickets sold is guaranteed. The NFL also provides an official ticket resale marketplace called the NFL Ticket Exchange, also provided through TicketMaster.

 Be wary of purchasing tickets from Craigslist, eBay or other similar person-to-person marketplace or auction sites. Also, check for officially licensed NFL products bearing the league’s shield on the tag.


 If you believe you've fallen victim to a Super Bowl-related scam, please contact your local law enforcement, or call the Kansas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at (800) 432-2310. Complaints may also be filed online at

USDA Announces Additional Assistance for Dairy Producers


The United States Department of Agriculture is announcing additional assistance for dairy producers.


The additional money is coming from second-round funding through the Pandemic Market Volatility Assistance Program. This round will provide support for small and medium-sized dairy operations that made it through the pandemic but now face other challenges. The second-round funding will go to eligible dairy farmers that had fluid milk sales between five and nine million pounds from July through December 2020. This level of production was not eligible for payment under the first round. More information on the program is available here.

Divers Recover Stolen Vehicles


 A cause to clean up a local Nowata County swimming hole leads to the recovery of stolen vehicles.

 Five vehicles were pulled from the rock quarry known as “The Rock Crusher” Saturday. The Rock Crusher is located near Old Highway 169, north of Lenapah.

 Chance James made the discovery while diving in May of 2021. Patrick Willoughby from OK Dive joined in the dive to help clean up the quarry, known for kids swimming in it during the summer months. All the vehicles pulled from the quarry were thought to have been dumped there in the last three years.

 Three of the five vehicles recovered were stolen, including one from Pennsylvania. Nowata County Undersheriff Doug Sonenberg says charges will be filed if the dumpers can be found.

 The vehicles have been towed away, with more to be raised. The investigations are ongoing.

Congressman to Hold Town Halls in Oklahoma


Congressman Josh Brecheen will hold in-person town hall meetings in several Oklahoma cities this month.


Brecheen will stop in Bartlesville, Claremore, Durant, McAlester, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Pryor, and Tahlequah on Monday, February 13th and Monday, February 20th. Constituents are invited to attend and share their thoughts and ask questions on policy issues impacting Washington, D.C. and Oklahoma. A full list of meeting locations and times is available below:


Monday, February 13:

9:00am – 10:00am

Durant Town Hall

Donald W. Reynolds Library

1515 W. Main St.

Durant, OK 74701


12:00pm – 1:00pm

McAlester Town Hall

Eastern Oklahoma State College

Clark Bass Building Conference Center, Room 215

1802 E. College Ave.

McAlester, OK 74501


3:30pm - 4:30pm

Tahlequah Town Hall

Armory Municipal Center

100 N. Water Ave.

Tahlequah, OK 74464


6:00pm – 7:00pm

Muskogee Town Hall

Martin Luther King Center

Conference Room

300 W. Martin Luther King St.

Muskogee, OK 74401


Monday, February 20:

9:00am – 10:00am

Okmulgee Town Hall

OSU Institute of Technology

Student Union

E. 1st St.

Okmulgee, OK 74447


12:00pm – 1:00pm

Claremore Town Hall

Claremore Conference Center

Will Rogers North Ballroom

1400 W. Country Club Rd.

Claremore, OK 74017


2:00pm – 3:00pm

Pryor Town Hall

Graham Community Center

6 N. Adair Street

Pryor, OK 74361


5:00pm – 6:00pm

Bartlesville Town Hall

Bartlesville Community Center

Community Hall

300 SE Adams Blvd.

Bartlesville, OK 74003

Violent Drug Offender Arrested in Parsons


A convicted violent drug offender has been arrested in Parsons.


Late last week, Parsons Police officers were called to a report of a domestic violence incident. During their investigation, officers established cause for the arrest of 36-year-old Justin Ray Cooper. Later, officers observed a vehicle that was registered to Cooper and conducted a traffic stop. When Cooper was told he was under arrest, he became combative with officers. There was a short foot pursuit before he was taken into custody. During a search, officers found multiple baggies containing approximately 136 grams of Methamphetamine.


