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Local News Archives for 2024-02

2024 Nado Fest this Weekend


Nado Fest 2024 is coming up this weekend at Coffeyville's Community Elementary School. Community Health Worker Kelsey Watkins says Nado Fest is an event that brings the whole community together.


To be eligible for the prizes attendees must visit at least five booths and attend one presentation.  Student Services Coordinator Melissa Murray says they have a great group of presenters lined up to speak.  Nado Fest is from 9:30am to 12:30pm on Saturday at CES. For more information, contact Murray at (620)252-6400.

Accident at Spears Manufacturing Injures One


One is injured in an accident at a manufacturing business in Caney.


This morning, the Caney Police Department was notified by 911 through the Coffeyville Police Department of a female injured by a piece of equipment at Spears Manufacturing. Caney Police and EMS responded along with Caney Fire, Coffeyville EMS, Tyro Rural Fire and Parsons MedFlight.


The woman was treated by Caney and Coffeyville EMS and then life-flighted from a nearby landing zone. The name and condition of the woman injured have not been released. KGGF will update the story as more information becomes available.

Inmate Dies in Neosho County Jail


An inmate is found dead in the Neosho County Jail. 


Yesterday just before 1:00am, a male inmate was found unresponsive by a Neosho County Dentition officer. The inmate was alone in his assigned cell when he was found during hourly rounds. The officer called for EMS and began CPR. Upon the arrival of EMS, the inmate was pronounced dead. 


The inmate was identified as 40-year-old Michael D. Powell, of Chanute.  The Kansas Bureau of Investigation was contacted and responded to the scene to investigate the circumstances of the death. An autopsy has been ordered. 

US 169/ South Walnut Construction Project Begins Monday

 Starting Monday in Coffeyville, Highway 169 South or South Walnut Street in Coffeyville will be reduced to one lane traffic from 15th Street south to Walden.

 The reason for the closure is a KDOT Pavement Restoration Project. Southbound traffic will be detoured west on 11th Street, then south on Willow, and east on Eldridge. 

The city says this is a 90 day working project, but adds that weather is always a factor in road construction and that there is no definite end date for the project.

Nerf Wars Sign Up in Parsons

 The Parsons Recreation Commission is hosting a Nerf Wars event on Friday, March 8th.

 Nerf Wars is open to kids ages 6 through 12 year of age. Participants will divided into platoons. Each group will then construct their own fort before using their Nerf guns to attack their opponents under the black lights. The cost is $10. The deadline to register is tomorrow, March 1.

Early Voting Opens Today in Oklahoma

 Voters in Oklahoma begin early voting today.

 Early voting locations are open today across the state of Oklahoma from 8am to 6pm. Locations are also open tomorrow from 8 to 6 and Saturday from 8 to 2. No reason is needed in order to cast a ballot in early voting but those who wish to do so must vote in the county where they are registered.

Oklahoma has three primary elections – Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian. Only the Democratic primary is open. Independents who wish to vote in the Democratic Primary must request a primary ballot from election workers.

Voters should be prepared to show a valid form of identity when checking in with election officials at their early voting location. More information on proof of identity can be found on the State Election Board website.

Neodesha Seeks Outside Help for Grant Writing

 The City of Neodesha agrees to employ the services of a grant writing group to help the city.

 At yesterday's city commission meeting, commissioners heard from Garrett Nordstrom of Governmental Assistance Services from Lawrence. Nordstrom says the city of Neodesha is very close to being eligible for a variety of beneficial grants.

The cut off for the grant is 51.1% low to moderate income residents. Neodesha comes in just under that mark at 49.5%. Nordstrom told commissioners that his company would conduct a community wide survey that would yield more accurate numbers than the US Census.

Commissioners agreed and approved a measure that would allow the city to partner with Governmental Assistance Services at a cost of $34,000.

Nado Fest Coming to Coffeyville Schools This Weekend

 There will be lots of family fun to be had this weekend in Coffeyville.

 Nado Fest happens this Saturday at Community Elementary School. Kids Activities will include bounce houses, swag bags, basketball and more. Everyone can enjoy coffee and snacks, community booths, presentations, a taco bar, and prizes.

The event happens from 9:30 to 12:30 on Saturday morning.

Fredonia Students to Celebrate Leap Year with Family Fun

 Elementary school students in Fredonia will have a chance to celebrate Leap Year Day with a Family Fun Night tonight.

 Fredonia students in Pre-K through 6th grade can bring their families to Lincoln School tonight for some family fun. Students can make a famliy time capsule that will be opened in 2028.

The Fredonia Family Fun Night runs from 6 to 7:30 this evening.

Miami Mayor Announces a New Restaurant Coming to the City

 Miami Mayor Bless Parker says Louisiana chicken is coming to Miami.

 Mayor Parker attended the grand opening of the new Popeyes Chicken location in Webb City yesterday. While he was there, he said the owners of that location already have plans to expand and build another new Popeyes in Miami. Parker says construction should begin on the new location later this year.

Missouri Man Arrested on Charges of Sexual Misconduct With a Child

 Authorities in Jasper County arrest a man for sexual conduct with a child.

 Rusty Little of Anderson, MO, was taken into custody by deputies from the Jasper County sheriff's Office after an investigation revealed Little has performed sexual acts with a girl under the age of 14.

Little has been charged with two counts of 1st degree Statutory Sodomy and sexual misconduct involving a child.

Oklahoma Eliminates State Tax on Groceries

 Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt signs bill to eliminate the state portion of the grocery tax.

 Stitt signed the bill yesterday. The Governor says the bill is a good example of bipartisanship.

Stitt added that when a bill sees such a large amount of support from both sides of the aisle, it's a sign that the state is doing something right. The bill will take effect in August.


Photo courtesy Office of Governor Kevin Stitt

Source of Loud Booms in the Night Skies May Be Explained

 Several recent reports of loud booms, roars and unusual lights in the night sky over southeast Kansas may have an explanation. 

 F-16s from the 138th Fighter Wing of the Oklahoma Air National Guard based in Tulsa are conducting night exercises through March 7. According to the Guard, the jets take off from Tulsa International Airport and then head north of Tulsa to training airspace in the Smoky Hill Air National Guard Range in central Kansas. 

The Guard says night exercises normally wrap-up before 11 p.m. The F-16s normally do not use their afterburners when flying over Tulsa, but once they get over more rural areas, pilots sometimes crank the engines up to arrive in the training area within 10 minutes.

Early-Morning Fire in Coffeyville


Several departments including crews from Coffeyville and Dearing respond to an early-morning fire in Coffeyville.


This morning around 5:40, crews were dispatched to a report of a structure fire on the west end of Catalina Street in northwest Coffeyville. A house at the end of Catalina two blocks west of Buckeye on the north side of the dead-end street was on fire. Neighbors report the house is believed to be vacant and that it appeared the fire started from within the structure. No word on any injuries or a cause is available at this time.

CRMC Hires New Director of Nursing


Coffeyville Regional Medical Center announces a new Senior Director of Nursing Services.


Charlene Paolini, a Coffeyville native, has been hired to fill this role. Chief Nursing Officer Sarah Hoy says they could not have a more knowledgeable person to lead their nursing team. Paolini attended Labette Community College and graduated as a Registered Nurse in 2012. She then completed her Masters Degree in Nursing Education in 2017. She began her career at CRMC in 2015 and has held positions in Women’s Health, Labor and Delivery, Employee Health, Employee Education, Clinical Documentation Improvement, Case Management and most recently as the Director of Utilization Review.


Paolini says she is excited about this new role, to work alongside the nursing teams and continue to promote excellence and satisfaction for both patients and associates.

City of Miami Begins Search for New City Manager

 The City of Miami begins its search for a new city manager.

 The Miami City Council and Mayor Bless Parker took the first steps toward finding a new City Manager for Miami. The Council signed a $27,000 contract for the services of Strategic Government Resources (SGR) search firm.

Human Resources Manager Cindy Vanover presented the option, which was approved following an executive session part of Monday’s work session meeting by Council Members.

SGR will provide screening, evaluation and vetting of applicant candidates. A selection of semifinalists will be made, and face-to-face interviews will then be conducted. The process is expected to take up to 12 weeks to complete.

St Andrew Fish Fry Fridays

 Those looking for a good dinner without having to cook it can enjoy the Lenten Fish Fry at Saint Andrew's Parish in Independence.

 Independence Chamber President Lisa Wilson says it's a great option for Friday evening dining.

The Fish Fry happens from 5:30 to 7pm on Fridays through March 22nd

Independence High School Theater Department Hosts Fundraiser

 The Independence High School Theater Department is hosting a fundraiser featuring the cast of their upcoming performance of The Little Mermaid.

 The Under the Sea Tea will feature IHS student actors playing the characters of Ariel, Eric, Flounder, and more. Food for the event will be prepared by the IHS Bulldog Bistro classes. The Tea will be held in the Community Room at IHS on March 23rd at 1pm. Tickets are $20. Proceeds will benefit the Bulldog Bistro classes and the IHS Theater Department.

The IHS production of The Little Mermaid runs March 22nd and 23rd at 7:30pm and March 24th at 2:30pm in the Performing Arts Center at IHS. Tickets are $5 for students and $8 for adults.

Volunteers Sought for Inge Fest

 Independence Community College's Inge Fest is looking for volunteers.

 ICC needs volunteers for The William Inge Theater Festival coming up in April on the ICC Campus. New and former volunteers are welcome to join the fun on March 12th in the Black Box Theater on the ICC campus at 5:30pm. For more information call 620-332-5648.

Coffeyville City Commission Approves Shelter Equipment for Park

The Coffeyville City Commission moves forward on establishing a Land Bank and approves the purchase of equipment for a city park.

At last night's meeting commissioners heard the second reading of a city ordinance to establish a Land Bank. Interim City Manager Tim Wilson says this is something the city needs to move forward on.

Commissioners also heard from City Engineer Thomas Osborn regarding the purchase of shelter equipment for Sycamore and North Park. The project was voted on by residents when they approved a 10 year sales tax to fund the improvements. Osborn says the plan is to work on one park per year and the Sycamore and North Park is the first on the list.

The Commission also approved funding to pay for grass seeding and fertilization of Sycamore Park.

Columbus Man Receives 9 Year Sentence in Cherokee County

 A Columbus man was sentenced to nearly nine years in prison yesterday in Cherokee County District Court.

 50 year old Steven D. Tyner received his sentence after pleading guilty to Aggravated Battery and Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer. This was part of a plea deal that saw the dismissal rape and attempted murder charges stemming from a December 2022 incident .

Tyner is being held in the Cherokee County Jail and has one additional upcoming sentencing scheduled for April 2024 on allegations of violating the Kansas Offender Registration Act.

Tyner is required to register as a violent offender after having been found guilty 2007 for Attempted Voluntary Manslaughter.

Motorcyclist Killed in Southwest Missouri Crash

 A motorcyclist is killed in a crash just east of Joplin.

 22 year old Nicholas Glover of Seneca, MO, lost his life yesterday evening around 5pm when he tried to pass another vehicle on a curve on Missouri Highway 86. Glover was riding a 2021 Indian Motorcycle when he attempted to pass in a no passing zone. He side-swiped the vehicle he was trying to pass and struck a Dodge Caravan head-on. Glover was ejected from his motorcycle and did not survive.

Bartlesville Man Charged With Multiple Felonies

 A Bartlesville man faces multiple felony charges including attempted rape.

 Slade Sparks was arrested on Monday after he allegedly attempted to sexually assault a woman while she was installing a child car seat in her vehicle. The victim has stated she had never met Sparks before this incident. During his arrest, Sparks refused to comply with questioning from officers and resisted being put in hand cuffs before being forcibly taken to the ground and detained. He has also been charged with sexual battery and resisting arrest.

 Sparks is currently being held over on a $75,000 bond and his next court date is set for March 8th.

Stream Advisory for Onion Creek Near Hamilton Rescinded

 The Kansas Department of Health and Environment rescinds the stream advisory for Onion Creek to Willow Creek north of Hamilton in Greenwood County.

 The original advisory was issued in February 6th due to water contamination from a crude oil tank leak. Water testing has determined that contaminant levels in the water are within normal levels and the KDHE has determined that the stream is safe for wading and livestock use.

ICC's Bat Boy: The Musical Starts this Week


The Independence Community College Theater presents Bat Boy: The Musical this week. Theater Director Paul Molnar says he isn't sure this type of musical has ever been done in this area.


Molnar says one of the things he tries to do when picking a musical is to pick one that will challenge the students.  The first performance will be a student matinee for area high schools at 9:00am on Thursday. Friday and Saturday, the performances will be at 7:00pm, and then a Sunday matinee performance at 2:00pm. All performances will be in the William Inge Theater and are free to attend.


Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Seeks Person of Interest

 The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office seeks the public's help in locating a person of interest.

 The person is sought in connection to a vehicle theft that occurred in northwest Coffeyville in the early morning hours of February 22nd. You can see a video of the person here.

Labette County Floodplain Open House Today

 Labette County is holding a Floodplain Open House today from 2 to 6:30pm.

 Residents can attend the open house to view and discuss the proposed new floodplain map for Labette County. Attendees can learn if their house is in the floodplain, how and why floodplains are mapped and changed, and if they need to purchase flood insurance.

The floodplain open house will be held at the Altamont Park Building at 620 South Wabash.

Suspect Arrested in String of Montgomery County Burglaries

 The Montgomery Sheriff's Department arrests a Coffeyville man in connection to a string of burglaries in Montgomery County.

 Jerrod Lee Allison was taken into custody and booked into the Montgomery County Department of Corrections on charges of possession of stolen property and other drug-related charges. During the search of the Coffeyville residence where Allison was arrested, deputies found several items that had been reported stolen from a series of burglaries in rural areas around Dearing and Coffeyville.

Montgomery County Sheriff Ron Wade thanked the Coffeyville Police Department for assisting with the search warrant.

The case has been sent to the County Attorney's Office for proper charging.

Nowata County Commissioners Meet, Discuss Sheriff's Office and Federal Awards

 The Nowata County Commissioners met briefly yesterday morning to take action on a short agenda. 

 Commissioner Paul Crupper kicked things off by sharing an update on the Sheriff’s office. Chairman Timmie Benson also made a motion that was accepted and approved on the cancellation on going out for bids on courthouse panic buttons for the second floor. County Clerk Kay Spurgeon also gave an update on the corrected schedule of expenditures of federal awards from fiscal years 2021-2023.

The Nowata County Commissioners will meet again next Monday morning at 9 am at the Nowata County Courthouse Center and the meeting is open to the public.

Woman Accused of Being Drunk at Liquor Store

 A Ramona woman faces charges of being in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence.

 Dawn Hofbauer was arrested Saturday after a call was made from a liquor store in to police about an intoxicated customer.

According to an affidavit, when police arrived, Hofbauer was found sitting in her driver’s seat with her vehicle running. Hofbauer was allegedly showing signs of intoxication and was asked to perform field sobriety tests.

Hofbauer failed the tests and was taken into custody. Hofbauer also has two other DUI’s within the last year and was out on bond for one when this arrest occurred. Due to these factors, she has an aggregate $40,000 bond for all cases. Her next court date is set for March 8th.

Washington County Assessor Retires

 Washington County Assessor Todd Mathes announced his retirement Monday evening during a meeting of the Republican and Other Conservatives of Washington County. 

 Mathes stated he has enjoyed his terms as assessor, but is retiring to spend more time with his family. He says it is important to have someone with good guidance to be the next assessor and provided advise to the candidate who succeeds him. 

Mathes was appointed as the county assessor in May 2001. He has been re-elected without opposition in every election since 2002. Since Mathes is retiring in November 2024 and his four-year term doesn't expire until the end of 2026, his replacement will either be appointed or a special election could be called.

Kiwanis Host Pancake Feed in Parsons

 The Parsons Kiwanis Club is hosting a pancake feed this Saturday.

 From 7am to 1pm it's all you can eat pancakes for $7. A drink is included, but sausage is extra. The pancake feed happens in the basement of the Municipal Building at 112 South 17th Street in Parsons. All proceeds go toward civic improvements in the city.

Montgomery County Commission Hears From Citizen on Property Taxes

A citizen of Montgomery County speaks before the County Commission meeting about the increase in his property taxes.

At yesterday's meeting, the man told commissioners that he was surprised by a 34% increase in his tax bill and was upset when he spoke with a county employee at the courthouse.

County appraiser Melody Kikkert then joined the man at the podium and explained how the taxes were assessed.

In other business at this week's meeting, Commissioners voted to approve a letter of support for USD 445, discussed removing the stop signs on Peter Pan Road at Oak street in Independence, and tabled until next week the annexation of a property on Rajah Road.

Knife-Wielding Suspect Shot in Southwest Missouri

 Police in Sedalia, MO, shoot and kill and suspect with a knife.

 Officers were called on Saturday night in response to a disturbance and a person with a knife. When police arrived, there was an altercation. Both officers were stabbed and at least one officers fired shots that hit the subject, a 28 year old man. The suspect was killed. Both officers were treated at a nearby hospital and released.

The investigation is ongoing.

KS Crop Forecast Down, Corn in Lead


Corn is coming out on top in this year's crop forecast.


According to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, the value of Kansas’s 2023 field and miscellaneous crops is forecast at $7.76 billion, which is is down 17% from 2022. The value of corn production is expected to total $3 billion, down 16% from the previous marketing year. The price of Kansas corn is projected to average $4.90 per bushel, down more than $2 from the last marketing year. The value of soybean production is expected to total $1.32 billion, down 29% from the previous marketing year. Soybeans are projected to average more than $12 per bushel, down $1.70 from the last marketing year. The value of winter wheat production is expected to total $1.51 billion, down 29% from the previous year at $7.50 per bushel, down more than $1 from the last marketing year.

High Fire Danger Today


***** Update Tuesday 6 a.m. *****


Red flag warnings start this morning for the four-state area, now including northwest Arkansas.  Warnings will go into effect between 7 and 11 a.m. this morning.  The National Weather Service is now calling today's fire danger extreme to catastrophic for the immediate KGGF listening area.  Relative humidity is expected to drop into the teens and low 20% range, while winds could gust up to 50 miles per hour.  In addition, a strong cold front is expected to move through the area earlier now around 6 p.m. for Coffeyville.  This wind shift may cause erratic fire behavior with any ongoing fires.



***** Update Monday 5 p.m. *****


The risk of fire danger has increased from today's previous forecast.  


Higher confidence is now in place for extreme fire danger across all of southern Kansas, northern Oklahoma and Western Missouri.  Timing for the highest fire danger will be between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.  All of the four-state area will be under a wind advisory starting tomorrow afternoon and continuing through the early-monring hours on Wednesday.  The entire four-state area with the exception of northwest Arkansas is also under a red flag warning starting late tomorrow morning.  



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

Unseasonably warm weather combined with windy conditions will bring high fire danger to the area tomorrow.


According to the national weather service, very high fire danger is possible tomorrow for much of the four-state area including Coffeyville tomorrow, while extreme fire danger is possible for Elk and Chautauqua counties and areas either side of the state line to the west. The highest threat is tomorrow between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., and fires may start easily and spread rapidly making them very difficult to impossible to control. Currently, Washington, Elk and Chautauqua Counties and areas to the west are included in a fire weather watch.


Boil Water Advisories Issued in Neosho County


Some water systems in Neosho County are under boil water advisories.

