Forgot Password

Not a Member? Sign up here!

Local News Archives for 2023-04

Arrest Made on Non-Compliant Drug Offender


The Parsons Registered Offender Program leads to an arrest of a non-compliant drug offender.


On April 20th, PROP began an investigation into Nichole L. Cardoza, who is a registered drug offender stemming from a 2022 conviction for distribution of controlled substance causing great bodily harm. On April 21st, Parsons Police officers began following up on the case and learned that Cardoza had moved from her registered address to another. She had not notified the registrar at the Labette County Sheriff's Office of the change of address.


Cardoza was found in violation of three of her registration requirements, failing to register quarterly, failing to register a new address after moving and failure to annually renew her Kansas driver's or ID card. Cardoza was charged with violations of the Offender Registration Act and issued a $10,000 dollar bond.


Coffee with Congressman LaTurner at Terebinth


Congressman Jake LaTurner will be in Coffeyville next week.


Congressman LaTurner will be at Terebinth from 8:30am to 9:30am on Tuesday. The event is called Coffee with your Congressman and is an opportunity for citizens to talk to LaTuner about issues impacting them and their families and ask about his work in Washington.

Legislation Passes to Allow High School Postseason Streaming


The Kansas legislature passes a bill allowing local broadcasters to video stream all postseason high school events. Kansas Association of Broadcasters Board Member and KGGF General Manager John Leonard says a group previously had the exclusive rights to the postseason.


The legislation will come into effect July 1st of this year. Leonard says this not only affects local radio stations but also the fansStudents interested in pursuing careers in radio broadcasts will also benefit from the legislation. Previously, if a local station was prohibited from video streaming a post-season game, so were their student workers. Now, students will be able to cover all of their school’s activities.

KDOT Reminds Drivers To Watch For Motorcycles


 The Kansas Department of Transportation teams up with law enforcement across the state to highlight Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month during May and remind motorists that motorcyclist safety is everyone’s responsibility.

 The end of May ushers in the unofficial start of the summer road travel season. Safe driving and riding practices for all road users, drivers and riders alike, are critical to help reduce motorcycle/vehicle crashes.

 KDOT says a total of 726 people were injured in the 814 crashes involving a motorcycle in Kansas in 2022. In addition, 47 of those crashes were fatal, with 50 people losing their lives.

 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says speeding and alcohol impairment play significant roles in motorcycle-involved crash fatalities across the nation.

 Motorcyclists are encouraged to complete a rider education and training course to learn more ways to increase safety for everyone on the roadways. For more information on motorcycle safety, visit the link here.

Moran, Marshall Introduce Bill Providing Reliable & Affordable Energy


 U.S. Senators Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall introduce legislation to help provide stable energy rates and a reliable energy grid to states in the Southwestern Power Administration, including the four-states area.

 The Southwestern Power Administration Fund Establishment Act would give the SWPA the authority to operate on a self-funding, revolving Treasury fund to help provide long-term stability to SWPA, giving them more stable funding in order to lower customer rates, which can be highly volatile due to market demand and weather. It would also provide SWPA more clarity to help plan long-term infrastructure improvements and power replacement.

 Senator Moran says the legislation will provide funding stability that will prevent Kansans from suffering mass power outages.
Southwestern Power Administration Fund Establishment Act is supported by the Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Kansas Municipal Utilities, Southwestern Power Resources Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and American Public Power Association.
 Full text of the legislation can be found

Goodman Police Staff Once Again Fully Staffed


 Good news for the good men and women of Goodman, Missouri, as a new police force has been hired.

 Resignations three weeks ago of the entire police force left the town searching for replacements. The town received 15 applications for the department, and it is now fully staffed.

 The new police chief is former McDonald County Sheriff’s Deputy Samuel Townsend. Townsend says he and the officers are there to help people and make a big difference in the community, adding that their job is to give to the community.

 Former Police Chief Adam Miller announced he and the entire department would resign following the April 4th election, citing issues with newly elected mayor John Bunch. Townsend says Miller helped him greatly in making the transition to the Goodman PD.

Ellis Honored with Employee Veteran Leadership Award


 Independence Community College announces that a selection for the 2023 Employee Veteran Leadership Awards is an ICC employee.

 Tommy Ellis, Director of Veteran Student Success, has been selected for the 2023 EVLA's, announced by Military Friendly. The annual honor recognizes US military veterans who embody the best qualities of our nation's military, such as leadership, teamwork, discipline, determination, adaptability, a strong work ethic, and a can-do attitude, as employees of an organization.

 Twenty-six EVLA honorees were selected for their positive impact on their organizations and the military and veteran community. These veteran employees are passionate about promoting the advancement of their fellow veterans, mentoring others, and bridging the gap between veteran and non-veteran employees. They also demonstrate their commitment by volunteering their time.

 The 2023 Employee Veteran Leadership Awards list will be published in the June issue of G.I. Jobs, distributed for free in digital and print formats to transitioning service members, veterans, and their families worldwide.

 Ellis says the recognition simply reinforces the belief that being a veteran can have ongoing, life-long responsibilities, but also unexpected rewards.

Bartlesville Woman Facing Domestic Abuse & Resisting Charges


 A Bartlesville woman is facing charges of domestic abuse and resisting arrest, after an incident Wednesday night.

 Trinity Haddon was arrested after the victim called in a domestic situation to Bartlesville PD. The affidavit states Haddon was destroying things in the victim’s bedroom when the victim approached Haddon and tried to stop her. Haddon then grabbed the victim’s arm and began to squeeze and pinch her causing an injury.

 When police attempted to detain Haddon, she resisted going into handcuffs, and an officer was bitten by a dog Haddon was holding.

 Haddon is being held on $1500 bond; her next date in Washington County Court is set for May 10th.

Hispanic Community Conversation Event Tomorrow


Members of the Hispanic community are invited to join in a conversation this weekend about their specific needs.


The event is being organized by Communities Organizing to Promote Equity, and Montgomery County Wellness Coalition Coordinator Marci Roberts says their goal is to identify barriers the Hispanic community is facing regarding health and wellness.


The event will be tomorrow from 2 until 3:30 p.m. at the Coffeyville Boys and Girls Club at 502 S. Walnut. Food, door prizes and childcare will be available.

Dense Fog This Morning in Coffeyville, Four States


A dense fog advisory is in effect this morning for the four states.


The advisory includes Allen, Wilson, Neosho, Montgomery and Labette counties in Kansas, Nowata, Craig, Ottawa and Delaware counties in Oklahoma, and all of extreme southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas. The advisory is in effect until 10 this morning, and visibility of one-quarter mile or less is possible.

Matching Grant Money Needed for New Childcare Center


The Coffeyville Area Childcare Coalition is partnering with the Coffeyville Area Community Foundation to raise matching funds for a grant for a new childcare facility for daytime, evening and overnight care. Coalition President Sharon Brown says the grant will cover 75% of the cost.


Community State Bank's Mike Ewy has donated the land for the building, which covers 10% of the 25% needed for matching funds. Brown says they want this to be a blessing for not only parents but also the community.


Brown says donations are not only tax deductible but you also receive a tax credit. Donations can be made to the Coffeyville Area Childcare Coalition through the Coffeyville Area Community Foundation. 

Share the Warmth Event Helps 153 Families


Atmos's Share the Warmth Event provides $53,000 worth of gas bill assistance to 153 families.


The event was originally supposed to take place over the course of two days but all available funds were given out on day one. Salvation Army's Joe Brooks says those that still need assistance it may be available in the next two weeks.


Brooks says if you need assistance sooner to reach out to Atmos through their customer service number and see about setting up a payment plan or receiving an extension on a bill.


The KS OSFM Responds To Coffeyville Fire Reimbursements


 The Office of the State Fire Marshal has released a statement regarding their HazMat Response Team’s reimbursement process.

 The response is specifically concerning the Coffeyville Fire Department’s HazMat response team’s October reimbursement submission.

 The release from Jill Bronaugh, Public Information Manager for the Office of the State Fire Marshal, goes over the reimbursement and payment process for those who are on and off duty, and the hourly rates for team members, who are not on duty and are on call-back.

 Bronaugh says an error on the submission by Coffeyville Fire was discovered by OSFM accounting personnel. The firefighter who submitted the documentation had mistakenly adjusted the fillable spreadsheet at double-time rates for all of the team members who responded to the incident. That firefighter was not the usual team member who submits HMRT billing, and OSFM believes it was simply an unintentional error. OSFM is not asking that the funds be returned, as it is not the goal to prevent any undue expenses to a municipality for providing a HMRT.

 Bronaugh says OSFM has locked the forms and created a more vigorous review process to ensure the correct HMRT reimbursements are processed in the future.

 Bronaugh says the OSFM considers the City of Coffeyville and the Coffeyville Fire Department to be integral partners, especially for the HazMat Response Division.

 The full text of the response from the OSFM is available here.

Email Confirms Hall's Statement About Altered Fire Dept. Reimbursements


An email from the Kansas State Fire Marshall to the City of Coffeyville confirms that personnel costs for Hazmat reimbursement were altered for an incident that occurred in October of 2021. 


KGGF News filed an Open Records request with the City of Coffeyville and has obtained the email dated April 4 of this year sent from State Fire Marshall Doug Jorgensen to Stephanie Richardson with the City.  In the email, Jorgensen states “whoever filled out the workbook with the costs for reimbursement manually altered the totals on the personnel costs page.”  The alteration claimed double-time reimbursement for the incident.  All previous reimbursements requested single-time reimbursement.  At this point, it’s still unknown who altered those figures.


The email confirms the statement made by City Manager Mark Hall at this past Tuesday night’s City Commission meeting that reimbursement costs had been altered.  The email goes on to say that the State Fire Marshall was under the impression that the workbook was locked down and that figures could not be altered, but was wrong.  He said changes would be made in the next couple of days.  A statement from the State Fire Marshall’s Office released later this morning said corrections have now been completed to the reimbursement workbook. 


The conflict between the Coffeyville Fire Department and City has created division within the city since the firefighters union filed a grievance with the City more than a month ago concerning reimbursement for Hazmat calls.  The email from the Fire Marshall's Office can be seen here.

Grove Grocery Store Robber Captured


 A man who robbed a Grove, Oklahoma grocery store has been captured.

 26-year-old Christopher Clayton, of Grove, was taken into custody Wednesday in southern Delaware County. Grove Police Chief Mark Morris says Clayton is accused of robbing the Harps Food Store by gunpoint. Morris says Clayton is a former employee of the store.

 He was apprehended in the Kenwood-Salina area, and was in possession of a weapon and drugs when taken into custody.

 Clayton is charged in Delaware County District Court in Jay with first-degree robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. His bail was set at $110,000. Clayton is scheduled to be transferred soon to the Delaware County jail.

Columbus Man Pleads Guilty To Child Pornography Case


 A Columbus man takes a plea deal in a child pornography case.

 Yesterday morning, 35-year-old Joel Cypert plead guilty to sexual exploitation of a child, with one count of possessing child porn dropped in a plea deal.

 Charges were filed in November. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found images of a young girl involved in sex acts uploaded to a cloud-based storage service. Authorities were then notified.

 Investigators say the images were uploaded from Cypert’s phone. Cypert's sentencing hearing was set for July 12th; the sentence is expected to be between fifteen and thirty years.

Semi – Train Accident Causes Train's Derailment


 A semi-trailer / train accident in Woodson County leads to the train's derailment.

 The accident took place around 10:00 a.m. Tuesday morning on 80th Road between Navajo and Prairie Roads.

 According to Woodson County Sheriff Jeffrey McCullough, the 63-year old semi driver survived the crash, although the vehicle was destroyed. Sheriff McCullough says the fertilizer on the train is possibly hazardous. Hazmat crews are taking precautions to cleanup the 97 cars of the train, 21 of which were either damaged or destroyed.

 The intersection is set to reopen by the end of the week.

Healthcare Providers Must Care for Babies Born Alive During Abortions


Kansas healthcare providers must provide the same level of care for newborns delivered during certain abortion procedures. The Kansas Legislature yesterday overrode Governor Laura Kelly's veto of the new legislation. Abortion providers say the new law will sow confusion and fear about abortion, and say the cases covered by the new law rarely, if ever, occur in Kansas because of how the state already regulates abortion. Local State Representative Ron Bryce says he's seen this plenty as a physician.


Violating the law will be a felony, punishable by up to a year's probation for a first-time offender. The new law takes effect July 1st.

Indy Man Arrested After Foot Chase


A foot chase in Independence goes through part of the Independence High School Prom.


On Saturday at 6:24pm, Independence Police Department officers attempted to make a warrant arrest. Police identified the man at the scene of a fight and later located him in the 500 block of North Peter Pan. As officers spoke with the man he became agitated and backed away. The man turned and fled, leading police on a foot chase that crossed West Main, went through a line of vehicles waiting for Prom Walk-in and then ended in the 2800 Block of West Main where the man was taken into custody.


The man was identified as 24-year-old Chicago Bull Elias, of Independence. Elias was arrested for vehicle burglary, theft and interference with a law enforcement officer.

Quilt Affair Coming to Independence in August


The Quilt Affair is back this year at the Independence Historical Museum and Art Center.


The event will take place August 11th through August 31st, registration and quilt drop off will be August 8th. Judging will take place on August 10th and public viewing begins August 11th. There is an entrance fee of $7 for each quilt entered with a limit of five quilts per person. Categories include Pieced & Hand Quilted, Appliqued & Hand Quilted, Embroidered & Hand Quilted, Antique, Machine Quilted, Small Quilted, and Miscellaneous, along with two new categories, Beginners, which is for those with less than one year of experience, and 18 & Under.


There will be door prizes, a quilt raffle, workshops, an Independence business scavenger hunt and more leading up to the event. Anyone with questions can contact Museum Director Ashley Hovell at (620)331-3515. The Quilt Affair will be held in the gallery and will be free for public viewing.

Parsons Moms Demand Action Meet with Parsons PD


The group Parsons Moms Demand Action meets with the Parsons Police Department.


Yesterday the group listened to a presentation about gun safety and legislation. Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks along with Deputy Chief Dennis Dodd, Lieutenant Jason Ludwig and Officer Mark Raney gave the group some insight into the different kinds of weapons and ammo that are used in law enforcement. They also spoke about gun violence, active shooters and added some general knowledge of weapon systems as well as common misconceptions.


The presentation focused on knowledge of gun laws and an introduction to positive legislative changes for gun safety. Chief Robert Spinks says he thinks the presentation was very successful and he is grateful that Parsons Moms Demand Action was able to reach out to the department for information.

Local Names on Farm Talk's 40 Under 40


Farm Talk News released their 40 Under 40 nominees with several local names making the list.


K-State Research and Extension Wildcat District Agent James Coover, Coffeyville FFA Advisor and former Extension Agent Jeri Geren and owner of Coffeyville and South Coffeyville Livestock Tylen Layton all made the list.


Other area names include Brad and Emily McVey, Fredonia, Ryan and Nicole Herder, Chanute, Zack Rendel, Miami, Brad Bohnenblust, Erie, Greg Mowdy, Pittsburg, Caitlyn Lahaye, Chanute, Shannon McClintock, Pittsburg, Alfred and Taylor Crawshaw, Altoona, Griffin Knopp, Parsons, Luke Bellar, Mound Valley, The George Family who Own of Oswego Locker, Oswego, Brett Thornton, Thayer, Tyce Marple, Altoona and Dillon and Raney Rapp, Erie. The full list of 40 Under 40 nominees can be seen here.


Baseball Coach Provides Update After Fire at Field


Coffeyville Community College baseball will be unable to finish their season at home.


Firefighters were called to Walter Johnson Park in response of an early morning fire that saw a storage shed fully engulfed and the adjacent dugout structure also damaged.


Red Raven baseball coach Jake Martin says the fire was following a break-in, resulting in stolen property and heavy damage.


With the damages to both team equipment and the field itself, Martin says the near future for the program will be difficult, including ending the season on the road.


The investigation is ongoing.

Ward Takes Plea Deal In Neosho Man's Murder


 A Joplin woman originally charged with murder of a Neosho man takes a plea deal.

 49-year-old Carla Jo Ward, one of six people charged in the 2020 kidnapping and death of Michael Hall, agreed to plead guilty to charges of kidnapping and being a felon in possession of firearm.

 Two more of the six plead guilty recently in Federal Court, Russell Hurtt and James Gibson.

 Officials say Hall had stolen a travel trailer from Freddy Tilton, the same trailer that Tilton stole from someone else. Ward asked Hall to meet her. The others joined them later, where they ended up tying Hall up and beating him, before eventually killing him. Ward participated in the clean-up after the death.

 Three other participants in the death are expected to sign plea agreements as well; they are 38-year-old Amy Thomas of Webb City, 48-year-old Freddie Tilton of Joplin, and 49-year-old Lawrence William Vaughan.

 Ward will be sentenced at a later date.

Pickup Kills One Child, Injures Second Child In Accident In Oklahoma


 A driver hits two children with his pickup in a driveway.

 The accident took place south of Cleora, in Delaware County, Oklahoma. Officials say the children were playing in the driveway when the pickup pulled in. A one-year-old girl was killed, and a two-year-old girl is in the hospital in critical condition.

 The investigation is ongoing.

Moran Co Sponsors Military Spouses' Survivor Benefits Bill


 U.S. Senator Jerry Moran co-introduces legislation would allow spouses of deceased service members to retain their survivor benefits if they remarry.