Cooper is a registered violent and drug offender from convictions in 2010 for voluntary manslaughter and manufacturing of a controlled substance. Cooper was paroled in January of 2021 and his parole expired on January 16th. Cooper was arrested for domestic violence, criminal trespassing, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, possession of drug paraphernalia, and interference with law enforcement. 

Parsons Man Arrested for Aggravated Assault and Criminal Threat


A Parsons man is arrested for aggravated assault.


Parsons Police officers responded to a report of a disturbance involving a firearm. Officers spoke with the victim and other witnesses and discovered an altercation had taken place between 23-year-old Tyreece Demott Kendrick and the victim. Kendrick used a firearm while threatening the victim and the victim’s child, who was not there at the time. The victim pulled their own gun and Kendrick fled from the scene.


The victim stated that after leaving the area, Kendrick was seen again standing off to the side of the road. The victim heard a gunshot as they drove past Kendrick. Officers eventually located Kendrick where he was taken into custody and has been charged with aggravated assault and criminal threat. Kendrick also has an active arrest warrant.


Benton County Inmate Found Unresponsive


 The Benton County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of an inmate.


 Sheriff Shawn Holloway says jail staff found 53-year-old Timothy Plank unresponsive in his cell around 2:00 p.m. Friday afternoon. Plank was taken to Northwest Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. An investigation is underway by Benton County Sheriff’s Officer Internal Affairs Division and the Criminal Investigation Division.


 Plank was in jail on charges of aggravated robbery, four charges of aggravated assault, aggravated assault on a correctional facility employee, possession of a controlled substance, theft of property, and obtaining drugs by fraud.

Investigation Continues In Casino Parking Lot Shooting


 A person shot by Tribal police in the parking lot of River Bend Casino in Wyandotte last Thursday remains in critical condition.


Records show the person was shot in the stomach after a taser was used around 9:48 that morning. The individual continued to show aggression toward the officer, with the officer wounding the individual with their service weapon at 9:50 A.M.


Evidence shows the suspect had a knife during the altercation.



FBI spokeswoman Kayla McCleery says the person shot is out of surgery and listed in critical condition. Nothing concerning the victim, including name, gender, and the name of the police officer has been released.


The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department, and the Wyandotte Nation Tribal police continue to refer any question to the FBI.

Cause Of Death Revealed In Noel Death


 Smoke inhalation is the cause of death in a Noel shed fire.

 The Noel Fire Department responded to a fire Sunday, January 29, in a shed behind a residence near Kings Highway and Railroad Streets. As the fire was being put out, a body was found inside the building. The man was identified as 32-year-old Vicente Hernandez of Noel.

 The autopsy performed late last week showed the cause of death to be smoke inhalation. No foul play is suspected.

Signs Being Replaced on SEK Highways


The Kansas Department of Transportation has started a sign replacement project in southeast Kansas.


Signs are being installed along sections of U.S. 400, U.S. 54, K-99, K-249 and K-58 on highways in Greenwood, Woodson, Elk, Butler and Lyon counties. Traffic will occasionally be reduced to one lane on K-99 and K-58, with brief delays expected. KDOT awarded the $637,000 construction contract to KOMO Construction, and work will continue through the spring months. You can check KDOT’s updated traveler information website for more highway condition and construction details at

Oklahoma State of the State Today


Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt will deliver the State of the State address today.


With cash surpluses and revenue collections at all-time highs, tax cuts are expected to be a top priority for Stitt and the republican-controlled legislature when it begins the 2023 session. The governor last year urged the House and Senate to send him bills to eliminate the state sales tax on groceries and reduce the individual and corporate income tax rates. Those proposals are expected to once again be considered this year. Lawmakers also are expected to consider a pay raise for teachers and bills that would prohibit transgender medical treatment for children. The address gets underway shortly after noon today.

Large Amount of Marijuana and Cocaine Seized in Pittsburg


Over 10 pounds of marijuana and over 150 grams of cocaine is seized in Pittsburg.