According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the city of Galesburg and Rural Water District Number 4 in Neosho County are under the advisory until the conditions that placed the system at risk of bacterial contamination are resolved. The advisories were issued because of line maintenance resulting in low pressure in the distribution system. Anyone using those water supplies should boil water for one minute prior to drinking.


Man in Custody After Multiple Vehicle Thefts in Indy


A man is in custody after a string of vehicle thefts.


The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office has been investigating a number of thefts, starting with an incident last Friday when deputies were alerted to the theft of a black 2012 Hyundai Elantra from south Brookside Avenue in rural Independence. Alongside the vehicle, other items were reported stolen.


The next day, an employee at Ralph Mitchell Park discovered some of the stolen items near the Lone Chief cabin. Later that day, the owner of the stolen vehicle located the vehicle at the Apple Tree Inn, prompting a joint response from the Independence Police Department and deputies.


On the same day, another vehicle theft was reported on South Cement St. Deputies responded and learned the stolen Silver 2006 Chrysler 300 went into Independence City limits. Later deputies located the Chrysler 300 traveling south on County Road 3900. The deputies attempted to stop the vehicle which resulted in a vehicle and foot chase that ended south of Independence. The suspect was identified as Andy Ochoa. Further investigation revealed Ochoa was in possession of stolen property, including a handgun stolen out of Independence. Deputies also located methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and suspected fentanyl. Ochoa was transported to the Montgomery County Department of Corrections where he was booked into DOC. Following an investigation, Ochoa was also arrested for his involvement in the theft of the Hyundai Elantra. Both cases will be forwarded to the Montgomery County Attorney’s Office for further legal proceedings.

Parsons Swears in New Volunteer Officers

 Parsons swears in a pair of local doctors as volunteer reserve police officers.

 Doctors Ben Legler and Delyna Bohenblust were sworn in at last week's Parsons City Commission meeting at volunteer Reserve Police Officers. Police Chief Robert Spinks says the doctors will be handling assignments dealing with health and first aid.

Spinks adds that he hopes the pair will soon add FEMA credentials to their resumes so they will be able to help with nationwide events, should they be needed. Legler and Bohenblust were sworn in to their new roles by Parsons Mayor Eric Strait.


Photo: (left to right) Mayor Eric Strait, Dr. Delyna Bohenblust, Dr. Ben Leger, Police Chief Robert Spinks

Lions Club Bean Feed

 The Independence Lions Club is holding a Ham and Bean Feed this Saturday from 11am to 2:30pm.

 Attendees can enjoy ham and beans or hambburger soup, cornbread and a slice of homemade pie. The event happens at the Wesley Center at 200 south Penn. Tickets are available at the door or from a Lions Club member.

Baptist Church Auction

 The First Baptist Church in Coffeyville is having a Youth Auction on March 23rd.

 The proceeds will go to help local students attend camp. Anyone with items they would like to donate for the auction should take them to the church at 300 west 9th by March 22nd. For more information, call the church office at 620-251-3980.

Sex Offender Arrested Near Parsons Elementary School

 The Parsons Police Department has arrested a man for a violation of the Sex Offender Registration.

 43 year old Christopher Lee Thompson was arrested Friday afternoon at a Parsons residence located just two blocks from Lincoln Elementary School. Thompson has two sexual battery convictions, one in Kansas and the other in Oklahoma. He is mandated to register as a sex offender for his lifetime.

Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks says “removing non-compliant from our streets is vital for the well-being of our resident.” He says the PPD will continue to be diligent in holding sex offenders accountable for their registration requirements.


Joplin Man Injured in Shed Fire

 A Joplin man is injured when a fire spreads to an outdoor shed.

 Around 3:15 yesterday afternoon, fire crews in Joplin were called to reports of a structure fire. When they arrived on the scene, they found a shed engulfed in flames.

Authorities say an occupant was burning items in a barrel which caused a grass fire that spread to the structure. The man was taken by METS to the hospital in critical condition. Joplin Fire Marshal Dale Brooks recommends that, due to current conditions, residents should avoid burning.

Inmate Dies at Lansing Correctional Facility

 The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is investigating the weekend death of an inmate at the Lansing correctional Facility.

 LCF resident 51 year old Eric Avila was found unresponsive in his cell on Saturday. Avila was pronounced deceased by local emergency medical service personnel following attempts at life-saving measures. The cause of death is pending the results of an independent autopsy.

His death is currently under investigation by the Kansas Department of Corrections and the KBI. The investigation is currently ongoing.

Avila was serving a 20 year sentence for convictions of Kidnapping and Second Degree Murder in Sedgwick County.

Dearing FD Responds to Weekend Grass Fires


The Dearing Fire Department responds to three grass fires over the weekend.


According to the department, firefighters assisted Independence Rural Fire and responded to two other grass fires. As many people are starting to burn this time of year, the department is reminding everyone to call in controlled burns to avoid unnecessary responses. If you live in the Dearing, Coffeyville, Liberty, Tyro or Caney areas, call the Coffeyville Police Department non emergency line at 620-252-6160 before your controlled burn. Give them your information, address and what you will be burning, and they'll let the appropriate station know.


Tomorrow will bring an elevated risk of fire danger for southeast Kansas with lower afternoon relative humidity and winds gusting between 30 and 40 miles per hour.


Photo Courtesty Dearing FD

ICC Introduces New Volleyball Coach


Independence Community College introduces a new volleyball coach.


Alex Lehocky has been hired as the new head volleyball coach for the Pirates. She takes over for Melissa Anderson who has been serving in a dual role as the athletic director and head volleyball coach for the past two seasons, and will move exclusively to serve as ICC's AD. Anderson says they are excited to welcome Lehocky to the Pirate family and the community of Independence.


Lehocky joins ICC after two seasons as the head coach at Minot State University, during her time 15 players were named to the NSIC All-Academic team. Before MSU, she served as the head coach for three years at New Mexico Junior College where she started the program from scratch. A native of New Mexico, Lehocky was an Academic All-American at Otero Junior College. She has her Master's in Kinesiology and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

Kansas Town Selected on National "Blue Collar" Tour


A nationally touring welding academy will stop at a Kansas town this week.


Western Welding Academy out of Gillette, Wyoming will stop in Canton, KS tomorrow as part of their Blue Collar Tour. Around 50,000 schools apply to be part of the tour that stops at high and trade schools around the country, and Canton, which is near McPherson, is one of 30 stops selected.


Western Welding Academy Creative Director Beau Barkley says it's no secret that more workers are needed in the trades, and he says it's important to connect with young people on their level to get them excited about blue-collar career possibilities.


Barkley says with the rise of artificial intelligence and increasing college costs, he hopes this tour will encourage more students to consider the alternative of a high-paying blue-collar job.


The tour will be in Canton tomorrow from 8 a.m. through noon.

SAFE Campaign Begins Today


The Kansas Highway Patrol will join other law enforcement agencies from Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma in partnering with the Seat Belts are For Everyone program.


This two-week seat belt enforcement begins today and will go through Friday, March 8th. Troopers will focus on drivers and passengers in and around high schools to raise awareness of roadway safety and the importance of wearing seatbelts. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, 15-18 years old, in the United States. Superintendent of the Kansas Highway Patrol Colonel Erik Smith says seatbelts have been proven to save lives and prevent injuries.


Troopers will be extra vigilant when patrolling around schools. Law enforcement officers will continue to educate drivers and passengers about the importance of using seat belts while in their vehicles. Remind teens that driving is a privilege and encourage them to learn about the importance of driving safely.

IHMAC Young Artist Exhibit Coming in March


The Independence Historical Museum & Art Center's Young Artists Exhibit is coming up at the end of next month.


The show is expected to exceed the numbers of last year’s exhibit. Any students third grade through twelfth grade in southeast Kansas are eligible to exhibit. The dates for the exhibit are March 26th through April 5th. The dates for Registration are Friday, March 22nd, from 3:30pm to 6:00pm and Saturday, March 23rd from 10 :00am until 4:00pm.


Forms to enter the show can be found on the IHMAC’s website. For more information contact Donna Rothgeb at, or call her at (620)332-7694.

Local Students Perform in All-State Choir


Students from southeast Kansas perform in this year's Kansas Music Educators Association All-State Choir.


The performances took place over the weekend at Century II in Wichita and featured choir and band students locally from Coffeyville, Independence, Labette County, Chanute, Galena, Girard and Pittsburg. Performances included the all-state string orchestra, full orchestra, treble choir, mixed choir, jazz ensemble, honor band and all-state band. The music groups represent the best in the state as students are selected from a multi-part audition process that starts at the district level.

One Injured as Truck Hits Independence Fire Station


 Independence Fire-EMS responded to motor vehicle accident behind the Fire-EMS station at 11:17 am Sunday, February 25.

 Reports indicate that a full-sized pick-up truck struck the back of the station. Fire-EMS quickly responded with fire and ems units and began treating an entrapped occupant. Medflight was requested to the scene to transport the patient. Fire-EMS extricated and moved the patient to the helipad for transport. A dumpster and fencing stopped the vehicle form entering the fire station where on-duty firefighters were seated at a table inside the building. Debris from the truck was found next to the building and one firefighter reported seeing a dumpster “fly above the canopy roof,” when the accident happened.

No names have yet been released. The Independence Police Department is investigating the cause of the accident.

State Wrestling Results: Wrestlers From Chanute, Howard, and Fort Scott Take Home State Titles

 High school wrestling wraps up this weekend with the State Boys and Girls Tournaments in Salina.

 Area wrestlers made a solid showing at the state tournament as Creyo Koop (Boys 165) of Howard-West Elk, Kenna Miles (Girls 110) of Fort Scott, and Reese Clements (Girls 135) and Kiley Dillow (Girls 170) both of Chanute take home State Titles. Emma Hall of Coffeyville-Field Kindley placed 2nd at 105 pounds while Layla Tindle of Fredonia placed 3rd in the 115 weight class.


Top placers in the Boys tournament include Kohen Wright of Independence taking 2nd at 138, Mason Gibbons, also from Indy, placed 3rd at 113, while Coffeyville-Field Kindley’s Kainen White took 3rd in the 285 pound weight class.


4A Medal Winners:

At 138 pounds, Kohen Wright of Independence took 2nd place after being pinned by Rose Hill’s Damon Ingram.

Mason Gibbons of Independence placed 3rd in the 113 pound weight class with a 4-2 decision over Trenton Richwine of Rose Hill.

At 285, Coffeyville-Field Kindley’s Kainen White takes home 3rd place honors, defeating Jaden Garcia of Fort Scott 2-0.


Other Area 4A Placers:

Keith Sanders – Independence: 6th, 126

Jasper Allison – Fort Scott: 2nd, 150

Brody Gomez – Fort Scott: 4th, 165

Mason Obanion – Columbus: 4th, 175

Cade Small – Chanute: 5th, 175

Jaden Garcia – Fort Scott: 4th, 285





Medal Winners:

Creyo Koop of Howard-West Elk defeated Teagan Pfeifer of Russell 12-2 to win the State Title at 165.


Other Area 3-2-1A Placers:

Landen Kmiec – Erie: 6th, 132

Cole Mathes – Humboldt: 5th, 175


Girls 4-3-2-1A


Medal Winners:

Fort Scott’s Kenna Miles takes home a State Championship Title, defeating Kinzie Rogers of Cottonwood Falls-Chase County in an 8-5 decision in the 110 pound weight class.

Reece Clements of Chanute at 135 defeats Jailynn Taylor of Paola 10-1 to win the State Championship title.

Emma Hall of Coffeyville-Field Kindley took 2nd at 105, losing by pin to Harper Holmes of Frontenac.

Layla Tindle of Fredonia took 3rd place defeating Keera Lacock of Rossville in a 7-2 decision at 115.

From Chanute, Kadynce Axelson in the 120 pound weight class defeated Adrian Wynn of Wakeeney by pin to take 3rd.

Brooklyn Lima of Columbus defeated Nora Prather of Baldwin to take 3rd at 140.

Another Columbus wrestler Madelyn Garcia defeated Macey Parks of Buhler 2-1 to place 3rd at 145.

In the 170 weight class, Kiley Dillow of Chanute has not yet wrestled in her title match while Taylor Plumley defeated Hannah Simmers of Effingham-Atchison 9-5 to capture 3rd place.


Other Area Girls Placers:


Zoey Kessler – Cherryvale: 4th, 125

Lyndsey Escareno – Eureka: 6th, 140

Kara Pope – Girard: 4th, 190


Photo: Kohen Wright (bottom) of Independence prepares to wrestle in the state title match at 138 pounds against Damon Ingram of Rose Hill



Independence City Commission Meets

 The Independence City Commission meets and begins condemnation on two properties in the city.

 Commissioners agreed that the houses at 919 East Birch and 1005 East Birch were dangerous and unsafe and agreed to begin the condemnation process on both.

Commissioners also heard from Assistant City Manager David Cowan about the replacement of a pair of downtown stoplights. Cowan says the change will also require some changes to landscaping.

Cowan says the city is working with a group to explore alternatives.

Used Formal Consignment Sale Tomorrow

 It feels like springtime and that means prom is just around the corner.

 Women for Independence is holding their 10th Annual Used Formal Consignment Sale tomorrow at the Riverside Park 4-H building in Independence. Those wishing to sell dresses can do so from 8:30 to 10:30am. Those shopping for prom dresses, formals, and accessories can do so from 11 to 2. Item pick-up and pay-out happens between 3 and 4. The Registration fee is $5 for 3 dresses. Each dress after that is an extra $1. There is no limit on the number of dresses you can sell. Cash and credit cards are accepted and W-F-I will retain a 10% handling fee for each item sold.

W-F-I is an organization that raises funds to distribute to those in need in the community.

For more information, call Kristin at 620-313-0094

St Andrew Catholic School Holds Unique Fundraiser

 St. Andrew Catholic School in Independence is holding a unique fundraiser.

 The school is collecting gently used shoes of all types to raise funds for the school. St Andrew PTO President Breezy LaForge says the money rasied will go to help teachers buy classroom supplies as well as funding field trips and other fun activities for students throughout the year. LaForge says the fundraiser also helps in other ways.

Those wanting to donate shoes can drop them off at St. Andrew School or St. Andrew Catholic Church at 215 North Park Boulevard in Independence. The fundraiser runs through March 15th . For more information, contact the school at 620-331-2870

Two Captured After Police Chase Through Greenwood County

 Two suspects are in custody after a police chase through two Kansas counties.

 Deputies from the Butler County Sheriff's Office along with deputies from Greenwood County assisted officer from the Augusta Public Safety Office after the driver of a Ford Escape refused to pull over on Wednesday morning. Officers chased the vehicle as it headed east on US 400 into Greenwood County. Deputies there deployed stop sticks but the driver continued to evade officers. During the chase, speeds at times reached 120 mph. The Kansas highway Patrol eventually stopped the vehicle about 8 miles west of Fredonia.

Two people were taken into custody on multiple charges.

Parsons Rec Commission to Hold Spring Break Event

 The Parsons Recreation Commission is hosting Spring Break Fun Days March 11-15.

 The event will keep kids engaged with a week of fun events. Each day will have its own theme to keep attendees active and enrich both mind and body. Spring Break Fun Days is open to kids ages 4 through 12. The pre-registration cost is $15 while the day-of cost is $20. Registrants must have at least 10 kids with a maximum of 30. Spring Break Fun Days runs from 9am to 3pm at the Arvon Phillips Community Center. The sign up deadline is March 6. For more information, call the Parsons Rec Commission at 620-421-7077

Two Pittsburg Men Arrested for Burglary in Chanute

 Police in Chanute arrest two Pittsburg men for burglary.

 Officers from the Chanute Police Department responded on Sunday to reports of a burglary in progress in the 4800 block of South Johnson Drive in Chanute. 43 year old Elijah Shead and 31 year old Carl Rakestraw, both of Pittsburg, were arrested for burglary, criminal trespass, interference with law enforcement, and felony criminal damage to property. Reports will be forwarded to the Neosho County Attorney's office for review.

Crawford County Accident Leaves One Injured

 A Pittsburg woman is injured in a two vehicle accident in Crawford County.

 40 year old Megan Gepford was traveling eastbound on K-126 just west of Pittsburg yesterday afternoon. At around 3pm, Gepford's Mercury Sable struck the rear of a tractor-trailer driven by 43 year old Chad Swindler of Turney, MO, as he attempted to turn left into a parking lot across the eastbound lane. Gepford was taken to Via Christi Hospital with suspected serious injuries. Swindler was uninjured.

Water Main Break in Bartlesville


A water main break has been reported in Bartlesville.


According to Washington County Emergency Management, crews are working on a water main break near Silver Lake Road in south Bartlesville. Residents in the area may experience low water pressure or temporary loss. Residents are asked to limit use to conserve water until repairs are completed.

Sedan to Hold Special City Council Meeting

 The Sedan City Council will hold a special meeting today at noon to discuss the purchase of a new police vehicle.

 The council spent a great deal of time at Tuesday's regular meeting discussing the issue but came to no conclusion. Mayor Brian Blankinship stated in a Facebook post that the vehicle the city is considering is not a new on and will replace a current police vehicle that will be sold.

Red Meat Production Up in Oklahoma


Commercial red meat production in Oklahoma is up slightly.


That's according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, which reports production in January was almost 117 million pounds, up from about 110 million pounds in January of last year. The number of head of cattle slaughtered in Oklahoma in January was down, but the number of hogs, sheep and lambs was up from last year.

Early Morning Accident on US 166

 Emergency crews from Coffeyville and Dearing respond to an early morning accident.

 Crews are on the scene this morning on US 166 between County Roads 3300 and 3600 for reports of an injury accident. Officials say a box truck has gone off the road on the Highway between Tyro and Dearing. Drivers are advised to use caution in the area or find an alternate route until emergency crews can clear the accident.

Three Men Arrested in STL for Independence Murder


Three men are arrested in St. Louis in connection to a murder investigation in Independence.


The Kansas Bureau of Investigation, along with the Independence Police Department, secured three arrest warrants for murder based on an investigation into the October 2023 shooting death of Jason York. Between 6:30am and 9:00am, the U.S. Marshals Service and the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office arrested the three men in north St. Louis.


37-year-old Kevin A. Quinn, 23-year-old Kevin W. Martin and 20-year-old Aquan A. Quinn were all arrested for first-degree murder and aggravated robbery.  All three men were booked into the St. Louis County Jail. Extradition is expected and the Montgomery County Attorney’s Office is expected to prosecute the case. 

Locust Grove Woman Injured in Crash


One is injured in a single-vehicle crash in Mayes County.


The injury accident happened yesterday morning at about 6:45am. A 2010 Dodge Challenger, driven by 52-year-old Kelly Foreman, was westbound on County Road East 550 about three miles west of Locust Grove.


Foreman departed the road to the right about 70 feet before hitting a driveway culvert. The Challenger then went airborne for 40 feet before hitting a tree about 6 feet off the ground. The car came to a rest after hitting the tree and then caught fire. Foreman was transported to St Francis Hospital in Tulsa and admitted in stable condition with head injuries. 

Caney Residents Asked to Decrease Water Use After Lightning Strike


The City of Caney is asking residents to slow down their water usage today.


According to the city, an overnight lightning strike caused damage to equipment at the water plant. The city is asking all water users in Caney to limit their water usage until repairs can be made.

