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Local News Archives for 2023-07

Parsons Man Arrested for Terroristic Threats


A Parson man is arrested on threats of terrorism. The Parsons Police Department received a call from a man reporting that he would shoot police officers and utilize explosives to blow up the judicial center.


In response to the call, PPD officers were dispatched to the location of the caller. Officers established contact with the caller, identified as 39-year-old Jeromy Ray Heiskell. Officers instructed Heiskell to exit the residence. He complied with the officer's requests and was taken into custody and transported to the Parsons Police Department. Heiskell is facing charges of criminal threat and terrorism. During a search of the residence officers located ammunition, which Heiskell is prohibited from possessing as he is a convicted felon.


Heiskell has a history of felony convictions dating back to 2003. He is currently on Community Corrections as part of a 2022 plea agreement for battery on a law enforcement officer, criminal threat, and three counts of interference with law enforcement. Additionally, he is facing another felony case for battery on a law enforcement officer.

Caney Enters Stage Three Water Emergency


 Warmer temperatures and the lack of rain has caused the city of Caney to enter a stage three water emergency.

 Mayor Josh Elliott says these reasons, plus the lack of water flowing over the dam, led to the early closing of the city swimming pool.

 In addition to the swimming pool restriction, outdoor watering of yards and flowers, the washing of motor vehicles, boats, and trailers or the exterior of buildings are prohibited. Elliott also says car washes will not be operating while the stage three water emergency is in effect.

Montgomery County Citizens Seek New Senior Center


A group of concerned citizens are hoping for a new location for a senior center in Montgomery County.


The current senior center is set up on the second floor of the Independence Public Library. Citizen Charlet Pemberton says there are agencies in the area that would provide funding for a new center.


The location of the senior center has moved around the county over the previous several years, holding many temporary locations. Pemberton says there are a group of seniors that are hoping to help create a permanent location.


Additional items of business at this week's County Commission meeting was a update from Emergency Management regarding the new Operations Update Plan, a Broadband Acceleration Grant from John Terry of Kwik Kom, and year end information from Kenneth Fecke of Juvenile Services.



Stage Three Emergency for PWWSD 20


Public Wholesale Water Supply District #20 residents need to start conserving water.


Board President Sherry Miller says they have entered into a stage three water emergency. All outdoor watering is banned this includes filling swimming pools, water plants and washing cars. This affects the cities of Sedan, Cedar Vale, Chautauqua, Granola, Peru, Moline and Longton. It also affects rural water districts one, two, three and four in Chautauqua and rural water district one in both Elk County and Montgomery County.


Miller says water levels are seven feet below normal.

Thousands Without Power After Storms Move Through Overnight


 Thousands are without power as storms rolled through Southwest Missouri overnight.

 Liberty Utilities reported 25,000 customers without power across several counties, with Ozark Electric Cooperative reporting over 10,000 customers without power.

 Liberty officials are asking residents to stay clear of downed power lines by at least 35 feet. Watch for tree limbs that are or could come in contact with power lines. Do not attempt to move them.

 If you have an emergency to report, please call Liberty Utilities at 1-800-206-2300.

Man Killed While Operating Tractor


 The investigation continues into death of a Fairland man killed while operating a 1959 Ford tractor.

 The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the accident happened Wednesday. 82-year-old Carl Merit was on private property on South 560 Road, about a half-mile west of Fairland at the time of the accident.

 Merit was taken to Integris Hospital in Miami with head, trunk internal, arm, and leg injuries. He was pronounced deceased at 1:36 p.m.


One Man Dead Following Sunday Shooting in Bartlesville


 One man is dead and another is in custody, but no charges have been filed, following a shooting yesterday in Bartlesville.

 Bartlesville PD received the call just after 1:30 yesterday afternoon of multiple shots fired in the 1400 block of Santa Fe Avenue. BPD Captain Daniel Elkins says an officer found an adult male shot multiple times. The victim was transported to the hospital, but passed away later from injuries sustained in the shooting. Officers also received information from several witness and was able to detain the possible suspect.

 The suspect was in possession of a firearm. No arrest has been made at this time, but Bartlesville Police are actively investigating the incident.

 More information will be released as it becomes available.

Sales Tax Holidays This Weekend in OK, MO


Sales tax holidays are coming up for surrounding states, but not for Kansas.


As families gear up for the return to school, those shopping in Oklahoma and Missouri will once again be able to take advantage of sales tax holidays, but state Senator Virgil Peck says Kansas residents won't be able to get those savings at home.


Efforts this past term got further than they have in the past, but Peck says it wasn't close enough.


The sales tax holidays in Missouri and Kansas are this Friday through Sunday. In Oklahoma and Missouri, tax exemptions apply to qualifying clothing and footwear under $100 per item. Also in Missouri only, school supplies up to $50, computer software up to $350 and computer accessories up to $1,500 are included in the holiday.


Heat Warnings Continue, Break in Heat on Horizon


Excessive heat warnings continue in southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri.


The warnings will be in effect from noon until 9 p.m. today and tomorrow for southeast Kansas and 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. for extreme eastern Kansas and western Missouri. A heat index between 105 and 112 is expected. A break in the heat may be in sight, however. The National Weather Service predicts up to a 50% chance of below-normal temperatures starting Sunday and continuing into next week, meaning temperatures could dip below the normal high of 90 to 92 degrees. Until then, highs this week will be near or over 100 degrees each day.

Montgomery County 4-H Fair Ends Today


The Montgomery County 4-H fair wraps up today in Independence.


The 102nd annual event took place all weekend at the fairgrounds in Riverside Park, with rabbit, poultry, swine, dairy goat, bucket calf, sheep, dairy cattle and beef shows plus arts and crafts and produce exhibits. Tonight will be the last night of the fair, with the buyers' supper at 5:30 tonight followed by the presentation of awards at the sale ring at 6:45. The final event of the fair will be the livestock premium sale at 7 p.m. Non-sale animals have already been dismissed.

Fredonia Boil Advisory Rescinded


The boil water advisory in Fredonia has been rescinded.


The advisory was issued late last week by city officials after the system lost pressure and the water tower was drained. City crews spent hours working on two major leaks and were eventually able to get the system back in operation, but the advisory was issued out of an abundance of caution due to the loss of water pressure.

Parks in Coffeyville Vandalized


Two parks in Coffeyville have been vandalized with spray paint.


Over the weekend, graffiti was sprayed on the historic Works Progress Administration shelter and new playground equipment at Little Pfister Park in addition to one of the shelters at Walter Johnson Park.  Paint was sprayed on the concrete, original stonework, and wooden structure of the shelter as well as the new jungle gym and spring features. It's believed the vandalism took place overnight on Friday night.  A group of Coffeyville citizens started the process of cleaning the structure, and city officials expressed their gratitude regarding their efforts, although they are asking that everyone refrain from further cleaning efforts as some chemicals can cause the paint to spread.  City crews will continue cleanup and power washing efforts tomorrow.  The new equipment was installed in February of this year to kick off planned annual park improvements, and the WPA shelter had recently been repainted by a community group.


Together as One Service in Independence this Weekend


Numerous local churches will be collaborating for one service this weekend in Independence.


The Together as One service is a special event with eight different community churches coming together for a special service on Sunday morning at the Independence High School Performing Arts Center.


Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Wilson says this is a community event that everyone is encouraged to attend.


Festivities will continue into the evening at Riverside Aquatic Center. Wilson says families will have the ability to swim for free.


The Together as One service begins Sunday morning at 10 a.m. at 1301 North 10th street. The swim night will be from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday night.

CFA Board Releases Statement


Former Coffeyville Friends of Animals employees make allegations of inhumane practices at the shelter. Those allegations include improperly disposing of euthanized animals and euthanizing puppies and kittens that weren't sick. CFA Board Chairman Becky Barnhart read a statement on behalf of the board.


The Kansas Department of Agriculture oversees animal shelters and does yearly inspections. The KDA did an inspection in May at CFA and the only complaint was rust on kennel runs both inside and outside. A complaint has been filed with the KDA and it is being looked into. KGGF has filed an open records request to the KDA for any information on the complaint or inspections.

Joplin Police Investigate Body Found In Shoal Creek


 The Joplin Police Department Major Crash Team is investigating, after a body was found in a fully submerged vehicle in Shoal Creek.

 JPD officials say the call for the vehicle came in around 2:30 yesterday afternoon. The Nissan Armada went through a wooded area before going into the water on the west end of McIndoe Park, near Glendale Road and South Jackson Avenue. Kayakers said they paddled to the SUV, but were unable to establish contact with the driver.

 Joplin Police, Joplin Fire, Redings Mill Water Rescue and Joplin Water Rescue responded.

 The investigation is ongoing.

Excessive Heat Warning Continues, Cooling Centers Available


There's not much of an end in sight when it comes to the hot weather.


The extended forecast through next Thursday shows daytime highs will be between 99 and 102 for the four state area. An excessive heat warning will be in effect today for southeast Kansas from noon until 9 p.m. today and tomorrow. A few locations in the area are available for to help residents cool off, including the Coffeyville and Independence Public Libraries as well as Memorial Hall in Independence. The Independence Public Library is open today from 10 until 5:30 and is closed tomorrow and Sunday. The Coffeyville Public Library is open today and tomorrow from 9 until 5 and closed Sunday. Memorial Hall is open today from 8 until 5 and closed tomorrow and Sunday.

KHP Responds to Lawsuit Findings


 The Kansas Highway Patrol responds to the Kansas Two Step ruling by Senior U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil.

 Colonel Erik Smith, Superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol, says the patrol respects the Judge’s conclusions and recommendations. Smith says KHP will continue to ensure that enforcement operations respect constitutional rights and comply with the law.

 Smith adds that the Kansas Highway Patrol is available to listen to concerns and complaints to the agency regarding the lawsuit and the ruling in the case. The online complaint form is available within the Professional Standards Unit. A link to the forum can be found here. 

Results from Christmas in July


The local Salvation Army is celebrating another successful Christmas in July fundraiser.


Montgomery County Coordinator Joe Brooks says the size of the bills in the red kettles tells him a lot.


Volunteers rang bells at Walmart, Country Mart as well as the Caney Market. Brooks says the money raised during the summer will be used for next year's budget and always stays in the community. Brooks says he's very thankful for everyone who volunteered at this year's event, and says it's never too soon to start thinking about bell ringing during the Christmas season. Anyone interested in volunteering can call Brooks at 620-870-9261.

West Mineral Man Arrested On Multiple Charges


 A west Mineral man wanted on municipal warrants from the city of Galena has been apprehended.

 Cherokee County Deputies located 46-year-old Sean Galloway outside of a Weir home Wednesday afternoon.

 Galloway, who had multiple outstanding warrants for his arrest, fled into a camper and barricaded himself inside.

 After a brief stand-off, as a Cherokee County Sheriff's K9 was about to be deployed to aid in the apprehension, Galloway surrendered and was taken into custody without further incident.

 Galloway is being held in the Cherokee County Jail on warrants for failing to appear in Cherokee County District Court on allegations of Felony Aggravated Child Endangerment, Felony Fleeing Law Enforcement and Felony Interference with Law Enforcement.

Boil Water Advisory Issued for Fredonia


A boil water advisory has been issued for the city of Fredonia.


According to City Administrator Wesley Young, city crews battled two massive water leaks all day yesterday. Despite their efforts, the system lost pressure late last night and the water tower was drained completely. A boil water advisory was issued by the city last night, and further review from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment this morning confirms the advisory, which will have to be lifted by the KDHE after testing is completed. Young says water department crews worked until around 5 this morning until water service was restored.


Fredonia residents should boil water for one minute prior to drinking or food preparation and dispose of ice cubes from automatic ice makers. If tap water appears dirty, flush the lines by letting the water run until it clears. Dishes can be washed in tap water mixed with one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water.


Coffeyville City Commission Appoints New Commissioner


A former commissioner is appointed to fill the vacant seat left by Justin Doane, who stepped down after last meeting.  The Coffeyville City Commission has appointed Pam Jones to fill that seat. Mayor Ann Marie Vannoster says they had 60 days to fill this position.


Vannoster says they wanted someone who had experience, was in tune with the budget practices and understood what projects were going on in the city.  Jones will finish the remainder of Doane's term and then be done in January and the newly elected commissioner will take that seat.

Update: Heat Advisory Upgraded to Excessive Heat Warning


***** Update 3:15 p.m. *****


The heat advisory has been upgraded to an excessive heat warning for Elk, Wilson, Neosho, Chautauqua, Montgomery and

Labette counties in the immediate KGGF listening area until 9 p.m.  A heat index up to 108 is possible for the area.


***** Original Story *****


We're expected to have another day above 100 degrees today.


This will bring the third straight day of temperatures over 100 for the Coffeyville area. A high of 101 is expected today, and the heat index could be as high as 105.  Tuesday's high was 102 while yesterday's high was 101. Heat advisories continue in the four states, with the advisory for Kansas starting at noon, Oklahoma starting at 11, and Missouri underway right now. All advisories will continue until 9 p.m. tomorrow. Heat advisories will be in effect tomorrow as well.


The K-State Mesonet Forecast shows the animal comfort index is expected to rise into the heat danger category on Saturday afternoon for almost all of southeast Kansas. Today is expected to be the worst day the rest of this week for cattle comfort in Oklahoma, with most of the state in the heat danger category.


Sedan Officials Address Pushback on Pool Closure


Sedan officials are sharing additional details as to why the city pool is closing.


According to City Council President Janice Fine, the level at the Quivira Boy Scout Lake that supplies they city is currently five feet below normal levels and is rapidly approaching seven feet below normal. Once that level is reached, stage three of the water emergency is triggered. Fine says officials at Public Wholesale Water Supply District #20 say that the intake structure of the water system at the lake will be at extreme risk if that happens, which is prompting the pool closure.


Many complaints against the decision are being voiced on social media. Fine says this is a potentially serious situation and that means hard decisions have to be made.


Fine says the council and mayor want to hear thoughts from citizens but in the end encourage all to look at the big picture. Larger communities in the area including Bartlesville were not able to open their pools at all due to water restrictions earlier in the season.  According to the Kansas Mesonet, Sedan currently leads the state in a nearly 20-inch departure from normal rain over the past year.  The pool will continue operation until Sunday at 6 p.m.




Stuff the Bus in Independence This Weekend


School is just around the corner, and Independence is having a fundraiser for school supplies.


Stuff the Bus will take place on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Farmers and Makers Market. 


Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Wilson says this is a great opportunity to provide USD 446 students with a headstart for success.


Both school supplies and monetary donations are appreciated for Stuff the Bus. Wilson says that there are multiple ways for people to help out.


The first day of school for USD 446 is August 16th.

Police Chase Leads To Drugs & An Arrest


 A Nowata man was in court yesterday for eluding police, possessing a controlled dangerous substance and driving with a suspended or canceled license.

 Court documents say Jonathan Andrew Hughes was going 50 mph in a 35-mph zone before police pulled him over May 20th. When an officer approached the vehicle, Hughes sped away. 

 Speeds would reach 80 mph as the chase entered Nowata County on county roads and onto Highway 10. The pursuit would end when the suspect’s vehicle spun and flipped upside-down.

 During a vehicle search, officers found Hughes’ ID, a clear glass pipe and a baggie with a crystal-like substance, which tested postive for methamphetamine.

 Hughes is being held on $20,000 bond. His next court date was set for August 11th.

Bartlesville Man Tries To Sneak Methamphetamine Into Jail


 A Bartlesville man was in court yesterday for carrying contraband into a jail.

 Court documents say 34-year-old Daryan Lamarcus Green was being transported to Washington County Jail when officers found two baggies with a white crystal-like substance in his left sock.

 The half gram substance tested positive for methamphetamine.

 Green is being held on $10,000 bond. His next court date was scheduled for August 11th.

Nowata Woman in Jail for Stabbing Father


 A Nowata woman is in jail after being arrested for stabbing her father.

 Toni Speer is being charged with domestic abuse, assault and battery with a sharp or dangerous weapon with intent to injure, assault and battery on a police officer, and resisting arrest for the incident earlier this month.

 The victim told police that Speer had locked him and his wife out of the residence two nights in a row. Court documents say one of the victims made their way into the kitchen and was shoved to the ground by Speer. When the father came in to protect the victim, he was stabbed once in the chest by Speer.

 After officers arrived, Speer attempted to break free from an officer’s grip and kicked the officer.

 Speer is being held on $75,000 bond.

Quapaw Man Arrested On Drug Charges


 A search warrant served in Northeast Oklahoma finds over a pound of fentanyl and crack cocaine.

 The Quapaw Nation Marshal Service arrested 34-year-old Ezekle James Patton, of Quapaw, on charges of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, including possession with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Also found, six firearms and approximately $3,200 in cash.

 Quapaw Chief Marshal Charlie Addington says the offenses took place on Quapaw Nation Reservation land.

