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Safely Prepare Food on the Grill this Summer

 

Warmer weather and summertime approaching means more food being prepared on the grill. K-State Research and Extension Food Safety Specialist Karen Blakeslee says to use a food thermometer to make sure your food is fully cooked and to make things simple there are three numbers to remember.

 

Blakeslee says a variety of food thermometers are available and they all work a little differently, so she suggests buying one that best suits your style of grilling.  Blakeslee says to prepare several ice chests to keep food cold and to separate items. Keep beverages in one chest, ready-to-eat foods in another and raw meats in a third.


Kansas to Appeal Voter Fraud Decision

 

Kansas will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision of a federal appeals court that struck down the Kansas statute requiring first-time voters to provide documentary proof of their citizenship as part of the voter registration process.

 

Attorney General Derek Schmidt says he has consulted with Secretary of State Scott Schwab and the two agree the April 29th decision should be appealed. Schmidt says voting is only for citizens, and this Kansas law is designed to confirm the citizenship of those registering to vote. After reviewing the appeals court’s decision, they have concluded there is a reasonable basis for appeal.


Scheduled Power Outages for Labette County on Wednesday

Parts of Labette County will experience a scheduled power outage on Wednesday.  

 

The outage is expected to last less than 15 minutes beginning at 7:00 am in order for crews to switch the electrical source to a power supplier to safely make repairs inside the Altamont Substation.  

 

The source of power will be switched back to normal operations Friday at 9:00 am.

 


Section of K-31 to Close For Pipe Replacement Project

 

If you travel along K-31 in Linn County, you will need to find an alternate route as the Kansas Department of Transportation will close a section of K-31 to replace two crossroad pipes on beginning next Monday, weather permitting.

 

K-31 will be closed approximately three miles east of Blue Mound, between Flint and Gorman roads.

 

The closure will start after 8 a.m. and remain in effect until late Monday.


Summer Activity Sign-Ups Are Available Through the Independence Recreation Commission

 

The Independence Recreation Commission is up and running again and sign-ups are underway for multiple activities this summer.

 

Sign-ups are available now for baseball and softball, tennis lessons and swimming lessons.

 

Executive Director of the Independence Chamber of Commerce, Lisa Wilson says there are multiple ways you can get your children signed up for these summer activities.

 

The Ash Center is open for adult lap swimmers from 6:00 AM to 1:00 PM. The rest of the facility will remain closed besides for office hours and registrations from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.

 

Call 620-331-0260 for more information or you can visit their website.


Baxter Springs Man Arrested on Theft Charge

 

A Baxter Springs man has been taken into custody for his alleged role in the May 12th theft of a camper trailer from a rural Riverton area.

 

As a result of their investigation, Cherokee County Sheriff Detectives obtained an arrest warrant for 32-year-old Nathan L. Clark.

 

Clark, who is facing felony theft charges, was apprehended on in Newton County, Missouri, where he is being held pending extradition back to Kansas.


Chautauqua County Commission Votes to Reopen With No Restrictions

 

Chautauqua County is once again open, with no restrictions or regulations due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The county commission voted 3-0 last Friday to reopen the county after Sedan Mayor Jack Warren asked if there would be any continued restrictions.

 

Chautauqua County has seen four positive cases since the KDHE began releasing numbers, with 73 negative tests. Counties have been able to decide their own paths since Governor Laura Kelly allowed them to do so last week.


 

The latest Covid-19 numbers from the Kansas Department of Health now shows more than 10,000 confirmed cases statewide with two new confirmed cases in southeast Kansas.

 

Montgomery and Cherokee counties each added a new cases according to the KDHE with Montgomery going from 19 to 20 and Cherokee from nine to 10.

 

Total cases statewide are at 10,011 with 862 hospitalizations and now 217 deaths related to the virus. Negative results have surpassed 93,000.

 

A more detailed outlook for Kansas' numbers from the KDHE can be found here.


Sunflower State Games Still a Go in July

 

Registration is now open for the 31st Annual Sunflower State Games. The 2020 games will take place July 10-19 in Topeka and will feature over 40 different competitions for all ages and skill levels. Highlighting the 2020 Games will be the addition of two new sports, E-Sports and a Big Bass Fishing Tournament. Baker University as the new university partner and the host of E-Sports. The format will be two person team competing in Rocket League. Big Bass Fishing will be held at Melvern Lake and hosted by Flint Hills Bass Association. 36 different sports will be featured in 2020 including archery, disc golf, slow-pitch softball and many more.