 Currently, a surviving spouse under the age of 55 could lose survivor benefits if they remarry. The Love Lives On Act would make certain surviving spouses are able to retain their benefits from both the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense upon remarriage at any age. The bill includes surviving spouses from active-duty, veteran and retired service members.

 Senator Moran calls military service family service, adding that our country owes a great debt to the surviving spouses of fallen service members. Moran says Gold Star spouses healing from their loss and choosing to remarry should not have to worry about losing their survivors’ benefits provided by the VA and the DoD.

 This legislation is supported by 41 Veterans Service Organizations and others, including the Disabled American Veterans, Elizabeth Dole Foundation, and Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.

Webb City Murder Suspect Caught In Springfield


 A Branson man accused of killing a Joplin woman in Webb City has been captured.

 51-year-old Nicholas Kyle Berry of Branson, was arrested in Springfield Monday afternoon. Officials say Berry stabbed 39-year-old Maria Whitaker, of Joplin, during an argument over money.

 Berry is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and two counts of armed criminal action.

 Barry is being held at the Greene County Jail, where he awaiting extradition back to Jasper County.


Informational Meeting For Bartlesville Recall Election


 An informal meeting presents a case to the public for recall elections of three Bartlesville City Council Members after they voted in favor of an agreement between the city and Oklahoman for Equality regarding drag show performances.

 The meeting, held last night at Calvary Chapel in Bartlesville, took place in response to last fall's Pride event at Tower Center at Unity Square where a drag show was held outdoors and in public view.

 Shortly after the event, a petition was created asking the city to craft an ordinance to forbid adult entertainment in public places and away from children.

 No questions were taken by the four speakers during the meeting. In order for a recall election to take place, at least 20% of residents of each ward must sign their particular petition.

 Examples of the packet and the petitions are available here.

Fire at Walter Johnson Park


The Coffeyville Fire Department responds to an early-morning fire at Walter Johnson Park.


Just before 6 this morning, firefighters were called to the Coffeyville Community College Baseball Field for a report of a structure on fire.  A storage shed next to the home dugout was fully engulfed and had started to spread to the adjacent dugout structure.  The flames were quickly put out by around 6:10 a.m.  The cause of the fire has not been determined at this time.

State Fire Marshall's Office Says Coffeyville FD Altered Pay Forms


The State Fire Marshall says that Coffeyville Fire Department Personnel altered pay forms to allow for the input of double-time pay from the state.


City Manager Mark Hall shared the information from the Fire Marshall at Tuesday's City Commission meeting.


Hall says the Fire Marshall was under the impression that the spreadsheets were locked down preventing any changes being made to the reimbursement request documents.


Hall says the city will continue the 16-year practice of two straight-time payments for on-duty responding personnel. In addition, Hall is recommending all Hazmat response requests now go through the city finance and payroll office for further oversight to prevent the possibility of receiving triple pay if equal hours are not backed out of regular hours worked. Hall says the city has paid a sum of $350 between the firefighters who resubmitted payroll based on the 16-year agreement from the most recent hazmat call in October. Hall went on to say that the issue of hazmat pay was not why former Chief Kenneth Ward was terminated.


Before these statements from Hall were made, IAFF Board Member Jimmy Bradshaw made a statement on behalf of the union, saying the union does not plan on attending any further commission meetings regarding this issue.


After Bradshaw's statement, around 20 people supporting the fire department left the room. Commissioners and those making public comments expressed regret that the issue has divided the community.  KGGF reached out to the State Fire Marshall's Office and they said they will have a press release in the morning regarding this situation.  

ICC Holding EMS Extraction Class


An EMS education extraction class is scheduled in Independence for early May.


On Tuesday, May 2nd, Independence Community College's EMS Education will have an extrication class for students. This event will take place at ICC West at 6:00 PM. The public is invited to watch. With assistance from Independence’s Fire/EMS, Neodesha’s Fire/EMS and the Rural Fire Department, students will get hands-on training in freeing someone who is trapped or entangled, mirroring a real-life on-the-job experience.


ICC’s EMS Education Director Sue Manning says this is a great opportunity for the public to see the EMT students in action and for the several departments to work together.


Coffeyville Municipal Band Announces 2023 Concert Season Schedule


The Coffeyville Municipal Band has six concerts planned for the 2023 season.  Director of the Municipal Band Dr. David Wiggins says the 2023 season will begin in Caney at Mayfest when the band performs at 10:00am on Saturday, May 27th.  The band will also perform Memorial Day weekend on Monday, May 29th at Fairview Cemetery during the Coffeyville Memorial Day Celebration at 10:00am.


Other concerts this season include the Cedar Bluff Centennial Celebration at 11:00am on June 17th, Coffeyville’s Summer Celebration at 11:00am on July 8th, The Coffeyville Christmas Parade at 6:00pm on December 1st and the season winds up the following day, December 2nd at the Coffeyville Christmas Celebration when the band performs at 11:00am at the First United Methodist Church.  

City Manager Speaks on Grievance Settlement with IAFF


Tonight is the first Coffeyville City Commission meeting since a resolution was reached on the grievance filed by the International Association of Firefighters Local #265. City Manager Mark Hall says the city will continue to pay the 16-year payroll procedure.


Hall says the city explained, on multiple occasions, that personnel can input their regular duty hours and any additional straight-time pay for hours worked on any approved Haz-Mat responses. He says this isn't a win, or even a loss, to the IAFF, or the city.


Hall says the city has not only the right but also the responsibility to maintain the process for accounting of payroll, regardless of what the IAFF believes. The full response from Hall can be heard here and read here. Tonight's meeting is at 6:30pm at City Hall.

Governor Kelly Signs Bill to Boost Skilled Workforce


 Governor Laura Kelly today signs a bill creating a tax credit for certain employers who create apprenticeship programs to strengthen and expand the Kansas workforce.

 House Bill 2292 creates new grant programs that will support apprentices pursuing careers in education and health care. Kelly says investing in the next generation of workers will help keep the economy strong, adding that the bill rewards employers across the state for supporting those entering the workforce.

 Kelly also signed four additional bills, including House Bill 2130, which makes technical changes to the Kansas probate code, and makes changes regarding the transfer of deeds upon death, and Senate Bill 217, which increases protections for victims of stalking, including increasing the time of an initial restraining order.

Bartlesville Woman Arrested For Domestic Abuse


 A Bartlesville woman is facing a charge of Domestic Abuse in the presence of a minor.

 23-year-old Cheyenne Koenig-Loyd was arrested April 21st after she was involved in a physical altercation that took place in front of her children. Court documents say Koenig-Loyd saw the victim walking with her two children in a stroller while she was riding in a car. The victim told officers that Koenig-Loyd got out of the car she was in, came up to him and allegedly yanked the female juvenile out of her stroller.

 Koenig-Loyd then tried to grab the male juvenile out of the stroller. The victim intervened and ended up getting hit in the face and scratched by Koenig-Loyd. Responding officers report that the victim did have scratch marks and hit marks that were consistent with their story.

 Koenig-Loyd is currently being on $2500 bond. Her next court date is set for tomorrow.

Coffeyville Emergency Personnel Battling Fire In Coffeyville


 Fire crews are responding at this time (8:50 a.m.) to a structure fire in the 2100 block of South Willow Street in Coffeyville. Authorities are asking everyone to stay clear of the area to allow emergency personnel to battle the blaze.

 More information will be given as it becomes available.


Montgomery County Creates New Position To Track Dangerous Offenders


 Because of a large volume of registered sex, drug and violent offenders in Montgomery County, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department is dedicating a full-time staff member to verifying the offenders’ addresses and other vital information.

 According to the Montgomery County Chronicle, Sheriff Ron Wade says that the location where offenders will report will change. Currently, offenders report to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department office on the third floor of Coffeyville City Hall. However, as of June 1st, theywill report to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department office in Independence.

 Montgomery County currently has 280 sex, drug and violent offenders required to register in Montgomery County. Of those 280, 29 are currently non-compliant on their registration with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

 The newly-created position of Registered Offender Deputy will verify addresses and other information when offenders are registering. The Registered Offender Deputy will also complete necessary paperwork for the Montgomery County Attorney to consider in seeking charges against offenders for failing to comply with registration laws.

 State law requires registered offenders to update their registration information in person every three months.

Jay Man Arrested Again For Sexual Abuse


 A Jay, Oklahoma man is arrested for the second time in connection with the sexual abuse of an 11-year-old girl.

 36-year-old Andrew Burns is charged in Delaware County District Court in Jay with first-degree rape, forcible sodomy, rape by instrumentation and soliciting a minor for indecent exposure. This is the second time Burns has been charged with crimes against the victim. A phone dump of Burns’ cell phone showed nude photographs of the 11-year-old victim.

 Burns is accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting the child and threatening her and her family with physical harm. Burns also threatened the victim with physical harm if she did not engage in intercourse or send photos of her undressed.

 Burns' bail is set at $100,000.

Four Day School Weeks Coming To Baxter Springs


 The Baxter Springs School District is moving to a four day school week.

 Superintendent David Pendergraft says the new schedule is due to the lack of qualified staff. The Tuesday through Friday schedule will begin with the start of the new school year. Pendergraft says Lincoln Elementary School will be open on Mondays with free childcare. Students and parents are supportive of the decision, saying it will give more time to do homework or spend time with family.

36th Annual CCC Scholarship Bash This Week


The annual Coffeyville Community College Scholarship Bash is almost here.


The annual fundraiser will be this Saturday in Nellis Hall Gymnasium and organizers including CCC's Jana Kastler say they're excited for another big night.


The event will include dinner, a live and silent auction, Plinko, a corn hole tournament, a wine pull and more. A long list of local businesses have donated items for the event, and all proceeds go towards scholarships for students to attend CCC. Kastler says she's thankful to all who are helping with the event.


CCC Foundation Administrative Assistant Krista Bromley says doors open at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday and tickets can be purchased at the door. Advance tickets are also available by calling Bromley at 620-252-7070.

Dye Takes Over As Caney Chief May 1st


 As Caney Police Chief Kevin Kitterman retires May 1st, a familiar face will take over, as Assistant Chief Ike Dye moves into the main position in Caney law enforcement.

 Kitterman says he trusts Dye to take over duties as Chief; Dye says trust and respect will be key factors in selecting his new assistant, as it was under the leadership of Kitterman.

 Dye says he doesn't see much changing in the day to day operations of the department.

 Dye invites residents of Caney to contact him if they see a situation that they would like to discuss, adding that nothing will be solved with a closed door. He adds that the accountability and dedication of the Caney PD will continue well past the transition of Chiefs.


Walnut Closed South of 11th Street This Week


U.S. 169 or South Walnut Street is closed just south of 11th Street for work on the railroad crossing.


The area will be closed through Friday according to the sign at the corner of the intersection.  Drivers can follow posted detour signs by turning south on Elm, and if you do happen to turn south on Walnut, you can still get over to the detour by going west on 12th Street.

Salvation Army and Atmos Partnering for Share the Warmth


The Coffeyville Salvation Army and Atmos Energy are partnering for a Share the Warmth bill assistance campaign. Coffeyville Director Joe Brooks says Atmos Representatives will be on at the Coffeyville Salvation Army two days this week.


Brooks says this isn't just for Coffeyville residents.  No appointment is necessary but funds are limited so they will be distributed on a first come first serve basis. The Salvation Army building in Coffeyville is located at 102 W 12th Street.


Indy BBQ Competition Raises Over $5000


Over $5000 is raised during the 4th Annual Independence BBQ Competition. There were 282 plates sold for People's Choice and $5,265 raised. The money will go to a 10-year-old, who is battling cancer, and his family.


There were 13 teams who competed in the BBQ competition. The Grand Champion was B-Team BBQ from Morris, OK. They finished first in both chicken and ribs. The Reserve Grand Champion went to Derailed Commodity from Independence, KS. They finished third in ribs and second in pork butt and dessert. Derailed Commodity also won People's Choice. Kamakazi Smokin from Park City, KS won placed first in pork butt and second in People's Choice. Dry Bones BBQ Ministries from West Frankfrort IL finished first in dessert and third in pork butt.  

Grant Approved for 14th District Corrections


The 14th Judicial District covering Montgomery and Chautauqua counties has been approved for their Kansas Department of Corrections grant for the new fiscal year.


Community Corrections Director Dennis Webb says that this is a similar vision to the grant from this past fiscal year, with this year's primary use being for staffing.


The district continues to prioritize reform and designing programs to prevent individuals from going to prison. Webb says that the goals and direction for this year is to build off of the progress that was made last year.


Also discussed at the Montgomery County Commission meeting was an update from Public Works Director Jim Wright regarding road construction at Peter Pan Road in Independence, as well as an upcoming project on County Road 2300 from northeast of Elk City to the county line.

(11:58 UPDATE:) Broken Pole Fixed In South Coffeyville


 A broken power pole has caused an outage in South Coffeyville.

 According to the South Coffeyville Facebook page, the unplanned outage started around 9:45 a.m. this morning. It affects residents and businesses in town on the west side of Highway 169.

 Workers are on the scene repairing the broken pole. Those with questions or concerns should contact City Hall at 918-255-6045, opt. 1, so workers can keep from being distracted while working on power lines.

 KGGF will continue to monitor the pole replacement and will provide updates as provided.

Governor Kelly Vetoes Flat Tax Proposal


 Governor Laura Kelly visited Elmont Elementary School in Seaman School District today to announce her veto of House Substitute for Senate Bill 169.

 The bill looks to overhaul the state’s tax structure and establish a flat tax rate, which would, according to Governor Kelly, cost the state $1.3 billion over the next three years. Kelly says that would put public education funding at risk.

 Included in H Sub SB 169 is a 5.15 percent flat income tax – or a single tax rate applied to all taxpayers. The flat tax, according to Kelly, poses risks to funding for public education, roads and bridges, and other essential services. Middle-class taxpayers would see less than $100 in annual savings from the flat tax, but it would cost Kansans their public schools. Kelly says legislators are proposing cutting money from public schools in this year’s K-12 Education budget in order to pay for this tax cut.

 Governor Kelly’s remarks are available here.

Watts Campaign Coming To Kansas, OK


 Cara Cowan Watts, one of the candidates campaigning for Chief of the Cherokee Nation, will be in Kansas, OK, today. She will participate in a meet and greet at the Little Kansas BBQ.

 Watts is an eighth-generation resident of what is now known as Rogers County, Oklahoma. She is a direct descendant of Old Settler Cherokee Chief John Rogers, who lived in the Cooweescoowee District of the Cherokee Nation. She is the daughter of two retired Oklahoma educators and the owner and operator of a small family construction company.

 Watts will be at the Little Kansas BBQ in their community center from 6:00 until 7:30 pm. The Community Center is located at 150 South Cherokee Street in Kansas, OK.

 More information on her campaign can be found here.

Bartlesville Higher Water Restrictions Begin Today


 Higher water restrictions begin today for the city of Bartlesville.

 Hulah Lake, Bartlesville’s primary water supply, is at 4.92 feet BELOW normal as of this morning. Due to the ongoing drought, Bartlesville residents and businesses will move to Phase 3 of the Water Shortage Ordinance.

 The new restrictions include higher rates continuing for customers who use more than 10,000 gallons of water per month. Outdoor watering will be reduced to only one day per week, where even-numbered properties may water on Thursdays only and odd-numbered properties may water on Fridays only. Water pressure will be reduced to the minimum levels allowed by state and federal regulations. The city will also reduce or discontinue all irrigation at city-owned facilities. All city-owned splash pads will remain closed, while city-owned swimming pools may operate with reduced hours, or may close altogether.

 More information can be found on the city of Bartlesville's website,

The State of the Station w/ Caney Police Chief Kevin Kitterman


 With retirement on the horizon for Caney's police chief, Kevin Kitterman reflects on his time in the community.

 Kitterman says he is proud of the department and the work they have done in his three years as chief. Several areas involving the department, including the city court system, the ambulance barn, and police department dispatch were not compliant to state standards when he took over as chief, but they are at this time. He's also proud of the transparency his officers have with the community, and the police chaplain program recently implemented, but the issue that tops the list as he leaves, is the crackdown on drugs in town.

 While Kitterman says he'll miss the people of Caney, the officers, and his coworkers, he's excited to spend more time with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He's also excited to see Caney's new Police Chief Ike Dye take the job. He says Caney is in good hands.

 Kitterman's retirement begins May 1st. Coming up tomorrow, KGGF will talk with new Chief Ike Dye and the goals he sees for Caney PD moving forward.

Governor Kelly Signs Budgets Through 2025


 Governor Laura Kelly signed the state’s budget Friday.

 House Bill 2184 allocates funding for Fiscal Years 2023, 2024, and 2025. The budget adds $600 million to the Rainy Day Fund, putting the balance at $1.6 billion. The bill saves taxpayers money by paying off the remaining $53 million for reservoir debt at Milford and Perry Lakes, saving taxpayers nearly $30 million in future interest payments. The budget also pays in cash for the state’s share of the proposed new veterans home in Topeka, saving close to $10 million in interest.

 The bill also grows the Kansas workforce by providing over $20 million in new funding for need-based scholarships, allowing more Kansas kids to affordably attend college. The Governor’s budget also makes investments in community colleges by appropriating $14 million to advance technical education and grow partnerships between business and education. It also provides over $150 million in new funding for state universities to advance initiatives critical to the Kansas economy and workforce, including developing new manufacturing training facilities at Kansas State University and Pittsburg State University, providing cybersecurity and teacher training at Emporia State, and funding the joint Wichita Biomedical Campus at Wichita State University and the University of Kansas.