 Patton is being held in the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office.

Caney Moving Toward Eliminating Water Plant


 As the city of Caney moves toward eliminating the use of their aging water plant, city officials met in special session last night to improve water quality until the system changeover takes place.

 Using ARPA funds, the Caney City Council votes to approve the replacement of Skid A in the water plant. Skid A consists of twenty filters that City Administrator Kelley Zellner says are past their point of efficiency.

 Zellner says replacing this skid of filters should improve the quality of water, adding that this should be the last time filters need to be replaced in the water plant.

 Zellner says many cities and counties across Kansas are moving to consolidated and single water sources, citing cost as the main reason.

 The cost of the skid filter replacement is just over $121-thousand dollars. Zellner says Caney continues to work on a single source water system, and continues to work toward streamlining personnel and increasing efficiency in all city departments.

Changes to Recycling Schedule in Independence


There are changes to the schedule for dropping off recyclable items in Independence.


Earlier this month, the city Sanitation Yard elected to alter the hours for dropping off items to be recycled.


Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Wilson says the new schedule is later in the week.


The Sanitation Yard is located at 21st Street and Maple, and the City Brush Yard is a half mile south of College Avenue on County Road 4100.


For additional questions or information, you can contact the City of Independence at 620-332-2507.

Stuff the Truck is Tomorrow


The Coffeyville Fire Department and KVC Kansas are teaming up for another Stuff the Truck Event.


Firefighters will be stationed at the Coffeyville Walmart tomorrow starting at 9:30 a.m. to collect school supplies for local foster children. You can make a cash donation to the cause or go inside and purchase items to donate. Supplies for K-12 students are needed including backpacks, pencils, pens, binders, folders and notebooks just to name a few. The supplies will be given to foster children in Montgomery County. KVC Kansas is a private, nonprofit child welfare and behavioral healthcare organization that helps area residents.

Neodesha FD Challenge Coins Available


You can own a piece of history and help a local fire department celebrate its 125th anniversary.


Starting today, the Neodesha Fire Department will be selling challenge coins to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the department. The coins are available at the fire department for $20 cash only. The proceeds will go towards supporting the volunteer fire equipment fund. Only 100 coins are available. The department's anniversary is coming up on October 7th.


Sedan Pool to Close Early


The Sedan Pool will be closing soon, but not because it's the end of the season.


According to city officials, the swimming pool cannot continue operations because of the ongoing drought in Chautauqua County. Stage two water restrictions continue in the city as lake levels are more than five feet below the normal seasonal level. The pool will continue operations until Sunday at 6 p.m.

Power Outages in Twin Valley Service Area


Power outages are being reported from Twin Valley Electric Cooperative customers.


At least 436 customers are without power according to a representative from the utility.  Several outages are being reported in the Edna area.  The outage was first reported around 7:30 p.m.  The estimated time for power restoration for the Edna area is 9:41 p.m.  The cause of the outage has not been determined at this time.


***** Update 8:37 p.m. *****

Power has been restored to some parts of rural Labette County.


***** Update 11:30 p.m. *****


Power has been restored for the Edna area as of 11 p.m.


1000 Road to Close Next Week for Work


A stretch of road in Wilson County will be closed off for a portion of next week.


County Road and Bridge Supervisor Kary Tatum says that 1000 Road will be closed from US-400 to Harper Road for ditch cleaning. Tatum anticipates this to last two days, but will be during working hours.


Tatum also spoke with comissioners regarding personnel challenges in the Road and Bridge Department. Following the resignation of another grater operator, the county is struggling to have enough trained people to work on numerous projects at once.


Additional items of business at the Wilson County Commission meeting was a presentation regarding the EMS sales tax for Fiscal Year 2024, as well as Sheriff Jack Lucke reporting two air conditioner units that have gone out at the Law Enforcement Center.

Drowning at Fort Gibson Lake


One is dead after a drowning at Taylor's Ferry on Lake Fort Gibson in Wagoner County.


22-year-old Giovanni Vargas, Port Arthur, Texas, was swimming at the beach area and swam beyond the buoys. Once outside the designated swimming area he started to struggle. Vargas went under and did not resurface.  


Troopers located the body and the Cherokee Nation Marshal Dive Team recovered the body.

Driver Thrown from Can-Am in Single Vehicle Incident


One is injured after a single-vehicle crash in Ottawa County.


The injury collision was on Highway 10, directly over the Will Rogers Turnpike, just east of Miami. The 2023 Can-Am Spyder Roaster, driven by 68-year-old John McNeil, was traveling eastbound on Hwy 10 in the outside lane. The vehicle failed to maintain lanes and struck the concrete barrier. McNeil was thrown from the vehicle and hit the grass 20 feet below the overpass. The Can-Am rolled and came to rest on its side.


Meneil was transported by Integris EMS to Freeman West Hospital in Joplin and was admitted in critical condition with internal and external injuries.

Arrest Warrant Leads to Multiple Drug Arrests


An arrest warrant leads to a search warrant which leads to a drug bust.


Parsons Police officers went to a residence to serve an active Labette County felony arrest warrant to Jessie James Lamont Tolleson, for failure to appear. Officers observed drugs in plain view and obtained a search warrant for the residence. Officers found methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia for the use and distribution of narcotics.


PPD is seeking charges of possession of marijuana, stimulants and drug paraphernalia for distribution and use, distribution of stimulants and the warrant for failure to appear.

Afton Woman Sentenced On Child Neglect Charges


 An Afton woman receives a five-year suspended sentence for abusing a 4-year-old child in her custody.

 43-year-old Melissa Barton plead guilty late last week in Delaware County District Court to a charge of child neglect.

 The child was forced to perform wall squats with her back and head against a screw located in a wall in Barton’s home for 15 to 30 minutes at a time. A search of the home found a long screw in the wall in the master bedroom that had what appeared to be hair on it. The child also had bruises on her face and buttocks area and scabs the size of a nickel along her spine.

 Authorities believe the child was burned and punched in the stomach.

 The victim’s mother, 27-year-old Nicole Henson, of Fredonia, received a 10-year deferred sentence previously on a felony child neglect charge for leaving the victim with Barton for more than a month.

City of Chanute Changes Burn Ordinance


 The city of Chanute changes their burn ordinance in their latest city commission meeting.

 Fire Chief Jeff Mitchell proposed the change last night, which prohibits the issuance of burn permits during the months of July and August.

 Permits will return September 1, allowing burning activities from 8:00 a.m. until one hour before sunset.

 Mitchell says fire pits smaller than one meter in any direction will no longer require a burn permit. However, fire pits must be approved by the Fire Chief or their designee and should be used for decorative purposes or cooking.

Heat Wave Continues This Week


A heat wave continues today across the area.


Montgomery County and the Coffeyville area could see a heat index near 107, while areas south into Oklahoma could see slightly warmer temperatures. According to the National Weather Service, Coffeyville hit a high temperature of 101 yesterday just before 4 p.m. The peak heat index reached 107 just before 6 p.m.


The animal comfort index from the Kansas and Oklahoma Mesonets show daytime highs near the top of heat caution approaching heat danger. K-State Research and Extension Livestock Production Agent Wendie Powell says producers should watch the nighttime lows as well.


Powell says producers should make sure animals have access to shade and plenty of water during this heat. She also says now is not a good time to be moving cattle. Coffeyville will see a daytime high near 102 today, with nighttime lows staying in the mid 70s.  A heat advisory is in effect from noon until 9 p.m. for most of the four-state area, including southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma and southwest Missouri.

Former Police Officer Facing Multiple Charges


 A former Commerce, Oklahoma, police officer is facing multiple charges after an incident earlier this month in McDonald County.

 32-year-old Christopher Chase is facing charges of fourth-degree property damage, fourth-degree assault, trespassing, and resisting arrest after an incident at a nightclub in Noel July 8th.

 Chase resigned from the Commerce Police Department a week later. Law enforcement officials say a conviction could end Chase's law enforcement career.

 The investigation is being handled by the Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training.

Bartlesville Man Facing Sixth Domestic Abuse Charge


 A Bartlesville man was back in court yesterday on charges of domestic abuse in the presence of a minor, kidnapping and prior pattern of physical abuse.

 Court documents say witnesses saw 32-year-old Brandon Todd Porter dragging a victim by her hair down the road to a residence against her will while she was holding a child. Witnesses say they also saw Porter slap the victim during the incident.

 Porter is being held on $25,000 bond with a condition of no contact with the victim and residence. His next court date was set for August 11th.

FabLab ICC Adds New Printer


Fab Lab ICC expands their services by adding a new printer.


With their new printer, they are now equipped to offer sublimation printing, a process that enables the transfer of graphics onto a wide range of materials. Sublimation printing allows for custom designs to be transferred onto various items, including T-shirts, sweatpants, hats, coffee mugs, glasses, notebooks, key chains, pet collars and glass and wood signs.


The process yields durable results, ensuring longevity and quality in every printed item. Senior Director for Industry and Employer Engagement Matthew Kittrell says the new addition to their printing services aligns with their mission to support and serve the community.


Fundraiser Auction for IHMAC


The Independence Historical Museum & Art Center is hosting an auction fundraiser.


The event will continue to raise funds for the IHMAC Forever Capital Campaign for building improvements and repairs. Auction items include books, textiles, vintage photos, art prints, dishes, vintage maps and antique furniture. Online bids for this auction open July 31st and will close August 6th. Those interested can stop by the museum gallery on Thursday, August 3rd from 12:00pm until 6:00pm for an in-person preview of the items.


link to the bidding website can be found here. The funds raised will go towards final payments for the restoration of windows, refurbishment of the original wood floors in the gallery, repainting the interior of the building and interior improvements to our archival space.

Search Leads to the Arrest of a Parsons Woman


A search of a Parsons woman's home leads to her arrest.


Yesterday, the Parsons Police Department conducted a probationary search of a residence owned by 47-year-old Trinity Dawn Pratt. The search was prompted by information obtained during a routine traffic stop, which provided grounds for further investigation. During the search, officers discovered a jar containing methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia for sale and distribution.


Pratt was placed under arrest on charges of possession of a stimulant, opiates, drug paraphernalia and drug paraphernalia with intent to distribute and distribution of opiates within 1000 feet of a school. Pratt was given probation on March 20th as part of a plea agreement in reference to a 2021 case for possession with intent to distribute. According to court documents, she has an underlying sentence of 104 months.

Raids End Two Illegal Oklahoma Marijuana Operations


 Two raids conducted in Delaware County yesterday lead to the seizure of over 7,500 plants and 1,800 pounds of processed marijuana.

 Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics officials say one of the farms was operating without an active registration, while both organizations were involved in illegal transactions on the black market in Missouri.

 One individual, whose name has not been released, has been arrested. Multiple agencies participated in the raids, including the Delaware County Sheriff's Department, the Grove Police Department, and the Oklahoma and Missouri Highway Patrols.

 The investigation is ongoing.

Voluntary Water Conservation In Effect For Caney


 Dry conditions and high temperatures lead to a water conservation request in Caney.

 As of yesterday afternoon, a Stage two water warning was put into effect by Mayor Josh Elliot.

 He is requesting Caney Water users to take voluntary water conservation measures to limit or eliminate all nonessential water uses including outdoor watering, filling swimming pools, and washing motor vehicles.

 Elliot says if high temperatures and drought conditions persist, stronger measures will be required.

Teaming Up To Combat Fentanyl


 The Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Kansas Attorney General’s Office, the Kansas Highway Patrol, and Homeland Security Investigations announce a new collaborative initiative to combat fentanyl in Kansas.

 The Joint Fentanyl Impact Team's objective is to identify and disrupt fentanyl trafficking and distribution networks, and remove the drug from Kansas streets. The team, comprised of KBI special agents, KHP troopers, and HSI agents experienced in complex narcotics investigations, will allow for increased coordination of intelligence, personnel, and resources among federal, state and local law enforcement in Kansas.

 With the introduction of JFIT comes the introduction of four K-9 officers trained and certified in detecting illegal drugs, including fentanyl. These are the first fentanyl-detecting K-9 officers in Kansas. They will work closely with this narcotics team to interrupt all methods of fentanyl movement into Kansas, including intercepting drugs coming into the state through the mail, on our roadways and railways, and flown in by air.

 Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach says the task force and dogs will be powerful weapons in the arsenal to keep dangerous and deadly drugs out of Kansas communities.

 If you have information about the trafficking or sale of illegal drugs, please contact the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME, or report it to local law enforcement.

Emergency Water Rates Rescinded, Water Committee Formed


 Bartlesville's water billing rates are back to normal and a committee has been re-formed to examine the city's water resources for the future.

 The Bartlesville City Council unanimously voted last night to rescind higher emergency water rates that were in place during the recent drought, meaning bills for residential and commercial accounts will go back to normal prices. The resolution is retroactive to July 17, when the city's water supply was greatly helped by rainfall over the Hulah Lake watershed.

 Bartlesville CFO Jason Muninger says the average additional billing to commercial customers during the emergency rates through June was $19.89. Residential customers saw an average additional billing of $0.52 through June.

 Additionally, council approved to re-establish the Bartlesville Water Resources Committee to study and provide recommendations on the future of the city's water supply in the event of another drought and as the area's population continues to increase.

 City Manager Mike Bailey says the committee was originally formed several years ago, but it stopped holding regular meetings during the pandemic. He says the committee will provide important feedback to the city as it plans for the future.

Here are the committee members:

  • Mayor Dale Copeland

  • Ward 4 Council Member Billie Roane

  • City Manager Mike Bailey

  • Ward 1 representative George Halkiades

  • Ward 2 representative Bill Dausses

  • Ward 3 representative Tom Gorman

  • Ward 4 representative Quinn Schipper

  • Ward 5 representative Harvey Little

  • Dewey representative Kevin Trease

  • Washington County representative Mike Dunlap

  • Bartlesville Development Authority David Wood

  • Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce Sherri Wilt

  • Mack Savala, representing U.S. Sen. James Lankford (ex-officio)

  • Crystal Campbell, representing U.S. Sen. Markwayne Mullin (ex-officio)

  • Derrick Sisney, representing U.S. Rep. Josh Brecheen (ex-officio)

  • State Sen. Julie Daniels, state legislative liason (ex-officio)

  • Water Utilities Director Terry Lauritsen (ex-officio)

KCC To Hold Final Public Hearing In Evergy Rate Increase


 Evergy customers have one more opportunity to attend a public hearing to learn about the company’s rate increase request, ask questions and make comments before the Kansas Corporation Commission. The third and final public hearing will be held Thursday at Wichita State University’s Lowe Auditorium at the Hughes Metropolitan Complex, 5014 SE 29th St. North, beginning at 6 p.m.

 The application, filed with the KCC on April 25, requests an average monthly rate increase of $14.24 for Evergy Central customers and $3.47 for Evergy Metro customers. Commission approval is required before a regulated utility can change its rates.

 A virtual option via Zoom is available to allow remote participants to comment. Advance registration on the KCC’s website is required for those participating by Zoom. The hearings will be broadcast on the KCC’s YouTube channel for those wanting to view the hearing without participating.

 The Evergy Central service area includes Wichita, Parsons, Fort Scott, Pittsburg and Independence, among other towns and rural areas.

OK Senate Overrides Gov. Vetoes on Native Compacts


The Oklahoma Senate has overridden Governor Kevin Stitt's vetoes of two bills that would extend existing agreements with Native American tribes for another year.


The overrides yesterday were the latest development in an ongoing dispute between Stitt and several Oklahoma-based tribes. The Republican governor wants to renegotiate tribal compacts on the sale of tobacco products and the issuance of motor vehicle tags by tribes. The two bills he vetoed would extend those compacts for another year. Stitt has raised concerns that the existing compact language needs to be rewritten in light of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2020 that led to the reservation boundaries of several Oklahoma-based tribes being upheld. Several tribal leaders praised the Senate for overriding the governor's vetoes. The bill to extend the compact over the sale of tobacco still must be overridden by the House, which is expected to meet July 31st.

Heat Advisories in Effect Today and Tomorrow


Another hot day continues for the four states today.


Heat advisories will go into effect for Kansas starting at 1 p.m. and Oklahoma starting at noon.  Advisories for both states will end at 9 p.m.  Coffeyville will see a high temperature around 100 while the heat index could be as high as 105.  The heat index in Oklahoma will edge slightly higher, up to 107 for the Bartlesville area.  Another heat advisory will be in place for Kansas tomorrow from noon until 9 p.m.


Butterflies, Moths Wanted for Research Project


The government wants any dead butterflies you find.