Rainfall Totals for the Area


Rain and scattered thunderstorms moved through the four-state area overnight.  Here are the totals from some area rain gauges:


KGGF Coffeyville Studios: 0.03”

Fredonia, KS CoCoRaHS Observer: 0.03”

Erie, KS CoCoRaHS Observer: 0.03”

Cherokee, KS Mesonet Station: 0.03

Copan, OK Mesonet Station: 0.19”

Bartlesville, OK CoCoRaHS Observer: 0.23”

Nowata, OK Mesonet Station: 0.27”

Vinita, OK Mesonet Station: 0.27

Miami, OK Mesonet Station: 0.12”

West Elk Wrestlers Off to State


State wrestling championships begin today, and the West Elk Patriots are celebrating their participating athletes.


West Elk is sending four wrestlers to Salina for the championships, seniors Kayla Wright and Evan Coble, as well as junior Creyo Koop, and sophomore Edward Metcalf. The school held a special send-off assembly this morning at the high school.


Koop is the regional champion and making his third trip to state. It is the fourth trip to state for Coble, and the first trip to state for both Metcalf and coaches Chad Koop and Shawn Kissling.


Wright becomes the first female wrestler to qualify for state in West Elk history.


The students also received a police escort as they departed Howard. The state wrestling championships continue until Saturday.

Fredonia Teen Reported Missing


A Fredonia teenager has been reported missing.


18-year-old Eathan Hickman has been missing since February 16th, last seen in the Fredonia area.


Hickman is 6-foot-2 and weighs approximately 140 pounds. He has brown hair of medium length and hazel colored eyes.


Those with information regarding Eathan's disappearance or whereabouts should call the Fredonia Police Department at 620-378-4152, or the Kansas Bureau of Investigation at 785-296-4017.

Widespread Phone Service Outage


Thousands across the nation, including in the Four States, are currently without phone service.


AT&T, as well as Verizon and T-Mobile, have all reported widespread outages this morning. More than 70,000 customers of AT&T are currently without service, with some unable to dial 9-1-1.


Verizon has reported approximately 3,000 outages at this time, and T-Mobile currently reports 1,100 outages. Both companies have stated the issues are from customers trying to reach AT&T customers.


Although a majority of the issues are occuring in major cities, it is possible that people in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas could be impacted by the outage.


KGGF will update this story as more details become available.

Lauria and Ashley's Law Passes Oklahoma House


 Lauria and Ashley’s Law, a bill named for two Northeast Oklahoma teens who disappeared in 1999, passes the Oklahoma House floor.

 The bill, co-authored by Representative Steve Bashore of Miami, would require felons serving an accessory to murder in the first or second-degree sentence to serve 85% of their prison sentence before being eligible for parole.

 House Bill 2946 also says felons would not be eligible to earn any credit that would reduce their sentence below 85% of what was imposed.

 Lauria Bible and Ashley Freeman disappeared December 29, 1999, from Freeman’s rural Welch home. The Freeman homestead was set on fire, Ashley's parents Danny and Kathy Freeman were shot and the girls were kidnapped.

 Authorities believe the girls ultimately passed away in a Picher mobile home. Convicted felon Ronnie Busick plead guilty in 2020 and was sentenced to 10 years in prison on a reduced charge of accessory to felony murder. His sentence was reduced after he earned good behavior credits allowing him to be released in May 2023. As part of his plea agreement, Busick would have served even less time if he had led authorities to the location of the girls’ bodies. Due to the current law, he received 60 days credit for every month he was in prison.

 A $50,000 reward remains in place.

 If anyone has information on the location of Ashley Freeman and Lauria Bible, please call the OSBI at 800.522.8017.

 Click here to read House Bill 2946.

Carthage, MO Man Arrested For Recording Showering Coworkers


 A Carthage, Missouri, man has been arrested after he was found videoing coworkers showering.

 According to the Jasper County Sheriff's Office, deputies arrested 38-year-old Uriah Behl for invasion of privacy after finding a cell phone in an employee shower room recording several employees, including a juvenile.

 The incident took place at Tarzan Zerbini Circus.

 Behl is charged with eight counts of invasion of privacy, which is a Class E Felony. His bond has been set at $15,000.

Bartlesville Man Points Gun at Two Probation Officers


 A Bartlesville man faces charges of feloniously pointing a firearm, obstructing an officer, and resisting an officer.

 32-year-old Cody McClain is accused of pointing a firearm at two probation officers on the 1000 block of SW Frank Phillips Blvd.

 According to the affidavit, McClain walked towards the two probation officers and removed a gun from his waistband and pointed it at them. When the victims identified themselves, McClain tucked his gun away and left towards the 300 block of NW Seminole Ave.

 When two police officers arrived at McClain's address, they found him standing in his yard. When officers attempted to arrest him, he stepped away from officers, and allegedly towards his hand gun. McClain would be taken to the ground and arrested.

 His bond is set at $25,000; his next Washington County court date is set for March 8th.

Wilson County Accepts Bid


Wilson County has made a decision on replacing the boilers in the boiler room.


The county received a second bid from Seely Plumbing in Chanute for $65,000. Commissioners elected to accept the bid of McElroy Plumbing in Topeka for a bid price of just under $74,000, due to a long relationship of work with Wilson County.


Additionally, advance voting for the Presidential Preference Primary begins February 29th. Contact the county clerk's office with questions or for additional information.


Other items of business at this week's meeting was updates from Road and Bridge Director Kary Tatum, and health department administrator Amy Lell.


There will be no meeting next week. Commissioners will meet next on March 6th.

Bartlesville Man Charged with Kidnapping and Domestic Abuse


A Bartlesville man is facing two felony charges of domestic abuse assault and battery by strangulation, plus a felony charge of kidnapping.


William Anthony Collins appeared in Washington County court this week on those charges after being picked up Tuesday on an outstanding warrant. The different charges stem from separate incidents. According to an affidavit, Collins allegedly choked the victim two times during an argument on Feb. 6th. It is also alleged that Collins slapped the victim with the back of his hand in the face after releasing his hands from their neck.

The other case occurred in 2023, when Collins was accused of kicking the same victim and attempting to choke her. When the victim tried to pack a bag and leave, Collins prevented her. He was given a $27,500 cumulative bond for both cases. His next court date is set for March 8th.

Kansas Milk Production Down Slightly


Milk production in Kansas is down slightly from last year.


That's according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, which reports milk production in Kansas during January 2024 totaled 353 million pounds, down 1% from January 2023. The average number of milk cows was 174,000 head, 1,000 head less than January 2023. Milk production per cow averaged 2,030 pounds.

Oklahoma Senate To Vote on Food Sales Tax


Oklahomans could be getting some relief at the grocery store.


According to Oklahoma State Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat, the state Senate is expected to vote on a grocery tax cut today. Treat says the legislation is common sense and will help everybody, adding that this is the only tax relief the Senate is seeking this year as there is no way to ensure state services while adding additional cuts. Treat says eliminating the state portion of the grocery tax will save Oklahoma taxpayers nearly $400 each annually. If signed into law, the anticipated effective date would be around the end of August. According to estimates, eliminating the grocery tax would save average Oklahomans 5.5 times more money than a 0.25% income tax cut. Kansas lawmakers have approved a phase-out of the state tax on food, which is expected to go to zero in January 2025.

Isolated Storm Chances Late Tonight


Isolated storms are possible tonight for the four-state area.


Dime to nickel-size hail is possible with an isolated chance of quarter-size hail.  Any storms that develop will be hit-or-miss, but timing for southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma between 10 p.m. tonight and 4 a.m. tomorrow.  Timing will be more likely between Midnight and 6 a.m. for southeast Missouri.

Nado Baseball Team Starting Big Brother Program


The Field Kindley High School baseball team is starting a new program focusing on community outreach to Community Elementary students. Head Coach Will Owens says this season will be the first year for the Golden Tornado Big Brother Program.


Owens says participants will be given a couple of items to remember the season by and hopefully make some other memories as well.  They hope to have 25 CES students participate in the first year.


Baseball practice starts on Monday with the first game of the season on Monday, March 18th at Baxter Springs and the first home game on Thursday, March 21st against Labette County.

Parsons Man Arrested Over 20 Times Since 2020


A Parsons man is arrested for the 12th time in the last year.


Late last week, a Parsons Police officer was on routine patrol when he noticed a car with blackout window tint. The officer made a traffic stop and identified the driver as William Tyrone Phillips, who had been flagged by the State of Kansas as a habitual violator for driving without a license. Phillips has an extensive history of driving infractions and has been arrested by PPD at least a dozen times in the past 12 months. His adult criminal arrests in Parsons began in 2020 and range from aggravated battery to his reoccurring violations for driving while suspended.


Since 2020, Phillips has been arrested in Parsons 20 times ranging from felonies to misdemeanors. Phillips was arrested for driving while suspended, habitual violator, no insurance, possession of marijuana and paraphernalia and charged with the window tint infraction, which when tested was at zero percent visibility. These charges, even though misdemeanors, have been forwarded to the Labette County Attorney's Office for official charging due to Phillip's current status as being on intensive supervised probation through Community Corrections for aggravated domestic battery and distribution of marijuana.

Jasper County Deputies Respond to Unusual Accident Scene

 Deputies in Jasper County, MO, respond to the scene of a car crash, but find no victims.

 Around 2pm yesterday deputies from the Jasper County Sheriff's Office responded to reports of a car accident near Webb City. When deputies and member of the Missouri Highway Patrol arrived on the scene, they found an overturned Hundai Elantra. However, there was no driver nor occupant on the scene.

Witnesses reported seeing two people who appeared to be injured, walking along the highway, but officers were unable to locate them. The crash remains under investigation.

Nowata County Commission Meets

 The Nowata County Commissioners met yesterday morning due to the Presidents’ Day holiday.

 The opening agenda item was the approval of the schedule of expenditures for fiscal years 2021-2023.

Nowata County Treasurer Rachel Marrs also shared some news on the courthouse for this week. Marrs says there will be some construction work going on in the courthouse this week. 

The Commissioners also approved the renewal of a phone service with Sparklight and the hiring of two new deputies for Nowata County. 

The Nowata County Commissioners will meet again next Monday at the Nowata County Courthouse Annex. The meeting is open to the public.

Congressman Jake LaTurner Visits Parsons

 US Congressman Jake LaTurner pays a visit to Parsons.

 LaTurner was in Parsons yesterday to speak to city officials about law enforcement challenges in southeast Kansas. The congresman attended a discussion on the proposed Public Safety Center. The new center would replace the 86 year old Fire Headquarters, which is the oldest operating fire headquarters in the state. Both the fire head quarters and the police department have strcutural issues due to a tornado strike more than 20 years ago.

LaTurner also viewed the new Use of Force Simulator which is in the final stages of installation at the police department.


Photo courtesy Parsons Police Department

KBI Investigates Human Remains Found Near Lansing

 The Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) and the Lansing Police Department are conducting a death investigation after human remains were found near a creek in Lansing. 

 Just after 5 p.m. on Sunday, subjects were walking along a creek bed along North Main St. in Lansing, when they found skeletal remains. They called 911, and officers from the Lansing Police Department responded to the area. The Lansing Police Department requested assistance from KBI agents and the Crime Scene Response Team. The identity of the deceased person has not been confirmed. Positive identification may take longer than typical cases due to the condition of the remains. An autopsy has been scheduled. 

Anyone with information about this case, should contact the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME.

Bourbon County Car Accident Leaves One Man Injured

 A Crawford County man is injured in a single vehicle accident near Fort Scott.

 The accident occurred around 11am yesterday (Tuesday, February 20) morning, when 63 year old Daron Morris of Arcadia was traveling on K-7 southwest of Fort Scott. Morris ran off the roadway and struck a fence, causing his 2004 Nissan Frontier to overturn. Morris was injured in the accident and was taken to Girard Medical Center for treatment.

Florida Man Arrested for Election Fraud

 A Florida man is arrested and charged with election fraud in Kansas.

 30 year old George Andrews of Dade City, Florida, was arrested on February 10th for allegedly forgin signatures on petitions to establish a “No Labels” party as an officially recognized political entity in Kansas. Andrews was arrested in Florida and is expected to be extradited to Kansas to face charges in Johnson County. State Attorney General Kris Kobach, whose office will prosecute the case, said the matter of election fraud very serious and called this case an attempt to defraud Kansas voters.

Semi and Motorcycle Collide in Labette County

 A motorcyclist is injured in a two vehicle collision in Labette County.

 31 year old Ghislain Koaum-Kouam of Neosho, Mo, was driving a motorcycle eastbound on US 400 about 9 miles west of Parsons around 10:30pm last night (Tuesday night). A semi truck driven by 27 year old Joshua Guthrie of Blair, OK, was traveling westbound on 400 when he attempted to pass a third vehicle, entering the eastbound lane of traffic and into the path of the motorcycle. Both drivers attempted to miss each other by driving onto the eastbound shoulder. Koaum-Kouam's motorcycle side-swiped the semi, leaving him with minor injuries. He was taken to Labette Health for treatment. Guthrie was uninjured.

An Elk County Railroad Receives State Funding

 The South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad in Elk County receives state funding to improve supply chains.

 Governor Kelly announced yesterday that the rail company would receive $1.9 million through the Kansas Department of Transportation's Rail Service Improvement Program to improve the state's agriculture supply chain. The funding is to help the rail line with expansion and capacity improvements.

The Elk County project is one of 17 projects across the state that will be enhanced by a 30% match from each recipient, resulting in a total rail infrastructure investment of more than $23.5 million.

State Transportation Secretary Calvin Reed says rail service reduces the number of trucks on local roads and highways, which reduces the overall costs to maintain those roads.

Salina Restaurant Files Federal Lawsuit Against City

 A landmark Salina restaurant files a First Amendment lawsuit against the city of Salina.

 On Monday, Steve Howard, the owner of the iconic burger joint, The Cozy Inn, filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Salina, Kansas, after city officials told Mr. Howard he had to stop painting a mural on the side of his building. Howard had hired a local artist to paint a mural featuring burger-like flying saucers attacking the Cozy with laser blasts of ketchup and mustard.

But, because the cozy sells hamburgers, city officials considered his mural to be a regulated sign instead of unregulated artwork in violation of city code and ordered howard to halt work on the half-finished mural.

Mr. Howard and The Cozy partnered with Kansas Justice Institute to file the lawsuit. The lawsuit does not seek money from the City of Salina. Instead, the lawsuit argues that the City of Salina’s restrictions on murals violate the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.

Parsons Children's Museum to Hold Dr Seuss Pajama Party

 The Curious Minds Doscovery Zone in Parsons is holding a Dr. Seuess Pajama Party on March 2 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.

 Kids ages 2 and older are invited to wear their favorite PJs and listen to a Dr Seuss book. There will also be Dr. Seuss inspired craft stations, snacks, and some free time to play in the museum. The cost is $18 for participants or $15 for C-M-D-Z members. Children need to be registered to attend but adults do not. The registration deadline is Friday. Click here for more information and to register.

Governor's Veto of Tax Cuts Holds


Taxes in Kansas probably won't be going down any time soon.


A Republican plan for cutting taxes in Kansas failed yesterday. The GOP-controlled Legislature was not able to gather enough votes to overturn Governor Laura Kelly's veto. The vote in the House was 81-42, leaving GOP leaders three votes shy of the two-thirds majority needed to override Kelly’s veto last month. The GOP plan would have cut income, sales and property tax cuts by nearly $1.6 billion over the next three years. Republican leaders haven’t been able to get past Kelly’s strong opposition to their plan to move Kansas to a single-rate personal income tax from the current three-tier tax. Opponents of the tax cuts believe the plan would favor wealthy taxpayers too much.

Cherryvale Yearbook Ad Scam


Cherryvale Middle High School gives a warning about a scam involving yearbook ads.


Cherryvale High School Business Teacher Hannah Womack says the yearbook team is not making calls to collect payment over the phone. She says anyone who has agreed to purchase a yearbook ad will receive an official invoice in the mail to collect payment. Be cautious and do not provide any personal or financial information over the phone.


Security is a priority, and they appreciate the cooperation in spreading awareness about this scam. Anyone with questions or concerns can contact Mrs. Womack at the Middle High School.

Montgomery County Commission Hears About Road Closures and Cybersecurity

 Cybersecurity and road closures are on the agenda for the Montgomery County Commission.

 At today's Montgomery County Commission Meeting, Public Works Director Jim Wright told commissioners about road closures coming up this week and next week due to the water line construction to the new Barlett plant. Wright says there will be closures on county roads west of Independence and north of US 160.

In addition to county road closures, commissioners also heard from Director of the Computer Department Jason Clubine. Clubine says there are new policies his department wants to implement to improve cybersecurity for the county.

Clubine added that the new policies would help the county in applying for cybersecurity grants from the federal government.


ICC President Resigns

 The Board of Trustees at Independence Community College prepares to begin the search for a new school president.

 At last night's ICC Board of Trustees meeting, College President Vincent Bowhay resigned to take a new position at Highland community College in northeast Kansas. Trustee Mark Lasater says the board accepted his resignation and appreciate his service to the college.

Bowhay called his resignation the right decision for him at this time and said he is greateful for the support of the trustee over his five year tenure at ICC. The board will now begin the search to find a new president for the college. Bowhay will remain in his current position at ICC until the end of June.

CRMC Receives Grant to Help With Purchase of New Tech

 The Coffeyville Regional Medical Center Foundation receives grant funding to pay for three new pieces of technology.

 The CRMC Foundation was one of only eight Southeast Kansas organizations to receive a Women’s Giving Circle grant from the Rita J. Bincknell Women’s Health Fund. The Foundation has used the $12,000 grant to purchase three new vital monitors for use on women in labor and women recovering from surgery.

The Rita J. Bicknell Women’s Giving Circle at the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas was established in 2007 to support funding for women's health in the region.

Bartlesville Woman Indicted on Federal Embezzlement Charges

 A Bartlesville woman has been arrested and is facing the charges of bank fraud and one count of tax evasion in a Tulsa federal court.

 58-year-old Deanna Rachel Long is alleged of embezzling nearly $300,000 from a former Bartlesville domestic violence shelter – Family Crisis, and Counseling – where she worked from 2014-2018.

Long is also accused of not paying upwards of $24,500 in federal income taxes in 2018.

Long is expected to make her first court appearance on Friday.

Bartlesville Man Convicted of First Degree Murder

 A Bartlesville man has been found guilty of first-degree murder after a 2021 overdose death.

 A Washington County jury found 32-year-old Jason Johnson guilty of the murder charge last Thursday and recommended he be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

According to court records, Terry Toth was found dead near Murphy’s Gas Station on Green Country Road in Bartlesville on October 29, 2021. A single laced fentanyl pill was found in the bathroom near the victim. Officers believed the victim purchased pills from Johnson and his father Charles Johnson.

During forensic interviews the father-son duo said they interacted with Toth prior to his death but denied that they supplied him any pills that day. Both men claimed to have sold the victim pills on numerous occasions previously. The Johnsons changed their story many times during questioning.

It is believed that Toth bought pills from the Johnsons at the Extended Stay Hotel on Washington Boulevard at this time prior to heading to the gas station.

Both men were arrested in March 2021 after allegedly selling fentanyl pills to undercover Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics agents.

Jason Johnson remains in the Washington County Jail until his sentencing hearing on March 6. Charles Johnson’s next court date is March 8.

EPA To Visit Caney This Week

 Representatives of the Enironmental Protection Agency will be in Caney tomorrow to discuss contaminated soil.