Kelly also line-item vetoed aspects of the budget. More information and veto messages are available here.

Historic Dry Spell for SEK, Rain on the Way


Many parts of the country are experiencing the driest period in decades.


That's according to the National Weather Service, which has tabulated data from July 1st to April 22nd.  Parts of southeast Kansas are seeing the driest spell on record, with Sedan being 14.30 inches below average, and Chanute 14.37 inches below average.  Independence is also seeing the fourth driest period, being 15.62 inches below average.


On the plus side, rain is forecast for the area starting tonight and continuing through Thursday morning.  Coffeyville has a 74% chance of seeing one inch of rain through Thursday.  Parts of Oklahoma could see up to 4 inches of rain through Thursday.



Gearing Up for Love Independence Day


Residents in Independence are getting ready for Love Independence Day this Saturday.


Starting today, the City Sanitation Yard at 21st and Maple is open every day through Saturday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. for drop-off of bulky items. In addition, the City Brush Yard on CR 4100 is open from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. as well for your leaves and brush. Chamber of Commerce Director Lisa Wilson says there are also a wide variety of projects available for volunteers, and that contributions to the community don't have to be anything big.


Wilson says some of the ready-to-go projects range from work at the zoo to painting fire hydrants. Those interested in volunteering don't need any supplies, they just need to show up. Those interested in how they can help can call the Independence Chamber of Commerce at 620-331-1890.

Four People Die in Oklahoma House Fire


Four people are dead including two children after a house fire in Oklahoma.


Firefighters were called to a home near Stroud, which is halfway between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, around 1:45 a.m. on Friday. Dakota Murray was found outside the residence and was taken to an Oklahoma City hospital, where he died. Makenna Murray and two children, William and Ellie, were found dead inside the home about 45 miles southwest of Tulsa. A GoFundMe has been set up to help with funeral expenses for the family.

Kansas Joins Effort to Hire Out-of-State Teachers


Kansas is joining an effort that could one day make it easier to hire teachers from other states.


The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that a bill signed by Governor Laura Kelly late last week makes Kansas the latest member of the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact. The initiative is not off the ground yet as ten states are required to fully enact the compact and Kansas is only the fourth to join. The three others are Utah, Colorado and Kentucky. Legislation is pending in about a dozen other states. The compact could be operational in a year or two depending on what happens.


Freeze Warning Tonight for KS, MO

A freeze warning will go into effect tonight for all of southeast Kansas and parts of southwest Missouri. 


The warning will be in effect from midnight tonight until 9 a.m. Sunday.  Coffeyville and the surrounding area will see an overnight low around 31 degrees.  Frost and freeze conditions can kill crops, other sensitive vegetation and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing.  Northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas are under a frost advisory from 1 a.m. until 9 a.m. Sunday.

Repeat Offenders Arrested in Parsons


A repeat offender is arrested in Parsons for the second time in ten days.


Just after midnight, a Parsons Police Officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle near 16th and Corning. The officer spoke to the driver, Lachelle Hinman, and the passenger, Travis Wilson. Dispatch informed the officer that both occupants had active warrants for their arrest and Hinman had a suspended driver's license. Both were on probation as well. A search of the vehicle revealed marijuana, methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia. Officers arrested Hinman and Wilson for their respective warrants as well as the drug possession charges.


Wilson had been arrested on April 11th and the warrant was for that case. Police Chief Robert Spinks says here is an example of repeat offenders not caring about the legalities of their conduct. He says Wilson was arrested just ten days ago for drug charges while on probation and again arrested for even more drug charges on probation.

High Speed Chase Ends in Arrest in Parsons


A police chase in Parsons leads to a felony arrest.


Yesterday evening, Parsons Police Officers were dispatched to a report of a reckless driver on 32nd Street. An officer was able to locate and stop the vehicle in the 1400 block of South 25th Street. Dispatch advised the officer that the registered owner, Kristen Mattox-Graham, had an active felony warrant out of Newton County, Missouri. The officer asked Mattox-Graham to exit the vehicle, but she fled from the scene. Officers pursued Mattox-Graham out of the city and into rural Labette County where Labette County Deputies joined the pursuit. The chase reached speeds of over 100mph and traveled onto gravel roads all of the way out to 17000 Road before coming back into Parsons on Highway 59 eventually ending in the 2400 block of Corning.


A search of the vehicle discovered THC edibles, a THC vape pen, a baggie of marijuana, rolled marijuana and other drug paraphernalia. Parsons PD is recommending charges of fleeing, interference with law enforcement, reckless driving, speeding, no insurance and possession of drug paraphernalia, marijuana and opiates. She is also being held on the felony warrant out of Newton County.

Kelly Signs State Water Funding Plan


 Governor Laura Kelly signs a bill that increases funding for the State Water Plan, including two funds for grants for water-related infrastructure projects.

 Senate Substitute for HB 2302 fully funds the State Water Plan for the first time since 2008. This bill adds $18 million on top of the annual $8 million for the State Water Plan and $17 million for the two grant funds. In total, the bill designates an additional $35 million in funding to protect essential water resources. The bill intends to continue this funding through 2027.

 The bill also appropriates $52 million to pay off debt for the Milford and Perry Reservoirs, funding that was included in the Governor’s budget released in January, saving Kansas taxpayers money in long-term interest payments.

 Governor Kelly also signed House Bill 2279, a bill that requires Kansas’ five Groundwater Management Districts to submit annual reports to the Kansas Legislature with updated water conservation and stabilization plans to the Kansas Department of Agriculture. The reports to the Legislature will outline expenditures for water conservation efforts and stabilization of agricultural consumption. A Groundwater Management District oversees the management of groundwater resources, conservation, and use in five regions of the state with significant aquifer storage and use.

Kelly Signs Two Education Bills


 Governor Laura Kelly signs bills designed to make it easier for educators to move to and work in Kansas.

 Senate Bill 66 is a bill that allows Kansas to join the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact and expands scholarship opportunities for Kansans studying to become teachers. Kelly says teacher shortages have been tough on rural Kansas communities, and the bill helps to fill vacancies with qualified educators who want to move to the state.

 Kansas District 6 Senator Pat Pettey is proud of this legislation, saying it creates an alternative path to licensure for teachers relocating to and from a compact state, speeding up the application process for relocating licensees, reducing time and resources spent by licensing agencies, and adding one more tool to the State Board of Education Licensure toolbox.

 In addition to Senate Bill 66, Governor Kelly signed Senate Bill 123, which will grow the Kansas education workforce by expanding the Promise Scholarship program to students pursuing degrees in elementary and secondary education.

Roadwork on 166 in Sedan Planned


Roadwork on U.S. 166 Business loop in Sedan is expected to start soon.


According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, a mill and overlay project should begin around May 1st on the highway section. Flaggers and a pilot car operation will direct one-lane traffic through the work zone during daylight hours. Drivers can expect delays of 15 minutes or less. The road work should be completed by late May, weather permitting. KDOT awarded the construction contract of $2.3 million to Bettis Asphalt & Construction, Inc. of Topeka.

Caney K9 Unit Certified In National Competition


 The Caney Police Department's K9 unit scores high in a national competition.

 Caney PD's K9 Officer Gavin Williams and his K9 Ozzy placed 2nd in the United States Police Canine Association Certification for Narcotic Detection. This is both a certification and competition for Region 11.

 The USPCA is considered the "proven standard" for police canines throughout the US.

 Officer Williams and Ozzy participated in the detection of narcotics where they competed with approximately 22 other dogs and handlers in the competition.

 Chief Kevin Kitterman says he's proud of the work and dedication that both Officer Williams and Ozzy have shown, adding that they have represented not only the department but the community of Caney very well.

Bartlesville Facing Higher Water Restrictions Beginning Monday


 Bartlesville’s water shortage concerns will move to a new level of restrictions, which will go into effect next week.

 The City Beat newsletter says Bartlesville’s overall water supply was at 58.2 percent on Monday, just above critical level. Beginning Monday, the city will move to Phase 3 of the Water Shortage Ordinance.

 The new restrictions will include higher rates continuing for customers who use more than 10,000 gallons of water per month. Outdoor watering will be reduced to only one day per week; even-numbered properties may water on Thursdays only and odd-numbered properties may water on Fridays only. Water pressure will be reduced to the minimum levels allowed by state and federal regulations. The city will reduce or discontinue all irrigation at city-owned facilities. All city-owned splash pads will remain closed, while city-owned swimming pools may operate with reduced hours, or may close altogether.

 As of yesterday morning, Hulah Lake, Bartlesville’s primary water supply, is 4.76 feet below normal.

Damage Reports from Central KS Tornadoes


Preliminary damage reports are coming in from the tornadoes that touched down in central Kansas.


According to the national weather service, yesterday's survey team found damage from a few tornadoes in chase county reaching EF 2 intensity during Wednesday's storms in Chase County. Current findings of EF 2 damage are one mile east of Elmdale, three miles southwest of Strong City, and 3.5 miles south of Dunlap. The specific tracks, width and number of tornadoes are still being assessed at this time. Homes, sheds, barns, trees and power poles have been reported damaged and the Chase County Commission has approved a disaster declaration. Only two minor injuries have been reported from the storm at this time. The National Weather Service survey team will continue their work today.

Reawakening's Second Innovation Lab Session Saturday


Coffeyville Reawakening holds their first Innovation Youth Lab. Reawakening's Denise York says the first session was a huge success.


York says their second session will be this Saturday, with the boys’ session going from 9:00am to 11:30am and the girl's session from 1:30pm to 4:00pm.  A link to register can be found here. The Coffeyville Innovation Youth Lab is located at the Coffeyville Reawakening Headquarters at 115 West 9th

Columbus Mayor Named Mayor of the Year


The Mayor of Columbus is recognized as the Mayor of the Year.


This past weekend at the Kansas Mayors Conference and Leadership Summit in Hays, Mayor Grant Spieth was named 2023 Mayor of the Year. The Kansas Mayors Association annually selects a mayor who has provided exceptional support to their community and KMA. This year’s winner was selected by his peers based on his dedication to the City of Columbus.


Spieth has served as a mayor and council member for over 20 years beginning his first mayoral term in 1999 and has served four terms as mayor since. Columbus City Administrator Jake Letner, who nominated Spieth, says Spieth's volunteer work and leadership positions inspire everyone around him as he consistently shows his dedication to and love for the city. 

Deputies Save Overdose Victim


Two Montgomery County Deputies save the life of an overdose victim. 


On April 12th, deputies responded to Elk City in reference to an unresponsive adult male.  Upon their arrival, deputies were able to quickly assess the situation and determined the individual was not breathing and needed immediate life-saving measures.  On scene, witnesses provided deputies with information the male had been seen ingesting suspected Fentanyl just prior to becoming unconscious. 


Deputy Charles Allen administered two doses of Narcan, while Deputy Ian Hurst performed CPR.  The individual eventually regained consciousness and began to breathe on his own.  The patient was transported to Labette Health where he was stabilized.

Second Arrest Made in Sarcoxie Amber Alert Investigation


 A second arrest has been made in regard to the statewide Amber Alert issued Saturday night involving a 7-year-old Sarcoxie girl.

 38-year-old Amber Turner of Sarcoxie, the mother of the girl that was taken, has been arrested and formally charged with a felony count of endangering the welfare of a child.

 The incident began Saturday evening around 8:00 p.m., when Jasper County authorities were dispatched to 2536 County Road 20, regarding a missing child. The child was located three hours later west of Joplin. 23-year-old Matthew Honeycutt of Neosho is charged with felony kidnapping. He remains in jail on a $250,000 bond.

 Jasper County Sheriff Randee Kaiser says the mother only knew the man that took her daughter by the first name of Matt, and that they were only supposed to be gone for a short time. Kaiser says after three hours had gone by with the child missing, an Amber Alert was activated.

 Turner is being held on a $10,000 surety bond or $2,500 cash bond and is to have no contact with the girl.

 The investigation is ongoing.

Leaning Electrical Pole on Hibbard Street


A tilted electrical pole on Hibbard Street just outside of Dearing has traffic down to one lane.


The site of the issue is approximately one mile east of Dearing, and just a half mile beyond Haymakers Furniture if traveling west from Coffeyville.


Emergency crews are on the scene directing traffic, with eletrical crews arriving recently to begin fixing the pole.


KGGF will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

Kelly Signs Short Line Railroad Maintenance Bill


 Governor Laura Kelly signs a bill that increases investment by $5 million per year to improve the maintenance of short-line railroad tracks.

 Kelly says House Bill 2335 will make it easier and more efficient for local businesses to move food and fuel to market by building on one of Kansas’ greatest strengthens – being a central part of supply chains throughout the country.

 The Rail Service Improvement Fund Program provides funding for improvement and upgrades to rail infrastructure across Kansas. The bill would increase annual funding to the program from $5 million to $10 million and expand program eligibility to include qualifying track maintenance projects for short-line railroads. 

Bartlesville Man Arrested On Domestic Violence Charges


 A Bartlesville man is facing charges of domestic violence and violating a protective order.

 Joshua Cole was arrested on April 18th after he got into an altercation with a family member. Court documents say Cole had been spending time at a family member's house the week prior and had not made any violent actions, so they allowed him into the house.

 On his most recent visit, Cole allegedly got confrontational with the family member and lunged toward the victim, and became violent. Cole is alleged of punching the victim in the face.

 During the investigation, police say the victim had red marks on their right cheek and that their cheek got more swollen as the conversation went on. Dispatch confirmed a protective order against Cole that he was in violation of.

 Cole is being held on a $5,500 bond due to having failed to appear on his record. His next court date is set for April 26th.

Fort Scott Man Sentenced On Sex Crimes


 A Fort Scott man has been sentenced to more than 18 years in prison for his conviction on two counts of sex crimes.
 34-year-old Lonnie Shane Martin was sentenced last week in Linn County District Court to serve 165 months in a Kansas Department of Corrections facility for one count of rape and 61 months for one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. Linn County Judge Andrea Purvis ordered Martin to serve the sentences consecutively and to register for the rest of his life as a sex offender. Martin pleaded no contest to the charges on February 22.
 The crimes took place between July 2014 and December 2017. The case was investigated by the Linn County Sheriff’s Department and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Severe Storms Impact Parts of KS, OK


Three to four tornadoes may have touched down in Chase County just west of Emporia last night.


A damage team from the National Weather Service is headed to the area to survey the damage.  KVOE reports two people were hurt in separate incidents involving vehicles.  Damage has also been reported to the Strong City cemetery and the Cottonwood Falls baseball field.  


In Southeast Kansas, severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for parts of Chautauqua County, Elk County and Wilson County during the evening and overnight hours.  A warning was also issued for Osage County in Oklahoma.  Half-dollar size hail was reported near Howard.  High non-thunderstorm wind gusts were also measured, including 58 mph in Copan.


This morning, there is a slight chance of severe weather as a cold front moves through the area.  The front will move through Bartlesville around 8 this morning.


Vehicle Suspended in Air on a Fence


Multiple departments assist in a traffic accident in rural Montgomery County.


This afternoon, the Havana Division, Independence Kansas Fire/EMS and the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office responded to County Road 1350 North for an injury accident. The vehicle was suspended on a fence with the patient trapped inside. Havana called for mutual aid from the Independence Division and Caney Fire-Rescue.


A landing zone was set for MedFlight Parsons just north of the scene. The patient was gotten out of the vehicle and flown to a regional trauma center.

Coffeyville Fire Union Grievance Settled


The grievance filed by the International Association of Firefighters Local 265 Coffeyville has been resolved. The dispute was over pay for firefighters when responding to hazmat calls. Union President Josh Mecom says it feels good to have this behind them.


Mecom says they've gotten it in writing and it is in policy so this is how they will get paid going forward.  The grievance being at the forefront of what former Fire Chief Kenneth Ward was terminated for leaves citizens of Coffeyville saying he was wrongfully terminated and should be reinstated. KGGF reached out to city hall for a comment but has yet to hear back.

40th Annual William Inge Festival in Independence


The 40th Annual William Inge Theatre Festival brings a variety of activities to Independence this weekend.


Today, the official Theatre Festival of the State of Kansas will feature youth and adult workshops with invited guests from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., followed by the presentation of the awarded high school pieces at 3:30 p.m.


There will also be a full production of The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, which will perform tomorrow at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. Inge Center Manager Dee Molnar says that a combination of special guests and community members come together to create a unique performance.


There will also be an Inge Festival picnic tomorrow evening at 5 p.m. for the community. Molnar says the festival will provide workshops for people of all ages to improve their vocal or theatre skills.


A complete schedule of festival events and ticket informatioin can be found at

ICC Graduation Scheduled for May 6th


The Independence Community College Spring 2023 Graduation Ceremony will be held the first weekend of May.


ICC has scheduled the Spring Graduation Ceremony for Saturday, May 6th at 10:00am at Memorial Hall. Admission is free. ICC is recognizing Shellaine Kiblinger, Ed.D., as the 2023 Distinguished Alum.


A link to the graduation live stream can be found here.


Wilson County Changes Road & Bridge Hours for Summer


The hours for the Road & Bridge Department in Wilson County have been decided upon, with the spring and summer months bringing some changes.