Citizens in six states including Kansas and Oklahoma are being asked to send in dead butterflies, moths and skippers to the U.S. Geological Survey. These specimens will help USGS scientists identify contaminants and environmental factors which may be contributing to the decline of insect populations. Citizen participation will ensure enough specimens throughout the nation are available to answer research questions. The citizen science pilot began in April of 2023 and based on the response and number of specimens received so far, the collection efforts may continue beyond November into 2024. The deadline for submission is November 1st. Specimens can be sent to the following address:



1217 Biltmore Drive

Lawrence, KS 66049

Lighting Upgrade Coming to Interchange


A lighting upgrade project is coming to an intersection in east central Kansas.


According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, work is planned to upgrade lighting at the interchange of U.S. 69, K-152 and 2200th Road. The interchange is three miles east of LaCynge. The project will begin on July 31st. KDOT does not expect any significant impacts to traffic.

The construction contract of $256,000 was awarded Phillips Southern Electric Company Inc. of Wichita. Weather permitting, the project should be finished by October.

Montgomery County Community Corrections Gives Yearly Report


The Montgomery County Department of Community Corrections gives their end of year approval rate for the prior fiscal year.


The Kansas Department of Corrections prefers consistent increase for people successfully terminated from supervision. Community Corrections Director Dennis Webb says the county is looking to increase their success rate this year.


Montgomery County, along with other counties across the state, saw their success rate decrease following years of being above the state quota. Webb says that one reason for this is elements out of the county's control.


Additional items of business at this week's Commission meeting was an update from Public Works Director Jim Wright, as well as a presentation from Justin Wall of Alert Roofing Systems regarding Commercial Roofing.


There will be a Special Meeting for Executive Session on Wednesday at 9 a.m. regarding non-elected personnel.

Two Separate Traffic Stops Leads to Drug Arrests


Two separate traffic stops result in two arrests on drug charges in Caney.


On Friday, 29-year-old Kendra L. Richardson was arrested for driving while suspended, expired registration, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, driving under the influence of drugs and possession of a firearm under the influence.


On Saturday, 64-year-old John Harlan Bright was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, marijuana and drug paraphernalia, driving under the influence, no vehicle insurance and turn signal and lane violation.

Drugs, Cash and Gun Found During Traffic Stop


Drugs, cash and a gun are seized after a traffic stop in Parsons.


Early this morning, a Parsons Police officer conducted a traffic stop in the 1500 block of Crawford due to a traffic infraction. During the stop, a Parsons K9 alerted on the vehicle leading to a search. Methamphetamine, along with prescription pills, including Oxycodone and Xanax were found during the search. Additionally, officers discovered a black handgun, and located items related to the distribution and sale of narcotics and seized close to $6,000.


44-year-old William Earl Troester was taken into custody in connection with the illegal narcotics and firearm. The Parsons Police Department is seeking charges of possession of a Controlled substance, a depressant, a stimulant and drug paraphernalia, distribution of stimulants, depressants and controlled substances, criminal possession of a firearm, criminal use of a firearm and a traffic violation.

Labette Fair Board Speak to Commissioners on Budget


Labette County Commissioner continues to work on their budget for the next fiscal year.


This week, Commissioners heard from Labette County Fair Board President JJ Bebb on the fair budget for the upcoming year. The Labette County Fair officially got underway on Saturday. The swine show is tonight, with the poultry, bucket calf and beef show all tomorrow. The rabbit, meat goat and sheep show are all on Wednesday and the dairy cattle, dairy bucket calf and showmanship are on Thursday. The fair wraps up on Friday with the 4-H and FFA livestock auction.


In other business, the commission received a mid-year insurance update on employee health insurance, a department update from Emergency Management Director Charlie Morse and heard from Sheriff Darren Eichinger and Custodial Engineer Chris Lahey on jail building maintenance.

One Dead, 6 Injured In Saturday Crash In Bartlesville


 One person has died as the result of injuries received in a Saturday accident in Bartlesville.

 The three vehicle collision happened at 7:30 Saturday morning on Nowata Road near Macklin. Chris Neal with Bartlesville Police says one person has died from injuries sustained in the crash. The others are expected to survive.

 More information will be released later today.

 The investigation is ongoing.

KDOT Announces Rail Service Improvement Program Call


 The Kansas Department of Transportation is announcing a call for projects to be submitted to the state’s Rail Service Improvement Program.

 An estimated $10 million in funding is available to award projects that enhance safety, promote economic efficiency and sustainability to the state’s rail network.

 The deadline for submissions is September 1st. Qualified entities include any Surface Transportation board certified Class II or Class III railroad, a port authority established in accordance with Kansas laws, or any owner or lessee industry track located on or adjacent to a Class II or Class III railroad in the state of Kansas.

 More information on this call can be found here.

Parsons Man Arrested On Aggravated Assault Charges


 A road rage incident Saturday in Parsons leads to the arrest of one of the drivers.

 Saturday afternoon, just after 12:30, Parsons Police received a call to 2901 Main Street, for a report of a driver of a blue Chevy Impala pulling a gun as his vehicle was exiting a parking lot onto 29th.

 When witnesses identified the suspect vehicle as officers arrived, a high risk vehicle stop was initiated on the suspect vehicle.

 31-year-old Andres Sebastiani was removed from the car and was identified as the same person who displayed a handgun, pointing it at the victim in another car. Officers retrieved a handgun from the vehicle.

 Witnesses say Sebastiani pulled out in-front of a vehicle, and then pulled out his handgun, threatening to shoot the other driver.

 Sebastiani was arrested for felony aggravated assault with a handgun.

 This investigation is ongoing.

Sheriff Reminds Residents To Not Fall For The Scam


 A phone scam circulating throughout the area has Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves alerting residents and reminding them to be cautious if they answer the phone from someone they don't know.

 The scam involves a thief posing as a deputy or other law enforcement officer and telling the victim that a family member or friend has been arrested and needs bail money immediately.

 The thief will aggressively suggest the person send money to a Venmo account or through another online pay service so the family member or friend can be released from custody.

 Groves says there's a few things with this scam that's important to remember. He says a call for bond will not come from a law enforcement officer. Bail is never received through an online cash payment service like Venmo, CashApp or PayPal.  Anyone suggesting that's how it's done is likely trying to steal your money, and Groves says you should hang up immediately.

 Another red flag law enforcement officers have seen with this scam, is the thief strongly discouraging the person on the phone from hanging up and calling back, because they are concerned the victim will be told by a family member or legitimate law enforcement that they are being targeted by a scam.

 Groves says if a call you receive fits any of these categories, please recognize this as a likely scam attempt, hang up and contact local law enforcement.

Baxter Springs Man Sentenced On Distribution Charges


 A Baxter Springs man sentenced late last week on drug distribution charges.

 33-year-old Charles Tunnell III was sentenced to 55 months in prison Friday in Cherokee County District Court after pleading guilty to distributing methamphetamine in Cherokee County in December 2022.

 Tunnell is being held in the Cherokee County Jail pending transfer to the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Coffeyville City Commission Meeting Rescheduled


There will be no Coffeyville City Commission meeting tomorrow.


Due to a lack of quorum, tomorrow's meeting has been rescheduled for this Thursday instead. On the agenda will be a discussion on filling the commission vacancy after Vice Mayor Justin Doane's resignation after moving to Tulsa. The meeting will start at the normal time of 6:30 p.m. in city hall.

Substance in River Identified


Many area residents have noticed a reddish/orange substance floating in the Verdigris river recently.


The substance has been mainly observed along the edges of the river. The City of Coffeyville and Kansas Department of Environment got involved, and samples were drawn and sent to the KDHE lab in Topeka for evaluation. Test results indicate the substance is made up of bacteria called Euglena and Algal Detritus but is harmless to humans, pets or livestock. Algae is common during the hot summer months in standing water, but is possible in rivers when the flow is low.

OK Leaders Clash on Tribal Issues


Republican leaders in Oklahoma say that Governor Kevin Stitt's posture toward Native American tribes is costing the state money and are considering pushing him out of tribal negotiations altogether.


The agreements between the state and tribes, called compacts, include division of revenue from gambling, vehicle tags and the sale of tobacco and motor fuel on tribal land. The Oklahoma Senate plans to return for a special session today to override Stitt's vetoes of bills that would extend compacts on tobacco and motor vehicles. Stitt's relationship with many tribal leaders has deteriorated since he tried unsuccessfully to rework gambling contracts in his first term. This year, Stitt, himself a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, responded by vetoing many legislative measures endorsed by the tribes. Stitt says he is trying to negotiate the best deal for all of the state's more than 4 million residents, particularly when it comes to the tobacco compacts.

Judge Finds Issue with KHP Practice


A federal judge wants to impose changes against a practice used by the Kansas Highway Patrol.


Senior U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil says that the practice known as the "Kansas Two-Step" violates motorists' constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and targets motorists traveling from states where marijuana is legal. Vratil notified the patrol in her ruling late last week that she is ready to impose changes in the patrol's policing practices. KHP has used the tactic for years to detain out-of-state motorists on Interstate 70 long enough to find a reason to search their vehicles for illegal drugs. A trooper finishes the initial traffic stop, starts to walk away and then goes back to talk more with the motorist. Vratil says she would like to require troopers to affirmatively inform motorists of their right to refuse to allow searches of their vehicles. The patrol has defended its tactics as a response to I-70 serving as a major corridor for drug traffickers.


Lawsuit Over Gender Change on Government IDs


Kansas Governor Laura Kelly declares gender changes can still be made on driver's licenses and birth certificates despite a recent law that was passed. State Senator Virgil Peck says the law is clear and specific.


Peck says the legislature went through the full process to get the law passed during their last session.  Kansas Attorney General Kris has brought a lawsuit against Governor Kelly over this issue. In the meantime, a judge ruled that the law will stay in place.

Baxter Springs Man Sentenced for Failing to Surrender


A Baxter Springs man has been sentenced in Cherokee County District Court.


46-year-old James Eric Paul Thompson was given a 14-month sentence. In May 2022, Thompson pled guilty to felony theft. As a result of the plea, Thompson was ordered to surrender himself to the Cherokee County Jail in August and then be transferred to the Kansas Department of Corrections and serve a 16-month sentence. After failing to surrender, Cherokee County authorities sought an arrest warrant on Thompson for aggravated escape from custody.


In March, Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputies searched a rural Baxter Springs home where Thompson was hiding. During the incident, Thompson resisted law enforcement and a Sheriff's K-9 was deployed to aid in his apprehension. Thompson is currently being held in the Cherokee County Jail pending transfer to the state Department of Corrections.

Columbus Man Sentenced to Over 20 Years


A Columbus man has been sentenced to over 20 years in prison. 65-year-old Kenneth Webber Jr was sentenced to 257 months imprisonment in Cherokee County District Court. The sentence came after Webber pled guilty on May 22 to rape, and two counts of aggravated incident liberties with a child less than 14 years old.


Webber has been held in the Cherokee County Jail since 2016, following an investigation by sheriff's detectives into his illegal sex crimes. Since his arrest, there have been numerous delays in court proceedings due to competency issues and changes of defense counsel. 


Positive Changes Happening In Caney


 In a town used to hearing negativity concerning housing and infrastructure, Caney city leaders passed along positive news during the latest city council meeting.

 Caney administrator Kelley Zellner says things are looking up for the city, housing wise.

 Zellner says sewer infrastructure updates are well on their way to being complete, with permanent water solutions in the works as well. He says with a very good school system already in Caney, the ripple effect is hitting the town.

 Other business in the latest Caney City Council meeting included A presentation by the board of the Caney Public Library concerning their services and budget.

Train / Pedestrian Accident Kills Woman


 A train / pedestrian accident kills the pedestrian.

 Just after noon yesterday, Barton County authorities received a call to the Burgess Township at 35th Road and NW 175th Lane, just across the state line from Mulberry in Crawford County, Kansas.

 Barton County Sheriff's officials and Crawford County EMS responded to the scene. An adult female was pronounced deceased at the scene. The woman was struck near an unmarked crossing.

 The woman identity has not yet been released, as authorities work to locate next of kin.

 The investigation continues.

Suspicious Device Found In Columbus


 A suspicious device was found yesterday in Columbus.

 Columbus Police Chief Jason Daniels says demolition crews found a suspicious looking device at 1212 West Maple Street around 11:00 yesterday morning.

 Daniels says Maples Street was closed for a short time, but was reopened after a conversation with the Kansas Highway Patrol Explosive Ordinance Disposal bomb squad.

 There is no word on what type of device was found.

 The investigation is ongoing.

Domestic Disturbance Call Remains Under Investigation


 A domestic disturbance in the Glynnwood neighborhood in Bartlesville yesterday afternoon results in what Bartlesville police call a large response.

 Captain Daniel Elkins with BPD explains the situation.

 Elkins says the suspect left the scene prior to police arriving. The incident remains under investigation. The suspect's name has not been released.

Maintenance on SEK Water System


Residents on Public Wholesale Water Supply District 23 may notice a change of taste or smell in their water next month.


The district provides water to Fredonia, Altoona, Buffalo, Thayer, Howard, Galesburg and seventeen rural water districts. Part of routine maintenance on the system includes changing the water disinfection process for a short time next month. During this time, the amount of ammonia in the drinking water is reduced while keeping the chlorine at the same level. This practice is commonly known as a Chlorine Burn Out and helps to ensure a high level of disinfection throughout the distribution system. Any change in taste or smell of the water is normal and not harmful. The maintenance will be performed August 1st through the 31st.


Storms Bring More Than One Inch of Rain to Parts of KS, OK


Morning storms have brought needed rain to the area.

The latest from the Kansas and Oklahoma Meonets shows over an inch of rainfall in many parts of Kansas and Oklahoma.  Here's a summary from area rain gauges:


KGGF Studios: 0.67"
Sedan Mesonet Station: 1.08"
Parsons Mesonet Station: 0.34"
Nowata Mesonet Station: 0.66"
Copan Mesonet Station: 0.80"





Storms Possible Overnight; Today's Rainfall Totals

***** Update 4:45 p.m. *****


Coffeyville is now included in the "slight" risk category as opposed to the "marginal" risk category, meaning the risk of severe weather for the area has increased slightly.  Primary hazards include winds up to 70 mph, golf ball size hail and heavy rain.


***** Original Story *****


A marginal chance of severe weather is possible tonight for the four-state region.


The latest from the Storm Prediction Center shows that Coffeyville and the surrounding area will see a marginal risk of severe weather between 9 p.m. tonight and 4 a.m. tomorrow. The main risk area will be along the Kansas and Oklahoma line west Sedan, more concentrated in western Kansas and the Oklahoma panhandle.


Storms rumbled through the area this morning. Here are the rainfall totals over the past 24 hours:


KGGF Studios: 0.46”

Sedan Mesonet Station: 0.22”

Parsons Mesonet Station: 0.12”

Fredonia CoCoRaHS Observer: 0.13”

Nowata Mesonet Station: 0.05”

Copan Mesonet: 0.11”

Two Dead and Four Injured in Single Vehicle Crash


Two are dead and four are injured after a single-vehicle crash in Washington County. The fatality collision happened on 4020 Road 14 miles North of 3000 Road, about four miles east of Ochelata. The driver of the 2008 Ford F150, 23-year-old Skylar Oliver, of Dewey, was treated and released with minor injuries.


20-year-old Slater Enlow of Coffeyville was also treated and released with minor injuries. 20-year-old Josiah Torres, of Dewey, was transported by Bartlesville EMS to St. Johns Tulsa where he was admitted in critical condition with internal injuries. 18-year-old Autumn Shouse, of Bartlesville, was transported by Air Evac to St. Francis where she was admitted in critical condition with head, internal, external and leg injuries. A 17-year-old female and a 16-year-old female both died at the scene. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

KDA Photo Contest


The Kansas Department of Agriculture's photo contest is now open.


Contest entries must be submitted no later than midnight on Thursday, August 31st. This year’s categories include farm fresh, technology in agriculture, Kansas critters, and Kansas life. These categories will showcase Kansas agriculture in multiple different ways. There is also a video category and a separate youth category, for photographers under 19 years old.


Prizes will be awarded to the top two winners in each of the six categories. Submissions must not be digitally manipulated or enhanced. A link for more information can be found here.

Portion of 10th Street in Independence to Close this Weekend


A portion of North 10th Street in Independence will be closed this weekend.


A stretch of the road between Railroad and Pecan streets will be inaccessible throughout the weekend, as the Watco company works to repave the railroad crossing.


Barricades will be placed by 6 a.m. on Saturday, July 22nd, and the road is expected to reopen by Monday evening, July 24th.


Motorists are asked to detour around the area and drive with caution near the work zone.

Power Lines Down on Sunflower Street


There are multiple power lines that are lower than normal on Sunflower Street, creating a traffic hazard.


The site of the damaged lines is on North Sunflower, just beyond the refinery and Verdigris River. Officials are currently working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.


The road is down to one lane, with road work being conducted on the northbound lane of Sunflower. Crews are hoping to create a solution later today, but as of now, no time frame for completion has been given.


KGGF will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Homeowner Not Expected To Be Charged In Shooting


 A shooting yesterday morning send the would-be thief to the hospital.