 Representatives will be at the Caney Public Library from noon to 3pm tomorrow and from 11am to 2pm on Thursday to answer questions from the public about the removal and replacement of soil cntaminated with lead. The EPA will be asking property owners for access to residential properties for the removal.

The EPA recently changed its threshold for lead contamination remediation by making the new standard for remediation 200 parts per million, except for properties with multiple sources of lead exposure. Before, the standard was set to 400 parts per million.

Officials say there will be no direct costs to the property owner associated with the contaminated soil removal and replacement.

Cherryvale Museum Receives Funding To Preserve Stories of Vietnam Vets

 The Cherryvale Historical Museum receives funding to collect and preserve the stories of Vietnam War vets in the community.

 The $1,600 comes from Humanities Kansas as a part of the second phase of “Kansas Stories of the Vietnam War,” which is their oral history initiative focused on the stories of veterans as they began to return home from the war.In 2018, twelve different communities participated in a similar project and recorded 74 oral histories from Kansas veterans from the Vietnam War. These stories have been archived locally, as well as at the Kansas Historical Society and the Library of Congress Veterans Oral History collection.

Humanities Kansas is a non-profit formed in 1972 and encourages Kansans to draw on diverse histories, literatures, and cultures to strengthen our democracy, communities, and connections to one another. Learn more about the group at their website

CRMC Receives $10,000 Donation

 Coffeyville Regional Medical Center receives a generous donation from its auxilary group.

 The Coffeyville Regional Medical Center Auxiliary showed its support for CRMC’s Build for the Future campaign this week with a $10,000 donation. Auxiliary members presented the check to Amy Taylor, CRMC director of foundation and guest relations, at the Auxiliary’s February meeting

The CRMC Foundation launched the Build for the Future campaign last fall. Funds raised through the campaign will lead to the construction of a 12 thousand square foot Primary Care Clinic, located south of the hospital property on 4th Street. The clinics for Pediatrics, Women's Health and Primary Care, currently located in the oldest part of the hospital – built in 1949 – will be relocated to this new facility.

According to Taylor, through congressionally directed money, Kansas tax credits and overwhelming support from our local community, the Build for the Future project is more than 58 percent funded.


NASA Exhibit Coming To Coffeyville

 The Aviation Heritage Museum in Coffeyville will host a nationally touring exhibit starting in March.

 The exhibit is called “Explore the Universe,” and will give visitors a glimpse of what astronauts face during space travel. Coffeyville Tourism Director Amy Dollar says the display will feature many attractions.

The new exhibit will open on March 20th and run through June 14th . The Aviation Heritage Museum's hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 1pm to 4pm or by appointment. Admission is free.


K-State To Host Local Food Producer Workshop in Parsons

 K-State Research and Extension agents will host a local food producer workshop in Parsons this Friday.

 The workshop is designed to help local farmers and small food businesses better understand the ins-and-outs of selling in local markets. Wildcat District Nutrition, Food Safety, and Health Agent Holly Miner says there will be a variety of topiccs covered by the workshop.

The workshop takes place at the Southeast Research-Extension Center on Ness Road in Parsons from 9am to 3pm on Friday.

Caney Market Rebranding


 The Caney Market is no more; in its place, a name supporters say will alleviate any confusion as to what it is…. A grocery store.

 During last night’s Caney City Council meeting, the Caney Market was rebranded as Caney Grocery. City Administrator Kelley Zellner says he’s happy to see the change take place.

 The deli continues to be open seven days a week, with the market itself open from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.

 Meat, cheese, and sandwich trays are available in small and large sizes. Call 620-306-4196 for more information.

Coffeyville Police Seek Missing Woman

 Police in Coffeyville seek the public's help in finding a missing woman.

 The family of 50 year old Katherine Alcox, of Coffeyville, reported her missing last week. After 6 days of continuous searching and interviews with the public C-P-D has not been able to locate Katherine. The last contact Katherine had with her family was on or about December 31st.Anyone who has seen Katherine, know of her whereabouts, or has had contact with Katherine after December 31 should contact the Coffeyville Police Department at (620) 252-6160.

Advance Ballot Deadline in Chautauqua County


Tomorrow is the deadline to apply for an advance ballot for the upcoming Presidential Primary Election in Chautauqua County.


People interested in the advance ballot can apply in person at the County Courthouse, or by mail or online at


The first day of advance voting in Chautauqua County is February 28th, and the Presidential Preference Primary Election is on March 19th.


Additional items of business at this week's meeting was an update from the Road and Bridge Department from Superintendent Mark McCall.


Commissioners will meet for the final time in February on the 29th at 8:30 a.m. on the second floor of the County Courthouse.

Florida Man Arrested for Kansas Election Fraud


A Florida man is under arrest after being charged with election fraud in Kansas. 30-year-old George Andrews of Dade City was arrested for forging signatures on petitions to make No Labels an officially recognized political party in Kansas.


Attorney General Kris Kobach says Andrews was part of a scheme to defraud Kansas voters by placing their forged signatures on petitions. He says in Kansas, they take election fraud seriously, and they will prosecute every case where the evidence indicates a crime has been committed beyond a reasonable doubt.


Andrews is charged with two counts of election perjury and 28 counts of election forgery.

Skeletal Remains Found in Lansing


The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Lansing Police Department are conducting a death investigation after human remains were found.


Two people on a walk found the skeletal remains just after 5:00pm yesterday along a creek bed in Lansing. Lansing PD requested the KBI's assistance at around 6:00pm. KBI agents and the Crime Scene Response Team responded to the scene.


At this time, the identity of the remains has not been confirmed. Identification may take longer than typical cases due to the body's condition. An autopsy has been scheduled. The investigation is ongoing.

Man Thrown from Vehicle in Crash Outside Ketchum


Two are injured in a two-vehicle crash in Mayes County.


The injury collision happened yesterday afternoon at around 12:30pm one mile south of Ketchum. A 2021 Honda Pilot, driven by 58-year-old Randall Lloyd, and a 2015 Landmaster side by side, driven by 60-year-old Greg Dickenson, were both traveling westbound on East 350 road. The Pilot attempted to pass the side by side as Dickenson went to make a left turn. The Pilot struck the side by side and both vehicles departed the roadway.


Dickeson was injected from the side by side. He was transported to Saint Francis in Tulsa and admitted in poor condition with head injuries. Lloyd was not injured but his passenger, 64-year-old Brenda Cox, was also transported to Saint Francis and admitted in fair condition with internal injuries.


Storm Chances Late Wednesday


The middle of the week will bring a marginal risk of severe weather for the four-state area.


According to the National Weather Service, a strong storm system will begin to move into the area late Wednesday night. The storm may be able to produce some scattered strong to severe storms with hail up to the size of quarters. The best chance for storms for the Coffeyville area will be between midnight and 3 a.m. early Thursday morning.

Interstate Farm and Home Show Still Accepting Vendors

 The 8th Annual Interstate Farm and Home Show is quickly approaching.

 The Interstate Farm and Home Show happens on March 22nd and 23rd on the campus of Coffeyville Community College. The Show brings to gether the best of both worlds with agricultural and residential displays and vendors. Vendors from across southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahome will be represented at the show. Event Organizaer Tina Romine says there's still time for businesses to sign up to be a vendor.

There will be agricultural products and equipment on display, as well as garden and landscaping, general remodeling, and home décor. Parking and admission is free.

NAFI Meeting Set for March 14

 The Native American Fellowship, Inc., will meet next month in South Coffeyville for a board meeting and a potluck dinner.

 Kris Crane of NAFI says the March meeting will feature three speakers.

The Board meeting will begin at 5pm, followed by the potluck at 6pm on March 14th in South Coffeyville.

Oklahoma Game Wardens Investigate Unusual Case

 Oklahoma Game Wardens are investigating what they are calling an unusual case in Osage County.

 Game wardens received a report on Feburary 9th of a deer being dumped in a driveway in Burbank, OK. The deer had ear tags and appeared to have been unlawfully raised from a fawn. No meat was taken from the animal and authorities say it appeared to have simply been killed and then dumped maliciously. 

The investigation in ongoing.

Pittsburg Man Arrested Near Day Care

 Police in Pittsburg say they have arrested a man in suspicion of aggravated indencent liberties with a child.

 On Thursday afternoon at around 3:30, officers repsonded to a daycare center located on East 13th street in Pittsburg. This was in response to a report from a staff member that a man had been seen standing across the street, engaging in sexual acts.

Officers located the suspect who has been identified as 18 year old Walter Lalimo of Pittburg. When apporach by officers, Lalimo attempted to flee on foot. After a brief pursuit, Lalimo was caught and taken into custody without incident.

Lalimo was taken to the Crawford County Jail and booked on charges of Aggravated Indecent Liberties with a Child and Felony Interference with Law Enforcement. He is currently being held without bond.

Indy Wrestling Continues Historic Season

The Independence High School Wrestling team continues its historic season.

The IHS boys wrestling team will send nine wrestlers to the 4A State tournament in Salina next weekend. The team had a solid outing at Regional competition over the weekend with two wrestlers – sophomore Colton Minnick and senior Kohen Wright – taking home first place medals. IHS Head Coach Zac Comacho says the team has accomplished a lot, but there is one more tournament left.

The team took runners-up honors at Regionals coming in 2nd to Paola High School. For IHS, this is their best finish in the team's 50 year history.

Shots Fired in McCune Leads to Arrest

 A Baxter Springs man is in custody following a report of shots fired in McCune.

 The Crawford County Sheriff's Office responded to reports of shots fired in McCune around 4pm on Friday. Upon arrival, deputies discovered someone had fired a gun at a residence but no one had been injured. Witnesses told authorities that two vehicles had pulled up to the house and words had been exchanged just before the shooting. Both vehicles then fled the scene. Deputies pursued and then caught the vehicles. Four people were taken into custody, but three were later released.

20 year old Jim Dodd of Baxter Springs remains in custody in connection to the incident. The Crawford County Sheriff's Office constinues the investigation.

Remains Found in Missouri Are Identified

 Authorities have identified the badly decomposed human remains discovered last week near Mount Vernon, Missouri, between Joplin and Springfield.

 Following an autopsy, the remains have been identified as 40 year old Larry Rysted of Greenfield, Missouri. The body was discovered last week as field workers were picking up rocks. They found what appeared to be a body lying in a patch of overgrown brush and called 9-1-1.

The Lawrence County Sheriff's Office is now investigating the incident as a homicide.

More Details Released By State on Nullified Fishing Record

 The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks reveals the reason behind the recent nullification fo a state fishing record.

 The white crappie was presented as a record-breaking catch last April. The fish was caught by Bobby Parkhurst of Topeka last March. KDWP later received a tip that the fish had registered a lighter weight just after it was first caught. Officials began an investigation and used a metal detector on the fish. The device indicated the presence of metal. An x-ray then revealed two ball bearings inside the fish prompting the state to nullify the record.

The old record set in 1964 by Frank Miller of Eureka has been reinstated, Authorities say there are no plans to press charges in the incident.

Single Vehicle Crash in Crawford County

 A single vehicle crash in Crawford County claims the life of a Pittsburg man.

 The accident happened around 11:45 pm on Saturday evening when 43 year old Marco Antonio ?Ibarra-Cereceres was driving a 2003 Jeep Wrangler on 260th street just west of Pittsburg. Ibarra-Cereceres' vehicle left the roadway, struck a culvert, and rolled. Ibarra-Cereceres was ejected from the car. Crawford County EMS arrived and administered life-saving measures, but Ibarra-Cereceres was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Crawford County Serhiff's Office is investigating the cause of the crash.

Electric Buses Showing Early Dividends in Caney

 Two electric buses taking the place of diesel counterparts are showing good early results in the Caney USD 436 School District.

 Superintendent Blake Vargas gives the early numbers.

 Vargas says bus routes are being looked at in the district, with the emphasis on an in-town route for the electric buses.

 While the electric buses are in early stages of use in the district, Vargas says he is pleased with the results seen so far, and looks forward to seeing how the savings adds up long term for the district.

Number of KS Farms and Ranches Down


The number of farms and ranches in Kansas declined during 2023.


That's according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. The number of farms and ranches in the state was down 200 from 2022 at 55,500. The declining numbers were limited to farms and ranches with less than $100,000 in agricultural sales. Operations with agricultural sales of $100,000 or more were unchanged. Land area in farms and ranches in Kansas totaled 44.8 million acres, also unchanged from 2022. The average size of operation, at 807 acres, was up 3 acres from a year earlier.

Street Closure in Independence Next Week

  The City of Independence annouces a street closure for next week.

 As progress continues on construction of the Central Park Sports Complex, a section of North Park Boulevard between Sycamore and Parkhurst streets will be closed next week to allow for utility work necessary to connect the complex to services.

The street is expected to be closed to traffic beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday through 5 p.m. Friday.

Motorists are encouraged to plan alternate routes and drive cautiously near the work zone.

Stay and Play event at Parsons Library

 The Parsons Public Library is hosting a Stay and Play event tomorrow.

 Children ages birth to 5 years and their grown-ups are invited to the multi-pupose room in the Parsons Public Library at 10:30am tomorrow. The theme is Black History, with guest speaker Greenbush Parents as Teachers Specialist Paula Kastler. The library is located at 311 south 17th street in Parsons.

Neodesha City Commission Approves New Lighting for Police Cars

 Police cars in Neodesha will soon be easier to see.

 At this week's Neodesha City Commission meeting, commissioners heard from Police Chief Sam Tomlinson about the need for additional lighting of the side of Neodesha Police cars. Tomlinson says it's a matter of officer safety.

Commissioners approved the purchase unanimously. The cost to outfit the city's 7 police cruisers is estimated at around $20,000. Chief Tomlinson told commissioners that installation should be finished on all vehicles by the end of the summer.

Water Work in Fredonia Will Cause Temporary Outage on Sunday

 Planned work on the water system in Fredonia will cause temporary outages in areas of the city of Sunday.

 Beginning at 2pm this Sunday afternoon, city crews in Fredonia will install new water valves at the intersection of 4th and Madison streets. The installation process will require water to be turned off temporarily for the downtown square area as well as on Madison street from 3rd through 7th and on 3rd street from Washington to Madison. The work may extend into the evening hours before completion. Residents in the outage area are encouraged to plan ahead while the water is shut off.

Fire at Winfield Mobile Home Intentionally Set

 Fire crews in Winfield respond to an early morning fire in a mobile home.

 Around 5:30am yesterday, crews from the Winfield Fire Department found a single-wide mobile home engulfed in flames. The fire was quickly brought under comtrol with damage limited to the living room, kitchen, and front porch of the residence. Authorities call the damage to those areas “significant.”

An investigation revealed that the fire was intentionally set. A follow-up investigation continues.

Injury Accident on I-35 Near Ottawa

 A two-vehicle accident near Ottawa in Franklin County leaves one woman injured.

 43 year old Gabrielle Bellamy of Kansas City was injured yesterday in an accident on I-35 yesterday. Bellamy was southbound on I-35 at around 2:30pm when a semi driven by 28 year old Sebastian Klesing of Rochester, Virginia, attempted to avoid Bellamy's Nissan Xterra by driving on the shoulder. The semi struck the Xterra on the driver's rear side, causing it to leave the roadway. Bellamy was taken to Advent Health for treatment for minor injuries while Klesing was uninjured.

Kitchen Fire Causes Grass Fire in Fort Scott

 Emergency crews respond to a structure fire in Fort Scott.

 Yesterday (Thursday, February 15) afternoon, fire crews in Fort Scott responded to a call of a house on fire on the west side of the city. Firefighters arrived on the scene to find a kitchen fire and an exterior grass fire. The small blaze was quickly under control causing only minor damage to the home. The grass fire was likewise extinguished before it could spread to nearby buildings.

Crews determined the kitchen fire was caused by stovetop elements being left by burners. The exterior fire was caused by the resident throwing burning oven mitts into the grass.

Crews installed a working smoke detector in the home before leaving.


Photo courtesy of Fort Scott Fire Department

Osage Nation to Break Ground on Broadband Project

 The Osage Nation will hold a ground breaking on its National Telecommunications Information Administration projects on March 4th at 10am.

 The construction is funded by nearly 54 million dollars in federal grant funds to the Osage Nation for the purpose of building high speed broadband throughout the Osage Nation. More than 200 miles of fiber optic cable will be spread throughout 16 towers for Wi-Fi. The opening event is set to take place at Wakon Iron Chapel in Pawhuska.

Injury Accident Near Iola

 One person is injured in a two-vehicle crash near Iola.

 Just after 9am yesterday (Thursday, February 15) morning, a two vehicle accident occurred at the intersection of US 169 and North Dakota Road just east of Iola.

A 2002 Chevy Impala driven by 20 year old Joseph Leach of Chanute was northbound on US 169 and attempted to turn left onto North Dakota Road. Leach failed to yield to oncoming traffic and struck a 2023 Toyota Camry driven by 43 year old Devin Phillips of Topeka. Phillips was taken to Allen County Medical and treated for minor injuries. Leach was uninjured. Both drivers were wearing seatblets at the time of the accident.

Vehicle Fire in Rural Labette County


No injuries are reported after a vehicle fire in rural Labette County.


According to the Edna Volunteer Fire Department, firefighters responded to a report of a vehicle on fire yesterday around 6:30 p.m. The incident happened at 1000 and Chase Road. No injuries were reported as a result of the fire. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

PPD Corporal Named Officer of the Year


A Parsons Police officer receives the 2023 Officer of the Year by the VFW Post 704.


Corporal Christian Smith, who joined the Parsons Police Department in 2019, has demonstrated a commitment to upholding the standards of law enforcement. His contributions as a K9 Handler for K9 Morgan have not only enhanced the department's capabilities but have also strengthened community relations. In 2023, Corporal Smith was promoted to the rank of Corporal.


Chief Robert Spinks says Corporal Smith exemplifies the qualities they value in their officers, dedication, leadership and a commitment to community service. Corporal Smith received this award last night during an award ceremony at the VFW Post 704.

Man Arrested for Death of Newborn Son


The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office arrests a man for the death of his newborn son.


KBI agents and deputies arrested 24-year-old Jason P. Marnell, of Richmond, during a traffic stop on a warrant for first-degree murder and abuse of a child. On January 14th, at around 10:40am, Franklin County sheriff’s deputies responded to a medical call. Upon arrival, they found an unresponsive infant. Life-saving measures were attempted and the baby was transported to an Ottawa hospital. The infant was later identified as 1-month-old Waylon S. Marnell.


The child was later transferred to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City in critical condition. The KBI was asked to assist in the investigation on January 17th. On January 28th, the baby was taken off life-support and died around 3:00pmpm. The investigation led agents and deputies to believe Marnell was responsible for the injuries that caused the baby’s death. Marnell was booked into the Franklin County Jail. The investigation is ongoing.

Neodesha and Fredonia Police to Receive Drones


Police departments in Neodesha and Fredonia will soon have help from the skies.


Wilson County is adding two drones to assist Neodesha and Fredonia PD, following the drone purchase for the county Sheriff's Department last year.


County Coordinator Kris Marple says the county has additional money available from an Emergency Management Performance Grant.


The commissioners were notified of bids, and selected two drones from Unmanned Vehicle Techologies, the group the first drone was purchased from. Commissioner Jerry Scott made the motion.