Yesterday afternoon, a Pittsburg Police officer saw a white 2008 Dodge Ram pickup fail to stop for a red traffic light. The officer pulled the vehicle over and upon approaching the truck noticed the smell of marijuana coming from inside. The driver, 25-year-old Quionte M. Tidwell, and passenger, 52-year-old Jose Flores-Velez, were detained while the officer searched the pickup. During the search, the officer located a loaded 9mm handgun, 13 two-ounce containers of THC, 4,777 grams of marijuana, and 162 grams of cocaine.


Tidwell was arrested for felon in possession of a firearm, felony possession of narcotics and marijuana with intent to distribute, felony possession of narcotics and paraphernalia and misdemeanor possession of marijuana. This continues to be an ongoing investigation.


Washington County Teen Back In Court


 A Bartlesville teen accused of killing her grandparents was back in court today.

 17-year-old Heidi Dutton is being charged with first degree murder of her grandparents Larry and Deborah Dutton. The murders took place just before Christmas in rural northern Washington County.

 Dutton's next court appearance is set for March 22nd on the first floor of the Washington County Courthouse.

Bartlesville Man Dies In Two Vehicle Collision


 A Bartlesville man has died after a fatality accident Thursday afternoon.

 The OHP says the collision took place around 2:30 pm on State Highway 123 at County Road 2712, just over a mile southwest of Bartlesville.

 A 2022 Kenworth driven by 41-year-old Brent Gregory, of Olathe, was traveling south on Highway 123, slowing to turn right onto County Road 2712. A 2016 Ford F250 driven by 60-year-old Joseph Harris, of Bartlesville was also traveling south on Highway 123. When the semi slowed substantially to turn right, the Harris truck struck the rear of the trailer. The semi then drug Harris's vehicle as it pulled off the highway.

 Harris was transported to Jane Phillips Hospital in Bartlesville, where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the semi was not injured.

Manhunt Ends In Two Arrests In Seneca


 A felony car stop in Seneca leads to the capture of two people after a short manhunt.

 Seneca police attempted to stop a vehicle late Thursday afternoon for a felony car stop, after receiving information from Joplin police concerning the vehicle. The occupants of the vehicle had warrants for drug and firearm violations. When they attempted to get away, officers deployed tire deflation devices near the Seneca Sports Complex north of Bethel Road. After the devices stopped the car, both occupants attempted to get away into a wooded area. Seneca Police, along with Newton County sheriff's deputies and the Missouri State Highway Patrol captured both shortly after 5:00 P.M. No names have been released as of yet, and there were no injuries.

Officer Involved Shooting In Wyandotte


 The FBI and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation are investigating an officer-involved shooting at River Bend Casino in Wyandotte.

 The incident took place Thursday morning when a person pulled a weapon on a Wyandotte Nation police officer. The officer then shot the person. The person's condition has not been revealed. The FBI is involved because the incident took place on Indian Trust Land.

 According to KOAM-TV, the investigation is being handled by the FBI's Oklahoma City bureau.

Oklahoma Attorney General Apologizes


 Oklahoma’s new attorney general apologizes to a former cabinet secretary of Governor Kevin Stitt, saying his criminal indictment in 2020 was wrong.


 Attorney General Gentner Drummond sent the letter Wednesday to David Ostrowe, Stitt's former secretary of digital transformation and technology. Drummond writes that former Attorney General Mike Hunter failed to avoid the appearance of impropriety and should have removed himself from involvement in the investigation. Drummond is dismissing the case with prejudice, which means a permanent dismissal of a case that will not be refiled.


 Ostrowe was indicted in late 2020, accused of threatening to withhold state appropriations to the Oklahoma Tax Commission if they did not waive interest and tax penalties levied against a company owned by a former state senator. Ostrowe denied any wrongdoing, calling the charge by Hunter a way to settle a political score. Hunter dropped the charge against Ostrowe when he resigned in 2021.