 Around 9:30 a.m., McDonald County E-911 received a call about a reported burglary and shooting at a residence near Buffalo Creek in the Beeman Hollow area. MCSO Deputies responded emergency to Buffalo Creek Road near Tiff City.

 McDonald County Sheriff Rob Evenson says the homeowners returned home to find a man barricaded inside. After the burglar fired a shot at the homeowners, both homeowners, who were both armed, shot the burglar, one time in each thigh.

 Evenson says the suspect, a 62-year-old male, is known by local law enforcement. He was transported to Freeman Hospital in Joplin.

 Charges of 1st degree assault and armed criminal action are expected against the burglar; no charges are expected against the homeowners.

Purchase Approved to Keep Waterslides Working in Fredonia


The Fredonia City Commission is ensuring the water slides at the pool will continue to run.


At their meeting last night, commissioners approved the purchase of a motor to replace the broken and obsolete equipment that runs the water slides at the pool. It was discovered that the original motor was undersized to begin with and the seals are no longer manufactured as the company is out of business. Commissioners approved just over $18,000 for the new motor. Speaking in general about the pool, commissioner Bill Jones says he doesn't know of any city pools that make money.


The watersides are currently running thanks to a temporary fix.


In other business, the commission voted to schedule a public hearing to consider adopting a budget that exceeds the revenue neutral rate, which is scheduled for September 6th at 5 p.m. An agreement for a school resource officer for USD 484 was also approved, with 75% of the salary to be paid by the district and 25% to be paid by the city. City supervisory also gave their quarterly reports to the commission.

Bartlesville Man Charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon


 A Tulsa man faces charges in Washington County of pointing a firearm and assault with a deadly weapon.

 Court documents say 19-year-old Treyon Johnson is accused of pulling up beside a vehicle that contained four passengers and told them to pull over. When the vehicle refused to pull over, Johnson then allegedly pulled a gun and told them to pull over.

 The car then fled away from Johnson after he cocked and re-aimed his gun.

 Johnson is being held over on a $80,000 collective bond involving one other case.

Fredonia Police Chief Shares Crime Stats


The Fredonia Police Department is sharing crime statistics from the first half of the year.


At last night's Fredonia City Commission meeting, city supervisors shared their quarterly reports. Police Chief Brad Pflueger says the department has recently hired another officer.


Pflueger says the new K-9 unit has already assisted in several apprehensions.


Pflueger says during the first 6 months of the year, the department answered over 1,700 calls, charged 13 individuals on drug offenses, seized 10 grams of fentanyl, 15 grams of methamphetamine and just under one pound of marijuana. The department also issued 36 felony charges, 46 misdemeanor charges and 47 traffic citations.

Wilson County Receives 2024 Budget


Wilson County has the county budget for the 2024 fiscal year.


The budget is a $1.5 million increase from the 2023 budget, with the total coming over seven million dollars.


Additional items of business at this week's County Commission meeting was the signing of a Workplace Development Grant for the county Health Department, as well as a request to add a functional bathroom at the county landfill site within six months, by the Department of Labor.


Early Voting Day will also be Friday in Neodesha from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Civic Center.

Parsons Man Arrested for Fourth Time this Year


A traffic stop leads to a search warrant, which leads to three arrests in Parsons.


Early yesterday morning, A Parsons Police officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle that had been identified in a suspected drug deal. During a search of the vehicle, methamphetamine was located. 36-year-old Sonya Coralie Demoss confessed to the ownership of the meth and was arrested for possession. A search warrant was obtained for a hotel room at the Canterbury Inn. Officers found illegal narcotics with paraphernalia for use and for sale in the room.


Two suspects were arrested during the search, 42-year-old Travis Paul Wilson and 33-year-old Albany Diane Mattick for possession of certain stimulants, marijuana and drug paraphernalia, destroying evidence and possession with intent to distribute The arrest of Wilson is his fourth since February of this year. He was arrested on April 11th and April 21st for felony narcotics violations. This arrest is his third felony-level drug charge this year as well as a misdemeanor driving while suspended arrest from February.

$2 Billion Theme Park Coming to Vinita


Several hundred people gather in the Vinita Civic Center at the Craig County Fair Grounds for a presentation on a $2 billion project.  The American Heartland Theme Park and Resort is a 1,000-acre site on Route 66.


Vinita Mayor Josh Lee says this is a historic day for the city and all the surrounding area.  Founder Gene Bicknell, who came up with the idea of the park, says it was a moment of divine intervention for him.  


American Heartland Executive Director Steve Headrick says this is a family-friendly park built on the American foundations of hard work, play and adventure.  The park and resort will be built in phases. The first phase is a large RV park with cabins, which should open in 2025. The theme park and larger resort should open by 2026.

AG's Office Warns of Roofing Contractor Scams


The Kansas Attorney General's office is warning residents in areas damaged by recent storms to beware of scams by roofing contractors.


Director of the Roofing Registration Unit Don Borneman says after storm damage, the instinct is to get repairs done as quickly as possible but when considering roofing work on a home or business, it is important to make sure a roofing contractor is properly registered. Consumers should request a copy of their roofer’s registration certificate and then should check the AG's website to confirm that the registration remains active.


The online directory of registrations is available at Staff from the attorney general’s Roofing Registration Unit are in contact with local officials in storm-damaged areas to assist in responding to contractors and consumers. The requirement to register with the attorney general’s office is in addition to any other local requirements that may be imposed by cities or counties.


Parsons Schools Welcomes Back SRO


 Parsons USD 503 will have a School Resource Officer for the upcoming school year.

 Trained SRO Shyanne Dunn is returning. She previously worked for the district during the 2021-2022 school year.

 The district was without an SRO during the 2022-2023 school year, due to a shortage of officers in the Parsons Police Department. The USD 503 Board of Education agreed Monday during its regular board meeting to sign a new memorandum of understanding with the Parsons Police Department, to again provide the service.

 Superintendent Lori Ray says the district will pay $40,000 towards the SRO position for the school year.

 Dunn will be located at the high school on a regular basis and will visit other schools as possible.

KHP Troopers Inspecting Buses to Prep for First Day of School


 The Kansas Highway Patrol is working to ensure students are safe on their travels to and from school.

 Every July and August, KHP troopers partner with school districts across the state to check all school buses and ensure they are in proper working condition. Troopers check buses to make sure the vehicles will safely load, transport and unload students, including lights, emergency exits, tires, windshield wipers, fire extinguishers, first aid kits and emergency spill kits.

 A decal will be displayed in the lower driver’s side corner of the windshield for any bus or school vehicle passing inspection. Vehicles that do not comply with safety regulations cannot be used to transport students until all defects are corrected and a Trooper re-checks the vehicle.

 In 2022, the Patrol inspected 10,812 buses and other school vehicles for defects.

$2 Billion Theme Park Coming to Northeast Oklahoma


A multi-billion dollar development is coming to northeast Oklahoma.


A park called American Heartland Theme Park and Resort was announced at a special event this morning in Vinita.  KGGF's Matt Jordan was there at the unveiling and says the timeline for the massive project is fairly aggressive.


Gene Bicknell of Pittsburg is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of the project, which is projected to be a two billion dollar investment that will include a 125 acre theme park, entertainment, hotels and an RV park along Route 66 just west of Grand Lake. Hundreds of people attended today's presentation at the Craig County Fairgrounds.


Galena Man Facing Drug Charges


 A Galena man is facing charges connected to alleged drug crimes.

 Cherokee County officials arrested 44-year-old Caleb Helton yesterday after the execution of a search warrant.

 Officials say Helton was the subject of an investigation earlier this year into the distribution of methamphetamine in Cherokee County.

 Official charges have not been announced as of yet.

 The investigation continues.

Galena Mayor Responds To Police Misconduct Allegations


 Allegations by some residents of Galena against the police department leads to a response from the mayor.

 During the city council meeting, two Galena residents went before the council with claims of unequal treatment and harassment of individuals or families.

 Galena Mayor Ashley Groves says the city has a system in place for citizens to voice concerns regarding any of our city departments. Groves says the City of Galena takes allegations of employee misconduct seriously and will follow procedures to ensure the City is providing the highest possible service to residents.

Groundbreaking Held For New Emergency Management Complex


 Washington County officials held a groundbreaking ceremony yesterday morning on the new Emergency Management complex on Bison Road in Bartlesville.

 Emergency Management Director Kary Cox says discussions on the inadequacies of the current facility began five years ago. He says the response efforts to the 2007 flood in Washington County was a wake-up call for the agency because of the small size of the Emergency Operations Center.

 The new complex on Bison Road, just south of Adams Boulevard, is being built in two phases. The first is a 6,000-square-foot warehouse that Cox says will consolidate supplies and equipment all into one location.

 Phase two will include a 16,000-square-foot Emergency Operations Center. The new complex is being paid for through CARES Act and ARPA funding, as well as partner funding from the Cherokee Nation.

Governor Kelly Highlights Continued Success with 9-8-8


 Governor Laura Kelly announces the success of the 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

 Since its launch in July 2022, the 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline saw a 73% increase in contacts compared to the year before the implementation of the three-digit dialing code.

 July 16 marked the official first anniversary of 9-8-8, which connects everyone in the U.S. to a national network of local and state-funded crisis centers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide free and confidential support with trained crisis counselors. 

 National usage is rising as 9-8-8 received more than 4 million contacts since its launch last July. In Kansas, that number is approximately 24,000 through June this year — a 73% increase over the 10-digit hotline number that received 13,867 over the same period the previous year.

 Kansas is one of only 12 states nationally to maintain a rate of 90% or better consistently. According to data from Vibrant, 9-8-8 centers in Kansas have held an in-state call-answer rate of 88% to 92% month-over-month amid increased call volume. Just a few years ago, Kansas answered about 60% of National Suicide Prevention Line calls in-state, with many calls rolling over to national backup centers. 

 Kansas has also performed better than its national peers on average wait times. That rate in Kansas is 21 seconds, outpacing the national average of 35 seconds.

Heat Advisory Continues Today


Today will be another hot one, but less of the four-state area is under a heat advisory.


Southeast Kansas including Coffeyville and Independence will see a high around 101 and will be included in a heat advisory that begins at noon and lasts until 8 p.m. The heat index could rise to around 106. Oklahoma and Arkansas will be included in the advisory from noon until 9 p.m., and the heat index could be as high as 110. Rogers County and areas to the south will be under an excessive heat warning this afternoon.


Heat related closings/cancelations:


* Eagle Rock Shredders Women's Wednesday Shred - canceled

NaloxBox Installed in Galena


A NaloxBox, which is an overdose rescue kit, has been installed in the Municipal Building in Galena.


This box is located next to the water fountain near the main entrance. This box was provided by the Douglas County Citizen's Committee on Alcoholism and NaloxBox in an effort to help prevent accidental overdose and help save lives within the community.

Speeding Slows You Down Campaign Coming Late this Month


The Parsons Police Department will join the Kansas Department of Transportation and other law enforcement agencies in a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of speeding.


The Speeding Slows You Down campaign will start July 26 with law enforcement agencies increasing enforcement for speeding to improve traffic safety. In 2021, 76 people died in speeding crashes in Kansas. Of the nearly 4,500 crashes attributed to speeding, those age 15 to 29 were driving more than 50% of the time.  


It takes 221 feet to stop a vehicle traveling 50 mph and 460 feet for a vehicle traveling 80 mph. Speed kills, which is why they encourage motorists to abide by posted speed limits.

Parsons Police Department Receives Donation


The Parsons Police Department receives a donation of landscaping work and supplies from SEK Point of Pride. This contribution revitalized the Officer Memorial at the department.


Police Chief Robert Spinks says he appreciates the donation and recognizes the value it brings to both the department and the community. The revitalization efforts for the Officer Memorial included resetting the two small statues and digging up the pavers that were buried by years of neglect. New mulch was also laid down in the area to make it stand out when people approach the building.

New Assistant Police Chief Coming to Caney

 In yesterday's Caney City Council meeting, Caney Police Chief Ike Dye announced the hiring of a new assistant Police Chief.

 Jason Goza will take on the role of assistant chief, filling the spot Dye had before taking the job of chief after the retirement of Kevin Kitterman. Dye says he is excited to add Goza's experience to the Caney PD force.

 Dye says Goza is finishing casework in Independence before leaving, adding that he appreciates Goza's loyalty and work ethic to tie up loose ends in his current position.

 Dye says he is proud of officers and administration working as a team during the search for the new assistant chief.

 New Assistant Police Chief Jason Goza will be introduced to the city council August 7th.

Cooling Stations Available in Independence


The city of Independence is providing cooling stations due to the increased temperatures in the area.


Southeast Kansas has seen high temperatures over 100 degrees in the past month, and people are looking for ways to keep cool. Independence Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Wilson says there are two locations in Independence that are available to cool down.


Additionally, the heat around the area has caused tonight's performance of the Mid Continent Band to relocate. Wilson says that the band will now be performing indoors.


Guest conductor Daniel McDill, an IHS graduate, will be leading the band during the performance tonight. He performs as a drummer in the Back Alley Brass Band, and is the music director and co-founder of the Social Symphony of Kansas.

Rainfall Totals From Yesterday's Storms


A couple rounds of storms moved though the KGGF lisetening area yesterday.  Here are the totals from area rain gauges:


KGGF Studios: 0.53"
Coffeyville Airport: Trace
Sedan Mesonet Station: 0.37"
Sedan CoCoRaHS Observer: 0.81"
Howard Mesonet Station: 0.40"
Nowata Mesonet Staton: 0.11"
Copan Mesonet Station: 0.39"
Bartlesville Airport: 0.65"

Heat Advisory Today


A heat advisory is back in effect today for the four states.


The advisory for southeast Kansas starts at noon and continues until 8 p.m. A heat index up to 108 is possible. For southwest Missouri, the advisory starts at noon and continues until 7 p.m. In Oklahoma and Arkansas, the advisory runs from noon through 9 p.m. Parts of northeast Oklahoma including Tulsa will also be in an excessive heat warning today with a heat index up to 114. The National Weather Service says to limit strenuous activities, stay hydrated and take frequent breaks when working outside.

Newton County Woman Sees Murder Charge Dropped


 A Newton County woman sees her first-degree murder trial end before it even starts, as the prosecutor dismisses the charges.

 Jury selection was supposed to begin yesterday afternoon in the trial of 64-year-old Susette Anderson, but the Newton County prosecutor's office determined Anderson's killing of 45-year-old David Stotts was justifiable self-defense.

 Anderson was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the December 23rd, 2021 shooting death of Stotts.

 Court documents say Anderson confronted Stotts attacked her at a residence off Kentucky Road near Seneca over the dispute concerning a trailer, so she shot him.

Part of U.S. 169 to Close


Part of U.S. 169 will close at the end of the month.


According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, 169 will be closed to traffic from Thayer south to U.S. 400. The closure is expected to start on Monday, July 31st and remain in effect for 90 days, ending on October 29th. The closure is part of the active project to add passing lanes and replace the mainline pavement on a 7-mile section of 169 in southern Neosho County. Traffic will follow a signed route detour through Parsons on U.S. 400, U.S. 59 and K-47. Side roads along U.S. 169 that will initially be closed to local traffic are Cemetery, 60th, Chase, 20th and Brown. Clarkson Construction Company of Kansas City, Missouri, is the primary contractor on the $15 million project. The road work should be completed by mid-November, weather permitting.


Water Restrictions Lifted, Pools Remain Closed

 Water restrictions implemented this spring due to an ongoing water shortage in the city of Bartlesville, have been lifted.

 Bartlesville City Manager Mike Bailey says weekend rains that have filled Hulah Lake, the City’s primary water supply source, has allowed the city to return to Stage 1 of the Water Shortage Ordinance. All Stage 3 restrictions were lifted yesterday.

 Splash pads will be open today, and emergency water rates will be rescinded by the Bartlesville City Council. There are no restrictions on outdoor water use at this time, but conservation is strongly encouraged. City-owned Frontier and Sooner swimming pools will not open this summer due to the inability to staff them this late in the season, but Bailey says free shuttle services will be provided to Bartlesville residents to the Osage Hills State Park Swimming Pool, using the CityRide vehicles.

 Bailey thanked Bartlesville citizens who helped conserve water during the months-long drought, and said plans will proceed to find additional sources of potable water in the future.

Union Pacific Testing One Person Crews

Union Pacific is renewing its push for one-person train crews later this summer.


The railroad is testing out the idea of having a conductor in a truck respond to problems on trains in Nebraska and Colorado. Union Pacific will continue using two crew members on its trains during the test, but railroad officials believe this could bolster their case in future negotiations for cutting crew size if it is successful. A UP executive confirmed the plan yesterday when he testified against a proposed Kansas rule that would require two-person crews. Railroad unions say the value of having a conductor onboard has been demonstrated time and time again. If the rule is approved, Kansas will join at least nine other states that have passed laws requiring two-man crews. While all the major freight railroads continue to use two-person crews, a number of short-line railroads have already been using one-person crews for years.