 

In regards Covid-19 the Sunflower State Games staff and Board of Directors are actively working with the venues, partners, medical team, and all pertinent personnel in evaluating each of the sports and are continually monitoring the situation and staying up-to-date with state and federal recommendations for hosting events.

 


Teen Crashes Increase During 100 Deadliest Days

 

In Kansas, 117 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers in the past ten years during the “100 Deadliest Days,” the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Nationwide, more than 8,300 people died in teen-related summertime crashes from 2008 to 2018. Due to their inexperience, teen drivers are at a higher risk of crashes. According to the new AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index, about 72% of teen drivers aged 16-18 admitted to having engaged in at least one of the following risky behaviors in the past 30 days, speeding, texting, running a red-light, aggressive driving, drowsy driving and driving without a seatbelt.

 

The combination of schools closed, activities curtailed, summer jobs canceled, and COVID-19 restrictions being lifted, could prove deadly as teens take to the road this summer. AAA recommends that now is a good time for parents to both model safe driving behaviors and help ensure their teens practice them too.

 


Crawford County Sheriff's Office Lobby Limited Reopening

 

The Crawford County Sheriff's Office have announced that their lobby has reopened and people will be allowed in on a limited basis.

 

Staff will be screening visitors in the foyer before they are allowed to enter the building. When you enter the foyer, please dial the extension for the service that you are there for and a staff member will give you directions from there. Delays are to be expected, depending on the service that you are there for especially for visitation.

 

Only one video visitation kiosk will be on during this time and up to 3 family members will be allowed in the visitation room at a time.

 

For more information about these new policies, call 620-724-8274.


Galena Woman Arrested for Car Theft

 

A Galena woman was quickly apprehended for allegedly stealing a vehicle.

 

Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputies were contacted after a woman reportedly stole a Chevy passenger car from the Quick Shop Convenience Store in Columbus.

 

Less than 10 minutes later, deputies quickly located the vehicle and got it stopped northwest of Columbus.

 

30-year old Samantha Sigman was arrested and transported to the Cherokee County Jail on allegations of Felony Theft and Driving While Suspended.


CCC Opening Up by Appointment Only

 

Coffeyville Community College is opening back up as of Monday but some restrictions are going to be in place.

 

Senior Director of College Relations and Student Services, Yvonne Hull says that right now the school is going to be by appointment only. 

 

You can find phone numbers to specific departments on CCC's social media accounts or the schools website. If you're a student and are already hooked up with an advisor than you are advised to contact them through email or by phone call.

 

Once you have your appointment set, you will first need to go to the student union on campus and you will be instructed what to do from there. 

 

Hull says the goal is to keep it easy and as streamlined as possible going forward throughout the summer. If you have any questions you can visit CCC's website or call the school for more information.


Crawford County Recovery Task Force to Drive Decision Making

 

A new group of key stakeholders from around the Crawford county area is going to focus on a coordinated approach when it comes to a safe reopening and recovery with the economy in regards to Covid-19.

 

The group is called the Crawford County Recovery Task Force. The group will continue to meet on a weekly basis going forward.

The group will enable the county's entities, including governmental bodies, public health, K-12 and higher education, businesses, tourism and agencies focused on the economy to plan and communicate with each other.

 

The task force will share information and resources to the public in the next few weeks and will invite the public to submit questions and concerns that they would like the task force to address.

 

More details can be found here.


Estes Announces $8 Million in Funding for Covid-19 Testing in Rural Kansas

 

Congressman Ron Estes announced late Friday that over $8.6 million in funding was going to help expand Covid-19 testing at Rural Health Clinics in Kansas.

 

Estes voted in support of the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which included $225 million for designated Rural Health Clinics.

 

The funding is disbursed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Health Resources and Services Administration.

 

More details can be found here.


Dates Set for Several Special Indy City Commission Meetings

 

Dates have been set for several special commission meetings for the city of Independence. 

 

The commission will first meet this Wednesday, June 3rd at 9 am to discuss renewing the special use sales tax. As this meeting is just a brainstorming session, it will not be filmed. No decisive action will be taken.