 Ostrowe is currently suing Hunter and the Oklahoma Tax Commission in district court, alleging he was maliciously indicted. That case is pending.

Considerations for Raising Chickens Amid High Egg Prices


As egg prices continue to remain high, some people may be considering buying chickens for egg production.


While raising chickens can be very rewarding, K-State Extension Diversified Agriculture Agent Adaven Scronce says you probably won't end up saving money on eggs by raising chickens.


Scronce says a sturdy chicken coop is another important consideration since chickens are often the targets of coyotes and dogs. As far as egg production goes, Scronce says you might not get an egg per chicken every single day.


During the winter, Scronce says artificial light can be used to keep chickens laying. If you have any questions on raising chickens this spring or maintaining your current flock, you can always contact your local extension office.


State Plans to Give $304M to Wichita Company for Chips


Kansas leaders in Topeka plan to give $304 million in taxpayer-funded incentives to a semiconductor company in Wichita to build a large new factory.


Gov. Laura Kelly announced the state has an agreement with Integra Technologies for a 10-year package of tax breaks and reimbursement of expenses. State officials say the new plant would cover 1 million square feet and have 2,000 employees. State and Integra officials said yesterday, however, that the $1.8 billion project won’t go forward without funds the U.S. government has promised for rebuilding the nation’s chip-making capacity. The law also requires Kansas to drop its corporate income tax rates by half a percentage point for each mega-deal. If the Integra project goes forward, the top rate would decline to 6% from 7%, saving all corporations roughly $100 million a year. While the project has bipartisan support, some lawmakers are critical of promising such big taxpayer-funded incentives to a single firm. The U.S. is trying to reverse a loss of capacity for making semiconductors and Congress last year approved $52 billion in grants and incentives.

Cherryvale Students Make Donation to Food Bank


Cherryvale High School students make a donation to the Cherryvale Food Bank.


Student Council President Alaina Plumley and Vice President Tiffany Moore presented Food Bank Representative Mark Dreisbach with 303 food items and $50. The donations were collected during the grocery cart decoration contest, which was a part of last week's Homecoming activities. 

A Neodesha Man Is Arrested On Multiple Charges


 A Neodesha man is arrested on multiple charges after he leads law enforcement on a short foot chase.

 Wednesday morning, Montgomery County detectives and deputies were following up on a burglary that took place at Red Bud Oil Services near Sycamore. The suspect stole a 2012 Chevy Equinox along with multiple tools and other items.

 While on the scene, detectives and deputies were notified of the possible location of the stolen Equinox north of Independence. They responded to 5225 County Road 3950 in Independence; they found the stolen Equinox, and they found Matthew Cook in the driver's seat.

 Cook tried to escape on foot but was apprehended a short time later. A search warrant led authorities to multiple items taken from Red Bud. Detectives also located methamphetamine, fentanyl residue, and drug paraphernalia.

 Cook has been charged with Felony burglary and theft, felony interference with law enforcement, possession of methamphetamine & opiate, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Suspected DUI Driver Damages Building


 A man is arrested for suspicion of DUI after he allegedly drives a truck into a Bartlesville building.

 Sergeant Chris Neal of the Bartlesville Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division says a single vehicle appeared to have left the roadway at Nowata Road and Oakdale Drive. The driver either was not injured or refused EMS. The man, however, was taken into custody for suspicion of DUI.


 The arrested individual was the only occupant in the vehicle. The building suffered minimal damage. The investigation is ongoing.


Annual Weather Talks Coming to SEK


Severe weather season will be here before we know it, and the National Weather Service is holding classes to help you prepare.


Each year the weather service embarks on a SKYWARN weather training journey to help train citizens across the state how to identify, interpret and remain safe during hazardous weather situations. Wichita NWS Office Forecaster Vanessa Pearce says the class covers a variety of topics.


Pearce says the information is valuable to anyone living in the area as severe weather season approaches.