American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association President Chuck Baker testified at the Kansas hearing yesterday that many of those smaller railroads have also found other benefits of having a conductor based in a truck such as having them adjust switches ahead of a train or go ahead to visit with customers before a train arrives. Railroad safety has been a key focus nationwide this year in the wake of a February derailment in eastern Ohio that forced evacuations and created lingering health concerns.

Vaude in the Ville First Weekend in August


Coffeyville's Vaude in the Ville is coming up the first weekend of August. This event is August 5th at 7:00pm and proceeds will benefit the Midland Theater. Coffeyville Reawkening's Denise York says tickets are on sale.


York says tickets are $30.  Vaude in the Ville is a vaudeville-style variety show featuring an evening of music, laughter, food and drinks. Coffeyville native Lindsay Oyler Goldapp will provide entertainment with her comedy and vocals. As the hostess, she'll introduce the crowd to local musicians, vocalists, comedians and dancers.

Single Vehicle Crash in Mayes County


One teen is injured in a single-vehicle crash in Mayes County.  The injury collision occurred at 12:53 this morning two miles west of Chouteau, Oklahoma. 


A 2007 GMC Yukon driven by a 17-year-old female was westbound on county road 590.  The Yukon departed the roadway to the right for an unknown reason, re-entered the roadway, crossed the centerline and departed the roadway to the left impacting an embankment.  The Yukon then overturned two and one-quarter times.  The driver was transported by Life Flight to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa and admitted in guarded condition with head and internal injuries.

Montgomery County Seeking New Tax System


Numerous departments in Montgomery County are requesting a new tax and accounting system.


The county has been using Komtek as the primary provider for over 30 years. Human Resources Director Ben Brubaker says that Komtek has struggled to remain consistent and reliable.


Five different department heads spoke on the issue during today's meeting, including County Clerk Charlotte Scott Schmidt, County Financial Officer Fred Gress, and County Treasurer Nancy Clubine.


County Appraiser Melody Kikkert says she has reached out to Komtek and has not received any response.


The comissioners voted to continue the conversation during next week's meeting, with no action taken regarding a change of system.


Additional items of discussion at this week's meeting was an update from Emergency Management Director Rick Whitson on the Emergency Operations Plan, as well as a work session at the conclusion of the meeting regarding budgets.

Severe Storms Move into SEK


Damage reports are coming in from storms earlier this morning and afternoon.  


Reports from the public in Dexter indicate widespread wind-driven hail damage to siding and windows blown out around town.  Trees in Piedmont in Greenwood County have been reported uprooted.  Structural damage to a building has also been reported in Moline.  Tornado sirens were sounded in Longton after a report of a tornado, but the National Weather Service never issued a tornado warning, saying the development would be unlikely in that area and the main hazard was straight-line winds.   A severe thunderstorm watch remains in effect for the area for now as additional development of strong to severe storms remains possible this afternoon.


***** Current Watches/Warnings For the Immediate KGGF Listening Area *****


* Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Southeast Kansas until 5 p.m. for Chautauqua, Elk, Labette, Montgomery and Wilson Counties.  Includes the cities of Cedar Vale, Coffeyville, Fredonia, Grenola, Howard, Independence, Longton, Moline, Neodesha, Parsons and Sedan.


* Severe Thunderstorm Watch for northeast Oklahoma until 5 p.m. for Osage, Washington, Nowata, Craig and Ottawa Counties.  Includes the cities of Bartlesville, Miami, Nowata, Pawhuska and Vinita.


View near Elk City:

Image Courtesy John Vest


***** Original Story *****



The area could see a storm or two develop today with a limited possibility of severe weather.


According to the National Weather Service, the four-state area could see thunderstorms come through this afternoon through early evening, with a better chance of storms east of I-135.  Storms may be able to produce some dime to quarter-size hail.  KGGF will provide severe weather coverage if storms develop.

New Daily Flights Begin In January In Wichita

 U.S. Senator Jerry Moran announces a new daily American Airlines direct flight from Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport in Wichita to Washington Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., set to begin January 8, 2024.

 Senator Moran says he has seen a vital need of connecting Wichita and DC. He says the new direct American Airlines flight will allow federal officials to quickly travel to Wichita to see firsthand the great work being done in the region.

 The new flights on American Airlines will see daily departures from DC at 10:30 Central time, arriving in Wichita at 1:45, and departures from Wichita at 3:30p.m. Central time, arriving in DC at 7:15p.m. Eastern time.

Cherryvale Museum Hosting Event this Weekend


The Cherryvale Historical Museum is hosting an event this weekend. Beyond the Veil: A History of Spiritualism is a presentation and discussion by Katie Keckeisen on Saturday at 10:00am at the St. Francis Xavier Community Center. Members of the community are invited to attend the free program made possible by Humanities Kansas.


Keckeisen is the local history librarian at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. She previously worked as the Collections Archivist at the Kansas Historical Society. In addition to her work in museums and archives throughout the United States, she researches and writes about the history of death and funerary practices in the 18th and 19th centuries. Beyond the Veil: A History of Spiritualism is part of Humanities Kansas's Speakers Bureau, featuring humanities-based presentations designed to share stories that inspire, spark conversations that inform, and generate insights that strengthen civic engagement.

Governor Kelly Proclaims Rural Road Safety Awareness Week


 Governor Laura Kelly proclaims this week as Rural Road Safety Awareness Week in Kansas to call attention to the high number of traffic fatalities on rural roads.   

 The week long observance is part of a nationwide campaign spearheaded by the National Center for Rural Road Safety and includes the participation of the Kansas Department of Transportation. With one of the main causes of rural crashes being speeding, this awareness campaign is driving home the need to slow down. 

 More than 40% of all traffic fatalities across the United States happen on rural roads each year. According to KDOT, 257 people were killed in Kansas rural road crashes in 2021. The unofficial number of 2022 rural road fatalities in Kansas is 239. 

 Lack of seat belt use, impaired driving, distracted driving, and other areas that impact safety are also part of the focus of RRSAW. For more information, go to the National Center for Rural Road Safety website.

 A link to the website and a copy of the proclamation can be found here

Kansas City Man Drowns In McDonald County


 A Kansas City man dies after a late-night drowning in McDonald County.

 The Noel Marshal’s Office says the body of 23-year-old Victor Lopez of Kansas City was found in the Elk River near “Sycamore Landing” in Noel Saturday morning.

 Deputies with the Marshal’s Office say they were contacted about a missing person around 12:15 Saturday morning. Information received by authorities say that Lopez tried to cross the river after consuming alcohol.

 This is the first drowning of the season on Elk River.

Har-Ber Village To Open Thursay After Damage


 Har-Ber Village Museum, west of Grove, will reopen Thursday after repairing damage from a storm on Father's Day.

 The June 18 storm caused extensive damage, including uprooting ten trees on the ground and causing damage to the museum's drug store and barber shop log cabins.

 The museum on Grand Lake features what life was like in the early 1900's, including tools and authentic log cabins from nearby communities.

 More than 5 million people have toured the 98 log cabins and 101 exhibits on the 50 acres since Har-Ber Village's creation in 1968.

Wyandotte Woman Killed In Sunday Morning Accident


 An Afton woman was killed in a one-car accident Sunday morning.

 The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says the acciddent took place around 12:30 a.m., about one mile south of Wyandotte on Highway 10.

 44-year-old Lisa Hallbauer's 2011 Nissan Altima left the roadway to the right for an unknown reason, drove along an embankment, and struck a tree.

 Hallbauer was pronounced deceased at the scene.

 The investigation is ongoing.

Fatality Collision Kills Copan Woman


 A woman from Copan was killed in a fatality collision Saturday evening.

 The incident took place just before 7:00 on NS 4010 Rd, 1/2 mile south of EW 600 Rd, approximately 2 miles west of Wann in Washington County.

 57-year-old Michael Beaston, of Copan, was driving a Can-Am side by side ATV. He was transported by Bartlesville EMS to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa where he was admitted in fair condition with head and internal injuries. His passenger, 58-year-old Shelly Beaston, also of Copan, was pronounced deceased at the scene. 42-year-old Jesse Thornton, of Wann, the driver of the 2010 Ford F350 n the crash, was not injured.

 The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is still investigating how the crash occurred. No other information is available at this time.

IPD Chief Reflects on Active Shooter Drill


Law enforcement and emergency personnel are now more prepared to deal with an active school shooter. Independence Police Chief Jerry Harrison says this is a topic no one wants to think about, but says police need to be prepared to respond to a situation that's very different than their usual work.


Harrison says their training focuses on getting to the threat and neutralizing it quickly, throwing usual protocols out the window. He says this recent training was very realistic.


In addition to the Independence Police Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Coffeyville Police Department, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Independence Fire and EMS, Labette Health, Montgomery County Emergency Management, Caney Police Department, Cherryvale Police Department and USD 446 also participated in the training.


Power Restored in SEK after Storms


Most who lost power during Friday's severe weather have had their power restored.


Areas served by Evergy including Fredonia lost power after storms moved through the area. As of 9 p.m. last night, Evergy is reporting that power has been restored to more than 93 percent of impacted customers. About 14,500 customers remain without power from Friday’s storm across the company's service area. More than 3,000 Evergy employees, contractors and personnel from neighboring utilities continue to work around the clock to make repairs and restore power. The remaining outages are mainly located in Lawrence, Topeka and Kansas City. Evergy now expects outages in the Topeka and Lawrence areas to be restored by midday today. Outages in the Kansas City metro area are expected to be restored today and into tomorrow. Many of the remaining outages will require tree removal and reconstruction to restore power to smaller numbers of customers at a time. Evergy provides power for much of eastern Kansas and western Missouri.

Survey Responses Needed from Farmers


The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service will survey producers in Kansas for its 2023 County Agricultural Production Survey for small grains.


The 32-state survey will collect information on total acres planted and harvested, as well as yield and production of small grains crops at the county level. The survey will provide the data needed to estimate acreage and production of selected crops such as barley, oats, and wheat in the U.S. Kansas producers who do not respond in the next few weeks may be emailed a reminder or contacted for an interview to complete the survey. NASS safeguards the privacy of all respondents and publishes only aggregate data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified, as required by federal law. The survey data will be published on December 15th. A link to the survey is available here.

Construction between Girard and St. Paul Starts This Week


A resurfacing project in Neosho and Crawford Counties starts this week.


According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, the project on K-47 will include an 18-mile stretch that runs between the west city limits of St. Paul and the west city limits of Girard. Project activity includes a pavement surface recycle and asphalt overlay. The contractor plans to begin at Girard and work west to St. Paul, and then turn and work east toward Girard. Flaggers and a pilot car will direct one-lane traffic through the work zone during daylight hours. Drivers can expect delays of 15 minutes or less. KDOT awarded Bettis Asphalt & Construction of Topeka the construction contracts totaling $5.3 million. The work should be completed by mid-November, weather permitting.


Severe Weather Causes Outages, Damage


Evergy is reporting more than 3,800 power outages across their service area due to today's storms.  Nearly 100 outages have been reported near Fredonia, over 1,000 outages are reported in the area between Piedmont and Fall River north to Climax.  Outages have also been reported in the Iola area.  Outside the immediate area, outages are being dealt with in Wichita, Topeka and Kansas City.  Damage is still being assessed in southeast Kansas.  Amateur radio operators have reported power lines down in Erie, Law enforcement also reports some trees down and street flooding in Independence.  Emergency management in Labette county reports trees and power lines down in Parsons and Altamont.


Evergy customers can report power outages here.
Twin Valley Electric customers can call 866-784-5500 to report and outage.
Coffeyville Municipal Light and Power customers can call 620-252-6180 to report an outage.


Rainfall reports as of Friday 7 p.m.

KGGF Studios: 0.57"

1st and Buckeye in Coffeyville: 0.65"

North of Independence: 1.20"
Independence Police Department 1.10"


***** Noon Update *****


A severe thunderstorm watch has been issued for almost the entire state of Kansas including Elk, Chautauqua, Wilson, Montgomery, Neosho and Labette counties in the immediate KGGF listening area until 7 p.m.


***** Update 11:15 a.m. *****


The likelihood of severe weather has increased slightly.  Storms are now possible for the four states between 4 p.m. and midnight.  The area is now in an "enhanced" risk of severe weather, upgraded from the "slight" risk category from earlier this morning.  KGGF will continue to provide updates and severe weather coverage as needed.


***** Original Story *****


Storms will move through the area this morning before 7. Severe weather is not expected, but the slow storm movement could result in heavy rainfall and possible flooding. A flood watch is in effect through 10 this morning for Washington, Nowata, Craig and Ottawa Counties and areas to the south.


Severe weather is possible tonight for the four states. The entire area is in the “slight” risk category for seeing severe weather according to the Storm Prediction Center. One-inch hail, wind gusts up to 60 mph and heavy rainfall are the main threats. KGGF will provide severe weather coverage as needed when storms move through the area.


Parsons PD Warns of Scam


The Parsons Police Department is warning citizens of what they call a sweetheart scam. PPD says they have been made aware of a scam related to social media and large, promised sums of money. An individual connects online through a social media site with their victim.


Often the scammers are targeting those individuals who are new singles or individuals who have recently lost a spouse or partner. The scammer cultivates a relationship and then talks about wanting to come to the area to see their new companion. As the scammers develop more trust and deeper connections, they begin asking for items from the victims, such as money for airline tickets, funds to pay for customs for items for the victim or other sums of money related to travel plans. In reality, the gifts do not exist and the scammer has no intention of coming to Kansas, just gaining access to the victim’s money, and perhaps even personal information that could result in identity theft and other serious issues.


More Charges Filed Against Southeast Kansas Truck Thief


 Additional charges have been filed against a man involved in a robbery and shooting in Cherokee County Sunday.

 61-year-old Charles Amos is facing charges of burglary and theft, in addition to charges of attempted murder. Amos was initially charged for his involvement in a robbery and shooting that happened in rural Cherokee County. He was captured in Oklahoma City.

 Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves says evidence was uncovered indicating Amos had obtained the gun used Sunday morning by burglarizing a vacant home in rural Columbus late last week. Groves says even though the burglary of the home and theft of property had not yet been discovered and reported by the owner, investigators determined where the burglary had occurred and confirmed the weapon used, along with two other firearms and other property, had in fact been stolen.

No Change in Special Purpose Vehicle Ordinance in Neodesha


There will be no change to the special purpose vehicle ordinance in Neodesha that was passed in May.


At their last meeting, commissioners discussed a potential change regarding age restrictions. Commissioner Emily Vail-Keller says she believes the restriction is not fair.


Mayor Devin Johnson says he understands Vail-Keller's concerns but says younger drivers have an increased tendency to drive ATVs recklessly.


Commissioners voted to keep the ordinance as read, with Vail-Keller voting against the motion.

Neodesha City Treasurer Resigns


The City Treasurer in Neodesha is resigining.


At their last meeting, city commissioners approved the resignation of City Treasurer Mike Tigner.  Community Development Director Chris Bauman says city staff members appreciate Tigner's service.


Tigner has served the city for 39 years. The commission approved Utility Billing Supervisor Anita Buchanan as Interim City Treasurer.

Voluntary Water Conservation Begins In Caney


 The city of Caney is asking for volunteers to voluntarily conserve water.

 In a post on Caney's website and in a text and e-mail sent to residents last night, Mayor Josh Elliott declared a voluntary water conservation effort, effective Thursday, July 20th. He requests water consumers to employ voluntary water conservation measures to limit or eliminate nonessential water uses, including outdoor watering, filling swimming pools and washing motor vehicles.

 For more information, contact City Hall at 620-879-2772.

SEK Man Arrested After Early Morning Theft


A Southeast Kansas man is arrested after an early morning police chase.


Around 2:00am, Cherokee County Deputies were alerted to the theft of a truck from a home in the northeast part of the county. Several firearms were in the vehicle at the time of the theft. While searching the area, deputies located the stolen truck and attempted to stop it. The suspect fled from Cherokee County into Crawford County, where Crawford County Sheriff's Deputies engaged the suspect, who fled from them before bailing on foot into a wooded area.


The suspect, 33-year-old Dakota Lee Clay, of Pittsburg, was located, apprehended and transported to the Cherokee County Jail where he is being held on allegations of felony theft, theft of a firearm, fleeing and eluding and driving while suspended.

Search Warrant Leads to Five Arrests


A search warrant leads to five arrests in Parsons. The search warrant was the conclusion of a multi-month investigation into potential drug activity in the area. During their search, Parsons Police officers located paraphernalia for the packaging and sale of illegal narcotics, along with paraphernalia for the use of narcotics. They also located methamphetamine, marijuana and a handgun.