 

In addition, the commission will meet on Tuesday, July 14th at 6 pm to further discuss expanding the sale of cereal malt beverages and alcoholic liquor on Sundays. 

 

Also, the commission will meet later in June to discuss Phase II of 1916 City Hall Renovations. 

 


Labette County Extends Disaster Declaration

 

Even though there are no restrictions on the county the Labette County Commission still needed to extended their disaster declaration. Emergency Management Director Charlie Morse says this is so they can receive federal funding.

 

Morse says he's heard a lot from the public on reopening the county and the press release posted on their Facebook page has around 20,000 views.  The commissioners unanimously approved the new disaster declaration which went in to affect immediately.

 

The commission will not meet for their regularly scheduled meeting on June 1st their next meeting will be June 8th at 9:00am.


Scam Reported Involving Drug, Violent and Sex Offenders

 

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office is reporting that registered drug, violent, and sex offenders are receiving calls from a Deputy by the name of Bradley Cooper with the Sheriff's Office stating that you need to pay for fingerprints and DNA.

 

The Sheriff's Office wants the public to know that there is no officer by that name within the agency.

 

Be advised that this is a scam and you are advised not to give them money, gift cards or game cards if requested to do so.

 

If you have any questions you can contact the registration office at 620-330-1066 or if you have already spoke to that individual and gave them anything, contact the Sheriff's office and file a report.


Late Fees Waived for Concealed Carry Renewals Through October 1st

 

Residents in Kansas seeking to renew their concealed carry handgun licenses but are unable to meet the ordinary requirements because of limitations imposed because of Covid-19 will have late fees waived and be accommodated by new procedures.

 

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt made the announcement on Friday.

 

The modifications and accommodations will be in effect until October 1st, or until otherwise modified by the Attorney General.

 

Schmidt is making similar accommodations and waiver of late fees for private detectives and bail enforcement agents licensed by his office.

 

More details can be found on the Attorney General's website.


Pittsburg State to Reopen Outdoor Facilities on Monday

 

Pittsburg State University is beginning the process of reopening its facilities to the public, starting with its outdoor facilities on Monday.

 

Carnie Smith Stadium, soccer fields, outdoor basketball courts, intramural softball fields and sand volleyball courts are set to open back up. Baseball and softball fields will be available for reservations.

 

Most other facilities will remain closed as it prepares for a broad reopening of its facilities later on this summer.

 

PSU will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments if needed.

 


Montgomery County Will Continue to Follow Governor's Phased Out Plan

 

Montgomery County is going to continue to follow Governor Laura Kelly's Ad Astra plan. The decision was made on Thursday morning as the Montgomery County Commissioners met in a special session to discuss the county plans. Emergency Management Director, Rick Whitson made the recommendation to the county commissioner's. 

 

Montgomery County has not seen a positive Covid-19 case in over three weeks and the only current active case was scheduled to come off of quarantine on Thursday.

 

Whitson says at the end of the day its about the safety and well-being of the citizens in the county. 

 

The Montgomery County Courthouse will open for full normal operations on Monday but the jail will remain closed to visitors until at least June 22nd.

 

The Emergency Disaster Declaration was also extended another 60 days. The county is currently in the middle of Phase two of the plan with Phase three set to go into effect on June 8th. June 22nd is the set date for the end of phase three.

 

Detailed information regarding Phase two and what will change come Phase three can be found here.


Gas Prices Jump From Last Month

 

After dropping to a low of $1.76 in April, the national gas price average is pennies away from hitting the $2/gallon mark.

 

The national average is $1.96, which is eight cents higher than a week ago, 19 cents more than last month, but still a significant 90 cents cheaper than the end of May 2019, according to the latest numbers from GasBuddy.com.

 

In Kansas, prices have climbed up to $1.67 which is up 2 cents since last week and is nearly 19 cents higher than last month. Montgomery and Chautauqua counties are currently level with the state average, while Labette County came in slightly higher than the state average at $1.69 a gallon.

 

Across the border in Oklahoma the state average is $1.63. Washington and Nowata counties came in slightly under the state average at $1.61 and $1.58 a gallon, respectively.