The commissioners agreed to change the working hours to 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday, beginning immediately.


Road & Bridge Director Kary Tatum also presented the 2023 Noxious Weed Policy, which was approved, including declaring Grecian Foxglove as a noxious weed for Wilson County.


Additional items of discussion at this week's commission meeting was the acceptance of a quote from Peterson Construction for $5,500 regarding the new emergency exit doorway between the Appraiser's Office and Commission Room. David Ellsworth also received a pay increase due to a promotion from Correction Officer to Sargent.

Galena Man Arrested in Shooting Incident


A suspect is in custody following the shooting death of a Riverton man.


Just before 9:00pm last night, emergency personnel were dispatched to a shooting in the 800 block of Columbus Street in Galena. Cherokee County Emergency Medical Personnel attempted to revive the victim but were unsuccessful. 27-year-old Levi Porter was pronounced dead at the scene by the Cherokee County Deputy Coroner.


49-year-old Billy Barker, of Galena, was arrested at the scene and transported to the Cherokee County Jail on allegations of second-degree murder. The investigation is ongoing.

Neosho Man Charged With Kidnapping


 A Neosho man is charged with felony kidnapping after an Amber Alert leads officials to Oklahoma and back.

 23-year-old Matthew Honeycutt was to allegedly take a 7-year-old girl from Sarcoxie to pick up a dog ten minutes away, but instead, according to court documents, he took her to Oklahoma, where he had her for six hours. Honeycutt did not have permission to take her to Oklahoma, and he never picked up the dog.

 Honeycutt is being held in the Jasper County Jail on $250,000 cash-only bond.

Shooting In Galena Leaves One Deceased


 A man has been killed after a shooting in Galena.

 Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves says the fatal shooting took place just before 9:00 p.m. yesterday in the 800 block of Columbus Street in Galena. The individual shot was a male, but the name of the subject and victim have not been released.

 The Cherokee County Sheriff's Department and Galena PD are investigating the incident. Groves says witnesses indicate an altercation escalated, and then the victim was shot.

 Groves anticipates charges of second-degree murder after a conversation with the Cherokee County prosecutor, however, more charges could be added.

 The investigation is ongoing.

Kobach Urges Supreme Court To Reject Mail Order Abortion

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, along with 20 other attorneys general, urges the Supreme Court of the United States to reject the FDA's attempt to push a national mail-order abortion regime in violation of federal law, of state laws, and of the Court’s Dobbs opinion.

In the brief, the attorneys general argue that FDA's efforts to impose a mail-order elective-abortion regime disregards the protections for life, health, and safety adopted by the States’ elected representatives.

The attorneys general disagrees with the Biden administration's claims that they have the power to make abortion drugs broadly accessible despite contrary determinations by States and despite laws that States have enacted to protect life, health, and safety in the use of those drugs.

A copy of the brief is available here.

Governor Kelly Signs Cybersecurity Bill

Governor Laura Kelly signs six bipartisan bills, including one that changes cybersecurity training, assessments, and responses, and modernizes Kansas cybersecurity systems.

House Bill 2019, according to Governor Kelly, will protect privacy and taxpayer dollars by improving the state's ability to prevent and respond to cybersecurity attacks.

Interim chief information technology officer Jeff Maxon says HB 2019 helps Kansas makes significant progress towards safeguarding its systems and data. The bill also helps create a cohesive standard for cybersecurity policy across state agencies.

In addition to House Bill 2019, Governor Kelly signed five bipartisan bills that address public safety and other issues impacting communities across Kansas. 

House Bill 2015Expands who from a public safety agency can petition the court for an order requiring infectious disease testing. Employees within the scope of this law include corrections officers, emergency services staff, juvenile correctional facility staff, and law enforcement.   

House Bill 2020: Establishes conditions in the Kansas Transportation Network Company Services Act for when drivers for transportation network companies, including Uber and Lyft, are independent contractors. The bill would also add to employment-related law that a requirement for or the use of a motor carrier safety improvement would not affect or change the worker status of a driver. 

House Bill 2027: Creates a procedure to prevent the distribution of a person’s assets to someone charged with killing that person. 

House Bill 2042: Authorizes self-storage unit operators to tow motor vehicles, watercraft, or trailers for not paying rent or abandoning their belongings.  

House Bill 2065: Allows a court to change a spouse's name to a name that is different than a maiden or former name during a divorce proceeding.  

Joplin Juvenile Arrested On Burglary Charges

 A Joplin juvenile is arrested after a burglary Saturday morning.

 The Joplin Police Department Emergency Communications Center received a report of a business alarm at 407 South Rangeline Road Suite #2 in Joplin, just after midnight. When officers arrived, they found the backdoor to the business unsecured and it appeared the business had been burglarized. Officers observed a male subject inside and ordered him to come outside. The suspect refused and fled out of the front door. Officers chased and apprehended the subject a short distance away.

 Officials say the suspect had broken the glass on display cases inside the business and filled several bags with various vaping and CBD products along with cash from the business. The suspect, a 17-year-old juvenile male, was charged with burglary in the 2nd Degree and felony resisting arrest.

 After consultation with the Jasper County Juvenile Detention Office, officers were instructed to release the suspect to the custody of one of his parents.

 The investigation is ongoing.

Medical Emergency Caused Crash At 32nd & Dirr In Parsons


 Parsons Police respond to a car accident.

 Yesterday afternoon at 4:49, Parsons PD received a call of a one-car crash at 32nd and Dirr. When officers arrived, good samaritans had removed the driver from the truck and were performing CPR. EMS arrived ten minutes later and took over medical aid.

 Because the truck was not driveable, officers tried to locate the nearest relative to move the vehicle. No local relatives were immediately located, so a tow truck was dispatched.

 After review of the incident because of a social media post, Parsons PD requests those with complaints to contact them directly or visit their website,

 Officials also remind residents to sign up to receive text and/or email alerts at the website.

Bartlesville Man Facing Drug Trafficking Charges


 A Bartlesville man was in Washington County court yesterday facing charges of trafficking in illegal drugs after a felony conviction, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, and operating a vehicle with an expired/improper tag.

 The incident took place Sunday evening, a little after 7:00 p.m. On Madison St near Grayson’s Donut Hole. Bartlesville Police stopped a Honda car because the license plate was registered under a Kawasaki motorcycle.

 Jason Gorrell, the driver of the vehicle, had a purple bag in the vehicle containing a Ziploc bag with a white powdery crystal-like substance inside. It also contained syringes and digital scales. The substance would later test positive for meth in the amount of 20 grams.

 Gorrell is currently being held on $100,000 bond; his next court date is set for April 28th.

Severe Weather Possible Today, Wind Advisory Tonight


Severe storms are possible for Mid-America today, but they will be mainly confined to central and southcentral Kansas and northcentral Oklahoma.


If storms manage to develop, there could be very large hail, damaging winds and a tornado possible between 5 and 9 p.m. The better chance for storms including severe weather is tonight after 9 p.m. The National Weather Service has increased confidence about storms developing near I-70, with less confidence about what will happen along I-135. Southeast Kansas is unlikely to see any storm development.


A wind advisory will be in effect today for the entire four-state area as there could be gusts up to 45 mph. For Oklahoma and Arkansas, the advisory starts at 1 p.m. In Kansas, the advisory starts at 6 p.m., and in Missouri, it starts at 7 p.m. and runs until early morning on Thursday.


CRMC Scholarship Applications


The Coffeyville Regional Medical Center Foundation is currently accepting scholarship applications.


The applications are for the CRMC Auxiliary and for the Best Family Scholarship Fund. The CRMC Auxiliary Scholarship supports CRMC Associates and their family members. Students must be enrolled in a medical program such as Paramedic, Lab, Radiology, Nursing or Medicine. The Best Family Scholarship was established by the children of Jerry and Norma Best. This scholarship supports students who need financial assistance in the four-state area and that have been accepted into a medical field program.


Scholarship information can be found on the CRMC website, under the Foundation tab. All applications must be received electronically by midnight or postmarked by May 31st. All applications are scored individually by an independent scholarship committee, incomplete applications will not be considered.

Parsons PD Recognized for Police and Training


The Parsons Police Department receives recognition for excellence in policy and training.


PPD was recognized by Lexipol, which provides policy, training, and wellness support for first responders and public servants. The Lexipol Connect program tracks PPD's performance on five metrics proven to measure success in policy management. PPD achieved Gold recognition for consistent and effective policy dissemination to personnel, timely policy updates as laws change, and officer training on policies. This is the department's third gold since 2018.


Police Chief Robert Spinks says they are delivering a standard of excellence through their policy management efforts that reduce the risk for personnel and those they serve.

New Police Chief In Caney May 1st


A familiar face will take over as Caney’s Chief of Police May 1st.

 Current Assistant Police Chief Ike Dye will take over as Chief when current police chief Kevin Kitterman retires. City Administrator Kelley Zellner says Dye is a great officer and will continue the standard of excellence in the Caney Police Department. The search has begun for a new assistant chief.

 In other business, the council accepted the bid for the mowing of Sunnyside Cemetery from BTM at just under 24-thousand dollars, and tabled the bidding process for the demolition of the building at 211 West Fourth Avenue until bids can be made without the cost of existing bricks on the property.

Go Orange for National Work Zone Awareness Week


 Buildings and other locations across Kansas will be lit up in orange lights to help raise awareness of work zone safety this week.

 Numerous KDOT buildings across the state will be lit in orange in honor of National Work Zone Awareness Week, including the Governor's Mansion in Topeka. Locally, the City of Neodesha fountain will be lit up orange.

 People are encouraged to wear something orange all week, but especially on Go Orange Day in Kansas tomorrow to show support and appreciation for highway workers and their efforts.

 The Go Orange effort is part of National Work Zone Awareness Week, a national safety campaign that KDOT and numerous partner organizations participate in every year. The campaign highlights the dangers faced by highway workers and motorists in work zones and promotes safer behaviors.

Intercom System Installed in Nowata Jail


A new intercom system is in service in the Nowata County Jail.


Sheriff Jason McClain gave an update to commissioners during their regular meeting yesterday.


In other business, two commissioner sales were approved, one being block 12 in lot 46 of the Nowata/Wettack Addition. The other being block 8 north 50 feet of lot 2. The Commissioners will meet again next Monday for their regular weekly meeting at 9 am at the Nowata County Courthouse annex. The meetings are open to the public.


Bartlesville Woman Arrested on Possession of Dangerous Substances


 A Bartlesville woman is facing charges of possession of a controlled dangerous substance and unlawful possession of paraphernalia.

 Elizabeth Farrow was arrested Sunday night around 11:00 pm after Bartlesville police responded to a possible drug deal happening on the 1300 block of SE Frank Phillips Blvd.

 When officers arrived, they asked Farrow if they could search the backpack she had on. Officers found a syringe loaded with 25 units of a clear substance that later tested positive for meth. Brown paper towels were found in her jacket that was wrapped over a short metal straw and a thick clear and yellow substance that the officer identified as Fentanyl.

 Farrow is being held on a $1,000 bond. Her next court date is set for April 26th.

Gunshots Lead To Arrest In Joplin


 Reports of gunfire early Saturday morning led to the arrest of a Joplin man.

 Just before 1:00 a.m., an officer with the Joplin Police Department heard what sounded like a gunshot coming from the area of 5th and Joplin Avenue. Additional calls of a report of gunshots also started coming into Joplin's 9-1-1 system. Officials say the staff at Club XO at 502 S. Joplin Avenue had denied entry to a male subject, which caused the subject to go to the parking lot and retrieve an AR-style pistol from the vehicle. A resident, who observed the incident, followed the suspect to the parking lot. The resident, fearing for his safety and the safety of others, put the suspect into a neck restraint. During the struggle, a single round discharged from the firearm. The resident then disengaged the suspect and ran on foot. The suspect got into a silver passenger car and fled from the scene.

 Officers located the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop near 7th and Main Street. 28-year-old Christopher Carter was taken into custody without further incident. The firearm from the incident was located by officers after it had been placed in a separate vehicle on the scene. Carter, who has felony convictions, is prohibited from being in possession of a firearm.

 Officers are recommending charges of assault in the 4th degree, unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm, and armed criminal action.

 Carter was released on $25,000 bond No one was injured.

 The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Joplin Police Department at 417-623-3131.

Joplin Burglar Located & Arrested


 A man accused of two burglaries in Joplin has been arrested.

 The Joplin Police Department received reports of burglaries on April 5th at businesses at 1027 South Byers Avenue and 415 West Junge Boulevard. The incidents were found to have occurred in close proximity to each other and around the same time frame. The suspect stole property and a key to a piece of equipment at the first business and damaged an excavator, stole thousands of dollars worth of tools, and stole a 2001 Toyota Tundra truck that belonged to the second business. He fled the scene of the second business by driving the stolen truck through a locked fence. The investigation by Joplin PD Detectives found the suspect was captured on surveillance video and had robbed both businesses.

 24-year-old Clayton Burke, of Diamond, was located and arrested. While being processed, Burke was found in possession of property stolen during one of the burglaries.

 Burke is facing charges of burglary in the 1st and 2nd degrees. He had been previously released on his own recognizance from burglary and drug arrests in Joplin in March of this year. He remains in custody at the Jasper County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

NBAF Ribbon Cutting Scheduled


The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan will have a ribbon cutting next month.


U.S. Senator Jerry Moran announced earlier this month during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture that the ceremony will be May 24th. NBAF is located in Manhattan and construction started in 2015 to replace the 68-year-old Plum Island Animal Disease Center off the coast of New York. Scientists at NBAF study human and animal biological threats including foot-and-mouth disease. According to the USDA, it will take at least two years to transfer work from Plum Island to Kansas.

MCAC Director Resigns, Retired Rep to Fill Interim Role


The Montgomery County Action Council is looking for a new executive director after Riley Lukomski resigns. MCAC has named Former Interim Director and retired State Representative Jim Kelly as an adviser. Kelly says Lukomski is a tough one to lose.


Lukomski's resignation was effective Friday. Kelly says they would like to find someone as soon as possible but they want to find the right fit.  Kelly says MCAC is looking for someone who has some economic development experience, is personable and can multitask.


Parsons Drug Bust


A routine traffic stop has left a Parsons man facing numerous charges.  Shortly after midnight, a Parsons police officer made a traffic stop of a pickup in the 400 block of South 32nd Street. 


The officer discovered that the driver, Robert L. Goodrich had a suspended driver’s license.  Goodrich was arrested and a subsequent search of the vehicle yielded a plastic baggie that field tested as meth.  Goodrich was taken to the Parsons Police Department without incident and authorities are requesting several charges through the Labette County Attorney’s Office.   

Fourth Independence BBQ Cook-Off this Saturday


The 4th annual Independence BBQ Cook-Off is this weekend. There are 13 teams competing in four categories plus People's Choice. Organizer Brett Trotter says the four categories this year will be, pork butt, chicken, ribs and dessert.


Trotter says the proceeds from this event will go to a 10-year-old battling cancer.  People's Choice starts at 12:30pm on Saturday and will go to 2:00pm or until they run out. The cook-off is in the Fastenal parking lot at 2801 W Main St in Independence. There will also be a cornhole tournament going on during the cook-off. Teams can register at the event.

Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Suspended


The Montgomery County Emergency Management Director has been suspended without pay.


Commission Chair Robert Bever says that Rick Whitson violated a policy and that led to this decision.


Montgomery County has a procurement policy utilized for the acquisition of services, and Bever says that county departments are expected to follow the policy.


Whitson will be eligible to return next Monday, April 24th.


Additional items of discussion at the Montgomery County Commission meeting were a budget presentation from the 14th District Juvenile Community Corrections, as well as reports from Public Works and Jim Wright, and the County Health Department.


Grove Police Looking For Grocery Store Robber


 The Grove Police Department is looking for a man who robbed a grocery store.

 Grove Police Chief Mark Morris says a man was caught on surveillance footage robbing Harps Foods with a gun around 10 p.m. Saturday night. Officials say the male suspect is armed; he fled on foot toward North Broadway Street. He was wearing a black hoodie, blue jeans, black and white tennis shoes, red gloves, and a dark face covering.

 According to Morris, the suspect is considered armed and dangerous. If you see him, please do not approach him. Instead, contact the Grove Police Department with information at (918) 786-6121.


MCAC Executive Director Resigns


 The Montgomery County Action Council’s Executive Director has resigned from his position. 

 Riley Lukomski, who took over the reins of MCAC just last year has cited family health issues back in his home state of Michigan as his reason for leaving the post.  Lukomshi’s resignation was effective as of last Friday.

 Retired State Representative and MCAC’s former interim director, Jim Kelly of Independence will serve as an advisor to MCAC during the transition.  The economic development arm for Montgomery County’s Executive Board has begun the search for a replacement and is currently interviewing candidates.    

The Lanagan Police Department Disbands


 A second town in McDonald County, Missouri is without a police department.

 McDonald County Sheriff Robert Evenson says the Lanagan Police Department has been disbanded as of Friday night. That discontinuation was confirmed by Lanagan Mayor Elma Mitchell and former Chief of Police Josh Phillips.

 Evenson says the lack of funding caused the town to make the decision. Evenson also says the McDonald County Sheriff’s Office does not have any extra deputies to send to Lanagan for patrol operations, but they will respond to calls in Lanagan.