48-year-old Krystal Dawn Gatewood, 49-year-old Clyde Douglas McGlory, 43-year-old Joseph Patrick Treiber, 33-year-old Stacey Marie Cash and 43-year-old Daniel Owen Umbarger were all arrested. All five were charged on numerous drug charges for possession and distribution. Gatewood has added charges of criminal use of weapons. McGlory had two Parsons Municipal Warrants. Umbarger has an additional charge of interference with law enforcement officers.

Motorcycle Accident Kills Grove, OK Rider


 A motorcycle crash takes the life of a Grove man.

 The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the crash happened around 9:00 Tuesday evening, about five miles east of Jane on Highway 90 in McDonald County. 70-year-old Clifford Garrett’s 2006 Harley Davidson was westbound, when it overturned into a ditch.

 Garrett was pronounced deceased at the scene. There is no word on if Garrett was wearing a helmet.

 Missouri had 151 motorcycle fatalities on roadways last year. The state legislator continues to search for ways to see that number decrease.

Texas Man's Bond Revoked On Sexual Battery Case


 A Texas man was in Washington County court this week after his bond was revoked on a sexual battery charge.

 Oscar Ivan Flores was originally arrested in October 2022. He is accused of forcing a woman to touch him inappropriately inside an elevator.

 Court records show his bondsman revoked his bond. Flores is back in Washington County Jail on the original $25,000 bond. His next court date is set for August 28th.

Woman Injured in Cherokee County Crash


A woman is injured after a crash in Cherokee County, KS.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 44-year-old Zachary Overman of Oswego was driving a Ford F-250 westbound on U.S. 400 near Cherokee yesterday morning when he activated his turn signal and began to slow down to turn left on 30th. A Kia driven by 39-year-old Kayladon Richardson of Columbus was behind Overman and the driver failed to slow down and rear-ended Overman's truck. The Kia lost steering and then struck a Dodge Ram driven by 47-year-old James Williams of Chanute. Richardson, who was driving the Kia, was taken to an area hospital with a suspected minor injury. The two other drivers had no apparent injury.


Update: Flood Warnings This Morning


An estimated 5-8 inches of rain fell across southwestern Allen, northwestern Neosho, northern Wilson and southern Woodson Counties overnight.  This has prompted a flash flood warning for the area until 7:45 this morning for that area.  In addition, a flood warning for a slightly wider area will continue through 10 a.m.  


Meanwhile, heat advisories continue today, starting at noon in Oklahoma and 1 p.m. in Kansas.  Coffeyville will see a high around 95 and a heat index up to 105.


Current warnings:


* Flash flood warning until 7:45 a.m. for southwestern Allen, northwestern Neosho, northern Wilson and southern Woodson counties.

* Flood warning until 10 a.m. for Allen, Neosho, Wilson and Woodson Counties.


***** Update 11 p.m. *****


A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect until midnight for northeastern Wilson County and southeastern Woodson County including Yates Center, Buffalo and Rose.  Threats include 60 mph winds and quarter size hail.

***** Update 9:15 p.m. *****




Storm timing for the Coffeyville area now expected between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m.  Timing for areas north including Chanute will be between now and 11 p.m.


***** Update 8:20 p.m. *****

A severe thunderstorm watch is in effect for portions of eastern Kansas and south and central Missouri until 3 a.m.  This includes Allen, Butler, Chautauqua, Cowley, Elk, Greenwood, Labette, Montgomery, Neosho, Wilson, Woodson Counties in southeast Kansas.  Coffeyville and Independence are included in this watch. 


***** Update 2 p.m. *****


Heat warnings and advisories continue in the four states though this evening as the chance for severe weather is on the rise.


According to the latest information from the National Weather Service, the best chance of storms will be in southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri between 5 p.m. and 2 a.m.  Storms will be isolated between 5 and 8 p.m., and primary threats include hail up to 2 inches, damaging winds and a tornado cannot be ruled out.  The highest chance for 2 inch hail will be north of Fort Scott, KS.



Between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m., storms will be more widespread, but the area where they could develop will be more focused and includes Chautauqua, Montgomery, Labette and Cherokee counties and areas to the north and east including Coffeyville and Independence.  Primary threats include damaging winds up to 75 mph and quarter size hail.



***** Original Story *****


Today will be very hot with a chance of severe storms.


The National Weather Service is predicting a heat index up to 112 for the Coffeyville area, which has prompted a heat advisory for the entire four-state area except for northeast Oklahoma where an excessive heat warning is in effect. The advisories and warnings start at noon and will last until 7 p.m. for Missouri, 8 p.m. for Kansas and 9 p.m. for Oklahoma and Arkansas.


Severe storms are possible late this afternoon through tonight for the area as well. Higher confidence of storm development includes an area east of I-135 between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. Primary threats include up to quarter-size hail and wind gusts up to 75 mph with these widely scattered storms. Don't forget to sign up for text alerts to stay informed when severe weather strikes here.

Wilson County Receives Holiday Donation


Wilson County has learned of the donation total from last week's 4th of July Barbecue.


County Coordinator Kris Marple says the county will be using the money donated to support the sheriff's department.


The commissioners elected to accept the donation from the event following a unanimous vote.


Additional items of business at this week's County Commission meeting was the beginning of election early voting in Neodesha, with an Early Voting Day on July 21st from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Civic Center in Neodesha. It was also announced that Hall Brothers Construction of Marysville, KS, will be be speaking with the commissioners reagrding new asphalt products.

Another Successful Summer Celebration


The City of Coffeyville celebrates another successful Summer Celebration and fireworks show. Organizer Gail Smith says this year's celebration surpassed any of the ones they have done in the past.


Smith says they are going to try to make it even bigger next year.  Smith says he wants to thank the city, the business the community for their support of this event each year. He says all the events of the day ran smoothly and he thanks the sheriff's reserves for being out there and making everyone feel safe.

Parson Man Appears in Court After June Arrest


A Parsons man appears in court after being arrested for theft and drug charges.


Last month, a Parsons Police Officer took a report of a vehicle burglary in the 200 block of South 14th Street. In that case, multiple items were stolen, including a firearm, personal belongings and electronics. A second report was taken for this same victim, due to the suspect attempting to use a credit card belonging to the victim. Another victim reported a package being stolen off their porch. After reviewing security footage from all three incidents, a PPD Officer was able to identify this suspect as Jesse Lee Kenworthy Sr. The information from these cases was shared among the patrol shifts.


The following day, two PPD officers located Kenworthy in the 900 block of Main St. They were able to stop and arrest Kenworthy in connection with the prior offenses. During the arrest, he was found to be in possession of controlled substances. Methamphetamine and marijuana. Kenworthy has remained jailed on a $15,000 bond at the Labette County Jail.

Two Florida Men Arrested with Counterfeit Money


Two Florida men are arrested in Nowata County.


24-year-old Raheem Davis and 27-year-old Elighjah Conti were arrested for possession of counterfeit currency and conspiracy to commit a felony. The Nowata County Sheriff's Office stopped a vehicle being driven 101mph in a 65mph zone on Highway 169. Conti was driving the vehicle and told the deputy they were driving from Tampa, Florida to St. Louis, Kansas. Neither Conti or Davis had a valid driver's license.


During a search of the rental vehicle, $16,800 in counterfeit U.S. currency was found hidden under the back seat. Officers discovered Davis was already on supervised probation for possession of counterfeit notes. Davis also has several prior convictions from three states for crimes ranging from fraudulent activity to robbery with a firearm. Davis's bond was set at $50,000 and Conti's was set at $35,000. Both currently remain in the Nowata County Jail.

Pittsburg Man Faces Copper Theft Charges


 A 33-year-old Pittsburg man is facing charges for his alleged involvement in the recent theft of copper wire from an area utility company.

 Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputies were alerted to suspicious activity in rural northeast Cherokee County Monday evening. Through cooperation with the Crawford County Sheriff's Office, the vehicle was stopped outside of Pittsburg.

 After a roadside interview, and with suspected evidence located inside the vehicle, Cherokee County Deputies established probable cause to arrest suspect Troy Maples.

 Maples is being held on charges of theft from a utility company, criminal damage to property, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on expired registration.

 Anyone with information as to those responsible for these crimes are encouraged to contact their local law enforcement agency.

Tips to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office can be made by calling 620-429-3992 or by texting the words 'tip cherokee' to 888777.

Trap, Neuter, Release Program Seeing Success In Pawhuska

 As Coffeyville Friends of Animals begins the process of a new Trap, Neuter and Release program, the city of Pawhuska is receiving positive results from their TNR program.

 Interim City Manager Bill Sweeden, in a report to the Pawhuska City Council last night, explains the idea of the program.

 Sweeden says there is no timetable on how long the program will last. He also says dogs will be a part of the program but the main concern right now is the number of feral cats.

Bartlesville Woman Arrested On Drug Charges


 A Bartlesville woman is arrested on drug possession charges.

 26-year-old Chloe Stone's first appearance in court was yesterday. Stone is charged with aggravated trafficking of a controlled dangerous substance, unlawful possession of paraphernalia, and two counts of possession of a CDS.

 Court documents say officers searching Stone’s car after pulling her over for a defective taillight and found multiple illegal narcotics. Officers first found 1.3 grams of a liquid form of fentanyl wrapped in foil. They also found multiple bongs with drug residue in all of them and a purple container with a white powdery substance that the officer believed to be fentanyl.

 The powder weighed in at 41.9 grams; it was sent to the OSBI for testing. Officers also found Clonazepam pills and marijuana in the vehicle.

 Stone's bond was set at $250,000; her next court appearance was set for August 11th.


Man Identified In July 5 Police Shooting


 The man who was shot and killed by Bartlesville police last week has been identified.

 The OSBI says 24-year-old Ricky Wayne Franks died from his wounds at the scene after police responded to a call of a potential suicidal person on July 5 on Madison Boulevard near the intersection of Nowata Road.

 Bartlesville Police Captain Daniel Elkins said police were on-scene for several hours attempting to speak to Franks, however the situation escalated at approximately 4 a.m. when police shot and killed Franks.

While only one officer fired the shot, a total of three responding officers have all been placed on administrative leave while the Bartlesville Police Department conducts an internal affairs investigation.

The OSBI investigation continues.

City Manager to Retire and Vice Mayor Steps Down


Coffeyville City Manager announces he will retire and the Vice Mayor steps down. City Manager Mark Hall says he plans to retire at the end of this year.


Vice Mayor Justin Doane, who announced at the end of the meeting that it would be his last, says it has been an honor to serve.  Doane, who has been working in Tulsa, says they've closed on their house in Coffeyville and are moving down there. Mayor Ann Marie Vannoster presented Doane with a plaque commemorating his time on the commission.

KDWP K9 Assists PPD


A Kansas Wildlife and Parks K9 provides assistance to the Parsons Police Department.


Late last week, a KDWP Game Warden Austin Sievert and K-9 Apollo were requested following the conclusion of a vehicle pursuit with a convicted felon. Once the suspect was in custody, PPD and the Labette County Sheriff’s Office believed parts of a firearm had been discarded in tall grass on the side of the highway to hide evidence.


K9 Apollo made quick work of the road ditch, alerting officers to the location of the components of the firearm that were thrown further down the highway.

New Look for LCC Main Entrance


There is a new look to the main entrance at Labette Community College.


A new window graphic has been installed that adds a fresh look to the main entrance as well as lets visitors know when the college was established. This new addition comes as the college prepares to celebrate its 100-year anniversary, which is scheduled for September.

Bell Ringers Needed for Christmas in July


The Salvation Army's Christmas in July is coming up in Coffeyville in under two weeks. Organizer Joe Brooks says he is still looking for volunteer bell ringers for the Saturday, July 22nd event.


Brooks says the shifts for bell ringers at both locations are generally an hour.  Brooks says any college or high school student needing volunteer or community service hours this would be a good opportunity for them.

Meadowlark Lounge Hosting Tenth Concert


The Meadowlark Lounge is hosting the tenth concert night in the venue's history on Saturday.


Four local singers and songwriters will be performing original songs, including returners Nathan Conner of Cherryvale, Larry Curt of Neodesha, and Chris Mitchell of Independence.


Mitchell says he fell in love with the process of writing music from a very young age.


Tom Posch of Independence will also be performing for the first time. Meadowlark Lounge Organizer Mike Flood says Posch has a style of music that will surprise people.


The concert begins at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6 p.m., and is a benefit to the Independence Historical Museum and Art Center. Tickets are $20.00 per person and can be purchased at the museum at 123 N 8th Street in Independence or over the phone. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the museum at 620-331-3515.

Kansas Leading In Economic & Income Growth

 A recent report released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows Kansas ranks fourth in the nation for personal income growth and seventh in the nation for economic growth in the 1st quarter of 2023.

 Kansas’ real gross domestic product, or the market value of goods and services produced in the state, grew by 6.0% from the fourth quarter of 2022 when adjusted for inflation, triple the national average of 2.0%. Personal income in Kansas grew by 8.4% over the same period, surpassing the national rate of 5.1%.

 The report showed that agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting were the lead contributors to growth in states including Kansas.

 The complete report from the BEA is available here.

USD 446 Names New Board President


The USD 446 Board of Education has gone through a reorganization, including a new Board President and Vice President.


Scott Hines will serve as the new President of the Board, after spending the past two years as the Vice President to Sam Blackard. Hines is an Independence product, having graduated from the district, as well as having three children currently in USD 446. Hines has served on the Board of Education since 2014.


Greg Hennen will be the Vice President, three years after he was appointed to the Board in 2020. Hennen has two children who both graduated in the district, and currently serves as the Executive Director of Four County Mental Health Center.


Also discussed at the July Board meeting was the official employment of new head football coach Kendall Fiscus, as well as aassistant football coach Tyler Ellison. The district will also be having a Back to School party on August 10th in Riverside Park, featuring performances from the IHS band, cheer, and dance teams.


USD 446 meets on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of Independence High School.

Fidelity Bridge Open After June Accident

 All lanes of I-44 are open at the I-44 / I-49 overpass in Fidelity after the bridge was heavily damaged in a June accident.

 East and westbound lanes on I-44 in Fidelity reopened yesterday morning following a June 12th accident, when a trailer hauling a crane struck the girders of the I-44 bridge, causing what MODOT called major structural damage.

 Bridge work is completed, however, new paint work on the bridge’s girders will impact I-49 traffic. Painting will take place through Friday, causing periodic lane closures and slow traffic. The work will be done from 7:00pm to 7:00am. Lanes will operate normally during daytime hours.

 Clover leaf ramps at the interchange will remain closed for the duration of the repairs. Drivers are advised to find alternate routes.

Railroad Maintenance In Independence


 Signal maintenance by SKO Railroad in Independence disables several signals.

 According to the Independence Police Department, SKO Railroad is performing maintenance on signals on North 8th Street near Parkhurst, North 10th and Railroad, North 13th and Railroad and 21st and Sycamore.

 All signals at those crossings will be disabled until further notice.

Bartlesville Man Arrested After Police Chase


 A Bartlesville man was in court yesterday after being arrested Sunday afternoon for leading police on a high-speed chase.

 Bartlesville PD attempted to pull over 34-year-old Christopher Morrow for a taillight infraction, but after the officer activated his emergency lights, Morrow left at a high rate of speed.

 Court documents say Morrow committed multiple traffic violations, and almost wrecked in a construction zone around Hensley Avenue.

 Morrow stopped on his own at the Firestone Parking lot on Frank Phillips Boulevard and was arrested. Police discovered a partially burnt and broken glass pipe used to smoke meth. Morrow initially denied ownership of meth, but later admitted it was his.

 Morrow is charged with eluding police, possession of controlled dangerous substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia along with traffic offenses.

 Morrow is being held on $25,000 bond; his next court date is set for August 11th.

Repairs Continue at South Coffeyville Schools


Cleanup efforts continue after recent flood damage at the South Coffeyville Elementary School. After their meeting last night, school board members surveyed progress on repairing classrooms and offices that were damaged during recent rains. The bill from the restoration company that provided fans and dehumidifiers totaled $36,000, which is expected to be covered by insurance. Superintendent Daryl Pruter says all is on track to be finished by the start of school.


In other business, the board approved a $0.50 raise for non-certified staff after previously adopting new salaries for certified staff. A labor sale fundraiser was also approved for FFA, and Ag Teacher Jeff McGlathery says this model of fundraiser has been popular in other districts and will help pay for a new livestock trailer.


McGlathery says students are auctioned for eight hours of work and the fundraiser follows a regular auction process.


The auction will be used in addition to FFA's Blue and Gold Sausage sales. More details on the auction will be announced after the start of school.

Man Wanted for Stealing Truck in Cherokee County Captured

A man is in custody after a day-long manhunt across state lines.