KDOT to Repair Verdigris River Bridge on U.S. 54

 

Motorists driving on U.S. 54 just west of the Greenwood-Woodson county line should plan for extra time for their trip as the Kansas Department of Transportation will begin a project to repair a section of the U.S. 54 bridge over the Verdigris River on Monday, June 1st.

 

The work zone will remain open to two-way traffic, with a reduced speed limit. The project is expected to be completed in one month, weather permitting. Drivers should obey the warning signs and slow down in the work zone.

 

PCI Roads LLC of St. Michael, Minnesota was awarded the construction contract at a cost of $97,000.


Fatal Crash South of South Coffeyville

 

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol, just south of South Coffeyville was on the scene of a fatal crash Thursday morning that was blocking both lanes of traffic on U.S.-169 just north of Oklahoma Union in Nowata County. 

 

Northbound traffic was being diverted to Oklahoma State Highway 10 West. KGGF will provide more details as soon as they become available. 


Curbside Hours Adjusted at Coffeyville Public Library

 

The Coffeyville Public Library has adjusted their curbside hours to Monday through Thursday from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM and Friday from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

 

You can place all return items in the outside drop box. They want to continue to thank the public for their continued patience and cooperation.

 

The summer reading program is set to start up soon with both physical and digital sign-ups for summer reading programs. You can find more information on their website, Facebook page or you can contact the library at 620-251-1370.


Back to Business as Normal in Labette County

 

The Labette County Commissioners met in special meeting to discuss their plan for reopening the county. Emergency Management Director Charlie Morse says the county will not put any restrictions in place.

 

Morse says the county hasn't had a new case in almost a month and all of the cases they had have all fully recovered.  The Labette County Commissioners will meet for their end of the month meeting where they will extend the county's disaster declaration indefinitely.


Latest COVID-19 Numbers in Kansas

 

The latest COVID-19 numbers in the state of Kansas have been release by the Kansas Department of health. According to the KDHE, there are now 9,337 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kansas with 822 hospitalizations, 205 deaths and over 75,000 negative cases.

 

Cases in Southeastern Kansas have remained unchanged. Labette County has 22, Montgomery County 19, Cherokee County 9, Crawford County 6, Chautauqua County 4, Neosho County 2, Wilson County 1, and Elk County remains at 0.

 


Bounce Back Coffeyville Begins on Monday

 

As the threat of the Coronavirus still looms and counties begin to apply restrictions regarding the virus going forward, Coffeyville continues to find ways to support local businesses during these hard times.

 

For every $50 transaction you spend at a local store, you will receive $10 back in what is called “Bounce Back Bucks.”

 

Executive Director of the Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce, Candi Westbrook says they are similar to Chamber Bucks but you will have plenty of places to choose from to used those bounce back bucks. 

 

The way to redeem your bounce back bucks are to take your receipt into the Chamber and they will give you your certificate.

 

Westbrook says the main focus was the small businesses heavily impacted by Covid-19. 

 

Bounce Back Coffeyville is set to begin on Monday, June 1st. For more information you can call the Chamber at 620-251-2550 or visit their website.


Parsons Police Investigate Drive by Shooting

 

Parsons Police are asking for the public's help to identify the vehicle involved in a drive by shooting.

 

Officers were called to a residence in the 3000 block of Crawford for reported bullet holes in a house. Upon investigation, Officers found what they believe to be several .22 caliber bullet holes in the house and one in a vehicle and three shell casings were recovered from the surrounding area.

 

The victims stated that they were home at the time of the shooting, but no one was injured, and they did not hear the shots.

 

There has been no reported motive for the attack and officers suspect the shooter may have shot at the wrong house.


 

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has joined 38 other state and territory attorneys general in sending a letter to Congress urging to protect rural broadband access as a part of COVID-19 relief legislation. The letter asks Congress to provide funding to state and local governments, as well as the U.S. Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to address disparities in access to home internet connectivity.

 

Schmidt said protecting internet connectivity is especially important in a time when many are using the service to participate in medicine, schooling, and work from home or elsewhere.

 

Schmidt and the other attorneys general are urging Congress to provide funding that is dedicated to ensuring that all students and medical patients, especially senior citizens who are at risk, have adequate internet-enabled technology to participate equally in online learning and telemedicine. They are also seeking increased funding to the FCC Universal Service Fund, which provides vital funding to rural and low-income populations, healthcare providers and educators with the goal of bridging the digital divide.


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