Additional items of business at this week's meeting was the acceptance of a $420 bid from Ray Fairbanks for a surplus trailer, as well as an update from Road and Bridge Director Kary Tatum regarding potholes in the county.

Bingo Fundraiser in Chetopa

 There will be a bingo night fundraising coming up on February 23rd in Chetopa.

 The evening will begin at 6pm with a pulled pork meal. The cost is $5. Bingo starts at 7pm. The cost to play is $15 for 10 rounds with a prize every round. Extra playing cards are $1 each. All proceeds benefit the Chetopa PAC Team. The Bingo Night Fundraier happens at the Chetopa School Multi-purpose Room.


K-State To Offer Spring Diabetic Classes in Parsons

 People living with diabetes will have a chance to learn about cooking and diet this spring.

 K-State Research and Extension Wildcat District will offer a class for diabetics in Parsons coming up in April. Health, Food, and Safety Extension Agent Holly Miner says this is a great class for people who are diabetic, pre-diabetic, or are caring for someone with diabetes.

Miner says more details on the class will be available in the coming weeks.

Spring Equine Health Day To Happen in Sycamore

 The Sycamore Equine Association is hosting a Spring Equine Health Day on March 2nd .

 The event will feature a variety of services for horse owners including farrier service by Aaron Heath starting at 9am. Heath will also offer a clinic for colts or difficult horses relating to farrier services after all of his appointments are finished. Dr. Hailey Mueller will be on hand starting at 10am for vaccinations and other veterinary services. The arena will also be open for riding. The event happens at the Sycamore Equine Association Arena on Highway 75 in Sycamore, just 7 miles north of Independence. To schedule an appointment, call Brian Kirk at 785-250-7807.

Two Dead Following Missouri Police Stand Off

 Authorities in McDonald County Missouri respond to a disturbance call and find a person being held at gun point.

 The incident happened on Tuesday near Anderson, Missouri, about 25 miles south of Joplin. Initial reports indicated that two people were inside a residence with one holding the other at gunpoint. Deputies from the McDOnald County Sheriff's Office tried to contact the people inside the home, but were not successful. Members of the M-C-S-O Special Response team entered the home and found two deceased people, both with a single gunshot wound. No names have yet been released, pending notification of next-of-kin.

Autopsies are pending and detectives continue to investigate the incident.

Body Found in Southwest Missouri

 The Lawrence County Missouri Sheriff's Office is investigating the discovery of a body on Tuesday.

 The discovery was made near the city of Mount Vernon, between Joplin and Springfield. The body was badly decomposed when it was found, though investigators say they are 90% certain of the identity of the person. An autopsy has been conducted in order to determine the cause of death and to gather more inofrmation about the individual.

Police have not released the exact location where the body was found, nor have they stated who they think it is. The investigation in ongoing.

Boil Water Advisory for Columbus Rescinded

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

 Test samples collected from the columbus water supply show no contamination and the KDHE has deemed all issues to be resolved.

Holy Name Welcomes Seminarian


Holy Name is welcoming a new seminarian to the church and school.


Isaac Hilger is studying at Mundelein Seminary in Chicago and is shadowing Father Schibi here in Coffeyville during his intern semester. Hilger is a native Kansan and says he's glad to return to the state.


Hilger says he'll be helping with plenty of activities at the church and school while he's here in Coffeyville.


Hilger is also helping Father Schibi with masses, home visits, taking communion to the sick and hospital visits. He'll be in Coffeyville at least through May, although that time could be extended.

Independence Man Arrested for Warrant from a Robbery Case


The Independence Police Department has arrested 28-year-old Jareel Rayvon Dungey of Independence on multiple aggravated charges and warrants.


Saturday, officers responded to the area of Pennsylvania and Laurel Street for a report of an altercation. While conducting a canvas of the area, officers located Dungey, who had multiple warrants for his arrest. A Montgomery County District Court warrant stems from a case on August 9th, 2023, involving a robbery and battery investigation.


Dungey was arrested and booked into the Montgomery County Department of Corrections on charges of aggravated robbery, battery, assault and burglary and theft charges.

Kansas To Hold Virtual Job Fair

 Kansas jobseekers and employers are invited to take part in Kansas' first Virtual Statewide Job Fair of the year.

 The job fair is hosted by KansasWorks and take place next Wednesday, February 21st , from 8am to 5pm. The Virtual Statewide Job Fair protal will have information such as a jobseeker training video. A list of participating employers, and channels for attendees to register and log in. Jobseekers can participate through any digital device and are encouraged to dress professionally in the event that employers ask for a video interview. Any individual with a disability may request accommodations by contacting their nearest workforce center at (877) 509-6757 prior to the event.

Registration is required. To register, go here.

Boil Water Advisory for Columbus

 The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a boil water advisory for the City of Columbus in Cherokee County.

 The KDHE issued the order after a line break reulted in a loss of pressure. Residents should boil water for a full minute priot to drinking or food preparation or use bottled water instead. Disinfect dishes and food preparation surfaces and discard ice cubes from trays and automatic ice makers until further notice.

The City of Columbus says repairs have been made and samples have been sent to the state for testing.

Bingo Begins at Coffeyville VFW

 Bingo starts tomorrow at the Coffeyville VFW.

 VFW Post 1022 will host bingo every Thursday starting tomorrow. Door sopen at 6:15pm and bingo starts at 7:05. Concessions will be available. No outside food or drink is allowed. There will also be no smoking or alcohol.

VFW Post 1022 is located at 1714 West 8th in Coffeyville

Coffeyville City Commission Ends Water Warning for City

 The Coffeyville City Commission addresses a full agenda of business.

 At Tuesday's meeting of the Coffeyville City Commission, Director of Water Services Steve Smith addressed commissioners concerning the recent rain and snow amounts. Smith says the recent precipitation has refilled water sources upstream from the city.

Because of this, Smith recommended that the water warning be ended.

The commission voted unanimously to end the water warning for the city. This allows residents to return to normal water usage. Commissioners also approved funds to repair an elevator in the Emergency Services Building and to establish a land bank for the city.

Happy Valentine's Day

 Today is Valentine's Day, a day to celebrate love, both romatic and platonic. However, the holiday has a rather mysterious beginning.

 The origins of the day go back to both ancient Christian and Roman traditions. One legend claims that Valentine was a priest in Rome during the third century when the emperor proclaimed young men were not allowed to marry, because being single made them better soldiers. Valentine continued to marry young couples in secret until he was discovered and beheaded by the emperor.

During the Middle Ages, February 14th was thought to be the beginning of bird mating season.

Valentine's Day is celebrated in the US, UK, Canada, Mexico, France, and Australia. The first mass-produced Valentine's in America began selling in the 1840s. Today, according to Hallmark, an estimated 145 million Valentine's Day cards will be sent, making it second only to Christmas when it comes to card-giving holidays.

One Injured in Two-Vehicle Accident Near Parsons

 One person is injured in an afternoon crash near Parsons.

 18 year old Ayvri Nash of Parsons was injured yesterday in an accident at the junction of US 59 and Jothi Avenue, just south of Parsons. Nash was driving a 2000 Honda Accord eastbound on Jothi Avenue when she failed to yield to traffic on US 59. Nash's vehicle was struck on the driver's side by a 2015 Kia Soul driven by 53 year old Clay Walker of Oswego. Nash was taken to Labette County Hospital for treatment for minor injuries. Walker was uninjured.

Governor Orders Flags Flown at Half Staff on Friday

 Governor Laura Kelly orders flags flown at half staff on Friday.

 The order is in honor of Lance Corporal Donavan Davis of Olathe. The 21 year old Davis was one of five marines killed in a helicopter crash during a training mission in California on February 7th . Kelly sent her condolences to Davis' family and asked Kansans not to forget the sacrifice that Davis and the other four marines made in service to our country.

Flags are to be flown at half staff from sunrise to sunset on Friday.


Photo via US Marines

Burlington Wrestling Coach Arrested for Indencent Liberties With a Child

 The Kansas Bureau of Investigation arrests a Kansas wrestling coach for sex crimes. 

 The arrest happened last night around 7:15pm, KBI agents arrested 31 year old Michael Vander Linden, of Burlington. He was arrested on a warrant for eight counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. Vander Linden is employed as a teacher and wrestling coach at Burlington High School. The arrest stems from an investigation into incidents that took place in 2012 and 2013 when Vander Linden was a student teacher. He is alleged to have had a sexual relationship with a 15 year old female student. 

Vander Linden was booked into the Coffey County Jail. The investigation remains ongoing.


Census of Ag Numbers Released


The number of farms in Kansas has decreased while net income is on the rise. Those are some of the highlights from data just released from the 2022 census of agriculture.


According to data from the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, the number of farms in Kansas decreased 5% from 2017 to just under 56,000. The average farm size in Kansas increased slightly to 804 acres, while the percentage of total land used for farming in the state decreased slightly. Land used for farms in Kansas accounts for around 85% of the state.


The total value of agricultural products increased in 2022, up 24 billion dollars from 2017. Average net income per farm increased nearly 50% at just over $73,000.


The average age of producers has increased slightly from 58.1 to 58.2 years. There were just under 10,000 young producers under the age of 34 farming in Kansas in 2022. Finally, the number of farms with internet access increased from 76% to 79%.

South Coffeyville School Board Hires Architect for Potential Gym Construction


The South Coffeyville school board votes to hire Jay T. Boynton and his firm BWA Architects for their upcoming bond election for a new gym. Superintendent Daryl Pruter says one issue they've come across is any new construction must include a storm shelter.


Pruter says they are looking at a few different options when it comes to the total cost of the construction.  The bond, if passed, will raise the mill rate for South Coffeyville Public Schools from 3.19 to 14.56, which is still lower than Oklahoma Union, 18.64, and Nowata, 22.70.


FIRE Names Marion, KS, Police Department to Their Top 10 Censors of 2023 List

 The organization Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression or FIRE names a Kansas police department to their Top 10 Censors of 2023 list.

 FIRE's annual list highlights the worst offenders in censorship across the nation including off-campus offenders for the first time. On this year's list is the city of Marion, KS, Police Department for their role in the August raid on the Marion County Record.

According to their website, FIRE is an organization dedicated to defending and promoting free speech for all Americans in courtrooms, on campus, and in the culture.

USD 446 Receives Music Department Donations


USD 446 receives a generous donation for their music department.


The Independence Middle School Orchestra program, as well as the Band program, both receive $1000 donations, courtesy of Curtis and Li Sun Rexwinkle.


The donation will be used to help fund new instruments and other department upgrades for the new school year.


Additional items of business as this month's USD 446 school board meeting was the resignation of a pair of fourth grade teachers at Jefferson School, Katlin Mansfield and Carol Russell, as well as the approval for an automated volleyball net at IMS.


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

Independence Firefighters Respond to Early Morning Blaze

 Independence Fire-EMS responded to a reported structure fire at M-F-G Manufacturing at 1018 W. Sycamore at around 1am this morning.

 Fire crews made a forcible entry to the building through heavy smoke and extinguished a fire in the building. The sprinkler system in the building, had also activated and assisted in extinguishing the fire. The fire was under control by 2am.

A person was found outside the building and was transported by Fire-EMS to Independence Labette Health.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


Photo courtesy Independence Fire and EMS

Montgomery County Sheriff and Coffeyville Police Joint Training Today

 Montgomery County Sheriff's Office announces joint SWAT training in Coffeyville today along with Coffeyville Police.

 Designated police training signs will be placed in the area to inform residents. This collaboration aims to enhance coordination and preparedness in ensuring public safety. Residents should not be alarmed as these are just training exercises.

Downtown Independence Building Damaged in Fire

 A fire at a building in downtown Independence leaves a damaged structure.

 Independence Fire crews were called to the 200 block of north 8th street yesterday afternoon and found a three-story structure engulfed in flames. Firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control in about 20 minutes. Assisting Independence Fire-EMS was Dearing rural Fire as well as rural fire departments from Cherryvale and Independence.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Filing Period Open For Ninth Osage Congress

 The filing period opened yesterday for those wishing to run for a seat in the Osage Nation Congress.

 This year, there will be six open Congressional seats that will be carrying a four-year term for the ninth Osage Congress. Through Monday evening, five candidates had filed to run for the open seats.  

Joe Tillman, John Maker, Billy Keene and Jodie Revard, who are currently in office, have filed for candidacy and Traci Phillips is the fourth person to file in hopes of getting a congressional seat. The final day to file is Tuesday, March 12th, and the election is set for Monday, June 3rd. This year's inauguration will take place at the Osage Hotel and Casino in Bartlesville on Saturday, July 13th. 

Opening in Chautuaqua County Clerk's Office


There is a position open in the Chautauqua County Clerk's Office.


The position is full-time as an Accounts Payable Clerk, and will entail a variety of responsibilities in the office. Candidates should be customer service oriented, with good attention to detail, and knowledge of general accounting, Microsoft programs such as Word and Excel, and data entry.


Applications for the opening can be found HERE. For questions or further information, contact Niki Collier at 620-725-5800 or by emailing


Additional items of business at this week's commission meeting was an update from Road & Bridge Superintendent Mark McCall, as well as Office Manager Melissa Ward-Havellena.


The Chautauqua County commission meets each Monday at 8:30 a.m. on the second floor of the County Courthouse in Sedan.

Osage County, OK, Commissioners Approve Financial Report

 At Monday's (Feb. 12, 2024) Board of Osage County Commissioners meeting, Board members reviewed the second quarter financial statement for the 2024 fiscal year.

 Before signing and approving that report, Nutrition Director Kyme Vincent spoke on how things had been going in recent month

At Monday's meeting, the Board also signed a grant application that would allow the nutrition program to get a grant of more than $600,000 in funding in the 2025 fiscal year. Vincent says they have gotten this grant in the past four years, but it could be more highly sought after this year.

Vincent thanked the Board for all of their support.

Nowata County Sheriff's Office Receives Donation

 The Nowata County Commissioners met Monday morning in what was a standard, run of the mill meeting.

 The Commissioners approved a notice to proceed on ARPA funds for a sheriff repeater cabinet, installation, and supplies. The Commissioners approved a donation to the Nowata county sheriff’s office. Nowata County Clerk Kay Spurgeon says it was a sizable donation. Next, the Commissioners approved a phone service agreement with Sparklight. Spurgeon says the changes are due to new regulations.

Finally, the Commissioners tabled the financial statements and reports of CPA for Nowata County in fiscal year 2022 & 2023 and will reapproach the item next Tuesday.

The Commissioners will meet again next Tuesday due to the President’s Day holiday.

UPDATE: Missing Woman Found in Tulsa

 A developmentally disabled woman reported missing over the weekend has been found.

 The Oklahoma Highway Patrol posted an update yesterday on X  – formerly known as Twitter – that 40 year old Katie Vaclaw has been found.

Vaclaw disappeared from a prom event in Tulsa on Friday night. Her family in Bartlesville had been searching for the missing woman.

Broken Arrow Police Investigate the Possible Murder/Suicide of Two Teens

 Police in Broken Arrow are investigating the discovery of a pair of teens found dead inside a home on Sunday.

 Authorities say the 17 year old male and 14 year old female are siblings and that their deaths appear to be a murder/suicide.

Officials have not released the names of the teens because they are minors. The investigation remains ongoing.

Food Recall Over Packaged Salads Sold at Walmart

 A voluntary recall of food due to possible contamination affects prepackaged, bagged salads sold by Wal-mart.

 The US Food and Drug Administration says Taylor Fresh Foods of Salinas, CA, has volunatrily recalled its Marketside Bacon Ranch Crunch Salad kits because it may contain cheese contaminated by listeria monocytogenes. The FDA says Taylor Fresh Foods is working to remove the kit from stores.

The recalled product was sold at Walmart stores in AL, AR, CO, DC, IA, KS, KY, LA, MD, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NY, OK, PA, SD, TN, TX, VA, WV, WY.

Marketside Bacon Ranch Crunch Chopped Salad Kit 12.76oz, with UPC 681131305440 – Code dates starting with “TFRS” and BEST If Used By dates on or before Feb 21, 2024. The product codes can be found in the upper right-hand corner.

Consumers who have the recalled salad kit should discard it immediately and not consume it. Refunds are also available at the location of purchase.

Consumers with any questions may contact our customer care team at 855-455-0098 Monday through Friday 8am-5pm PST

A Pair of Train Derailments in Central and Western Kansas

 Two separate train derailments yesterday are under investigation.

 The first derailment happened in Barber County southeast of Medicine Lodge around 5:30am yesterday. There were several rail cars involved and several left the tracks, but there were no injuries and no spills of hazardous materials reported.

The second derailment occurred near Halstead in Harvey County yesterday evening. No trains left the tracks but they were left unable to move due to their position on the tracks. No injuries were reported.


Photo courtesy Barber County Emergency Management

Humboldt Opens 100 Year Old Time Capsule

 Residents in Humboldt take a look back in time.

 Officials from the Humboldt School District opened a 100 year old time capsule last night. Inside, they found a few pieces of history dating back to 1922. The time capsule had been rumored to exist for years, but it wasn't discovered until the cornerstone of the school was removed during renovation. Inside a small black box was and old newspaper, a coin, and a stamp. Stories about the capsule suggested it might contain a baseball signed by Walter Johnson, the legendary baseball pitcher born in Humboldt in 1887. Unfortunately, the baseball did not survive the years.

The school district plans to replace the box with a new time capsule to leave for future generations.

Traffic Stop Leads to Drug Arrest

 A traffic stop south of Independence leads to a drug seizure and multiple arrests.

 Montgomery County Sheriff's deputies have arrested Erika Williams and Codaniel Jones, both of Bartlesville, following a traffic stop last week. The pair was stopped about 3 miles south of Independence on US 75 around 8pm last Thursday. An investigation revealed that Williams did not have a valid driver's license and Jones had an outstanding warrant for aggravated burglary in Montgomery County.

The Caney Police Department K9 Officer Ozzy arrived on the scene and detected narcotics. A search of the vehicle revealed over 13 grams of methamphetamine and several ecstasy pills. Both Williams and Jones were taken into custody and booked into the Montgomery County Department of Corrections. They face several charges, including possession and distribution of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and related traffic violations.


Data Shows Improvement Among USD 445 Students


USD 445 leadership is celebrating improved test scores across the district.


At last night's USD 445 Board of Education meeting, Assistant Superintendent of Learning Services Lora Stalford presented an academic data report. The most recent data shows the percentage of students performing in the top two levels of growth has increased 37% in math and 21% in reading. Stalford says this information comes from internal testing conducted across the district three times a year.


Through testing, student growth levels can be categorized into accelerated, typical, slight or no growth categories. Stalford says data can be analyzed down to the classroom level and interventions for reading and math are then put into place for students who are struggling.


In other business, the board received an issue-free audit report, accepted resignations and retirements and approved contracts for district personnel.

Coffeyville Man Arrested for Vehicle Theft in Parsons


A Coffeyville man is arrested in Parsons after a domestic dispute turns into a vehicle theft.


Saturday at around 10:00pm, Parsons Police were notified about a possible stolen vehicle. 26-year-old Peter Eugene Olsen Jr had stolen a 2018 Chevrolet Traverse from his ex-girlfriend. Olsen had taken a purse and keys and left with the vehicle. According to reports, Olsen said that he would not go back to prison and there would be a suicide by a cop if he were caught. Officers located the vehicle and were informed that there were two firearms in the residence belonging to the victim. With that information and the comment about a suicide by a cop, officers set up a perimeter around the house.