According to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, 61-year-old Charles Amos was captured just before midnight on Sunday in Oklahoma City. Amos was being sought following an incident in rural Cherokee County over the weekend for allegedly stealing a farm truck. The owner located the stolen truck and Amos nearby after Amos stopped to siphon fuel out of the stolen farm truck to put into a van, which had been previously stolen in Oklahoma City. When the owner of the stolen farm truck confronted the suspect, he discharged rounds from a shotgun at one of them, then fled in one of the family members' white 2015 Chevy 4-door truck.


Cherokee County Investigators coordinated with law enforcement partners in Southeast Kansas, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the United States Marshal's Service and the Oklahoma City Violent Crimes Apprehension Team in efforts to locate and apprehend Amos, who is currently in custody in Oklahoma City, pending extradition back to Kansas.

Update on Bloody Bender Research Trip


The team from the University of Kansas researching the former “Bloody Bender” property in southern Labette County has already made some discoveries.


According to the latest information shared by the student researchers and their lead investigator, broken bits of pottery and old square nails have been found, offering a chance of finding the exact coordinates of the cabin once occupied by the Bender murderers as well as burial sites of their victims.


Kansas Geological Survey Principal Investigator Dr. Blair Schneider and her team of six students have officially begun their two-week “field school” at the property, using a variety of geophysical methods including ground-penetrating radar, magnetics and electrical technologies to image the subsurface to identify points of interest for future excavation and other areas that might help more accurately tell the story of life and death in the Bender era of the late 1800s.


Area residents are invited to attend a special presentation, “Unearthing the Bloody Bender Mystery,” this Friday, July 14, at 6:30 p.m. at Memorial Hall at 410 N. Penn in Independence where Dr. Schneider will serve as a panelist and share the team’s early findings.



Montgomery County Adding Bilingual Pay Policy


The Montgomery County Commissioners are looking to increase compensation for bilingual employees.


County Human Resources Director Ben Brubaker says that elected officials would determine which employees qualify for the bilingual pay, and there are two ways they would qualify.


The proposed increase would be $0.50 per hour, which follows the model of other county departments. Brubaker says that only one other county has a bilingual compensation model like the one the county is proposing.


The commissioners approved the addition of the bilingual pay to the county handbook.


Additional items of business at this week's County Commission meeting was an update from Public Works Director Jim Wright, as well as the second quarter abatement reports from County Clerk Charlotte Scott Schmidt.

KBI Releases Crime Report


 The Kansas Bureau of Investigation releases the 2022 Kansas Crime Index Report. The report compiles crime statistics reported to the KBI by state and local law enforcement agencies throughout Kansas.

 The 2022 Kansas Crime Index Report indicates that violent crime in Kansas decreased by 4.3% from 2021, showing declines in each category of violent crime. A total of 12,849 violent crimes were reported in Kansas in the categories of murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault and battery.

 Violent crime in Kansas had been steadily rising each year since 2014, but seems to have started to level off as violent crime offenses declined in 2021 and 2022. Despite this decline, the number of violent crimes in 2022 remained 9.2% above the 10-year average, and have not yet returned to pre-pandemic crime rates.

 In 2022, overall property crimes declined by 10%. In Kansas, property offenses have steadily declined since 2017. Property crime offenses are assumed to be underreported to law enforcement.

 Find the full 2022 Kansas Crime Index report, and previous year’s statistics here.

Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission Approve Lottery Draw For Turkey Permits


 During their June 22nd public hearing, members of the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission approve recommendations to initiate a lottery draw system for distribution of non-resident turkey permits set to begin in 2024.

 Commissioners passed amendments to implement an application period for non-resident turkey hunters to apply for a specific hunt unit in early January thru mid-February. Similar to Kansas’ lottery draw for non-resident deer permits, any leftover non-resident turkey permits will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

 A video or audio stream of the Commission’s meeting is available here.

 The next Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission meeting will take place on August 17, 2023, in hybrid format at Pittsburg State University’s Bicknell Center VIP Room in Pittsburg.

Cherokee County Sheriff's Office Looking For Stolen Truck


 The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office is working to locate a stolen vehicle and the man who took it, after an incident when shots were fired at the truck's owner.

 Just before 8:00 a.m. yesterday, deputies responded to a call northwest of Columbus for a report of a stolen farm truck.

 The owner of the stolen truck found it and the suspect when the suspect stopped to siphon gas out of the stolen truck and into a van. The van was stolen out of Oklahoma City.

 The owner of the truck and other family members, confronted the suspect, 61-year-old Charles Amos. Amos fired a shot in the direction of the family before fleeing in the stolen truck. The truck is a white 2015 Chevy 4-door with tinted windows.

 Amos was last seen in Coffeyville around 2:15 p.m. yesterday afternoon, traveling westbound on Highway 166.

 If you see Amos or the stolen truck, please contact local law enforcement.

KDWP to Review Endangered Species List


The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks is conducting a five-year review of the lists of Kansas species that are endangered, threatened or Species in Need of Conservation.


The state endangered list currently includes 11 invertebrates, five fish, two amphibians, two birds and two mammals. The state threatened list includes six invertebrates, 10 fish, six amphibians, three reptiles, one turtle, two birds and one mammal. The Species in Need of Conservation list includes 82 species. KDWP relies on the Threatened and Endangered Species Task Committee to assist with the review process. More information on the petition process and a link to add a species to the list is available here.

Rest Area Back Open After Water Main Break


The rest area at the intersection of U.S. 169 and 400 is back open after being closed for repairs. 


According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, the closure was prompted by a recent water main break at the facility that was announced Friday.  As of this morning, the rest areas is listed as being open according to KanDrive, KDOT's traveler information site.

Webb City Woman Sentenced In Aggravated Battery Case


 A Webb City woman is sentenced for her role in an aggravated battery case in Cherokee County.

 25-year-old Ivy Christine Simpson was sentenced last week to over three years in prison.

 The 38-month sentence came after Simpson pled guilty to aggravated battery for her involvement in the December 2022 stabbing of a woman north of Galena.

 Simpson is being held in the Cherokee County Jail, pending transfer to the Kansas Department of Corrections.

KCC Begins Public Hearings On Evergy Rate Increase Request


 The Kansas Corporation Commission begins public hearings this week to give Evergy customers an opportunity to learn more about the company’s rate increase request and to make comments before the Commission.

 The application, filed with the KCC on April 25, requests an average monthly rate increase of $14.24 for Evergy Central customers and $3.47 for Evergy Metro customers. Commission approval is required before a regulated utility can change its rates.

 The first of three public hearings will be held tomorrow in Topeka, with the second hearing held Thursday Overland Park. A third public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, July 27 in Wichita at Wichita State University’s Lowe Auditorium at the Hughes Metropolitan Complex, 5014 E 29th St. North beginning at 6 p.m.

 For those unable to attend in person, a virtual option via Zoom is available to allow remote participants to comment. Advance registration on the KCC’s website is required for those participating by Zoom. The hearings will be broadcast on the KCC’s YouTube channel for viewing only.  The Commission is also accepting written comments regarding the rate increase request through 5 p.m., September 29th.

 The Evergy Central service area includes Salina, Parsons, Wichita, El Dorado, Newton, Fort Scott, Pittsburg and Independence, among other towns and rural areas.


KBI Investigates Shooting In Labette County


 The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Labette County Sheriff’s Office are conducting an investigation into the death of a male from Cherryvale.

 Last Friday at approximately 1:30 p.m., the Labette County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a shooting. Police found the victim, 74-year-old Thaine Lee Anderson, of Cherryvale, at his residence at 21079 Douglas Road, deceased from a fatal gunshot wound to the head. The Labette County Sheriff requested KBI assistance thirty minutes later, and KBI agents and the Crime Scene Response Team responded.

 During the course of the investigation, the suspect, a 14-year-old male, was located. He was arrested for first-degree-murder, and taken to the Southeast Kansas Regional Juvenile Center in Girard.

 The preliminary investigation indicates the death is the result of homicide.

 The case will be prosecuted by the Labette County Attorney. The investigation is ongoing.

Wichita Man Facing Child Abuse Charge In Washington County Court


 A Wichita man was in Washington County Court Friday for a child abuse warrant issued in 2021.

 Court document say 28-year-old Tyjuan Sherman Dean was asked by the victim’s mother to help change the victim and get him ready for a nap.

 The victim’s mother heard a loud thud when she was in another room; she thought Dean was upset and threw something at a wall. The mother went into the bedroom and noticed blood on the face of the victim. The victim's injury required a visit to the hospital.

 Dean first said he didn't know what happened, but later admitted via snapchat that he “underhand tossed” a sippy cup to the victim, and did not realize the victim was bleeding. 

 Dean is being held on $75k bond; his next court date is scheduled for August 11th.

Voter Registration Deadline is Tomorrow


Tomorrow is the last day for Kansas to register to vote or change their party affiliation ahead of the August 1st Primary Election.


By law, the registration deadline is 21 days before election day. If you have questions you can call your county clerk or visit the link about voter registration here.

Summer Celebration Draws Crowds to Coffeyville


Around 12,000 shells were shot off during the almost 45-minute fireworks show at this weekend's Summer Celebration. The all-day event brought large crowds to Walter Johnson Park for concerts and performances, food, vendors a car show and more. The event is an outgrowth of Organizer Gail Smith's generosity.


Smith is quick to point out that Summer Celebration isn't his event, but one by and for the community.


Taylor Crane & Rigging President Jim Taylor donated a large crane to hold the American Flag and says he enjoys the timing of the event.


Summer Celebration takes place the Saturday after the Fourth of July.


Trap Neuter Release Program to Begin at Coffeyville Friends of Animals


A new trap neuter release program is beginning this weekend at Coffeyville Friends of Animals.


The TNR program is designed for colony cats, and gives citizens more resources available to help the cat population in the community. People will be able to rent a trap from CFA for a refundable $35 deposit, and the charge will be $5 per week for the trap. The shelter will also provide a can of wet cat food when a trap is rented.


CFA Director Auxana Whatley says that once the cat is in the trap, the shelter will perform the next steps.


Once the cat has been spayed and neutered, and deemed healthy, staff will release the cat back to the address that it was caught at, in order to sustain the shelter the cat is accustomed to.


Whatley says there are multiple ways for people to get involved and learn more about the TNR program.


To help kick start the program, the shelter is sponsoring the first trap at no cost for the first week.

Safety Corridor Pilot Program Focuses On Saving Lives


 Motorists traveling four stretches of highway across Kansas will now see increased traffic safety messaging and new signage as part of the Safety Corridor Pilot Program.

 The Safety Corridor Pilot Program is a five-year initiative to reduce fatalities and serious injuries in the selected safety corridors. The safety corridors were selected based on a history of fatal and serious injury crashes, availability of additional law enforcement and input from local transportation safety partners. One of the four corridors includes Highway 69 in Crawford County, from the U.S. 400 junction north through Frontenac and Pittsburg to the U.S. 160 junction.

 The Safety Corridor Pilot Program is a strategic initiative of the Drive To Zero Coalition. The Drive To Zero Coalition's objective is to reduce fatal and serious injury crashes on Kansas roadways.

 This Safety Corridor Pilot Program will run until 2028. Secondary educational messages in schools and businesses along the four corridors will be distributed beginning in August. For more information, visit the corridor website. A link is available here.

Traffic Stop on U.S. 400


Parsons Police, Labette County Sheriff's Department and Kansas Highway Patrol are working a traffic stop on U.S. 400.  The reason for the stop is not known at this time.  Traffic moving slowly on 400 midway between highway 75 and U.S. 169. This is a developing story, check back for more details.


Kansas Election Audit Questions Security


A new Kansas audit says county elections security policies don't appear to be strong or detailed enough and the state doesn't appear to be giving counties enough guidance.


The report was released yesterday by the auditing arm of the Republican-controlled Legislature and was initiated amid ongoing claims of election fraud among GOP conservatives. Auditors examined election security procedures in 15 of the state’s 105 counties and found that none of those counties had comprehensive security policies or guidance. The audit found most of the counties had inadequate procedures for testing voting machines' accuracy after elections or for securing their voting machines from unauthorized access while they are deployed. Secretary of State Scott Schwab's office pushed back on the idea that it isn't providing enough guidance. Its formal response to the audit said its training for election officials deals with security issues and the office is working on more standardized policies and forms.


One Killed, One Injured In Joplin One Car Accident


 A one car accident in South Joplin kills one person and injures another.

 The Joplin Police Department’s Major Crash Team says the accident happened in the 3900 block of South Jackson Avenue just after 6:30 Wednesday evening. The vehicle was southbound on Jackson when it rounded a curve, left the roadway, hit a utility pole, rolled over, and ended up in a nearby ravine.

 31-year-old Christopher Colon, of Joplin was driving; he was ejected and died at the scene. Passenger 27-year-old Crystal Kenney, of Everton, Missouri, sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries, and was taken to a local hospital.

 JPD says alcohol and speed is a possible factor, but the crash remains under investigation.

Grove Man Sentenced In Drug Conspiracy Charges


 A Grove man convicted of trafficking meth into Oklahoma and Missouri has been sentenced.

 William Donavan Johnson III plead guilty in July 2022 in federal court to drug conspiracy charges; he was sentenced yesterday to 22 years in federal prison.

 Court documents say Mexican sources brought 2,000 pounds of meth to Bakersfield, California. From there, between 50 to 100 pounds of meth were shipped to Oklahoma and Missouri. Johnson confessed to distributing more than 500 grams of meth to the Grove and Miami area of Oklahoma and the Marshfield and Niangua area of Missouri.

 231-pounds of meth, along with $465-thousand in cash were seized in October 2020 in Grove.

 Johnson faces more federal charges in Missouri. Court records show he plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine between May 20, 2019, and January 28, 2021, although a sentencing date has not been set in Missouri.

 If convicted in Missouri, that and the Oklahoma sentences will run concurrently.

Summer Celebration is Tomorrow


Summer Celebration is tomorrow in Walter Johnson Park in Coffeyville.


The seventh annual event will feature a huge slate of activities, and organizer Gail Smith says there's been a lot of interest this year.


Smith says the event will go on rain or shine, and the day will start at 7 a.m. with a 5K and fun run with registration behind the Stevenson building. Car show registration starts at 7:30 at the stadium, with kiddie car registration at 8 inside the Stevenson Building. Water slides open for the day at 10 a.m., and the municipal band will be playing a special concert at 11. Dance and music performances will start at noon at the stadium, and cornhole registration will also start at noon. More bands will play at 5:30 and the fireworks kick off at 10 p.m. Smith says it's a must-see show.


KGGF will also be live from Walter Johnson Park between 6 and 8 p.m. with a remote on US 98. A full schedule of events is available below:


KHP & MHP Report Independence Day Holiday Activity


 The Kansas Highway Patrol releases its Independence Day Holiday Activity Report.

 The Kansas Highway Patrol worked two fatal non-DUI related crashes involving two non-DUI related fatalities over the holiday.

 31 people were arrested for DUI this year, compared to 18 in 2022 and 19 in 2021. There were no DUI fatal crashes this year, compared to one last year.

 Speeding citations saw an increase from 1082 in 2022 to 1142 this year, as well as an increase in seat belt violations.

 For the Show-me State, the MSHP reports eight people died on Missouri roads over the long Fourth of July weekend, and four people drowned on the state's waterways. Troopers worked six boating crashes, which included two injuries and zero fatalities. Troopers made 10 boating while intoxicated arrests.

 Troopers in Missouri worked 390 traffic crashes, which included 152 injuries and seven of the eight fatalities. The Kansas City Police Department worked the remaining fatality. They also made 116 DWI arrests and 21 drug arrests over the holiday weekend.

 The reporting time period for both agencies was 6 p.m., Friday, June 30, through 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, July 4th.

Bourbon County Sheriff's Department Warns Of Scam


 The Bourbon County Sheriff's Department is warning residents of a phone scam.

 The department is receiving phone calls from residents stating someone from their agency is calling advising them that they have an active warrant and should pay to resolve the warrant. Calls are also being received about multiple citations for missing jury duty.

 Sheriff's officials say no calls will be made advising of warrants, and they will not require you to pay for your warrant or pay for anything over the phone.

 Contact the Bourbon County Sheriff's Department with questions by calling 620-223-1440, Select the Sheriff's Office, then Option 6.


Sedan, Chautauqua County in Water Warning


The City of Sedan and all of Chautauqua County, along with a portion of Montgomery County, are in the next stage of a water warning.


According to the city, the warning has moved to Stage 2 because of lake or reservoir elevation being five feet below the normal seasonal level.


Public Wholesale Water Supply District 20, which supplies water to 11 different entities across the counties, says that district water supplies will be monitored daily.


Sedan Water Superintendent Sherry Miller says that the city is enforcing regulation actions as well during the warning. A new odd/even lawn watering system will be imposed, outdoor water use will be restricted to before 10 a.m. and after 9 p.m., golf courses will restrict watering to after sunset, and refilling of swimming pools will occur one day a week after sunset.