 Lanagan joins Goodman in McDonald County as a town without a police department. There is no word on when, or if, those departments will be able to regroup and reform.

Byrd Resigns From Quapaw Tribe Leadership Position


 The Quapaw Tribe loses their tribe’s top position over the weekend.

 Chairman Joseph Byrd resigned from the position Saturday. In a statement released on their website, the tribe says Byrd resigned during the tribe’s monthly business meeting.  No reason was given for his resignation.

 Byrd served as the Chairman of the Quapaw Nation Business Committee since 2020. He also worked for the Cherokee Nation as a compliance manager and was a marketing manager for Downstream Casino Resort.

KDHE Rescinds Elk City Boil Water Advisory


 The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has rescinded a boil water advisory for the Elk City public water supply system.

 According to the city's Facebook page, laboratory testing samples collected from the City of Elk City indicate no evidence of bacteriological contamination, and all other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved.

 The advisory was issued because of a loss of pressure in the system. Failure to maintain adequate pressure may result in a loss of chlorine residuals and bacterial contamination.

 Public water suppliers in Kansas take all measures necessary to notify customers quickly after a system failure or shutdown. Regardless of whether it’s the supplier or KDHE that announces a boil water advisory, KDHE will issue the rescind order following testing at a certified laboratory.

Fall Turkey Season May be Suspended in KS


The Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission will soon host a public meeting and vote on turkey, waterfowl seasons and bag limits.


KDWP staff are recommending the suspension of the fall turkey season, citing a 20 percent decrease in hunters each year since 2015 and the fact that the annual statewide fall harvest is less than 500 birds. In addition, agency officials say fall harvest is an additive source of mortality for turkeys, especially when hens are harvested. The commission will also vote on reducing bag limits for the spring turkey season in some areas and reducing nonresident hunting participation by 25 percent. Commissioners welcome public comment during the meeting, which will take place at noon on April 27 at the Wyandotte County Historical Museum in Bonner Springs.

Kelly Vetoes Bill on Live Deliveries During Abortion


Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has vetoed a bill aimed to penalize doctors accused of not providing enough care to infants delivered alive during certain kinds of abortion procedures.


In a statement on her website, Kelly called the legislation "misleading and unnecessary." The Kansas Legislature gave final passage to the bill earlier this month, and the bill passed with a veto-proof majority in both chambers. Kansas Senate President Ty Masterson vowed in a statement that the Senate will move quickly to override Kelly's veto. This kind of legislation has been championed locally by Representative Ron Bryce, who is a medical doctor. If the ballot is overridden, the measure could still be challenged in court and not enforced. Lawsuits have prevented Kansas from enforcing a 2015 ban on a common second-trimester abortion procedure and a 2011 law imposing extra health and safety rules for abortion providers.

Artillery Shell Found in River, Disposed of by Air Force


A magnet fisherman finds an artillery shell in the Verdigris River in Coffeyville. Chance James says he had been out there about an hour when he caught on to the artillery shell and knew what it was immediately.


According to James, the bomb squad was unable to identify what exactly the artillery shell was but they were able to dispose of it properly. James says this is a top three finds in his almost four years of magnet fishing.


James says he uses two magnets when fishing both are double sided one is 1200 pounds the second is 2400 pounds. James has a Facebook page called Chasing with Chance, where he posts videos and pictures from his magnet fishing trips.

Wind Turbine Light Bill Signed


Residents near Kansas wind farms could get relief from the nearly constant blinking of the red lights on wind turbines, although it won't happen soon.


Gov. Laura Kelly signed a bill yesterday that will require installation of light-mitigating technology on new and existing wind farms. On July 1, 2026, existing developments would have to apply to the FAA within six months of signing a new power offtake agreement. Kansas Senator Virgil Peck says he's not happy with how long it will take to implement this technology.


Starting July 1, developers of new projects will have to apply to the Federal Aviation Administration for approval of the mitigation technology. If approved, they would have 24 months to install it. The technology would turn off the lights except when aircraft are near, using a system to detect when aircraft are flying over the area.

Baxter Springs Man Arrested on Meth Manufacturing Case


A Baxter Springs man is arrested on methamphetamine manufacturing charges.


The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office executed a narcotics search warrant at a rural Baxter Springs property. Just before 8:00am this morning, deputies and investigators served the warrant and discovered components used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Arrested at the scene was 59-year-old Timothy Sargent on allegations of attempting to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of precursor chemicals with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia and arson.


Sheriff David Groves says the investigation indicates the suspect has been attempting to manufacture methamphetamine and during one of those attempts in a vehicle on the property the vehicle caught fire. He says this case demonstrates the dangers to the community and first responders presented when drug abusers attempt to make it themselves.

Independence Finalizes Community Engagement Survey


The City of Independence is finalizing a Community Engagement Survey for the 2023 year.


The last survey was conducted in 2021, and is a tool used to engage with citizens on the progression and growth of the city in areas such as water, energy, food, and economic development.


Independence consultant Mackey Smith recommends the same questions from 2021 be asked in this survey, and Commissioner Dean Hayse says he thinks that is the best route to take.


Additional items of discussion at the City Commission meeting was scheduling a public hearing for June 22 to consider the condemnation of a garage at 712 N 12th as dangerous and unsafe, as well as the approval of bidding for the Independence Waterline and Meter Replacement project, with bids due on May 18.


City commission meetings take place on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 5:30 p.m. in the Civic Center.

Sheriff's Department Announces Promotions


Montgomery County Sheriff's Office announces two promotions within the department.


Sheriff Ron Wade says both Will Wilkinson and Ian Hurst have been promoted. Wilkinson started with the sheriff’s office in March 2014 as a deputy. He worked his way to Patrol Sargent and now he has been promoted to detective. Wilkinson is currently the SWAT Assistant Team Leader.


Hurst started at the Department of Corrections in January 2009. He moved over to the sheriff’s office in February 2013 as a patrol deputy and has now been promoted to Patrol Sargent. Hurst is currently a member of the SWAT team. 

Sedan Announces Street Improvements


The City of Sedan announces plans for a number of street improvements.


The city is partnering with Chautauqua County to make improvements to a city and county road. The repairs will be done from the flashing caution light at Main and School Street going east to the Greenwood Cemetery. The cost will be shared by the city and county with each paying half. The Sedan City Council has also applied for a CCLIP Grant through KDOT which is a 100% grant. This would be to repair the street from in front of the Miller Liquor Store, around the corner and continuing in front of the Rural Water Office on Main Street, across from The Hollow.


The council applied for a Cost Share Grant to redo more of the city streets. They will be funding this with money left to the city by the estate of Tom and Mariellen Appleby in the amount of $300,000. The Appleby Estate also provides money to redo sidewalks in high traffic areas, especially where children walk to school. This project has been ongoing over the past several months and will continue improving sidewalks as needed.

Kansas Adds ID Services To iKan


 The Kansas Department of Revenue, in partnership with PayIt, announces the addition of identification (ID) card renewal services to iKan

 iKan is the State of Kansas' government platform that delivers services from numerous state agencies in a single, end-to-end experience for Kansas residents, with web, mobile, and native Apple and Android apps available.

 ID renewal joins the list of online services available to Kansas residents through iKan, including renewing driver's licenses and vehicle registrations, ordering birth, death, and marriage certificates, and purchasing annual park passes. 

 As of March 2023, more than 1 in 3 Kansas residents are registered with iKan, and the addition of ID renewal enables iKan to serve over 10,000 additional residents each year.

 To renew an ID, residents can log into the iKan platform or access as a guest, select ID credentials renewal, and provide their name, date of birth, ID number, and last four digits of their social security number to submit the request — all in just a matter of minutes and a few clicks.

To explore iKan, visit

All Drought Categories Present in Area


A wide range of drought conditons can be found across southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma.


According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, almost all of Elk and Chautauqua counties are in the exceptional drought category, which is the worst category of drought. Wilson county is in exceptional and extreme drought, and Mongomery has exceptional, extreme and severe drought all within the county. Most of Labette and Nowata counties are in the severe category. Due to ongoing drought conditions resulting in declining water supply for the Bartlesville area, Phase two of the Water Storage Ordinance went into effect on April 10th which raises water rates depending on usage and restricts outdoor watering.

Bartlesville Woman Facing Domestic Abuse Charge


 A Bartlesville woman facing domestic abuse charges had a hearing in Washington County Court yesterday afternoon.

 32-year-old Abigail Dunn is facing the charge after officers were called to a house on SE Hazel Road. Officers noticed the victim had visible markings and bruising that were consistent with someone who had been struck in the face. Witnesses told officers that Dunn was the aggressor in the altercation.

 Dunn is being held on a $2500 bond. Her next court appearance was set for April 26th at 9 am.

Bartlesville PD Investigating Shooting at Willows Apartments


 Bartlesville Police have responded to a shooting incident at the Willows Apartments in East Central Bartlesville.

 BPD received the call just after 9:00 Thursday night to the 1100 block of SE Madison. When officers arrived, they located an injured male lying in the grass outside an apartment building.

 BPD Captain Andrew Ward says a short time later the Bartlesville Dispatch received information that another person had arrived at Bartlesville Ascension St. John with injuries. The Bartlesville Criminal Investigations Division is currently working the scene. Both people have been transported to Tulsa Hospitals.

 The investigation is ongoing.

Severe Weather Chances Shift West


The main area where severe weather is expected today has shifted to the west.  Central and southcentral Kansas is now in the "slight" risk category for severe weather that includes high winds and hail.  Southeast Kansas including Coffeyville is now in the "marginal" risk category.  Timing for storms is still between 5 and 11 p.m., but southeast Kansas is not expected to see much in the way of severe weather if storms develop.  Today will still be warm and breezy, with another chance for high grassland fire danger this afternoon. 

All-Wheels Night & Cruising Indy Returns


The first All-Wheels Night & Cruising Indy will be tomorrow night in downtown Independence.


Located at the 200 block of downtown, attendents will be treated with a car show, live music, a poker run, and so much more. Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Wilson says there will be plenty of antique and muscle cars on display.


The local band Straight Away will be performing in front Dickey's Barbecue Pit. There will also be a Poker Run following the event at 8:30 p.m, with cards available for pick up at Dickey's at 8.


The event runs from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. tomorrow night.





IPD Continues to Search for Leads in the Foster Case


The Independence Police Department continues to seek information about Detreck Foster's disappearance. Police Chief Jerry Harrison says Foster was last seen alive on April 12th, 2020.


Harrison says a Governor’s Reward of up to $5,000 is available for anyone who can provide information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Foster’s disappearance. Foster would be 40 years old now and is described as a black male, 5’9” and 190 pounds.

Roadwork Starts on 400 in Labette County


The Kansas Department of Transportation is starting a mill and overlay project on U.S. 400 in Labette County.


The work begins at the Montgomery-Labette county line and continues east for approximately 9 miles, ending at the concrete highway pavement. Flaggers and a pilot car operation will direct one-lane traffic through the work zone during daylight hours. Drivers can expect delays of 15 minutes or less. The road work should be completed by late April, weather permitting.


Trio Arrested on Drug Charges in Cherokee County


Three are arrested in Cherokee County on multiple drug charges.


Sheriff's Investigators executed a narcotics-related search warrant, as part of an ongoing investigation, on a Weir home just after 5:00pm yesterday. As a result of the search and investigation, detectives arrested 41-year-old Jamy Mays, 40-year-old Shylow Star Richardson and 22-year-old Elissa Sturgell. Mays is a registered drug offender having been previously convicted for crimes associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine.


She is being held in the Cherokee County Jail and faces allegations of distribution of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Sturgell faces charges of possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, while Richardson was arrested on an outstanding warrant out of Wright County, Missouri for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

Wilson County Courthouse Receiving New Network Servers


A pair of new computer network servers are being added to the Wilson County Courthouse and the Law Enforcement Center.


The county commissioners approved the purchase of the servers not to exceed $30,000. The commissioners also approved a motion to designate $50,000 of American Rescue Plan Act funds for Neosho County Rural Water District #12 for upgrades to their water line distribution system.


Additional items of discussion at the Wilson County Commission meeting was an election update from County Clerk Kayla Busch, regarding the proposed Presidential Preference Primary for August 2024, which if Governor Kelly signs, Kansas will implement a reimbursement process for election costs in the county.


The commission also received reports from Sheriff Jack Lucke and Road & Bridge Director Kary Tatum.

Kelly Supports New Apprenticeship Programs


 Governor Laura Kelly announces $100,000 to support two new healthcare apprenticeship programs at Pratt Regional Medical Center and Labette Health.

 The programs build on the Governor’s creation of the Office of Registered Apprenticeship last fall and include training opportunities for positions such as Certified Nursing Assistant, Phlebotomist, Surgical Technician, Medical Coding Specialist, and other high-demand, high-wage healthcare occupations.

 There are now 4,044 Kansans in apprenticeship, up from 3,500 in September of 2022, total occupations with programs have increased from 150 to 172, and the number of active employers offering apprenticeships has almost doubled from 118 to 212.

 The Kansas Registered Apprenticeship Program is intentionally employer-designed and driven, creating unique opportunities for employers and career seekers throughout the state. To be recognized for certification, all Registered Apprenticeship programs must include on-the-job training, related technical instruction, mentorship, wage progression, and industry-recognized credentials.

 For more information about the Kansas Office of Registered Apprenticeship, click here.

Illegal Oklahoma Marijuana Operation Shut Down


 Oklahoma state narcotics agents have shut down an illegal marijuana farm that may have ties to Missouri.

 According to Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics spokesman Mark Woodward, the marijuana farm growing license was obtained fraudulently, and as the investigation continues, more arrests are expected.

 The suspected illegal operation was located just north of Fairland on Oklahoma Highway 125. Agents, Ottawa County Sheriff’s deputies and the Miami Police Department officers seized 26,000 marijuana plants and 900 pounds of processed marijuana.

 One man, whose name is not being released, is in custody.

More Info On Webb City Homicide


 More information is known about a woman found deceased in Webb City earlier this week.

 Webb City Police Chief Don Melton says the homicide investigation began early Sunday morning. The victim, 39-year-old Maria Whitaker, of Joplin, and 51-year-old Nicholas Kyle Berry, of Branson, were arguing over money. Melton says that during the argument, Berry attempted to pat down Whitaker. She slapped his hand away and he in turn stabbed her and took an undetermined amount of money from her pocket.

 Berry is charged with murder in the first degree, armed criminal action, and robbery in the first degree. Melton emphasizes that Berry is not currently in custody and should be considered armed and dangerous.

 If you see or know the whereabouts of Nicholas Kyle Berry, call your local law enforcement agency or call 911.

Judge Temporarily Blocks WOTUS Rule


A federal judge is temporarily blocking the Waters of the United States Rule in 24 states including Kansas and Oklahoma.


The regulations define which waters of the United States fall under the Clean Water Act. While introduced to protect waterways, opponents around the nation call it an example of massive federal overreach, putting an undue burden on farmers and ranchers. National Cattlemen's Beef Association President Todd Wilkinson says that courts once again have affirmed that the Biden administration's rule is overreaching and harmful to America's beef farmers and ranchers. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey says the rule would harm jobs and economic growth by taking jurisdiction from states and asserting federal authority over nearly any body of water, including roadside ditches, short-lived streams and many other areas where water may flow only once every 100 years. EPA officials say an overwhelming number of Americans support stronger protections for waterways.

Kansas, Oklahoma & Texas Suing Biden Administration


 Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach joins Texas and Oklahoma in suing the Biden administration.

 The states argue that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service broke the law by designating the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species in Kansas under the Endangered Species Act.

 Kobach says bureaucrats in their offices 1,000 miles away are making decisions that will directly affect Kansans’ lives. He says the listing will make drilling new oil wells in western Kansas almost impossible, it will force ranchers to get approval from federally designated agencies to graze cattle on their own property, and it will have devastating impacts on Kansas ranchers, Kansas oil producers, and even Kansas wind farms.
 According to the lawsuit, the listing fails to adequately consider pre-existing and ongoing voluntary measures to protect the lesser prairie chickens, as well as the fact that rainfall amounts are the dominant factor in prairie chicken populations.  It also restricts the personal property rights of Kansas landowners. And, the suit argues, it is unconstitutional.
 A full view of the complaint can be viewed here. 

Bartlesville Man Facing Prostitution Charge


 A Bartlesville man is facing a charge of enticing or soliciting prostitution within 1000 feet of a church or school.

 Court documents show that Kevin Alexander Williams had his first incident at a commonly known therapeutic location on Southwest Keeler Ave in July of last year. The affidavit states that Williams allegedly tried to uncover himself with the sheet multiple times but failed.

 After the massage ended, Williams handed a tightly rolled $50 bill to the victim and asked to book another appointment. The victim stated that the appointment the next week with Williams was different. When she entered the room, Williams was undressed, face down on the table with a $100 bill on the table.

 Williams is accused of making inappropriate and exposing himself within 1,000 feet of church property and sending inappropriate text messages asking for illicit favors if he offered extra money.

 His next court Washington County Court appearance is scheduled for June 7th.

Fire Danger Today, Storms Possible Tomorrow


Today will bring another day of high fire danger for the area. Southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma will see very high fire danger between 1 and 8 p.m. today, while northern Kansas will see extreme fire danger.


Tomorrow, there will be a slight risk of severe weather between 5 and 11 p.m. Potential hazards include winds up to 70 mph and hail up to half-dollar-size. The area at greater risk is to the west of Coffeyville, with Sedan and Fredonia on the eastern edge of the “slight” risk category than includes south central Kansas and north central Oklahoma.