Most counties will have their own presentation. In Montgomery county, the spotter talk will be Thursday, February 16th at 6:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall in Independence. Chautauqua county will be Tuesday, February 21st at 6:30 p.m. in the Sedan Senior Citizens Center, and Labette County will be Thursday, February 23rd at 6:30 p.m. in the Altamont High School Theater. A full list of presentations by county is available here.

Johnson Reminds Kansans To Check For Unclaimed Property

 National Unclaimed Property Day was Wednesday, and Kansas State Treasurer Steven Johnson marked the day by reminding Kansans to claim their unclaimed funds.


 An estimated one in ten people nationwide have unclaimed property, with more than $500 million in unclaimed property in Kansas alone. Johnson says it's worth checking on a regular basis to see if you, your family, or your friends have funds available to claim.


 The National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators estimates that nearly 33 million people in the United States have unclaimed property, financial accounts, or items of value in which the owner has not initiated any activity for a number of years. When that happens, and the company cannot locate the owner, the money or properties are submitted to the state. Common examples include unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts, safe deposit boxes, and unused rebate cards.


 Johnson reminds Kansans that it is always free to search and file claims through the State Treasurer’s website. That link is available here.

Rep Estes Announces Assignments for 118th Congress


U.S. Representative Ron Estes announces his committee and subcommittee assignments for the 118th Congress.


Rep Estes will continue serving on the House Committee on Ways and Means, the oldest standing committee of the House. He will continue his tenure on the Trade and Tax Subcommittees, as well as return to the Social Security Subcommittee. Also this Congress, Rep. Estes will begin serving on the Budget Committee, and he is returning to the Education and the Workforce Committee, a committee on which he served in the 115th Congress.


Typically members serving on the House Committee on Ways and Means only receive one committee assignment. However, Rep. Estes’ background and experience have resulted in more committee assignments from GOP leadership.

Sen Marshall Announces Subcommittee Assignments


U.S. Senator Roger Marshall announces his new subcommittee assignments for the 118th Congress.


Senator Marshall will return to and rise in seniority on the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions, both of which he was a member of during the 117th Congress. By retaining his position on the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, Senator Marshall will play a role in writing the 2023 Farm Bill.


Additionally, Senator Marshall will join the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs and the Senate Committee on the Budget for the 118th Congress.

New Scholarship at Parsons High to Honor Alumnus


A new scholarship has been established at Parsons High School in honor of 1969 graduate Gilbert Baker. 


Baker was an artist, designer and activist who designed and created the rainbow Pride flag.  He passed away in 2017 but his flag has become recognized and adopted around the globe.  Retired teacher and former Board member of the Parsons Education Foundation Sherri Spare says classmates were looking for ways to honor the Parsons native.

Spare says that while any Parsons High School student can apply for the scholarship it will be geared toward students who are members of the Open, Ally, Questioning Club or similar organizations at Parsons High. Anyone who’s interested .in donating to the scholarship fund can do so online at the Parsons Area Community Foundation website or by mailing a check to the Foundation at P.O. Box 994 in Parsons, zip code 67357.


The first scholarship is expected to be awarded this May.


9-8-8 Helping Kansas Crisis Rates


 More Kansans are reaching out for mental help since the inception of the 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

 Governor Laura Kelly says 9-8-8 has handled a nearly 27% increase in call volume compared to the six months before its launch. Based on national projections, 9-8-8 is estimated to reach 120,000 Kansans in the hotline’s first full year of operation.

 Governor Kelly signed Senate Bill 19 in June 2022, creating the state’s three-digit dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

 Calls, texts, or chats to 9-8-8 involving thoughts of suicide, mental health or substance use crises, or other kinds of emotional distress are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Callers can also receive the immediate support of mobile crisis teams in cases of extreme risk, referral to local mental health services, and resources for follow-up care.

 Kelly encourages Kansans to tell family members, friends, and neighbors that this resource is here for them whenever they need it.

New Senior Center at Independence Public Library


The Independence Public Library now has a brand new Senior and Community Center for the community.


The Center is located on the second floor of the library, and has plenty of space that is both comfortable and accessible.