Miller, who also serves as the President of the District 20 Board, says that excess water use charges will be considered during this time.


KGGF will continue to provide updates as they become available.

Bartlesville Man Threatens Multiple People With Bat


 A Bartlesville man was arrested Tuesday evening after making threats to kill multiple people with a baseball bat.

 32-year-old Jonathon Anderson is accused of threatening to kill one of the victims while she was trying to sleep. Court documents say when Anderson made the threats, the victim ran to the neighbor’s house for help and to call the police.

 Anderson followed her to the neighbor’s house and threatened to kill the neighbor and her son in the house. Officers arrived and arrested Anderson.

 Anderson was charged with felony assault. His bond was set at $20,000, with his next court date set for July 9th.

Police Chase in Parsons


A traffic chase leads to an arrest in Parsons.


Around 8:30 a.m. on July 4th, the Parsons Police Department received information about a maroon SUV that had been reported stolen with a Missouri Plates parked in the 3300 block of Broadway Ave.


An officer located the SUV at 28th and Crawford and attempted to stop the vehicle. The driver continued to operate without stopping, not obeying traffic laws and exited the Parsons city limits to 25000 Road and Northern Blvd. The vehicle went off road and went into a cornfield.


The driver of the vehicle was identified as Jeffery William Klingman who fled once the vehicle stopped in the cornfield. The passenger was identified as Charlotte Rae Blevins who was found in the vehicle and was taken into custody. A perimeter was set up to locate Klingman hiding in the cornfield.  Labette County Sheriff’s Office K-9 was deployed and he was located laying down in the cornfield and taken into custody without incident. The vehicles information was located and advised that the 2010 Chevy Suburban was stolen out of Independence.

No City Property Tax Increase For Caney in 2024


 There will be no increase in city property taxes for residents of Caney in 2024.

 Caney's regular session meeting yesterday included preliminary figures for the 2024 budget from City Administrator Kelly Zellner, as well as the recommendation of a revenue neutral hearing for August 21st, before the budget deadline of August 25th.

 Zellner explains what revenue neutral means.

 Zellner says with the recent increases in water and sewer rates, Caney city administrators did not want to see city property taxes increase, especially with household budgets being tightened in many families.

 The city council set a budget workshop for July 17th at 5:30pm, just before the next regular session meeting. 

 In other business, the council opened up the bidding process for trash services. The deadline was set for September 1st at 2:00pm. The council also agreed to research costs to install security cameras at the city pool.

Bartlesville Man Arrested Again On DUI


 A Bartlesville man previously charged with a DUI in January was arrested again on a charge of aggravated DUI.

 Bartlesville PD says the incident took place Monday evening. When Larry Leon Chapman II appeared in court yesterday after posting bond from Monday’s arrest, District Attorney Will Drake requested Chapman not be released because he was a danger to the public. Judge Linda Thomas agreed; Chapman’s bond was raised and he was placed back into custody.

 Chapman's bond is now $15,000; his next court date for both DUI charges was set for August 9th.

Extension Agent Shares Livestock Heat Stress Tool


While the next several days will bring cooler weather, it's never too soon to start thinking about livestock heat stress as we head towards more hot summer days.


That's according to K-State Research and Extension Livestock Production Agent Wendie Powell, who says problems can arise when temperatures don't go down at night.


Powell says lack of air movement and animal crowding can contribute to heat stress, and the solution is to provide plenty of shade and fresh water. In addition, Powell says there are resources available for producers through the Kansas Mesonet.


Powell says this seven-day forecast can be helpful in planning, especially if producers are considering moving livestock. A link to the Kansas Mesonet is available here.

Update - One Person Dead Following Overnight Police Shooting


 One person is dead following a police shooting in Bartlesville early this morning.

 Bartlesville Police Department says the incident took place in the 1500 block of Madison Boulevard, near the intersection of Nowata Road. Captian Daniel Elkins shares the details.

 While only one officer fired the shot, the three responding officers have all been placed on administrative leave while the Bartlesville Police Department conducts an internal affairs investigation.

 The OSBI is investigating the incident.

 The investigation is ongoing.

June Total Tax Receipts Exceed Estimate; Close Fiscal Year Ahead Of Projections

 Governor Laura Kelly announces total tax collections for June.

 Estimates show June numbers were $989.0 million, 1.8%, more than the estimate and 7.6%, more than June 2022.

 Individual income tax collections were $379.0 million, 1.1%, less than the estimate but 3.9%, more than June 2022. Corporate income tax collections were $226.2 million, 13.1%, more than the estimate and up 52.7% from June 2022.

 Combined retail sales and compensating use tax receipts were $303.5 million, 0.5% more than the estimate but less than June 2022 by only 0.1%.

 Kansas will end FY 2023 with total tax collections of nearly $10.2 billion, which exceeds the FY 2023 revised estimate by $25.9 million.

 Click here to view the June 2023 revenue numbers.

Evergy Asking For Rate Increase


 Evergy files an application with the Kansas Corporation Commission to request a rate increase for its customers.

 The application seeks a net increase of 9.7% for Evergy Kansas Central customers and a net increase of 1.95% for Evergy Kansas Metro customers.

 If approved, the new rates would likely take effect in December 2023.

 For EKC residential customers, the average monthly increase would be $14.24, while EKM residential customers would experience an average monthly increase of $3.47.

 The rate increase is intended to account for lower expenses resulting from the merger of Westar Energy and KCP&L, as well as higher expenses related to depreciation and infrastructure upgrades.

 Public hearings will take place on July 11 in Topeka, July 13 in Overland Park, and July 27 in Wichita. Participants can attend in person or virtually via Zoom.

Galena Police Officer Credited With Saving Young Girl's Life


 A Galena police officer is credited with saving a young girl’s life.

 Officer Jakob Christiansen, who has been with Galena PD for about a year, was on duty last Friday when a call came in about a medical emergency at Schermerhorn Park. Christiansen, first on scene, found a young girl having a hard time breathing.

 When the girl passed out and stopped breathing, Christiansen and the girl's father started CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Christiansen and the father were able to revive her as EMS and the fire officials arrived.

 Christiansen is being called a hero; he says he’s thankful for his training, and that the girl still has a full life ahead of her.

KDOT & Law Enforcement Agencies Urge Slower Drivers


 From July 10 to July 16, law enforcement across the state will participate in the Speeding Slows You Down campaign and will increase enforcement for speeding vehicles to improve traffic safety.

 In 2021 in Kansas, 76 people lost their lives in speed-related crashes. In addition, of the nearly 4,500 crashes attributed to speeding that year, drivers ages 15-29 were behind the wheel more than 50% of the time.

 Speeding significantly increases both the likelihood of a crash and the crash severity, particularly affecting the time it takes to slow down the vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it takes about 221 feet to stop a vehicle traveling 50 mph. Increase the vehicle speed to 80 mph, and it takes about 460 feet to stop.

 Drivers are reminded to follow posted speed limits, obey all traffic laws and pay attention. For more information on the risks of speeding, click here.

Storms Possible This Morning, Tonight

Update 9 a.m.:


Storms are moving through the area and can be expected now through 11 a.m.  Storms are not expected to be severe.


***** Original Story *****


Strong storms are possible this morning, and another round of weather could move through overnight.


Scattered thunderstorms, small hail and 50 mph wind gusts are possible across southcentral and southeast Kansas through 9 a.m.  This afternoon and evening, all of southern Kansas and Northern Oklahoma as well as extreme western Missouri and northwest Arkansas could see some severe weather.  Confidence in storm development is low, but lightning and large hail are the primary threat if storms develop.  Stay with KGGF for weather updates and sign up for text alerts here.

Officer-Involved Shooting In Bartlesville


 An investigation into an officer-involved shooting this morning in Bartlesville continues.

 Bartlesville PD say they received a call for service at the 1500 block of Madison Avenue, where the shooting took place.

 The Oklahoma state Bureau of Investigation has been called to investigate; no other information is being released at this time.

 The investigation is ongoing.

Indy Celebrates Independence Day


Riverside Park in Independence resembled a scene from The Music Man last night.


Families and children were playing and setting up to watch the fireworks display, and the Mid-Continent Band performed a special 8 p.m. concert that was broadcast live on KGGF. Selections included the Armed Forces Medley in honor of Independence Day. A recording of the broadcast is available here. The fireworks kicked off at 9:30 and were funded by donations sent in through the Ignite Indy Fireworks Fund organized by the Rotary Club.

Garage Fire in Coffeyville


Several fire departments respond to a garage fire in Coffeyville.


Last night just after 9 p.m., the Coffevyille Fire Department along with South Coffevyille and Dearing Fire Departments were dispatched to a report of a structure fire at 1st and Washita in Coffeyville. Firefighters found a detached garage on fire behind a home located at 2nd and Washita. Nextdoor neighbors say they heard and saw fireworks in the vicinity of the garage when the fire started, although an official cause has not been released. Personal property in the garage was damaged, but no one was injured.

City of Bartlesville Looks to Water Solutions


 Severe drought in northeast Oklahoma and southeast Kansas is the driving force behind water restrictions put in place by the City of Bartlesville earlier this year.

 At last night's Bartlesville City Council meeting, Water Utilities Director Terry Lauritsen says lack of rain in southeast Kansas is the primary cause for declining levels at Hulah and Copan lakes, which are the primary sources of water supply for Bartlesville and the surrounding area. Lauritsen says the area of southeast Kansas that is the watershed for Hulah and Copan has been in an exceptional drought for the past 6-8 months. 

 Barring significant rainfall in southeast Kansas that would replenish declining lake levels at the city's primary water sources, Lauritsen says other measures will be necessary to get the area through what is expected to be a two-year drought.

 City Manager Mike Bailey says a few options being discussed include accessing an aquifer located in Osage County, potential water rights at other Oklahoma lakes and/or working with other municipalities with water rights at those lakes, as well as purchasing potable water from other sources. He says the least expensive options range between $20 million and $40 million, with the more expensive coming in "north of $300 million."

 A Water Resource Committee will also be formed to study the best option for the city.

Joplin Man Arrested After Saturday Standoff


 A Joplin man faces multiple charges after a standoff Saturday morning.

 The Joplin Police Department says an argument between two men led to the assault and the stealing of a firearm at 2124 South Sergeant Avenue. The standoff, which began at 11:00a.m., lasted for several hours between JPD’s SWAT Team and 40-year-old Donald Smith II. He was arrested just after 2:00 p.m.

 Charges include domestic assault in the 3rd degree, 1st degree robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm, and resisting arrest.

Grove Airport Runway Temporarily Closing


 The Grove, Oklahoma Regional Airport is temporarily closing its runway and taxiway.

 The closure will take place from July 10 to September 1st, as workers rehabilitate the runway, pave the taxiway, and install new lighting and signage.

 Airport Manager Lisa Jewett says helicopters, including medical helicopters, will still be able to land at the airport.

 Improvements also include the airport’s drainage system.

 For questions or more information on the project, call (918) 786-6150.

Man Injured in ATV Accident South of Parsons


A man is seriously injured after an ATV accident in Labette County.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 54-year-old Todd Nibarger of Parsons was driving a 2023 Polaris ATV westbound on 20000 Road just east of U.S. 59 yesterday around 2:50 p.m. His vehicle entered the north ditch, struck a tree and Nibarger was ejected. The ATV continued westbound, striking him while he was in the ditch. Nibarger was taken to an area hospital with a suspected serious injury.

Winter Wheat Harvest Behind Schedule for KS


Despite better conditions in southeast Kansas, wheat harvest across the state is behind schedule compared with recent years.


That's according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, which reports winter wheat harvested at 46%, well behind 80% last year and the 63% average. Wheat in Oklahoma is listed as 80% harvested, behind 97% last year and the 92% average. Winter wheat condition in Kansas is rated 25% very poor, 26% poor, 33% fair, 15% good and 1% excellent. In Oklahoma, condition is much better, listed as 10% very poor, 12% poor, 33% fair, 44% good and 1% excellent.



Verdigris Regional Advisory Committee Meeting Next Week


The Kansas Water Office’s Verdigris Regional Advisory Committee will have a meeting to discuss current water issues affecting the region as well as the state.


The meeting is Tuesday, July 11th at 10:00am at the Old Iron Days at in Fredonia. The main agenda items include a discussion on the 2025 budget. The agenda, virtual meeting access and meeting materials can be found online at or physical copies can be requested at (785)296-3185 or toll-free at (888)526-9283.

Garage Fire in Independence


The Independence Fire Department responds to a late night fire.


At 10:56pm last night, IFD-EMS was dispatched to a structure fire at 305 Crestview Drive. First arriving units saw smoke coming from the attached garage. Firefighters entered the house and extinguished the garage fire. Smoke was evacuated from the house, and crews cleared the scene at 11:45pm.


A patient was transported for minor injuries associated with attempting to extinguish the fire before IFD arrived. Independence Rural Fire provided assistance at the scene.


Independence Day Events Continue Around The Area


 There are plenty of opportunities to celebrate Independence Day, with numerous events taking place across area communities.

 Fireworks will be held at the Old City Lake in Sedan tonight at dusk.

 Independence is having a Celebration in the Park tomorrow. There will be rides and mini-golf, as well as a performance from the mid-continent band at 8 p.m., and a fireworks show at 9:30 p.m.

 Neodesha is having Fireworks at Dark on Independence Day at Riverwalk Park.

 Parsons is having a fireworks show on July 4th at Marvel Park.

 In Northeast Oklahoma, the town of Nowata is celebrating tomorrow in Jack Gordon Park. The day starts at noon with a cookout benefitting the Nowata Fire Department. A water spout and inflatable activities begin at 4:30 p.m., the turtle races begin at 5 p.m., an auction starts at 6:30 pm., a free watermelon feed begins at 8 p.m. and fireworks start at dusk.

 Music, food and fireworks will be held at Don Tyler Park in Dewey tomorrow. Music starts at 6 p.m. and the fireworks will start at 9:30 p.m.

 Freedom Fest returns to Sooner Park in Bartlesville with tons of food, vendors, live music, a patriotic kids’ parade and costume contest, miniature golf, inflatables and fireworks. Freedom Fest begins at 6 p.m., the kids’ parade is at 6:45 p.m. and the live music begins at 7 p.m. at the bandshell. The fireworks begin at 9:30 p.m.

 In Coffeyville, the Summer Celebration will be at Walter Johnson Park on July 8th. The event will feature car shows, live music, and a fireworks display.

LaTurner Announces July Mobile Office Hours Schedule


 Congressman Jake LaTurner announces his office's July Mobile Office Hours schedule

 LaTurner says a top priority for his office is to provide hight quality constituent services to Kansans across the Second District. Mobile Office Hours are a way for Kansans to make their voices heard and get assistance with veterans benefits, Social Security applications and Passport processing, as well as Medicare & Medicaid assistance, and Housing and Urban Development.

 Mobile officer hours include Bourbon County and Cherokee County Thursday. LaTurner's officer will be at the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce at 9:30, and Galena Municipal Court at 3:00 p.m. The office will be at the Chanute Public Library July 19th at 9:30.

 For more information, visit

Illegal Marijuana Growing Operation Discovered In Bourbon County


 The Kansas Bureau of Investigation, along with the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas Highway Patrol, Allen County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bourbon County Public Works, investigate an extensive outdoor marijuana grow operation in Bourbon County.

 Early last week, the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office received information related to a possible illegal marijuana grow operation near the intersection of 35th St. and Highway 65, near Bronson.

 Law enforcement authorities secured the grow site last Thursday. An unknown subject fled the area and was unable to be located. A total of 1,350 marijuana plants were seized along with camping gear, firearms, a vehicle, and growing paraphernalia. The marijuana being grown at this site would have produced approximately 1,350 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated street value of around $1.7 million.

 Anyone with information about this suspected grow operation is encouraged to contact the Bourbon County Sheriff’s Office at 620-223-1440 or the KBI at 1-800-KSCRIME.

 The investigation is ongoing.

Elk City Woman Dies After Being Hit By Emergency Vehicle


A woman is dead after being struck by an emergency vehicle over the weekend.


According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, 72-year-old Victoria Edington of Elk City was sitting in a chair on the west side of Franklin Street in Elk City when she was hit by an emergency vehicle responding to a medical call with lights and sirens activated. KHP says the emergency vehicle made a wide turn and stuck Edington, who was pronounced dead at the scene. This happened just before 10 p.m. on Saturday around the time of the Elk City fireworks display. The 71-year-old driver and 31-year-old passenger of the Ford F550 emergency vehicle were not injured.

House Fire in Coffeyville


The Coffeyville Fire Department responds to an early-morning structure fire.

Around 5:20 this morning, firefighters were dispatched to a home near the intersection of 6th and Gump, which is just west of Lewark in Coffeyville. Flames were visible from a rear window on the east side of the home. The fire was quickly contained within minutes. There are no reports of injuries at this time and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

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