Officers attempted to make contact with Olsen but were not successful. The homeowner gave officers permission to enter the residence. Officers located Olsen, unarmed and took him into custody. Olsen, who was recently released from prison, was on federal probation for a weapons charge. He was arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary, felony theft, misdemeanor theft and domestic battery.


Authorities Seek Suspect in Cherokee County

 The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office is looking for a suspect charged with attempted murder who has also violated his bond agreement.

 Police are looking for Joshua Ferguson of Riverton. Ferguson has been charged with attempted 2nd degree murder after authorities say he shot at a family member on May 16th of last year. Ferguson fled the scene and was later found hiding in Webb City, MO. Ferguson posted his bond but later violated the conditions of that bond. He is now a wanted fugitive.

Anyone with information about Ferguson's whereabouts should call local law enforcement or contact the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office at 620-429-3992 or text 888777 and type “tip cherokee” followed by your information.

Independence City Commission Meets

 The Independence City Commission Holds a brief meeting to handle several items of city business.

 Commissioner Scott Smith was not present at last week's meeting, leaving only Commissioners Tim Emert and Dean Hayse as voting members. On the agenda was the reappointment of three members to the Economic Development Board. Mayor Tim Emert makes the motion.

The two commissioners also approved the termination of the Stage 1 Water Watch and held an executive session regarding acquisitioon of real estate. The next Independence City Commission meeting will be held on February 22nd

Montgomery County Commission Considers Changes to Department of Corrections

 Montgomery County considers combining juvenile and adult Department of Corrections.

 Montgomery County is one of only seven counties in Kansas that has separate administrations for the juvenile and adult Department of Corrections. Director of Human Resources Ben Brubaker spoke before the Commission today about changing that organization. Brubaker says this would be the beginning step of such a change.

In other business, commissioners heard from Matt Debo about hiring a firm to consider zoning changes as well as hearing an update on Public Works by Director Jim Wright.

Coffeyville Crew Working to Restore Power

  The City of Coffeyville says crews from Coffeyville Municipal Light and Power are working to restore power outages around the city.

 CMLP is prioritizing downed poles and power lines that affect residential customers and will assess other areas facing issues after those customers have been restored.

Coffeyville Bank To Merge With Northwestern Kansas Bank Company

 A well-known local bank announces a merger with a northwestern Kansas banking company.

 Community State Bank has announced a merger with Solutions North Bank of Stockton, Kansas. The bank holding companies for both organizations, which are Coffeyville Bancorp Inc., and Stockton Bancshares, Inc., announced the merger agreement. Under the agreement terms, Coffeyville Bancorps will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Stockton Bancshares.

The merger must still be approved by the boards of directors of both companies, bank regulatory agencies, and shareholders. The deal is anticipated to close in the second quarter of 2024. Community State Bank's Coffeyville location is expected to continue operations as a branch of Solutions North Bank.

Community State Bank was founded in 1967 by F.C. “Coke” Harlow and was originally known as Coffeyville State Bank. It became Community State Bank in 1996.

Republic Trash Services Not Running Today in Coffeyville

 Republic Services will not be running trash routes today (Monday, February 12th) in Coffeyville due to inclement weather.

 Trash pick up will run one day behind schedule until Friday. Thursday and Friday's routes will both be picked up Friday. February 16th. Bulk items for Tuesday's regular route will be picked up Tuesday, February 13th.

Neodesha To Hold Pre-K Round Up

 USD 461 Neodesha will hold a Pre-K Round UP coming up on April 9th.

 Age requirements are as follows: For 3 year old program, children must be 3 years old on or before august 31, 2024, and for 4 year old program, children must be 4 on or before the same date. Parents shoukld bring only the child they are enrolling as well as a state issued birth certificate and immunization records. Those with questions should call 620-325-3066

Household Trash Drop Off for Sedan Residents

 The City of Sedan announces a household trash drop off in partnership with Waste Connections.

 Sedan invites residents who might have had the household trash pile up in between trash service to drop off their surplus trash tomorrow.

Tomorrow from 7am to 5:30pm there will be a rool off dumpster available at the fairgrounds, south of the church food stands. The dumpster is for household trash only … no appliances or bulk items will be accepted. Be prepared to show your ID with an address inside the Sedan city limits.

For the elderly or anyone else unable to bring their trash to the fairgrounds due to health/mobility reasons, there will be people available to come to your house and gets your trash. Those in need of assistance should call city hall at 620-725-3193.

Independence Woman Injured in Single Vehicle Accident

 An Independence woman is injured in a single vehicle accident.

 The accident happened around 9:30am on Friday when a 2019 Ford Flex was traveling northbound on County Road 3900 between Independence and Dearing. 41 year old Angel Farley of Independence was lost control of the vehicle, left the roadway and struck an embankment. Farley was taken to the Labette Health ER in Independence with a suspected serious injury.

Cherryvale Traffic Accident Leaves Two Injured

 A traffic accident in Cherryvale leaves two women injured.

 The accident occurred just after 11am yesterday when a 2016 Chevy Silverado pick up driven by 40 year old James Knutson of Tulsa failed to yield when turing left onto US 169 from Main Street in Cherryvale. Knutson's vehicle was struck in the rear drivers side quarter panel by a

2013 Cadillac X-T-S driven by 67 year old Ollie Mae Agbara of Coffeyville. Both Agbara and her 56 yea old passenger Shela Boyd of Tulsa, sustained minor injuries. Both women were taken to Coffeyville Regional Medical Center for treatment.

Injury Accident in Wilson County

 A weekend accident in Wilson County leaves a Fredonia woman injured.

 The accident occurred around noon yesterday (Sunday, February 11) at the intersection of US 400 and County Road 500, just west of Neodesha.

46 year old Sammy Roebuck of Neodesha was traveling west on Us 400 in a GMC pickup when he slowed to make a left turn onto County Road 500. A 2008 Ford Taurus driven by 62 year old Kristine White of Fredonia failed to slow down and struck the pick up truck from behind. What was taken to a nearby hospital with suspected serious injuries. Roebuck was uninjured. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident.

Veterans Coffee Social in Bartlesville

 Tomorrow in Bartlesville is chance for veterans to meet and be social.

 Starting tomorrow morning (February 13), the Bartlesville VA Clinic will host a veterans coffee social. All veterans are welcome to come and socialize, while learning more about the community, and meeting new people. The event happens every Teusday morning from 9:30am to 11am at the clinic, located at 3005 East Frank Philliips Boulevard. The group will meet in the conference room just off the lobby. No RSVP is needed. Those wanting more information can call Angela at 918-337-1735

Inter-State Farm and Home Show Coming Up in March

 The 7th Annual Inter-State Farm and Home Show is coming up in March.

 Vendors from northeast Oklahoma and southeast Kansas will be on hand, featuring the latest agriculutrual products and equipment, landscaping and general remodeling, and home décor. Event Organizer Tina Romine says it's a big show with something for everyone.

The Inter-State Farm and Home Show takes place at Nellis Hall on the C-C-C campus on March 22 and 23.

Woman Missing After Attending Weekend Event

 A Bartlesville family is asking for help in locating their daughter with developmental disabilities after she went missing Friday night in Tulsa.

 40-year-old Katie Vaclaw was attending a prom event Friday at the Cox Business Convention Center in downtown Tulsa, celebrating those with special needs. Vaclaw lives at at a residential facility in Tulsa. According to reports, while at the prom, Vaclaw told her friend she needed to use the restroom, but never returned. She was last seen around 9 p.m. Friday. Katie is described as 4 foot, 5 inches tall, and weighs about 102 pounds with light brown hair and brown eyes. Katie was last seen wearing a peach dress. She suffers from Prader-Willi Sydrome and has the demeanor of a young child.

Katie is believed to be somewhere in the Tulsa area. If you have any information on Katie’s location, contact Tulsa Police at 918-596-9222. There is also a private number to call, 405-923-1269.

Jasper County Deputies Seek Suspect in Weekend Shooting

 The Jasper County Sheriff's Office is searching for a suspect in a Saturday shooting near Sarcoxie.

 At around 3:30 Saturday afternoon, Jasper County Deputies responded to reports of a shooting. Deputies arrived on the scene to find a 35 year old man who had been shot in the arm. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital and was treated for non life threatening injuries. The suspect has been indentified, but authorities have not released any names at this time.

Caney to Celebrate Receiving a $500,000 Grant


An award ceremony will be held Wednesday in Caney to celebrate receiving a $500,000 grant.


Caney was awarded the 2023 HOPE IV Mainstreet Grant for their Economic Development, Downtown. HUD is holding an award ceremony on Wednesday at 10:00am in the City Hall Council Chambers.


City Administrator Kelley Zellner invites the public to come and celebrate this wonderful occasion. Only two cities in Kansas were awarded this grant. This comes after Caney received a $300,000 Housing Rehabilitation Grant last week from CDBG for Economic Development.


Clay County Undersheriff Arrested by KBI


The Kansas Bureau of Investigation has arrested a former Kansas undersheriff.


On Friday afternoon, at around 4:10pm, KBI agents arrested 55-year-old Harold Stellner, of Clay Center. Stellner turned himself in at the Clay County Jail. He was arrested for mistreatment of a confined person, a class A misdemeanor.


On October 4th, the KBI initiated this investigation at the request of the Clay County Sheriff when he discovered evidence of an incident that took place on September 29th, at the Clay County Jail. During the incident it is believed Stellner unlawfully struck an inmate. Shortly after, Stellner’s employment was terminated by the Sheriff’s Office. The investigation is ongoing.

Independence Man Arrested While Driving Stolen Truck


The Independence Police Department has arrested 49-year-old Mathew Benjamin Whitaker on charges of possession of stolen property and driving while suspended.


The arrest stems from a reported auto theft south of Independence on January 23rd. The vehicle was seen traveling north shortly after. IPD officers located the stolen vehicle and conducted a traffic stop.


Whitaker was arrested and booked into the Montgomery County Department of Corrections on charges of possession of stolen property and driving while suspended. He was granted a $3,000 bond with bond supervision and remains in custody.

Texas Woman Killed in Crash in Oklahoma


A Texas woman is dead after a two vehicle crash in Mayes County.


The fatality collision happened Friday at around 6:30pm on Highway 412. A 2020 Volvo Semi, driven by 61-year-old Willie Coleman, of Birmingham, Alabama, was slowing turning northbound on Highway 412B. A 2018 Ford F150, driven by 32-year-old Stephanie Morrison, of Fort Worth, rear-ended the semi at a high rate of speed.


Morrison was transported by Mesta EMS to Hilcrest in Pryor, where she was pronounced dead due to massive injuries sustained in the accident. Coleman was not injured.

Winter Weather Returns

 A wet, heavy snow brings winter back to the four state area.

 Heavy snow is expected across the listening area this morning with a winter weather advisory in effect until noon today for southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri. Snow accumulation should be 1 to 3 inches.

 Northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas are under a winter storm warning until 6pm tonight. This includes Miami, Jay, Grove, and Eureka Springs. Snow accumulation could be as much as 4 to 6 inches.

The Bartlesville area is under a winter weather advisory until noon with little to no snow accumulation expected.

Roads may be slick and visibility low this morning and drivers are urged to take extra time and be cautious.

Snow Chance Overnight, Possible Travel Impacts Monday


Snow is possible overnight for the four-state area, with up to six inches of accumulation for parts of the region.


In southeast Kansas, up to three inches of snow could fall after midnight, and a winter weather advisory will be in effect from midnight tonight through noon Monday for Neosho, Montgomery and Labette Counties. The advisory also includes Osage, Washington and Nowata counties in northeast Oklahoma and areas to the east and south. A winter storm warning has also been issued for extreme eastern Oklahoma, northern Arkansas and southern Missouri from midnight through 6 p.m. Monday. The heaviest snowfall up to six inches is possible where the Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma state lines meet. Travel impacts for the morning commute will also be possible with this storm. KGGF will provide complete coverage as needed during morning programming on Monday.

Coffeyville Fire Department Receives Grant

 The Coffeyville Fire Department receives a grant to purchase new fire equipment.

 C-F-D has received a $4,000 Working Here Fund Grant from Farm Credit Services of America. The Working Here Fund Grant supports agriculture and rural communities with projects that address one of the following areas: agricultural education, hunger and nutrition, or rural disaster relief/essential services. The grant will be used to purchase new Fire Equipment and to update their rescue tool equipment.

Kansas Congressman Has Harsh Words for PETA After the Group Targets a Kansas Company

 A Kansas Congressman says People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals should be “ashamed and embarrassed.”

 Congressman Jake LaTurner called PETA “extreme liberal activists” and said they had nothing better to do than wage war on merry-go-rounds.”

LaTurner's remarks came after the animal rights group sent a letter to Wichita-based Chance Rides. Chance is the country's largest manufacturer of amusement park rides, incuding carousels. In the letter, PETA asked the company to stop making animal-themed carousels because they add to the idea that animals are to be used for entertainment.

LaTurner called the request “absolutely ridiculous” and said PETA “could not be more out of touch with Kansans.”

Altamont City Council Meets

 The Altamont City Council meets to address city business.

 At last night's meeting, Public Works Superintendent Brad Myers addressed some recent issues with the city sewer.

Myers told the Council he was working to get the section of sewer fixed. In other business, the council approved the closure of streets to allow for the Labette County High School FFA chapter to hold a Farm Safety Fair on April 10th.

The Altamont City Council will meet again on February 22nd at 7pm.

Independence Wrestling Team Makes History

 History was made in Independence last night.

 For the first time in the 50 year history of wrestling at Independence High School, the Bulldogs are SEK league champions.

Anchored by first place finishes by Colton Minnick, Mason Gibbons, Keith Sanders, Kohen Wright, and Josh Lawrie the Bulldogs scored 231.5 team points to beat second place Pittsburg for the title. Fort Scott wrestlers took third followed by Coffeyville-Field Kindley in fourth place.

Sanders and Gibbons were also recognized for each notching 100 career varsity wins.

The Indy Bulldogs will look to add to their accomplishments this season on February 17th as they host regional competition.

Parsons Rotary Holds Fundraiser

 The Parsons Rotary is hosting a fundraiser chili feed tomorrow from 10:30am until 2:30pm.

 The event will be held at the Parsons Municipal Building. Food will be available for dine-in or carry-out. The cost is $8 and includes chili and a drink. Proceeds support local scholarships and projects.

Federal Agency Shuts Down Rail Operator Between Kansas and Oklahoma Over Safety Concerns

 The Federal Railroad Administration has shut down a railroad operating between Blackwell, OK, and Wellington, KS over what it calls a “complete disregard for the safety of the public.”

 The FRA has ordered the Blackwell Northern Gateway Railroad to discontinue operations of all trains on all tracks it owns including the line between Blackwell and Wellington.

The FRA began investigating BNGR following a derailment in December 2023 and found that the company has not taken any action to correct the safety issues indetified by the agency. The safety issues include allowing trains to be operated by people not qualified as engineers, not maintaining track safety records, and having employees falisify records and documents.

The FRA order will remain in effect until BNGR submits a written plan to improve safety.

Area Community College Faces Financial Issues

  Fort Scott Community College reveals a $1 million dollar deficit.

 The financial mismanagement was revealed in December as school offcials cite a departure from established purchasing protocals as the reason. Excessive credit card use also appears to be part of the problem.

F-S-C-C president Jason Kegler says the school has instituted a freeze on spending and hiring to repair the financial damage. A contribution from the school's endowment will help it remain finacially stable and ensure that student life will remain unaffected. Campus activities and events will continue as planned.

Kegler says the school also plans to reduce reliance on credit cards and switch to a purchase order system instead.

Copan Boil Water Advisory

 The City of Copan is under a boil water advisory.

 The advisory was issued due to a mechanical failure with equipment at the water treatment plant. Customers should bring the water to a full rolling boil for at least a minute before drinking, food preparation or use bottled water instead. Disinfect dishes and food preparation surfaces and dispose of ice cubes from trays or automatic ice makers. Customers should follow these precautions until the order is lifted.


Cherokee Nation Gets Funding For Language Program

 The Cherokee Nation announces new federal funding to advance the Cherokee language.

 The Cherokee Nation has been awarded a $900,000 grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior to continue spreading the Cherokee language over the next three years.  

The tribe received an initial $300,000 with additional funding to come for the ensuing two years from Congress. Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. calls the creation of a new generation of Cherokee speakers and important part of preserving and celebrating the Cherokee heritage.

In November 2022, the Cherokee Nation opened the Durbin Feeling Language Center in Tahlequah, which is where all the Cherokee language programs are housed.  

Cherokee Nation Accepting Scholarship Applications


The Cherokee Nation Foundation is now accepting applications for additional scholarship opportunities for the upcoming academic year.


The new merit scholarships are funded through recent legislation authored by Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner, adding nearly $100,000 in financial support for students pursuing higher education. The Comprehensive Cherokee Nation Education Act of 2024 is focused on identifying and celebrating Cherokee students who exemplify leadership qualities and service to the tribe. While applications for CNF’s general scholarships closed January 31, several scholarships can still be applied for through the end of the month. A full list is available here.

First Load of Soybeans Arrives at Bartlett Soybean Processing Facility


The first load of soybeans is put into storage at the new Bartlett Soybean Processing facility south of Cherryvale.


A truck delivering soybeans from Steffens Farms in Missouri arrived at the plant this afternoon. The load was described as a test run as the facility is not yet fully operational. However, the load that arrived is just the first of many more to come as the plant comes into full production.


The Bartlett Soybean Processing facility is located just east of the Montgomery County landfill.

Montgomery County Sheriff to Seek Re-Election


The Montgomery County sheriff announces he will seek re-election.


Sheriff Ron Wade, in a post on Facebook, says it has been an honor to serve the county over the last four years and he is excited to announce his running for re-election. Wade was appointed to fill the role of sheriff in January 2020 after serving as the Caney Police Chief. After just two months as acting sheriff, Wade filed for election and in November of 2020 was elected to a four-year term with over 60% of the votes.


Wade says with the county's continued support, they can build an even stronger and safer future.

Higher Number of Stray Dogs in New Year


The City of Coffeyville has seen an increase in stray dogs since the start of the new year. Coffeyville Friends of Animals Board Director Becky Barnhart says anyone who has a dog go missing quickly contact the shelter.


Barnhart says the City of Coffeyville requires all dogs to have a city tag.  Barnhart says it's important to make sure a backyard is secure to prevent dogs from getting out. She says anyone whose dog is getting loose repeatedly watch the dog and they'll often lead you to their escape route.

Kansas Legislators' Pay Set To Rise By 93%

 State legislators will see a hefty pay increase in 2025.

 Legislators have not voted directly on the increase. Instead, they are relying on the results of a bipartican pay commission established last year. Their proposal, which will increase in total compensation from $30,000 a year to $58,000 a year. The increase can only be rejected with a resolution passed by both the state House and Senate. This would need to be done by next Wednesday. An effort at debate failed last week in the Senate and the House has not attempted any debate.

Supporters of the pay increase say it will help attract newer younger people to the legislature.


Correction: A previous version of this story stated legislators' current pay was $38,000.

Fredonia City Commission Takes Steps to Combat Blight in City

 The Fredonia City Commission makes good on its promise to combat blight in the city.