One Injured in Three Vehicle Crash in Labette County


One is injured in a three-car accident in Labette County.


The incident happened on Highway 400 seven miles west of Parsons. A 2005 Saturn Vue driven by 41-year-old Jackie Stewart and a 2007 Pontiac G6 driven by 17-year-old Trinity Schlegel were stopped on HWY 400 in the construction zone at a stop sign flagger. A 2004 Chevy Blazer driven by 50-year-old Dustin Searls was Eastbound when he struck the Saturn Vue causing it to strike the Pontiac G6.


Stewart was transported to Freeman Hospital in Joplin with suspected serious injuries. No one else was injured in the accident including the passengers of the Saturn and the Pontiac. All five occupants of the vehicles were wearing their seat belts.  

Three-Year Anniversary of the Foster Disappearance


Today marks the three-year anniversary of the reported disappearance of Detreck Foster.


The Independence Police Department is seeking information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those involved in this missing person case. Foster was last seen alive on April 12th, 2020. Information uncovered during the investigation indicates Foster was likely murdered. Any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Foster’s disappearance will be eligible for a Governor’s Reward of up to $5,000. Foster would be 40 years old now and was described as a black male, 5’9” and 190 pounds.


After three years IPD continues to chase down every lead. Chief Jerry Harrison says their investigators continue to dedicate themselves to the task of bringing Foster home to his family. Anyone with information about the disappearance or suspected murder of Foster can contact the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME or IPD at 620-332-1700.

Three Car Accident Closes Labette County Highway


 A Labette County Highway has been closed due to a three vehicle accident.

 According to Labette County Emergency Management Director Charlie Morse, a three vehicle accident has closed Highway 400 at Harper Road. Emergency workers are en route, with the accident said to include multiple injuries. Authorities are asking drivers to find alternate transportation until the accident can be cleared and the highway reopened.

Kelly Signs Expanded Counseling Bill


 Governor Laura Kelly signs a bill to increase access to professional counseling services.

 House Bill 2288 expands the licensed professional counselor workforce by joining an interstate compact in which clinical counselors can practice in all compact states. Now, professional counselors can more easily move to and work in Kansas, and Kansans can receive tele-counseling appointments from counselors in other states.

 The bill also amends the law to add a licensure fee relating to the privilege to practice under the compact.

 Governor Kelly also signed four other bills into law, including HB 2269, which amends the Kansas Cigarette and Tobacco Products Act to raise the minimum age to 21 years old for the sale, purchase, or possession of cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Joplin Man Sentenced In Girlfriend's Death


 A Joplin man was sentenced to 25 years in jail for the death of his girlfriend in 2021.

 41-year-old Casey Malone plead guilty to second-degree murder last week. Joplin police responded on January 18th, 2021, to 320 South Wall Avenue on an assault call. When they arrived, they found 63-year-old Ann McCrary, of Joplin, unconscious with severe injuries, including a broken arm and head injuries. McCrary died from those injuries less than two weeks later. Court records indicate that Malone and McCrary were in a romantic relationship at the time. Court records show that Malone repeatedly kicked and beat McCrary with his fists and feet multiple times on the day of the assault. Police arrested Malone at the scene.

 Malone has already served more than two years of his sentence. He must serve 85% of the sentence before being eligible for parole.

New Downtown Parking Time Limits Begin Next Week


 New time limits will take effect for several parking spots in downtown Bartlesville starting next week.

 The City of Bartlesville’s City Beat says the changes are a result of a 2019 online survey and the work of the City’s citizen-driven Street and Traffic Committee. Bartlesville Director of Engineering Micah Siemers says new signage is being installed this week, while enforcement of the limits will begin on April 17th.

 Most of the new parking time limits are in effect in the downtown area. Some parking spots outside of the core will be changed to four-hour limits, while other spots along Johnstone and Keeler will be reduced to one-hour time limits for the entire workday.

Festival of Salads Draws Large Crowd


The local Salvation Army has quite a bit more money in its account after the annual Festival of Salads. The line yesterday at the First Baptist Church in Coffeyville stretched to the front door as many took part in the annual fundraiser. A variety of different salads were available in addition to baked goods and jewelry for sale. According to the Salvation Army's Joe Brooks, money raised will support a variety of projects, including the school backpack program, which provides food to school-age children. While many may only see the Salvation Army ringing bells at Christmas, Brooks says this event is a reminder of the work that the group does year-round.

Tempers Flare During Public Comments


Tempers flare at the Coffeyville City Commission meeting as citizens show up for the third straight meeting in support of former Fire Chief Kenneth Ward.  During public comments, Citizen John Chevere asked the commission if any had ever served in the military and then directly asked Commissioner Bob York if he had served as a firefighter as well.


Chevere says at the end of the day Commissioner York works for him and every other citizen of Coffeyville.  Chevere was referencing Captian Pete Caresio, who spoke for the first time to commissioners. He says that many firefighters were afraid to speak at meetings due to fear of backlash because some backlash has happened to the department in the past.


After public comments were finished a few of those in attendance turned their chairs around and turned their backs to the commissioners for the remainder of the meeting.

Senator Moran Makes Stops in Montgomery County


United States Senator Jerry Moran made a stop at Coffeyville Community College to discuss federal resources that are being made available. Senator Moran says he helped secure federal funds for both CCC and Coffeyville Regional Medical Center.


CCC President Dr. Marlon Thornburg says they are excited to receive this grant as it will help the college prepare students with the new Bartlett Soybean Plant coming to the county. CRMC President Brian Lawrence says this is a monumental day for CRMC.


Moran also made a stop in Independence to discuss federal investment in both the Independence Police Department and Labette Health.

Two Repeat Offenders Arrested in Parsons


A traffic stop leads to the arrest of two repeat offenders in Parsons.


Just after midnight, a Parsons Police officer initiated a traffic stop near Central and Kennedy. The driver failed to stop until the 700 block of N Central. The driver was identified as Floyd Sales and the passenger as Travis Wilson. Dispatch alerted the officers that Sales had a suspended license. During the stop, it was discovered that Wilson was on probation and Sales was on parole. During a search of the vehicle, officers found methamphetamine and paraphernalia in the vehicle and located marijuana and methamphetamine on Wilson.


Both were arrested and transported to PPD with numerous drug-related charges recommended. Wilson attempted to get contraband into the facility. According to the Kansas Department of Corrections, Sales has been in and out of prison dating back to 1979 for drug charges. He was most recently released on parole in 2016. Wilson was released from prison in July of 2021 after aggravated intimidation of a witness conviction.

USD 446 Names New Superintendent


USD 446 Independence Public Schools have named their next Superintendent.


Jason McAfee was appointed by the Board of Education to serve as the newest Superintendent of Schools. McAfee had been serving in the interim role since the retirement of former Superintendent Rusty Arnold in February, and has been with the district for nearly a decade serving in both building principal and district leadership roles.


Additional items of discussion at the USD 446 April Board meeting was the employment of 24 individuals to the district, as well as the approval of the 2023-2024 School Handbooks.


The USD 446 Board of Education meetings take place on the 2nd Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of Independence High School.

Caney Schools Going After School Resource Officer


 Caney schools and the City of Caney are working together to bring a school resource officer to help fill a need in both organizations.

 Superintendent Blake Vargas says the officer would work on all three school campuses during the school year and for the police department when school is out of session. Vargas says this would benefit everyone in the community.

 Vargas says situations and needs for schools have changed in the past twenty years, from the need of a school resource officer, to even the type of glass on the windows, and it all comes down to student safety.

 The new SRO would receive training during the summer, and pending approval of grant funding, would begin duty on all campuses at the beginning of the 2023-2024 school year.


Montgomery County Report First Quarter Abatements


The Montgomery County Commission went over the first quarter abatements at this week's meeting.


County Appraiser Melody Kikkert says that although Kansas is a market value state, the Mill levy has taxpayers asking questions.


Additional items of discussion at this week's meeting was the End of Month fee report from County Clerk Charlotte Scott Schmidt, the issuance of a Cereal Malt Beverage License to Caney Valley Speedway, and a presentation from Class LTD Columbus about the community developmental disabilities services they provide.

Patchy Fog Possible This Morning


Patchy fog is present in some parts of east and southeast Kansas this morning.  Visibilities could be as low as a quarter of a mile in an area stretching from Coffeyville up to Topeka.  The fog will burn off by around 9 a.m., but low visibility could make travel hazardous this morning.

Bartlesville Police Parking Enforcement Changes


 The Bartlesville Police Department is changing how they enforce parking.

 Beginning in two weeks, Bartlesville PD will start utilizing its new chalkless parking enforcement system. Auto-Chalk digitally chalks the vehicles without the need to get out of the enforcement vehicle or physically touch the violating vehicle. Authorities say virtual chalking automatically reduces physical strain on officers, increases officer safety, reduces cheating, and improves enforcement efficiency.

 The new system is made possible by funds from the 2020 General Obligation Bond.

KBI Investigating Apparent Self Inflicted Shooting


 The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is investigating the death of a man believed to have shot himself while authorities were conducting a search warrant at his residence.

 Yesterday, shortly after 11 a.m., the Marion County Sheriff’s Office requested KBI assistance to conduct the investigation. KBI agents responded to the scene.

 Preliminary information indicates that yesterday morning around 10:35 a.m., the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and the Marion Police Department began conducting a search warrant at 341 S. 4th St. in Marion, Kansas. The suspect, 65-year-old Charles Park, was present while deputies and officers were searching his residence related to a felony investigation.

 During the search and interview, Park reached for a shotgun that was hidden inside the house. He then shot himself in front of the officers. The self-inflicted gunshot wound was fatal. The coroner pronounced Park deceased at the scene.

 No law enforcement officers discharged their weapons during the incident, and no law enforcement officers were injured.

 The investigation is ongoing.

South Coffeyville School Board Regroups After Bond Fails


The South Coffeyville School Board isn't giving up after the bond to build a new gym failed. Superintendent Daryl Pruter says the issue was just a few votes short of passing.

The bond issue can be presented to voters again in about four months. At last night's meeting, the board approved budget items including $7,000 worth of door hinge and closer repairs, accepted Head Football Coach Kathen Funburg's resignation and Teacher Teresa Gofourth's retirement, and rehired personnel for the upcoming school year. The board also reviewed upcoming events, including prom on April 15th, a performance of Little Red Riding Hood on April 20th and 21st, a fundraiser gala on the 22nd and a bingo and book fair event on April 27th to raise money for the library.

Nine New Hires by USD 445


The USD 445 Board of Education approves the resignations and hiring of multiple positions in the district.


There were nine new hires approved by the district as well as nine resignations. The board also approved the superintendent’s recommendation to designate Corrissa Walker as the district’s Treasurer and Lisa Westervelt as Deputy Treasurer for the school year. In other business, the board heard from Community Health Center's Ashley Hooper, who says COVID testing is down. They have tested only 111 students so far this year compared to a single-day high of 137 during the height of COVID.


Assistant Superintendent Micheal Speer gave an update to the board on enrollment for the district and Superintendent Dr. Craig Correll provided an update on some of the legislation that could affect schools.

Fatality Motorcycle Crash In Joplin


 A motorcycle / car accident Saturday evening takes the life of the motorcycle rider.

 Joplin Police Department responded to the area of 12th and Rangeline Road around 7:45 p.m. Saturday for a traffic crash involving a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle. Prior to the crash, an officer observed a group of motorcycles northbound near 13th and Rangeline Road obeying traffic laws. A few moments later, the officer heard the impact from the crash and arrived on scene. Life-saving measures began for the motorcycle rider. 26-year-old Charles Richardson was transported him to Mercy Hospital, but he later died of his injuries.

 The JPD Major Crash Team determined that Richardson was northbound on Rangeline Road, when a car driven by a 17-year-old juvenile male, pulled onto Rangeline in front of the motorcycle, resulting in a collision.

 The 17-year-old driver of was under the influence of marijuana and was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated and involuntary manslaughter. The investigation is ongoing.

CFA Looking for New Members to Board of Directors


Coffeyville Friends of Animals is looking to add new members to their Board of Directors.


The CFA Board is a working board as they rotate volunteering on weekends. They have monthly board meetings that members would need to attend. To be eligible for the CFA Board, you must volunteer at least two weekends to see if it is something you’d like to do. After that, you can approach the board about a seat.


Once they have a few interested in the position, the current board will take a vote for new members. If interested, message CFA on their Facebook page with your name and phone number and they will contact you about starting your two volunteer weekends. All interested must be 18 years or older.

Main Street In Cherryvale Is Closing


 The City of Cherryvale is reminding residents that the complete closure of Main Street from the intersection of Maple Street west to the north entrance of the Pete's and Sonic parking lot begins today.


 The entrance for both businesses will remain open for customers and local traffic. The road will be closed for approximately four to five weeks! For more information, check out the City of Cherryvale's Facebook page or go online to

Amateur Radio Event Draws Hundreds to Green Country


Hundreds of people packed the Claremore Expo Center for the annual Green Country Hamfest this weekend. Visitors came from several surrounding states including Arkansas and Texas. Vendors and individual amateur radio operators were on hand selling new and used radio gear during the two-day event.  Coffeyville Amateur Radio Club President John Vest says this year's event seemed to be a success. 


In addition, seminars on topics including storm spotting were held and testing sessions took place for people to obtain FCC licenses. Major prizes and raffles drew many from southeast Kansas including Vest, who kept his prize-winning streak going by winning a handheld radio.

Moran Visiting Southeast Kansas Tomorrow

 U.S. Senator Jerry Moran is visiting Southeast Kansas tomorrow, with grant funding announcements set in Independence and Coffeyville.

 Senator Moran will announce federal investments for the Independence Police Department and Labette Health in Independence beginning at 2:00 p.m. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Moran helped secure federal resources for the Independence Police Department to acquire mobile camera technology. He also secured federal resources for Labette Health to update and expand the Independence facility.

 Moran will also visit Coffeyville Community College tomorrow afternoon at 3:15 to announce federal investments for the Coffeyville Regional Medical Center and Coffeyville Community College. Senator Moran helped secure federal resources for Coffeyville Regional Medical Center to construct a new facility for a rural health clinic. He also secured federal resources for Coffeyville Community College to assist in the startup and program development for workforce programs needed in the region.

 Moran is scheduled to appear in the Oak Room of the CCC Student Union.

Bartlesville Man Arrested for First-Degree Burglary


 A Bartlesville man facing first-degree burglary charges makes his first appearance in Washington County Court.

 51-year-old Kenneth Scharnhorst was arrested on April 5th after residents in their home discovered Scharnhorst sleeping on their couch in the 300 block of NW Robin Street. Court documents say Scharnhorst entered a random house when he was looking for a place to sleep. Homeowners believe came in through an open garage. While in the home, Scharnhorst raided the refrigerator and had eaten a box of cereal, a bottle of ranch, a container of cottage cheese, and drank two-gallon jugs of sweet tea.

 Homeowners say they or their young children never heard Scharnhorst enter their house, as they were all asleep.

 Scharnhorst is being held on a $75,000 bond; his next court date is set for Wednesday.

Webb City Woman Found Deceased After Disturbance Call


 A call about a disturbance leads Webb City Missouri police to the discovery of a body.

 According to Webb City Police Chief Don Melton, the call came to officers just before 3:30 yesterday morning to a disturbance in the 1000 block of West 1st Street. A 39-year-old Hispanic female from Joplin was found unresponsive behind the residence. Melton says life-saving measures were started until the victim was transported by EMS to a local hospital where she was pronounced deceased. Melton says the investigation is beginning as a homicide.

 Webb City Police and the Missouri State Highway Patrol are investigating the case. An autopsy has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 11th. The victim's name is being withheld until the next of kin can be notified. The investigation is ongoing.

Thunderstorms Possible This Afternoon


Thunderstorms are possible this afternoon for southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma.  The National Weather Service predicts the storm chances between 1 and 7 p.m. for the area.  The main hazards associated with these scattered thunderstorms will be winds up to 55 mph and nickel-size hail.  The chance for severe weather is low, but count on KGGF for severe weather updates if they are needed.



KDOT Calls For Electric Vehicle Charging Projects


 The Kansas Department of Transportation announces a Call for Projects for Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure projects in advance of applications being accepted for these projects across the state.

 An estimated $14 million in National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula funds are available to award for DC fast charging projects along federally designated EV Charging Corridors in Kansas. Additional funding also will be available to support community charging and other EV charging projects. All awarded projects will be required to meet a minimum 20% local cash match.

 A Call for Projects first requires a project concept form be submitted to KDOT before the application process begins.

 KDOT will utilize various federal funding opportunities to support EV Charging Infrastructure Projects across the state. Projects could include direct current DC fast charging along state highways, community charging or other public EV charging projects.

 A link to the Charge Up Kansas page is found here.

One Dies In Car / Pedestrian Accident


 A man has died after a car/pedestrian accident in Miami.

 Police officials say the incident took place Monday night in the 900 block of B St. NE. Authorities found the suspect vehicle about half a block north of the accident, at the truck owner’s home. The investigation revealed that the driver, Clay McCormick, of Miami, began driving south on B St. NE with the victim, Chase Langston, of Parsons, on the hood of the vehicle. McCormick accelerated, then slammed on the brakes, throwing Langston from the hood of the truck. McCormick was arrested for DUI; Langston was transported to a Miami hospital, then transferred to a Joplin hospital by helicopter in critical condition. Langston died yesterday from injuries suffered during the incident.