Independence Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Wilson says that the space was designed with the intention to coordinate senior activities in one location.


The Senior and Community Center features free wifi, a meeting room and kitchen that can be reserved for free, as well as access to free library resources such as and genealogy help. There is also computer access and a coffee bar with snacks.


The space is available to the public on the second floor of the Independence Public Library at 220 East Maple. For more information, contact the library at 620-331-3030.

Comet Appears Tonight (If Clouds Cooperate)


 A comet with a greenish glow will make its closest approach to Earth in 50,000 years overnight tonight.


 The comet, known as C/2022 E3, will come within 26.4 million miles of Earth. EarthSky says the comet will pass between Mars and Earth, traveling at around 128,500 mph.


 Viewers in the Northern Hemisphere who have a clear view of the night sky will be able to spot the comet without a telescope. If you're unable to get to a place with clear skies, however, you can still catch the action by tuning into the Virtual Telescope Project's live stream of the event, which will start at 10:00 p.m. CST.

Parsons Man Killed in Wilson County Crash


 A Parsons man was killed in a crash on Highway 400 in Wilson County last night.  54-year-old James R. White Jr. of Parsons died in the head-on collision that occurred on Hwy 400, less than a half-mile east of the K39 junction shortly after 6:00 last night.


 The Highway Patrol says that White’s vehicle was eastbound on 400 when it crossed the center line.  A vehicle that was driving westbound crossed over into the eastbound lane trying to avoid a collision but then White’s vehicle crossed back into the eastbound lane striking the second vehicle head-on.


 The driver of the second vehicle, Korey Ladenburger of Larned was transported to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita with suspected serious injuries.

Multi Vehicle Crash In Bartlesville Kills One


 The Broken Arrow Police Department is investigating a deadly multi-vehicle crash.


 Police records show the crash took place around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday evening when a pickup truck crashed into an SUV at the intersection of Lynn Lane and  Albany. Police say the truck pushed the SUV about 100 yards down the street, then slid into a minivan.

 No information has been released as of yet about the person who died in the accident. The crash remains under investigation.

Riverton Narrows Superintendent Search


 The Riverton School District has narrowed the field to three candidates for their next superintendent.


 Public sessions for each of the three candidates will be held, then the candidates will meet with the board of education. The candidates are Dr. Mark Stanton, current superintendent of the McDonald County School District, current Riverton High School principal Chad Harper, and former Webb City Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kevin Cooper.


 The public session will take place beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium. More information can be found on their website,

Kansas Attorney General Sues Biden Administration


 Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach is suing the Biden administration over the lesser prairie chicken being categorized as a threatened species.

 Kobach says the listing of the species as threatened will devastate Kansas ranchers, Kansas oil producers, and Kansas wind farms.

 The rule change would require Kansas ranchers to seek the federal government’s permission to shift a cattle herd to a new field. Kobach says there would also be tougher restrictions for energy pipelines, roads, and other development, including oil drilling. Kobach says the Biden administration has not considered Kansas’ pre-existing and ongoing conservation and mitigation measures.

 Kansas is part of the “Northern Distinct Population Segment” where the lesser prairie chicken is to be designated a threatened species, while birds in the “Southern Distinct Population Segment” will be designated an endangered species. The Final Rule is to take effect on March 27. If the rule is not withdrawn, Kobach said he will file litigation.

New KC Airport to Open This Month


The new $1.5 billion Kansas City International Airport will open on February 28.


City officials said Monday the opening of the single-terminal airport will be on time and on budget. The city broke ground on the airport four years ago, after a sometimes contentious fight to replace a three-terminal airport that opened in 1972 at a cost of $250 million. The terminal is largest single infrastructure project in the city’s history. It has 40 gates, with room to expand to 50 gates. The terminal is being built on the site of the original Terminal A. Terminals B and C will close for good on February 28th. The new terminal will provide up to 50 places to eat and shop. Concessions companies are hoping to fill at least 800 jobs before the airport opens.

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