 At their January 19 meeting, the Fredonia City Commission promised citizens to take steps to combat blight in the city by taking care of abandoned and dilapidated houses. At last night's (Wednesday's) meeting, they took definite steps toward keeping that promise. The main part of the agenda was to begin condemnation proceedings against several houses. Mayor Allen Miller read the resolutions and Commissioner Brandon Tindle made the motions.

The commission repeated those steps 26 times. City Administrator Wes Young says the commissions actions should improve the city.

Young also expressed his appreciation for Duste O'Dell for her work in the Code Enforcement department. The next Fredonia City Commission meeting will be held on February 21st .

The address of the houses in question are as follows: 217 N 16th, 219 N 13th, 223 N 13th, 232 N 13th, 233 N 13th, 324 N 9th, 403 S 8th, 405 S 8th, 420 S 8th, 501 Harrison, 503 Harrison, 524 Harrison, 903 N 6th, 1121 N 4th, 1230 Washington, 115 N 4th, 226 N 14th, 303 N 11th, 311, Harrison, 311 Tyler, 424 Harrison, 713 N 5th, and 1302 N 2nd.

No action was takne on the house at 603 N 5th because it is in probate. The commission will reexamine taking action on this property on March 20.

Sedan Still Adjusting to New Trash Contract

 The Sedan City Commission is working out the rough patches as the city adjusts to a new trash contractor.

 Sedan recently signed a contract with Waste Connections of Bartlesville for trash service. The new contract began on January 1st . At Tuesday's city commission meeting, commissioners were still working to decide who is required to pay for trash service and who is exempt.

The commission agreed to an exception for non-profit 501c3s and also for contiguous commercial enterprises, though no new ordinance was passed. The next Sedan City Commission meeting will be held on February 20th

Injection Well In Oklahoma Ordered Shutdown Following Feb. 3 Earthquake

 A couple of major earthquakes in Oklahoma in recent weeks have raised concerns after years of a declining number of quakes and forced a state agency to shut down wastewater injection wells.

 A 5.1-magnitude quake last week was one of the strongest in years. Most scientists agree the quakes in Oklahoma are related to the high-pressure injection deep underground of wastewater left over from oil and natural gas production. After an uptick in quakes, regulators years ago placed new restrictions on disposal wells.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission ordered all disposal wells within 10 miles of Prague in Lincoln County to shut down by Feb. 17. The area is the epicenter of the Feb. 3, 5.1-magnitude earthquake.

The quake would be tied as the fourth-strongest in Oklahoma history if seismologists maintain the rating.

KDOT Approves Funding For Projects on US-160

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

 A pair of bids for work on US-160 in Labette and Cherokee counties was included. In Cherokee county, $1.8 million will be used for asphalt surfacing from the Labette/Cherokee county line east to the junction of US-166, K-7, and US-69. In Labette county, $200,000 will be used to resurface US-160 from Oswego to the Labette/Cherokee county line.

Field Renovations to Walter Johnson Park


Field renovations are underway at Walter Johnson Park following the spring fire.


CCC baseball coach Jake Martin says the major work is in progress.


A fire broke out in March of last year that did major damage to a storage shed, the home dugout, and a portion of the field.


Martin says they're hoping to be able to play at home soon.


KGGF will continue to monitor the construction at the park, and update the target completion date as it becomes available.

Red Flag Warning for Part of Listening Area


Windy conditions today will bring elevated fire danger for the area.


The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for parts of southeast Missouri and Cherokee, Crawford and Bourbon Counties in southeast Kansas from noon today through 9 tonight. Enhanced to near-critical fire spread rates will develop this afternoon across much of eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas as well. Gusty southwest winds to near 40 mph and well above average warm temperatures are expected. The highest spread rates will be across northeast Oklahoma and southeast Kansas where humidity values will be lowest.

Indy Woman Arrested on Drug Charges


An Independence woman is arrested on drug charges and two outstanding warrants.


Independence Police officers responded to a possible burglary in progress at a residence in the 1000 block of East Birch. Officers contacted 47-year-old Nichole Lee Ann Cardozo and discovered she had two warrants from Labette County. Officers searched Cardoza and discovered illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia.


Cardoza was arrested and booked into the Montgomery County Department of Corrections on charges of probation violations and possession of stimulant and drug paraphernalia. Cardoza was granted a $5000 bond but is currently detained due to two no-bond warrants.


Changes Coming to Wilson County Ballots


There will be a notable change to the ballots for upcoming elections in Wilson County.


County Clerk Kayla Busch says ballots will have a watermark moving forward.


The first election with the change will be on March 19th.


Additional items of business at this week's commission meeting is that the county is currently receiving bids for a new boiler system, with one of those bids being from McElroy's in Topeka. There is also a current opening in the County Appraiser's office.


The Wilson County commission meets on Wednesdays at 9 a.m. in Room 101 of the County Courthouse in Fredonia.

Vehicle Fire in Wilson Medical Center Parking Lot


A truck catches fire in the parking lot of Wilson Medical Center Neodesha.


On Monday, at around 3:00pm, the Neodesha Fire Department was called to 2600 Ottawa Road for a reported vehicle fire. Engine 633 arrived on scene to find a truck with heavy smoke and flames coming from the engine. Firefighters had to force the hood open due to the hood release cable being burnt off.


The fire was put out in a couple of minutes and a tow truck was called to remove the vehicle. All units cleared the scene without injury to staff or citizens.


PWWSD #20 Announces Stage 1 Water Watch

 More good news regarding water use for customers of Public Wholesale Water Supply District #20.

 P-W-W-S-D #20 has announced that, with customer conservation efforts combined with the recent rains, it is now at a Stage 1 Water Watch. The Supply District spent much of last fall at a Stage 3 Water Emergency, requiring major conservation efforts by customers.

The goal of a Stage 1 Water Watch is to heighten awareness of the public on water conditions and to maintain the integrity of the water supply system. The public will be asked to voluntarily curtail some outdoor water use and to make efficient use of indoor water, such as washing full loads of dishes and laundry, taking short showers, not letting faucets run,

Communities impacted include Cedar Vale, Moline, Chautauqua, Elk Co. RWD 1, Grenola, Longton, Peru, Sedan, Chautauqua Co. RWDs 1, 2, 3, 4 and Montgomery Co. RWD 1C (3&5).

Humboldt School District Receives Childcare Grant

 USD 258 in Humboldt receives a state grant to improve childcare.

 The district will receive $4.97 million for the Community Care Center in Humboldt. The funds will be used to renovate multi-purpose community facilities that create new licensed child care slots; provide access to high-speed internet; and house programs that facilitate work, education, and health care monitoring.

The announcement was made by Governor Laura Kelly and the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund as a part of nearly $28 million in Capital Projects Fund Accelerator awards to seven Kansas communities.

These grants are made possible using American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury Capital Projects Fund, which awarded $40 million to Kansas for this program in early September.

Injury Car Accident Near Liberty

 Emergency responders were on the scene this morning at an injury car accident near the intersection of CR 4900 and CR 3400.

 This is just west of Liberty. The accident occurred around 8am.

No further details have been released.

Neodesha School Seeks Candy Donations

 Heller Elementary School in Neodesha is looking for donations of individually wrapped candy and trinkets to fill plastic eggs.

 The school is planning to hold an egg hunt for students on March 7th and would appreciate any donations. Those with questions can call the school office at 620-325-3066

LCC Offers Youth Cheer Clinic

 Labette Community College is offering a Junior Cardinal Cheer Clinic.

 The clinic is open to youth from kindergarten through 5th grade and will take place from 9am to noon on February 17th .

Attendees will perform at the half time of the L-C-C women's basketball game that afternoon. The cost for the clinic is $25 and includes snacks and a performance t-shirt.

PPD Officer Recognized for Promotion

 At last night's Parsons City Commission Meeting, Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks recognized the promotion of Keenan Roberts to Sergeant.

 Spinks says it is one of the best parts of his job.

Spinks presented Roberts with a plaque commemorating his promotion and listed Roberts' many accomplishments as a Parsons Police officer.


Photo: (Left to Right) Roberts, Spinks, Wifford

Courtesy Parsons Police Department

Independence City Commission To Meet Tomorrow

 The Independence City Commission is set to hold their regular scheduled meeting tomorrow night.

 There are several things on the agenda for tomorrow's meeting of interest to residents. City engineer John Garris says he will recommend that the commission rescind the Stage 1 Water Watch for the city.

Garris also says that rescinding this measure will return the city to normal water use.

Also on the agenda for tomorrow's meeting is the reappointment of three members to the Economic Development Board and authorization of street closures for the Run4Fun 5k in Riverside Park scheduled for May 4th . Tomorrow's meeting will take place in the Commission Room at City Hall at 120 North 6th Street. The meeting starts at 5:30pm.

Independence Recreation Commission Spring Soccer and Flag Football Sign Ups

 The Independence Recreation Commission announces sign ups for spring soccer and flag football leagues.

 Soccer sign-ups are open to kids in pre-K through 8th grade and flag football is open to 1st through 8th grades. The sign up fee for either league is $40. To register, stop by the Ash Youth Center at 1501 North 10th street or call 620-331-0260 or register online at The deadline to sign up is March 7th

Newspaper Reporter Sues City of Marion Over August Raid

 A newpaper reporter for the Marion County Record is suing the city of Marion and several local officials over a raid on the newspaper office last August.

 Phyllis Zorn is seeking $950,000 in damages from the city of Marion and has also named the former mayor, the former police chief, the current interim police chief, the Marion County Commission, the Marion County Sheriff, and a former sheriff's deputy as co-conspirators in the suit. Zorn claims they deprived her of her First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and of the press and her Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure un the US Constitution.

The lawsuit stems from a raid conducted on the offices of the Marion County Record on August 11, in which law enforcement siezed equipment and personal cell phones. Zorn says the raid caused her both physical and mental health problems.

A former reporter for the Record has also sued former Marion Police Chief Gideon Cody for $75,000. the two parties are set to meet with a mediator in April.

Kansas Company Targeted By PETA

 A Kansas company has been asked by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to stop using designs featuring animals.

 PETA sent a letter outlining its request to Wichita-based Chance Rides, the largest manufacturer of amusement park rides in the US. Chance Rides is well-known for making animals for carousels. PETA wants Chance Rides to replace animals with vehicles like cars or airplanes or with whimsical designs like rainbows or shooting stars.

PETA claims that children learn through play and should be taught to have respect and compassion for all living things. PETA says using animal-themed carousels reinforces the idea that animals are here for our entertainment.

Stream Advisory Issued for Onion Creek Near Hamilton

 Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a stream advisory for Onion Creek, East of U Road to Willow Creek located North of Hamilton, Kansas, or about 14 miles northeast of Eureka.

 The stream advisory is a result of water contamination from a crude oil tank leak.

The advisory has been issued because crude oil contaminants may be present in Onion Creek located North of Hamilton, Kan. If you live or have activities near this stream, do not enter the stream or allow children or pets to enter the stream.

KDHE will rescind the advisory once testing indicates that wading in the water has been deemed safe.

Storm Spotter Training Coming to SEK


Meteorologists from the Wichita office of the National Weather Service are coming to southeast Kansas as we gear up for severe weather season.


The Storm Fury on the Plains presentation will be given in several area communities to prepare storm spotters and weather enthusiasts alike. Weather Service staff will provide an in-depth weather presentation about the different types of storms, the individual storm features that help a person to recognize the storm's potential severity, how to report hazardous weather and severe weather safety.


There will be a presentation tonight at 6:30 in Chanute at Sanders Auditorium on the campus of Neosho County Community College. The program will be presented in Coffeyville this coming Tuesday at 6:30 in the Oak Room at Coffeyville Community College. Those in Sedan can attend on Tuesday, February 27th at 6:30 p.m. at the Gregg Theater.  A full list of presentations by county is available here.

CFA Restarting Trap-Neuter-Return Program


Coffeyville Friends of Animals is restarting their Trap-Neuter-Return program. Shelter Director Danny Thompson says the program's purpose is to cut down on the number of feral cats in town.


Thompson says there is a way to tell if a cat has already been through the program.  Thompson says traps can be picked up in the shelter in the morning when they are cleaning or during their normal hours of 1:00pm to 3:00pm.  

Street Closures Announced for Coffeyville

 The City of Coffeyville announces a street closure on 9th street.

 Officials in Coffeyville say 9th street will be closed in the downtown area between Walnut and Maple starting tomorrow (February 7th). The reason for the closure is to allow contractors to begin the removal of the columns along 9th street.

The removal process should be complete by Friday (February 9th).


Photo courtesy City of Coffeyville

Caney Looks at Housing & Grocery Store in Meeting


 Demolition and rehabilitation for housing in Caney was a topic of conversation during last night's city council meeting, as well as the possible fate of the Caney Market.

 Contracts were approved for CDBG funding for demolition plans, as well as the Environmental Review Packet and the request for release of funds and certification for the housing plan.

 Caney City Administrator Kelley Zellner says the city is on the verge of good things happening, with the water agreement in place with the city of Coffeyville, and now a plan in place for housing.

 Another topic of discussion is the Caney Market, and unfortunately, the news isn't as good.

 Zellner says funds for the market continue to dwindle, even though the store is stocked with items requested by shoppers. He says revenue must increase soon, or the store will be forced to shut its doors.

 In other business, the city hired a new City Clerk to replace current clerk Amber Dean, who has accepted a position with the city of Coffeyville. Wendy Wickham will assume the clerk position February 25th.

Kansas Food Bank Visits Sedan Tomorrow

 The Kansas Food Bank brings its mobile food pantry to Sedan tomorrow.

 The pantry will be at the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds at 610 Park E Avenue in Sedan from 10 to 11am on February 7, 2024, or as long as supplies last. Anyone in need of food assistance is encouraged to attend. Guests will be asked to check in with basic information about their household. Anyone with questions can call the Kansas Food Bank at 316-265-FOOD.

IPD Announces New Online Crash Reporting System

 The Independence Police Department introduces a new online reporting system for traffic accidents.

 The new system will allow the public to create their own crash reports for non-injury accidents that happen on public streets or private parking lots that occur inside the Independence city limits. Those who are involved in an injury accident, hit-and-run, or DUI must still call I-P-D to report a crash. Accidents reported to the new system are soley for insurance purposes and will not be assigned to an officer for furthur action. You can find the reporting form here.

Independence Fundraiser for Central Sports Complex

 The City of Independence is offering a unique opportunity to support the community and be a part of history at the same time.

 The city has started construction on the new Central Park Sports Complex on Park Boulevard. As a part of this, area residents – both past and present – can purchase engraved bricks to be a part of the Donor Brick Plaza. Independence City Recreation Director Brent Julian says it's a very easy process to purchase a brick.

Most of the funding for the project has come from grants, but Julian says the city is also relying on private donations to help build the new facilities.

Julian says bricks range in proce from $25 up $500 for corporate sponsorships. The new sports complex will feature baseball and softball fields but will also include a new soccer field, a lighted hiking trail and new parking.

You can order a brick by clicking here.

Parsons Landmark Gets Historical Designation

 A historic landmark in Parsons earns state recognition.

 The Oakwood Cemetery in Parsons has been placed on the State historical Register by the Kansas State Historical Society Historic Sites Board.

In order to be considered for evaluation by the board, the property must be associated with events that significantly contributed to a community's history, be associated with a historically significant person, embody distinctive historical charateristics, or yield important historical information.

Oakwood Cemetery opened on June 1,1872. The original tract of 20 acres was given to the city by the Parsons Town Company, which was set up by Robert Stevens, superintendent of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad.

The first person to be buried at Oakwood was Hilda Aliza Holmes, nine-month old daughter of Dr. William Court Holmes and Aliza Holmes. Hilda Aliza was born on August 29,1871 and died on June 10,1872 of smallpox. She was buried at Oakwood the same day.

Many founders of Parsons are also buried in the cemetery.

The State Historical Society also recommended Oakwood Cemetery be place on the National Historical Register.

Vandalism Causes Closure of Miami Playground

 Weekend vandalism causes the closure of a popular playground in Miami.

 The city of Miami has announced the closure of the Pirate Ship playground due to vandalism over the weekend. An unknown suspect or suspect kicked out several porthole windows on the play equipment located on the Miami Splash Pad. The park will be closed temporarily until new parts can be obtained and the repairs can be made.

The Pirate Ship playground was installed in 2022 thanks to a $24,000 tobacco settlement endowment trust grant. The playgournd features pirate-themed equipment including slides, a climbing area, crow's nest, walking bridge, and a swing set.


Photo courtesy City of Miami, OK

City of Moline to Conduct Siren Test

 The City of Moline announces a tornatdo siren test set for today.

 Moline will conduct a test of their tornado sirens today at noon. Communities test their sirens to ensure they are in working order should they need to alert residents of a potentially life-threatening situation. Testing days and times are determined by local community or state guidelines. The sirens at noon today in Moline are only a test.

City Looking to Acquire Vacant Lots in Cherryvale


City leadership in Cherryvale is hoping to acquire some vacant properties in town for future development.


At last night's Cherryvale City Council meeting, council members authorized City Manager Jonathan Booe to spend up to $20,000 at the upcoming Montgomery County tax sale. Booe says the main goal is to purchase lots to put into the land bank to make available to developers.


Booe says cleaning up lots in town comes with many benefits.


In other business, the council approved an animal control ordinance related to disposal costs of dangerous animals and approved the purchase of a dump truck for the public works department of up to $12,500.

Montgomery County Commission Meets

 The Montgomery County Commission meets and hears updates on adding gravel to roads in the county.

 At today's (Monday, February 5, 2024) Montgomery County Commission meeting, Public Works Director Jim Wright told commissioners that county crew were working hard at adding gravel to county roads.

In other business, Lisa Khuen from Coffeyville Regional Medical Center spoke before the commission to ask for their support.

Commissioners agreed to the partnership and to support CRMC, adding that there would be more specifics as to the help CRMA would need at a future time. The Montgomery County Commisssion meets cvery Monday at 9am in the lower level of the Judicial Center in Independence.

Boil Water Advisory Rescinded for Montgomery RWD 2C-B and 14

 The Kansas Department of Health and Environment have rescinded the boil water advisory for Montgomery Rural Water Districts 2C-B and 14.

 The advisory was issued because of high turbidity at the Coffeyville water treatment plant. Laboratory testing samples indicated no bacterial contamination. KDHE has determined that all issues have been resolved.

For consumer questions, please contact the water system, Montgomery RWD 2C-B at: (918)-842-0084 and Montgomery RWD 14 at: (620)-251-4439 or you may call KDHE at: (785)-296-5514.

Kansas Man Has Record Fish Removed From List

 Bobby Parkhurst thought he had made a record-breaking catch.

 And he had … that is, unti the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks removed his record fish from the state records list.

Parkhurst reeled in the 18 inch, 4.07 pound white crappie at the Pottawatomie State Fishing Lake Number 2 on March 5th of last year. The Topeka angler was actually ready to throw the fish wihtout measuring it, unti he was encouraged by family and friends who suggested it might break the state record. The previous record was 17.5 inches and 4.02 pounds set by Frank Miller of Eureka in 1964.

Then, on April 20th, game wardens came to Parkhurst's home with a search warrant and seized the fish. K-D-W-P officials say there was an error in the listed weight of the fish on the paperwork, adding that had Parkhurst filled out the application correctly, it would not have qualified for the state revord.

Parkhurst insists he filled out the forms correctly and says he just wants his fish returned. K-D-W-P will not release any more information on the investigation because it is still an active case.