 Further charges are expected in the ongoing investigation.

Touch of Life Ministries Offering Job Application Assistance


Touch of Life Ministries is holding employment application assistance tomorrow in Coffeyville. Organizer Alecia Melton says they will have a short sermon starting at 11:00am followed by the job application assistance.


Touch of Life Ministries is located at 901 E 9th Street in Coffeyville. The application assistance will last until 1:00pm and a sack lunch to go will be offered. If a ride is needed you can text (620)926-1485.

Spring Cleanup Week Starts Today in Fredonia


Spring cleanup week starts today in Fredonia. According to the city, this is an opportunity for residents to dispose of items not routinely picked up by weekly trash and recycling collections. Approved items include appliances, furniture, scrap metal, yard debris, recyclables and trash. Items need to be sorted by type or they will not be picked up, and tires and vehicles will not be accepted. Collection is free, and items should be placed at your normal trash collection location by 7 a.m. on your normal trash pickup day. Dumpsters and dump trucks are available for residents for free during clean-up week. You can contact the city shop at 620-378-3161 extension 401. Items are collected in phases, therefore it may take several days for all items to be collected.


Webb City Woman Will Stand Trial


 A Webb City woman will stand trial for attempted murder and assault, after an incident in Southeast Kansas in December, 2022.

 23-year-old Ivy Simpson waived her preliminary hearing in Cherokee County court yesterday. She is accused of stabbing another woman multiple times at a residence near Galena. Police were notified when the victim received treatment for multiple stab wounds at a Joplin hospital.

 Simpson and 49-year-old Steven Tyner, of Columbus, both face charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

 Tyner also faces a charge of rape in the same case. Court records allege he raped another woman who was incapacitated from drug use at the same home where the other woman was stabbed.

 Simpson's next court date is set for June.

(UPDATE): Wichita Minimum-Custody Resident Turns Himself In


 Minimum-custody resident Kyler K. Milbrandt turned himself into the Wichita Work Release Facility several hours after being placed on escape status last night.

 Milbrandt, a 29-year-old American Indian male, was reported missing when he did not return to the facility after work. He returned to the facility at 1:30 am and was placed under arrest and will be charged with one count of escape.

Milbrandt is serving a sentence for convictions in Reno County of drug possession, theft, and aggravated assault.

 The Wichita Work Release Facility, a satellite unit of the Winfield Correctional Facility, is an all-male, minimum-custody state prison with a population of 146.

Good Friday Closings


Today is Good Friday and many government offices and schools are closed in observance.


Area courthouses including the Montgomery County courthouse, and city offices including Coffeyville and Independence are all closed today. In addition, schools including USD 445 and 446 are out today. The tree dump in Coffeyville will also be closed today. Mail will be delivered as the United States Postal Service does not recognize Good Friday since it's not a federal holiday.

Resignations on Coffeyville School Board's Agenda


 The Coffeyville School Board will be accepting the resignation of the Head Girls' Basketball Coach at Field Kindley, Anita Walker, and longtime CTE teacher at the high school Taasha Viets. 

 The resignations are among 9 that the Board of Education is scheduled to accept when they meet this coming Monday evening.  At the same time, the Board is expected to approve the hiring for 9 positions.

 In other business at Monday’s meeting, the School Board is expected to approve the Superintendent’s recommendation to designate Carrissa Walker as the district’s Treasurer and Lisa Westervelt as Deputy Treasurer.

 The Board will meet Monday at 5:00 pm in the Education  Service Center.   

Opening Day at Riverside Park this Saturday


There is even more to be excited about this Easter weekend, with the Opening Day celebration at Riverside Park and the Ralph Mitchell Zoo.


This Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m, head down to the park for a day of face painting, concessions, crafts, mini golf, and a petting zoo.


Independence Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Wilson says there are also unique crafts and art opportunities for the kids from a pair of local artists.


For more information or questions regarding the Opening Day at the Park, contact the Chamber office at 620-331-1890.

Easter Egg Hunts in Southeast Kansas


There are plenty of opportunities to celebrate the festivities this Easter season, with Easter Egg Hunts all weekend across Southeast Kansas.



The celebration begins at 2 p.m. with an Egg Hunt at Credo Senior Living, located at 2120 North 13th Street. There will also be an Easter themed photo booth and refreshments.


From 1 to 2:30 p.m. there is an Underwater Eggstravaganza at the Field Kindley High School pool, sponsored by the Coffeyville Recreation Commission.


There is also an Apdotion Egg-Stravaga from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at 4955 County Road 1400, courtesy of Coffeyville Friends of Animals. There will also be an egg hunt at 6 p.m., and special prizes as well.



Easter Egg Hunt at 1st Baptist Church in Coffeyville at 11 a.m.


The 10th Annual Medicologes' Easter Egg Hunt will be Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at 1000 West Mulberry. The Easter Bunny will also be in attendence.


Easter Egg Hunt at the Brown Mansion at 2 p.m., sponsored by Coffeyville Friends of the Mansion


Sedan Chamber of Commerce Easter Egg Hunt at 1 p.m. on the Courthouse lawn in Sedan


Easter Egg Hunt at Logan Park in Cherryvale at 1 p.m., courtesy of the Cherryvale Community Center


American Legion Easter Egg Scramble at 811 W 12th in Coffeyville at 1 p.m



The Rotary Club sponsors the Community Easter Egg Hunt at Riverside Park. The celebration will get underway at 3:00 p.m.


Community Easter Egg Hunt at Caney United Methodist Church following the service at 114 N High


The Hub Churches in Cherryvale and Independence are having their Spring Fest after services today, with a bounce house, sno cones, petting zoo, and an egg hunt.

CRMC Offering Free Cancer Screenings


Coffeyville Regional Medical Center is offering free cancer screenings next weekend.


The screenings will be from 9:00am to 12:00pm on April 15th at the Independence Masonic Lodge located at 2000 West Laurel. The free cancer screenings are hosted by CRMC, the Kansas Masons, Masonic Cancer Alliance and The University of Kansas Cancer Center.


This community outreach event is open to the public. No appointments are needed to participate in the event. The services being provided include skin and prostate cancer screenings, colon cancer take-home screening kits and tobacco cessation information. For more information on this event, you can call Jeff Shaw at 620-205-6777.


Columbus Man Sentenced to 57-Months


A Columbus man receives a nearly five-year prison sentence.


A 57-month prison sentence was ordered on March 22nd for 44-year-old Steven D. Beaty after pleading guilty in November. Beaty pled to several felonies, including possessing methamphetamine in May, 2021 and again in March, 2022. Beaty also pled guilty to violating the Kansas Offender Registration Act, which he must comply with after being convicted of manslaughter in March of 2000.


He has been held in the Cherokee County Jail since March, 2022 until being turned over to the Kansas Department of Corrections earlier this week.

Little House on the Prairie Open for Season


The historic Little House on the Prairie is open for the season.


The museum is a non-profit historical site with the purpose of preserving the home and legacy of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and is located just 13 miles southwest of Independence, Kansas. It is the original land where Wilder lived with her family in 1870, and inspired the classic novel Little House on the Prairie.


Independence Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Wilson says there is unlimited fun to be had at the museum.


Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for kids. The historic site is open Monday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


For more information or questions, call 620-289-4238.

Wilson Medical Center Gives Annual Update


Wilson Medical Center provided an annual update to the Wilson County Commissioners, with an active search for a CEO the major topic.


Interim CEO Dennis Shelby says that the hopital continues to function at a high level, and that an offer has been made to a local candidate.


Shelby also informed the commissioners that they had regrouping meetings with Fredonia Regional, Coffeyville Regional, and Neosho Memorial earlier this week, and how an emphasis is on communication between all medical centers.


Additional items of discussion at the Wilson County Commission meeting was an update on the road conditions following the storms and high winds from Road and Bridge Director Kary Tatum, as well as an update from County Appraiser Jessica Porter.

LaTurner Reintroduces Health Savings Act


 Congressman Jake LaTurner joins Senators Marco Rubio and Tim Scott to reintroduce the Health Savings Act.

 This legislation would simplify and expand Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts, providing Americans with opportunities to save for medical costs through tax-deductible contributions.

 LaTurner says the ability to expand and update medical savings accounts will give Americans more flexibility and financial control over their healthcare.

 Recent polls indicate bipartisan support for these accounts, however, just 10 percent of Americans are able to use an HSA. LaTurner attributes that to owners' restriction to narrowly defined high deductible health plans. The Health Savings Act would eliminate that restriction, in addition to increasing how much individuals can save in their accounts and the array of items and coverage options they can purchase with them.

 This legislation would also increase the maximum contribution limit for HSAs so that it matches the out-of-pocket limit for HSA-eligible health plans, allow working seniors and their employers to continue contributing to an HSA after reaching the Medicare eligibility age of 65, allow you to use your tax-free HSA funds to pay health insurance premiums, including dollars spent on prescription and over-the-counter medicines or drugs as “qualified medical expenses” for which HSAs can be used, and let you use your HSA to pay for alternatives to insurance like direct primary care arrangements.

Survey on 160 Improvements to Begin


The Kansas Department of Transportation plans to begin a survey for improvements on U.S. 160 starting next week.


The survey will begin at the U.S. 160/U.S. 169 junction and continue east to the intersection with Montgomery County Road 5500. The approximate length of the survey area is 2.7 miles. The survey is based on the existing highway alignment and is expected to be finished by July. Activities include the use of survey instruments on the ground to determine locations of existing features within the corridor. A member of the survey crew will contact property owners or tenants for permission to enter private property.

Chanute Woman Arrested On Theft Charges


 A Chanute woman is arrested on theft charges.

 Chanute PD responded Monday to the 2700 block of South Santa Fe Avenue for a theft report. During the investigation, officers arrested 26-year-old Rebecca Bloemer for theft of property, criminal trespass, possession of opiate, opium, narcotic, or certain stimulant, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 The investigation is ongoing.

Water Boil Advisory Issued For Elk City


 The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a boil water advisory for the City of Elk City public water supply system.

 Until further notice, customers should boil water for one minute prior to drinking or food preparation or use bottled water. Dispose of ice cubes and do not use ice from a household automatic icemaker. If your tap water appears dirty, flush the water lines by letting the water run until it clears. Disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces by immersion for at least one minute in clean tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water. Water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled. Supervision of children is necessary while bathing so that water is not ingested. Persons with cuts or severe rashes may wish to consult a health professional.

 Water used for brushing and rinsing teeth should be boiled or bottled. Health professionals should not use tap water through equipment in the treatment and care of patients.

 The advisory took effect yesterday and will remain in effect until conditions are resolved. KDHE officials issued the advisory because of a line break which caused low water pressure in the distribution system. Failure to maintain the required water pressure may put the system at risk for bacterial contamination.

Governor Kelly Calls for Decriminalizing Fentanyl Test Strips


 Governor Laura Kelly calls for the decriminalization of fentanyl test strips in Kansas.

 Kelly was joined by healthcare, medical, addiction, and law enforcement professionals yesterday, as well as a parent who lost her son to an accidental fentanyl overdose, in a roundtable discussion about fentanyl and its effect on Kansas.

 Kelly says decriminalizing fentanyl test strips is a commonsense way to prevent overdoses and save lives, adding that Kansas must join many states across the country that have made fentanyl test strips and other tools available to prevent exposure to fentanyl long before it kills.

 Douglas County Sheriff Jay Armbrister agrees, saying a great way to keep communities safe from deadly fentanyl is by legalizing fentanyl test strips. Crystal Tucker, who lost her 22-year-old son Lantz to an accidental fentanyl overdose in 2020, says awareness isn't enough, but tools like the test strips must be readily available.

 Kansas is one of only a handful of states that have not legalized fentanyl test strips, however, there is bipartisan support for a similar policy in Kansas. Senate Bill 174 includes language that would decriminalize fentanyl test strips.

Kansas Legislation Eliminates Conceal Carry Fee


 The Kansas legislature votes to end the state fee for Kansans to obtain a concealed carry permit.

 Attorney General Kris Kobach agrees with the legislation, saying Kansans should not have to pay the state a fee in order to exercise a constitutional right. During his campaign for the Office of Attorney General, Kobach had said he wanted to eliminate the fee. Kansas is now the second state in the U.S. to eliminate the CCL fee.

 Kobach says eliminating the fee will encourage more Kansans to obtain training and get their CCL. With the state becoming a constitutional carry state, Kobach believes eliminating the $100 fee will do much to encourage more people to receive proper training for their CCL. County sheriffs will continue to collect a $32.50 fee for their part in the CCL process.

 The measure now goes to the governor for signature.

Entire Police Force Resigns


 The entire Goodman, Missouri police department has resigned after a new mayor is elected Tuesday.

 John Bunch, a former commissioner, was elected mayor during the April 4th elections. Former Police Chief Adam Miller says Bunch accused the department multiple times, saying Bunch is anti-law enforcement. Miller says outgoing mayor J.R. Fisher is a big supporter of the police department.

 Fisher says he is nervous to pass on mayoral duties because he saw the writing on the wall. Fisher says if Bunch won the election, he knew current officers would not work for him.

 The resignation of the police department goes into effect today. The McDonald County Sheriff's Office will patrol Goodman until new officers are hired.

Fairness in Women's Sports Act Passes


Kansas is banning transgender athletes from girls’ and women’s sports, from kindergarten through college.


The Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature overrode Democratic Governor Laura Kelly’s third veto in three years yesterday on the Fairness in Women's Sports Act that will apply to K-12 schools and colleges. Republican State Senator Virgil Peck says Kelly's veto went against a campaign promise.


Additional support was obtained in the house to override Kelly's veto. LGBT rights advocates claim laws like this are part of a national campaign to erase transgender people from society. Peck says this is about protecting girls.


Nineteen other states have imposed such bans, most recently Wyoming, but also Arizona, Florida, Texas and West Virginia. The Fairness in Women's Sports Act takes effect July 1st.

Oklahoma Man Arrested in Cherokee County


An Oklahoma man is arrested in Cherokee County on burglary charges.


Just after 8:00pm Monday, deputies were dispatched to a property outside of Riverton after residents noticed an unknown person entering a neighbor's shed. Upon their arrival, deputies made contact with the suspect, 36-year-old William Barnes, of Miami.


Based upon their investigation, Barnes was placed under arrest and transported to the Cherokee County Jail on allegations of burglary.

CMLP Helps Chanute

 Coffeyville Municipal Light & Power distribution crews are responding to a Kansas Municipal Utilities mutual aid call in Chanute after 70 mph straight-line winds downed power lines and poles in the middle of the night.

 Over 2500 customers in the area are currently experiencing an electric outage. Eight linemen and eight line trucks from CMLP have reported to the main water intake system for Chanute’s water supply system where they will begin repairing a series of downed poles and power lines.

 In the meantime, multiple reports of downed power lines, outages, damaged buildings, and broken poles are being reported due to the high winds. CMLP reminds everyone to stay clear of any lines on the ground. Chanute officials are also asking people to stay home as cleanup begins.

 To report downed lines or power outages, please call 620-252-6180 and leave a message if the line is busy as operators may be on the line with another resident. Line crews are responding as quickly as they safely can.

Baxter Springs Man Sentenced In Criminal Threat Case


 A Baxter Springs man is sentenced for felony criminal threats.

 38-year-old Nicholas Ryan Patton of Baxter Springs has been sentenced to 22 months in prison in the Kansas Department of Corrections after a May 28th, 2022 incident. Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputies responded to the incident just outside Baxter Springs. Patton was accused of brandishing a handgun and making threats to residents.

 He pleads guilty on March 16th in Cherokee County District Court to two counts of felony criminal threat.

Charges Filed In July, 2022 Incident In Joplin


 An incident in July 2022 that led to shots being fired by Joplin Police leads to charges filed.


The Jasper County Prosecutor filed a variety of charges against 35-year-old Scott Peggram yesterday, including drug possession, property damage, and five counts of fourth-degree assault.  The incident took place on July 23rd, 2022. JPD says Peggram was passed out in a vehicle located at 2431 Annie Baxter with the engine running.


After officers discovered the vehicle was reported stolen, they blocked Peggram in with their patrol vehicles and used their PA system to wake Peggram up. When he woke up, he proceeded to ram the patrol cars, which caused the officers to fire their weapons at him, striking him several times.  Peggram is currently in custody in Booneville, Missouri, on a prior conviction.

Northeast Oklahoma Election Results


 Voters in Delaware County, Oklahoma approve a sales tax increase last night.

 The three-tenths of a percent sales tax passed with 1,889 yes votes to 1,782 no votes. Delaware County Sheriff James Beck says the sales tax increase will provide funding for school resource officers and additional deputies. Sales taxes will rise to 9.2 percent in Jay and 9.6 percent in Grove, while Kansas and Colcord sales tax rates would raise to 10.2 percent. The new tax is expected to generate around $129,000 a month.

 Up the road, Grove voters won by the majority to approve an $87.2 million school bond issue to build a new school. The votes were 1,202 yes votes compared to 1,191 no votes, but the bond issue needed to pass by a 3/5th majority or 60%.

 Colcord voters approved a $1.145 million, 10-year school bond issue. More than 67% percent of voters voted yes. Jay voters approved the 8% Lodging Tax.