Ways to Keep Your Pet From Getting Lost

 One in three pets will become lost in their lifetime.

 If you have a pet, here are a few tips to keep them from getting lost.

Check the fencing in your yard to look for places your pet might use to get out. You can also keep an eye on your pet because they may lead you to their secret escape routes.

You can also train your pet so that they obey basic commands. This can also keep your pet enagaged and mentally stimulated.

Make sure your pet's collar or harness fits them well. This will keep them from being able to slip out of their leash. Also, keep your pet's ID or rabies tag on their collar. Animals that go missing while wearing a tag are more likely to be returned to their home.

Keep pets safe during events. From severe weather to back yard BBQs, these activities can lead to lost pets. Loud events like thunderstorms or the 4th of July can frighten pets. However, a big reason pets get lost is due to accidental behavior by house guests like leaving a door open or a gate unlatched.

A little prevention can help save you the heartbreak of losing a beloved pet.


Indy City Manager Gives 2023 Review

 Independence City Manager Kelly Passauer says things are going well in Indy.

 Passauer spoke at First Friday at the Civic Center last week. She says the city has been busy adressing citizen concerns from the last community survey in the Community Based Strategic Plan.

She also told the assembled crowd that broadband internet would soon be coming to the area.

Passauer also thanked members of the Independence Police Department for their hardwork. She also thanked city employees for all they do for the city. To see the city's community plan dashboard, go here.

Montgomery County Commission to Meet Today

 The Montgomery County Commission is slated to meet to day.

 On the agenda for the meeting is Emergency Management director Rick Whitson who will address a propposed increase in reimbursement for rural fire and the county storm shelter policy.

Public Works Director Jim Wright will also update the commission on projects taking place around the county, including a bid for paint striping for roads. This morning's meeting begins at 9am in the lower level of the Judicial Center in Independence. The public is invited to attend in person of via livestream on the county website at

Parsons Rotary Club To Host Chili Feed on Saturday

 It's good food for a good cause.

 This Saturday, the Parsons Rotary Club is hosting a chili feed from 10:30am until 2:30pm.

The cost is $8 and include chili and a drink. Cinnamon Rolls will also be available for purchase. The feed takes place on Saturday at the Parsons Municipal Building. All proceeds go to support local scholaships and other local projects.

DA Says Bartlesville Shooting Justified

 Washington County District Attorney Will Drake says a January 12 shooting death at a Bartlesville apartment was justified. 

 The Bartlesville Police Department received a 911 phone call around 8:30 am, January 12 regarding an intruder in the 1800 block of South Keeler Avenue. The person who was at home at the time said the suspect had broken through a door. The suspect was shot by the person at home. First responders arrived at the scene and administered aid to the 23-year-old male suspect, who was transported to Jane Phillips Hospital. The suspect was pronounced deceased at the hospital.

 Drake says under Oklahoma law, the resident was justified in shooting and killing the suspect.

Motorcyclist Killed in Accident With Deer

 A collision with a deer leaves an Iola motorcyclist dead.

 49 year old Darin Harclerode of Iola was traveling northbound on K-3 just north of Bronson or about 19 miles west of Fort Scott on Friday evening. At around 6:15, a deer ran out of the ditch and struck Harclerode's motorcycle, causing him to lose control, and enter the ditch after overturning several times. Harclerode was pronounced deceased at the scene. He was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

Rainfall Totals Around the Area


Weekend storms bring more moisture to the four-state area.


As expected, the maximum rainfall topped out around 1.5 inches.  Here's a look at some of the combined storm total rainfall amounts collected at area gauges between Saturday and Monday.


KGGF Studios in Coffeyville: 1.43

Peru: 1.53

Howard: 1.47

Pittsburg: 1.35

Bartlesville: 1.40

Vinita: 1.08

Miami: 1.00

Joplin: 0.83


Weekend Shooting in Coffeyville


***** Update *****


The victim of this weekend's shooting has been identified.  According to the Coffeyville Police Department, 39-year-old Ramon Burnett of Coffeyville was transported to CRMC by EMS and was later pronounced deceased.  The department has also confirmed Michael McGinnis and Raymond McGinnis as suspects in homicide case.


Coffeyville Police Chief Kwin Bromley is thanking the Montgomery Co. Sheriff’s Office and Kansas Bureau of Investigation for their assistance in this investigation.  Anyone with information should call CPD at 620-252-6160. Those wishing to remain anonymous may provide information to the Crime Tip Hotline at 620-252-6133.


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


Law enforcement respond to a report of shots fired in Coffeyville over the weekend.


Saturday night around 7 p.m., Coffeyville Police and EMS were dispatched to the area of 10th and Hall streets near the King Food Saver parking lot. The Coffeyville Police Department has not yet released any information regarding the incident, but 28-year-old Michael Lynn McGinnis and 50-year-old Raymond William McGinnis were arrested over the weekend on charges of 2nd-degree murder including aggravated endangering a child, reckless situation to a child, possession of hallucinogenic drugs, use of drug paraphernalia, criminal possession of a weapon and criminal discharge of a firearm in an occupied dwelling with great bodily harm and unlawful discharge of a firearm in city limits. At least one person was injured in the incident, but there have been no other updates at this time.

Earthquake Felt in Area Last Night


If you felt the ground shaking last night, it might have been from an earthquake.


According to the U.S. Geological Survey, last night around 11:25, a 5.1 magnitude earthquake was reported just northwest of Prague, Oklahoma, which is east of Oklahoma City. The quake was felt around the four-state region, including in Coffeyville and even up into central Kansas and as far south as Texas. If you felt the earthquake, you can report it using the link here.

New Aviation Director Named


A new Director of Aviation has been named in Kansas.


Ray Seif was recently named the Director of Aviation for the Kansas Department of Transportation. In his new role, Seif says he's looking forward to working with local airports across the state. Seif received a master’s in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is also a commercial, multi-instrument aircraft pilot. Prior to his new position, Seif was the Manager at the Augusta Municipal Airport. Before that, he served as the Manager at the Jasper County Airport in Indiana.

Independence Man Charged With Attempted Murder

 An Independence man faces charges of attempted murder.

  The Montgomery County Attorney's Office has filed charges of attempted first degree murder against 46 year old Jesse Lewis.

The charges stem from an incident where Lewis is alleged to have tried to kill Mary Lou Vannoster by stabbing her.

Lewis also faces additional charges of fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement in the commission of a felony, interference with a law enforcement officer, theft of services and property (by using Vannoster’s personal vehicle to flee from police), and criminal threat with cause to commit terror or fear.

Lewis is currently being held in the Montgomery County Jail. His next court date is February 13th

Groundhog Day ... Six More Weeks of Winter?

 Today is Groundhog Day and the question is … will there or won't there be six more weeks of winter?

 Only Punxsutawny Phil knows for sure.

The tradition of Ground hog Day dates back to 1887 when it was celebrated for the very first time at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawny, Pennsylvania. The tradition was originally brought to the Unitred States by German immigrants. Tens of thousands of visitors visit the smal city every year to see what the world's most famous weather man has to say. So, what did he say this year? Let's find out

And there you have it … Punxsutawny Phil says an early spring is in store for us this year.

Cold and Flu Season Is Here

 Colds and flu are viruses that can affect people at any time of year, but the peak time for them is usually between December and February.

 The Center for Disease Control says over the past 40 years, the month where the flu tends to strike the most people is February. Dr. Michale Garko says it isn't just the flu we need to be aware of.

Flu cases are on the rise in both Oklahoma and Kansas, so it's a good time to take precautions against it and other illnesses. Steps anyone can take to help reduce the spread of these viruses is to wash your hands, cover your cough, stay home when you're sick, and make sure you are up on vaccines. To help keep your immune system in shape, eat a healthy diet, be physically active, get enough sleep, and avoid alcohol.

Fredonia High School After Prom Fundraiser

 The public is invited to the Fredonia Junior/Senior High School commons tonight for a chicken noodle dinner.

 The dinner is a fundraiser to support the Fredonia After Prom. The meal includes homemade chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans, a roll, and dessert, plus tea or water to drink. Service begins at 5pm tonight and the cost is $7 per plate. Then afterwards enjoy high school backetball versus Cherryvale. All proceeds from the meal go to the Fredonia High After Prom.

Scammers Roaming Kansas Highways

 Authorities are warning Kansans about a pair of scammers roaming the highways of the state.

 There have been several reports across the state of a pair of men posing as people with a broken down vehicle, asking for help. Victims of the two men report that the pair says they are from another country, are broke, and are unable to access their own money for some reason. Victims describe the men as being Middle Eastern. One report says the victim felt sorry for them and purchased $4,000 in jewelry that turned out to be fake. They are report to be driving a white Chevy SUV with Texas plates. The scammers have been spotted in Barton, Lyon, and Graham counties. Anyone spotting the pair along the roadway should call 9-1-1

Two Vehicle Accident in Cherokee County Leaves One Injured

 A two-vehicle accident on US 400 in Cherokee County leaves one person injured.


 The crash happenes around 9:45 yesterday (Thursday) morning on US 400 near the city of Cherokee. A 2014 Ford Fiesta driven by 63 year old Cynthia Allen of Pittsburg was eastbound on 400 and slowed as it approached the intersection with K-7. A tractor-trailer driven by 45 year old Cassidy McElwee (Mackle-wee) of Greensburg, Louisiana, was following Allen. The semi failed to slow as it approached the intersection and struck the rear end of the Fiesta. Allen suffered minor injuries in the accident and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. McElwee as well as a passenger in Allen's car were both uninjured. All were wearing seaetbelts.

Boil Water Advisory for Labette Rural Water District #6 Rescinded

 The Boil water advisory for Labette Rural Water District #6 has been rescinded.

 Water samples tested by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment show no contamination and the KDHE has determined that all issues have been resolved. Advisories for the city of Dearing and Montgomery County Rural Water districts 1C and 2C-A have also been rescinded.

Wilson County Introduces New Employee


A new employee in the Register of Deeds office has been introduced in Wilson County.


Deputy Register of Deeds Director Christina Slaughter welcomes Savannah Blevins to the office, where she will begin working immediately.


Additionally, County Coordinator Kris Marple reveals that county surveyor William Cook will be working from home moving forward, as he recovers from a recent accident.


Additional items of business at this week's meeting was County Clerk Kayla Busch informing commissioners of the upcoming Southeast Kansas Officials Meeting in April, as well as an update from Road and Bridge Director Kary Tatum.


Wilson County commissioners meet at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays in Room 101 of the County Courthouse in Fredonia.

Rainy Weekend Ahead


A rainy weekend is on the way for the four states.


Up to 1.5 inches of rain is expected this weekend for the area. After a dry day today, rain is expected to start tonight and taper off by Sunday evening. A few strong storms are possible tonight and could bring small hail and gusty winds. The most rain is expected for southcentral Kansas where up to 2 inches are possible. Around the four-state area, at least one-half inch of rain is expected. Heavy rain may lead to localized flooding and ponding of water.


Parsons Man Arrested after Brief Standoff in Dollar Tree Restroom


A Parsons man and multi-time convicted felon is arrested after a brief standoff at a Dollar Tree.


At around 12:30pm, Parsons Police officers were trying to locate 51-year-old Jason Purdy on multiple active arrest warrants. Thanks to multiple reports officers located him inside a Dollar Tree. Upon officers arrival, Purdy locked himself inside the store's restroom and told officers that he was armed with a knife. After a short negotiation process and obtaining keys from the manager, officers successfully arrested Purdy without incident or injury.


Purdy was in possession of controlled substances, attempted to hide evidence, which officers located in the restroom and later admitted to destroying evidence before officers got into the restroom. Purdy was not in possession of any weapon at the time of his arrest. Purdy is currently in custody on several additional charges on top of the active warrants.


CCC's Chocolate Serenade Dessert Concert


The Coffeyville Community College Choir Program is presenting a Chocolate Serenade Dessert Concert. Choir Director Markel Porter says this will be an evening of songs and desserts.


Porter says the evening will begin with drinks and their first set of songs followed by an intermission at which time the desserts will be served.  The event is Saturday, February 10th starting at 7:00pm at the Ravens Roost. Tickets are $20 per person and need to be purchased by Wednesday.  Tickets can be purchased here.

USD 445 Wellness Council Receives Grant


The USD 445 Wellness Council receives a grant for $20,000.


This grant comes from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Pathways to a Healthy Kansas and is for completing the requirements in the Education Pathway for Modeling School Wellness. The Council worked with Grant Coordinator Marci Roberts to address policies that increase healthy activities in the district.


The Wellness Council implemented seven new policies that will affect all four schools in the district. They will use the funds to increase physical activity, improve water availability for all students, promote and improve staff wellness and offer nutrition education in the kindergarten through second grade classroom.

Boil Water Order for Dearing and Two Montgomery County Rural Water Districts Rescinded


The boil water advisory for Dearing and Montgomery County Rural Water Districts 1C and 2C-A has been rescinded. 


The Kansas Department of Health and Environment issued the order last week after high turbidity was discovered at the Coffeyville water treatment plant.  The City of Coffeyville had also been placed under a boil water advisory, but that was rescinded Monday when test results showed the issue had been resolved. 


However, the advisory remained in effect for Dearing and the two rural water districts until those test results came back today.  High turbidity can lead to a loss of chlorine residuals and bacteria contamination.

Miami County Investigates Animal Cruelty

 Authorities in Miami County Kansas are investigating suspects for animal cruelty after ten Great Danes were found dead on January 24th on a property in rural Louisburg.

 Nine other Great Danes and one Shepard mix were found alive on the porperty and taken to a nearby pet rescue where they are recovering from neglect and malnourishment.

The deceased dogs have been sent to Kansas State University for a complete autopsy.

Four persons of interest have been identified by the Miami County Seriff's Department in connection to the incident. Their names are not being released yet because they have not been formally charged.

Coffeyville Chamber Awards Banquet a Huge Success

 The Coffevyille Area Chamber of Commerce held their annual Business Awards Dinner Celebration last week.

 Chamber President Candi Westbrook says the sold-out banquest was a huge success.

Westbrook added that everyone was able to enjoy the keynote speaker Mark Mayfiled, as well as enjoying the dinner and games. The Chamber is already planning next year's event in hopes of making the 2025 Awards Dinner even more of a success.


Photo: Thompson Brothers, Business of the Year. Courtesy Coffeyville Area Chamber of Commerce

Iola Seeks Resident Input on City Flag Design

 The City of Iola wants its own flag and wants citizens to help choose the design.

 There are two flag designs to choose from. The first is the Clock Tower flag. It shows a clock that displays the time as 3:04, in reference to Kansas being the 34th state. The design is meant to honor tradition and be timeless and up lifting. The other design is the Land and Water flag. This design emphasizes agriculture, growth, and the waterways near Iola.

Residents can vote on their favorite design on the city's Facebook page by giving a like to their choice. The city's facebook page located at

Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Makes Special Delivery

 A Kansas highway Patrol Trooper had a big job on his hands earlier this month.

 In the early morning hours of January 12th , K-H-P Master Trooper Da'Von Brame was called to I-35 on the Kansas Turnpike, where he found a family on their way to the hospital to have a baby. But the baby planned to arrive a bit early than his parents planned. Baby Pierson arrived on the scene not long after Trooper Brame. Trooper Brame and the father helped deliver the baby on the side of the Interstate not long after the Trooper arrived on the scene. Mom, Dad, and Baby Pierson made their way to the hospital and all are reported to be doing well.


Photo courtesy Kansas Highway Patrol

Parsons Residents Gather to Say Good-bye to Canine Police Officer

 That was the sound in the Parsons Municipal Auditorium yesterday (Wednesday) as more than one hundred area residents joined Parsons Police Officers to say good-bye to K9 Karim.

 Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks welcomed the crowd to the memorial service for the fallen K9 Officer who passed away last August. The ceremony featured statements from Parsons Mayor Eric Strait, a K9 salute from Corporal Christian Smith and K9 Morgan, and a eulogy from Deputy Chief Dennis Dodd. Karim was also given a Final Watch call from Dispatch.

Reverend Jennifer Dawson officiated the ceremony and shared some of her thoughts with the audience.

The ceremony closed with a final salute from officers from the Parsons Police Department.


Photo: Attendees gather in the foyer of the Parsons Municipal Building

Road Closures on US 75 in Bartlesville Expected

 As the Oklahoma Department of Transportation continues to work on the bridge project along U.S. Highway 75 and U.S. Highway 60, more lane closures are expected in February.

 Director of Engineering for the City of Bartlesville, Micah Siemers said that new beams will be added for the US 60 bridge over Highway 75 next Thursday and Friday (February 8th and 9th) . During that time, U.S. Highway 75 will have one lane open for each direction of travel.
Siemers added that when the beams are in the air, they will need to close both lanes for five to ten minutes to install them properly. The work is expected to take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. during those two days. The overall project is expected to take several more months to complete.

Summer Work Program Returns for Osage Nation Youth

 Native Americans aged 16 to 21 have the opportunity to once again take part in the summer youth worksite program.

 Those who take part will have the ability to gain knowledge in various industries. 

Participants can work up to 32 hours a week and will be paid through the Financial Assistance Department. Agreements must be made and received by Friday, May 3rd. The program runs through June and July. For more information, call 918-287-5325. 

Dewey House Fire Claims Lives of Man and His Dogs

 A house fire northwest of Dewey killsa man and his three dogs.

 On Wednesday morning, 61-year old Jimmy Harrington, along with his three dogs, were inside the home when the fire occurred. 

Dewey Fire Chief Terry Young had no comment, saying the investigation is ongoing at this time. This is a breaking news story and more details will be provided as they are released.

Wilson County Firefighters Receive Donation


Firefighters in Wilson County have a new way to stay hydrated during wildfires and long incidents in extreme heat.


Wilson County Rural Fire has received a pallet of water through the Anheuser Busch Emergency Drinking Water for Wildland Firefighters program, coordinated by the National Volunteer Fire Council. The department is also thanking Best Beverage Sales, Inc., for taking the time to deliver the donation.


Other nearby department that have received water since the program began include the Caney Fire Department, Elk County Rural Fire, Edna Fire Department, Saint Paul Mission Township Fire Department, the Girard Fire Department, Galena Fire, the Commerce Fire Department, Welch Fire and the Dewey Fire Department.


Radon Program Coming to Coffeyville


A program is coming up for those interested in learning more about radon.


K-State Research and Extension Agent Julie Smith says radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that's fairly common in Kansas.


Smith says there are some misconceptions about radon, and it can occur in a variety of homes.


Smith says testing for radon is easy, and materials can be acquired from any area extension office. Testing is also increasingly important for anyone looking to buy or sell a home. A speaker from the K-State Radon Program will share more details at the upcoming program in Coffeyville next Tuesday, February 6th at Grace Fellowship Church at 2455 Woodland Avenue. To register for the event, call 620-331-2690.

Boil Water Advisory Rescinded for Cities of Caney, South Coffeyville, the City of Dearing, and Nowata 7

 The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has rescinded the boil water advisory issued for the city of Caney and for the city of Dearing.

 Laboratory samples collected from the Caney and Dearing water systems showed no bacterial contamination and KDHE officials have determined that all issues are resolved.

For consumer questions, please contact the water system at: 620-879-2772, or you may call KDHE at 785-296-5514. For consumer information please visit KDHE’s PWS Consumer Information webpage:

Oklahoma has rescinded the boil advisories for the city of South Coffeyville and Nowata 7.

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