 Jay voters also elected Rick Pike as the police chief; Miami voters elected Bless Parker for mayor, and Vinita voters elected Josh Lee as mayor. Afton voters rejected the propositions allowing the Town Clerk and Town Treasurer to be elected or appointed positions.

Former Church Secretary Seen on Embezzlement Charge


 A former church secretary arrested in January for embezzlement at a church appeared in court yesterday afternoon.

 Deonne Brachmann was the secretary and treasurer at Open Heaven when she fell for a fraudulent lottery scam and made multiple payments over the course of a month using church funds.

 Court documents state Brachmann was instructed to make multiple payments so she could receive her winnings of 40 million dollars and two vehicles. Brachmann wrote six checks to herself for $10,100 and then tried to make a check payable to a third party for $6,500, but the check was returned by the bank for insufficient funds.

 Church staff contacted Brachmann, who said that she had won the lottery and was sending the money to the “lottery people”, and that she had planned to share her money with the church, so she felt as if she did nothing wrong. Brachmann informed police that she had used the church funds to buy pre-paid debit cards to pay the scammers.

 When Brachmann was told she was being scammed, she responded by saying she had been told that by other people, but she truly believed they would deliver her winnings.

 Brachmann is being held on a $15,000 bond; her next court date is set for April 28th.

Wind Turbine Lights Could Blink Less Often Under Bill


Flashing red lights atop wind turbines may soon blink less often under a bill that's been sent to the governor.


If signed by Governor Laura Kelly, the bill would require the installation of light-mitigating technology on new and existing wind farms. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the aircraft detection lighting system technology would turn off the lights except for when aircraft are near. Republican Representative Lisa Moser, of Wheaton, said aircraft aren’t near a wind farm about 97% of the time the lights are blinking. Moser says Kansas has about 4,000 turbines now with plans to add 6,000 more. It could take years for the new systems to be installed, with new developments required to comply first.

Walking Dragline to Bookend SEK Mining History


Staff at the Miners Hall Museum in Franklin, Kansas are well on their way to bringing a new tourist attraction to the area.  The museum has acquired and plans to move a walking dragline to the corner of US-69 and K-47 in Crawford County.  Dr. Chris Childers says a dragline is a large piece of equipment used to remove overburden during surface mining. 


The Page 618 Dragline was used for coal mining from the 1950s until the 70s, has a 110-foot boom and is only one of 18 ever built, and will be the largest dragline on public display in the country.  The dragline was donated by Wendell and Lynda Wilkinson and enough funding has been secured to move it to the new location.  Childers says once the dragline is open to the public, it will be a bookend on the once thriving coal industry in southeast Kansas.


The museum hopes to have the dragline in place this fall and restoration efforts can begin at that time.  The Miners Hall Museum in Franklin is open Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and you can find more information here. Listen to the full interview with Dr. Childers here.

Active Night of Severe Weather Across Area


It was a busy night of severe weather last night across the area.  A line of storms moved through overnight, prompting several severe thunderstorm warnings for the four states.  According to storm reports submitted to the National Weather Service, half-dollar-size hail was reported in Independence, and 1-inch hail was reported in northwest Wilson County.  A 70 mph wind gust was measured in Chanute, and tree and roof damage has been reported in addition to word that an apartment complex lost its garages due to strong winds.  Coffeyville was included in two separate severe thunderstorm warnings, but pea-size hail was the only significant storm feature observed.



Weir Woman Jailed On Burglary Charges


 A Weir woman is sentenced after pleading guilty to theft and fleeing charges.

 30-year-old Brittany Jane Bowling was sentenced to six months in jail after pleading guilty March 16th in Cherokee County District Court to felony theft and fleeing law enforcement.

 The incident took place in October 2021; Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputies attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Bowling, who fled in a vehicle, which had previously been reported stolen out of Linn County.

 Following the pursuit, deputies executed a search warrant on Bowling's Weir home where they recovered multiple stolen tools and construction equipment.

Montgomery County Receives Award from KCAMP


Montgomery County was congratulated for their efforts in Risk Management, with an award from the Kansas County Association Multiline Pool.


A check for $5064.51 was written to the county for fulfilling requirements and objectives that KCAMP sets for risk management awards.


KCAMP Risk Manager Yana Ross says that Matt Debo and the Risk Management team have had numerous successful projects that led to this honor.


Ross adds that contributions from the Health Department were also key, with an innovative plan to preserve vaccines.


Additional items of discussion from the Montgomery County Commission meeting were approval of a Neighborhood Revitalization Project at 2437 County Road 3100 in Caney, as well as an executive session with non-elected personnel regarding a position opening.



Sewer Rates Increase For Caney


 The sewer rates for the city of Caney are increasing.

 After several weeks of discussion, the Caney city council raised the base sewer rates from $36 to $40 a month, and increased the sewer water charge from $2 to $3 to pay for sewer improvements. City administrator Kelley Zellner says there was no other option.

 Zellner says the almost one hundred thousand dollars in revenue will be paid to the sewer bond debt service for improvements that have been accomplished in the Caney sewer system.

 Residents will see the increase beginning on their June bill.

Higher Tax Collections Than Expected For March


 Total tax collections for March 2023 were higher than predicted.

 Governor Laura Kelly made that announcement yesterday. Total tax collections for March 2023 were $758.3 million, 9.4%, more than the monthly estimate, and 11.6% more than March 2022.

 Individual income tax collections were $314.6 million, $438,000 less than the estimate but 5.5%, more than March 2022. Corporate income tax collections were $102.6 million, 279.9%, more than the estimate, and 271.1%, more than March 2022.

Combined sales and compensating use tax receipts were $275.4 million, which is $422,000 more than the estimate and 1.7%, less than March 2022. The reduced year-over-year receipts for March from these tax sources are due in part to the reduction of state sales tax on food and food ingredients.

 The Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, comprised of the Kansas Department of Revenue, Division of Budget, Legislative Research Department, and economists from the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, and Wichita State University, will meet on April 20th. The Group will review the fall estimate and make any revisions it may consider necessary.

Stolen Vehicle Recovered In Coffeyville


 A vehicle stolen in Coffeyville is recovered.

 Montgomery County deputies were dispatched to 1818 County Road 3700 in Coffeyville yesterday in reference to a vehicle parked at the residence which matched a stolen vehicle out of Coffeyville. When deputies arrived, they found a black 2008 Chevy Suburban.

 A white male, identified as Chance Lawyer of Bartlesville, attempted to exit the driver’s side of the vehicle and was taken into custody. A second male in the passenger seat, identified as Charles Miles of Bartlesville, was also taken into custody.

 After the vehicle was confirmed stolen, Chance and Miles were transported to the Montgomery County Department of Corrections for felony possession of the stolen property.

 The investigation is ongoing.

Conservation Order Upgraded In Bartlesville


 Water conservation efforts are being raised by the City of Bartlesville.

 Extreme drought conditions in Kansas and Oklahoma have caused water supplies at Hulah, Copan, and Hudson lakes as well as the Caney River to be extremely low.

 The City Council approved a resolution yesterday declaring that a potential water shortage exists; they moved to a Level Two Emergency Water Rate Adjustment.

 Bartlesville's Director of Water Utilities Terry Lauritsen says the water supply is down to the 60 percent mark, which necessitates conservation efforts.

 Level Two restrictions will limit watering at City-owned facilities and will not allow for the city’s splash pads to be opened. Lauritsen says residential customers will be limited in outdoor watering to only twice a week during the emergency.

 Non-essential operations water for city crews will be suspended and there is also a possibility that city pools may not open if the drought situation continues.

 Emergency residential watering rates will also go into effect, with customers who use more than 10,000 gallons of water per month paying higher rates. Lauritsen says the new restrictions will go into effect on April 10.

Bluestem Pasture Survey Deadline Extended


The Kansas Department of Agriculture is extending the deadline for the 2023 Bluestem Pasture Survey.

The new deadline is April 30th. 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.  Paper and telephone surveys are available, just call 785-564-6726. A link to complete the anonymous and confidential survey is available here.

Shots & Brief Lockdown In Fort Scott


 A man is arrested, and a middle school is locked down yesterday in Fort Scott.

 Fort Scott Police and Bourbon County Sheriff's officers responded to a 911 call of a gunshot just after 11:00 A.M. yesterday. Police officials say the incident took place at 802 Shepherd Street, in close proximity to the Fort Scott Middle School. After establishing a perimeter and clearing the apartment building of other occupants, the suspect was identified as 22-year-old Brody Johnson. Johnson was taken into custody without incident. He's being charged with aggravated assault and criminal discharge of a firearm.

 Due to the close proximity of the scene, Fort Scott Middle School was locked down until the scene was secured.

Washington County Commissioners Implement Burn Ban


 A burn ban has been implemented by the Washington County Commission.

 Washington County Emergency Management Director Kary Cox says the ban was needed after this past weekend’s fires.

 Cox says multiple fire calls came in over the weekend due to homeowners doing their own burning, which Cox says has taxed county resources. Commissioner Mitch Antle talks about why he felt the burn ban was needed.

 The burn ban takes effect immediately county-wide for fourteen days but can be extended or terminated at any time by a majority of the County Commissioners.

Fire Weather Today, Severe Storms Possible Tonight


The National Weather Service is predicting extreme or catastrophic fire weather conditions today for the area.


The red flag warning has been extended to include Montgomery and Wilson counties and areas north and west, and Washington and Osage counties in Oklahoma that starts at 10 a.m. The rest of the area is in a wind advisory that will start this afternoon at 1 p.m. Wind gusts up to 45 mph and low afternoon humidity will make any fires that start very difficult to control.


In addition, severe weather is possible between 8 p.m. and 3 tomorrow morning. Southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma are in the “slight” risk category, but severe chances increase the further you travel to the east. The main hazards include large hail, damaging winds and a possible tornado. KGGF will provide severe weather coverage if needed.


Multiple Departments Put Out Fire in Indy


Multiple fire departments respond to a garage and grass fire in Independence.


Yesterday morning just before 7:00am, Independence Fire-EMS was dispatched to 712 North 12th Street for a structure fire. An arriving Independence Police officer found a fully involved garage with a spreading grass fire threatening the neighboring house.


Fire-EMS was able to contain the fire and there was no damage to the house. The garage was a total loss. Independence Rural, Cherryvale Fire-EMS and 2nd alarm off-duty Independence Fire-EMS employees assisted in putting the fire out.

Indy Man Arrested on Drug and Weapon Charges


A traffic stop leads to the arrest of an Independence man on numerous drug-related charges.


Yesterday, Montgomery County Patrol Deputies conducted a traffic stop on a 1985 Buick. The front passenger was not wearing a seat belt. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Marion Rose and the front passenger as Adam Trollope. K9 Officer Sancho indicated there was a smell of narcotics coming from the vehicle.


Deputies searched the vehicle and located over 73 grams of methamphetamine, 32 grams of marijuana, and several hydrocodone pills. All items were in the front passenger side of the vehicle where Trollope was sitting. Deputies also located a loaded revolver on Trollope. Rose was released from the scene and Trollope was taken into custody. Trollope was booked on a number of drug related and weapon charges.

Severe Fire & Weather Risk Back In The Area Tuesday


 The risk for fires and severe weather will be back in the area tomorrow.

 The National Weather Service in Wichita is forecasting wind gusts up to 60 mph during daytime hours, with severe weather chances in southeast Kansas throughout the evening hours. As it stands so far, the fire weather warning will last from 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM tomorrow, with the High Wind warning in effect from Noon until 7:00 PM. The immediate KGGF listening area will be under a slight risk of severe weather beginning at 4:00 PM tomorrow afternoon. Eastern Kansas could see severe storms with large hail and damaging winds, and possibly a tornado.

 Stay tuned to the Mighty 690 KGGF for the latest in weather updates, on air, online through, and through the app, available on any of the play stores.

April Is Safe Digging Month, So Dig Safe!


 Governor Laura Kelly declares the month of April as "Safe Digging Month" in Kansas. The proclamation, in concurrence with National Safe Digging Month, reminds Kansans to call 811 before starting any outdoor digging projects.

 Governor Kelly joined the Kansas Corporation Commission, Kansas 811, and other industry professionals in encouraging excavators and homeowners to call 811 before they begin digging projects to prevent injuries, property damage, and inconvenient utility outages. According to the Common Ground Alliance, more than 49.3 million Americans will put themselves and their communities at risk by not contacting 811 before digging.

 Dialing 811 connects callers to Kansas 811, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Calls are taken 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Excavators and homeowners are required to make a request at least two working days prior to beginning a digging project. Professional locators are sent to the digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or spray paint. Once lines have been accurately marked, digging can begin.

 Every digging project, no matter how large or small, requires a call to 811. There is no charge to have utility lines marked. The depth of utility lines varies and there may be multiple lines in a common area. Some utility lines are buried only a few inches below the surface, making them easy to strike during shallow digging projects. Installing a mailbox, landscaping, putting in a fence, and building a deck are all examples of digging projects that necessitate a call to 811.

 Learn more about 811 and Safe Digging Month by visiting: More information about Kansas 811 is available at:

Money Available For Kansas Crime Victims


 Six grant programs serving victims of crime across Kansas are open for application.

 Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach says more than $2.5 million in grant funds were awarded last year from six state programs through his office. Funds are used to assist local and state crime victim assistance organizations across Kansas in providing direct services to crime victims, as well as in developing prevention programs to address violence.

 Grant opportunities are open for Child Exchange and Visitation Center Programs, as well as Human Trafficking Victim Assistance Funds, Child Abuse, and Neglect funding, Crime Victims Assistance Funds, State Protection from Abuse Funds, and Child Advocacy Center Funds.

 More detailed information on the application process for each of the grant programs can be found here. Applications will be accepted through the Grant Management System. Applications are due by May 5th.
 Awards will be made this summer. These grant programs are administered by the attorney general’s Victim Services Division and the Victim Rights Coordinator.  

Noel Man Arrested On Meth Charges


 A Noel man was arrested over the weekend on drug charges.

 Saturday morning, deputies with the Noel Marshal’s Office were called about a suspicious vehicle near the Bel-Air Apartments and Highway 59. Deputies arrived and saw 38-year-old Eliberto BJ Ramirez asleep in a vehicle while it was running.

 While attempting to wake Ramirez, deputies found a glass pipe with residue, which later tested positive for meth. Deputies also discovered a baggie that was field tested and identified as meth. When taken into custody, Ramirez was found with illegal narcotics in his possession.

 Ramirez is charged with possession of a controlled substance, and felony possession of drug paraphernalia. He’s being held without bond.

Delaware County Man Accused Of Stealing Funds


 A Delaware County man is accused of stealing from a Grove youth football program to pay bills.

 Former board president, 36-year-old Charles Leon Smith of Grove is charged with felony embezzlement after allegedly stealing almost 49-thousand dollars from the North Delaware County Athletic Association.

 Smith was the only person who had access to the association's bank account from May 2019 until February 2023. He is accused of using money from the account to purchase items from area shopping centers, grocery, and convenience stores. He also allegedly paid for rent, and purchases at Public Service Company, Hulu, Straight Talk, Verizon, and Lakeridge Apartment.

 Smith's first appearance in court on this charge was Friday. He was also wanted on another warrant to revoke probation in connection to a 2020 drunk driving charge. Smith will return to court today on a 2020 drunk driving case. Officials, in that case, say Smith has not adhered to the guidelines of a plea agreement and requested the probation revocation.

Fires Plague Northeast Oklahoma Friday & Saturday


 It was a busy weekend for firefighters in Southeast Kansas and Northeast Oklahoma beginning Friday and lasting through the weekend. Fire crews battled blazes in the Gap Road / Circle Mountain area and North of Oak Park on 3940 Road Friday and Saturday, with flare-ups fought yesterday.

 Melissa Mayes with Washington County Emergency Management says seven homes were burned in the Circle Mountain/Gap Road. Residents of Circle Mountain were briefly evacuated Friday, but most have returned home.

 The Oak Park neighborhood was not being threatened by the fire, but there was a lot of smoke. Crews from Rogers, Mayes, Muskogee, Ottawa, Delaware, Tulsa, and Craig Counties assisted in containing the fires.

 Washington County Emergency Management asks that you contact them if you or someone you know have lost your home or received fire damage. Their number is 918-331-2710. Crews are currently assessing damage and want to make sure everything is accounted for.

Passing Lane Being Added on 400


Another passing lane is being added to U.S. 400.


According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, the plan is to start a project that will add passing lanes to both sides of U.S. 400 in Greenwood County. The section of 400 is just west of the K-99 junction, between Piedmont and Severy. Traffic will be carried through construction with lane shifts. Flaggers and a pilot car may be used intermittently on the project, with traffic reduced to one lane and delays of 15 minutes or less. KDOT awarded the construction contract of $9.3 million to APAC-Kansas, Shears Division of Hutchinson. The project starts today, and weather permitting, should be finished by late December 2023.

Injury Accident North of Cherryvale


A man is seriously injured after an accident just north of Cherryvale.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, late last week, 68-year old Kathy Read of Cherryvale was driving west on 22000 road and failed to yield at the intersection of 5900. Read's car struck a pickup driven by 20-year-old Eathan Umbarger, also of Cherryvale, and caused it to roll over. Umbarger was taken to the hospital in Parsons with a suspected serious injury. Read had no apparent injury. Neither person was wearing a seat belt.

Listen Live