WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Thursday was a big day for Operation Holiday.
Thousands of people have signed up for help and KSN is a proud sponsor.
The staff and volunteers have been working towards helping the needy in the community.
“It is like a lot-a big help,” said Erica Graham, a recipient. “Like I said, we’re single mothers and, or single fathers out there who may not have all the money that they need and still work hard and want their children to enjoy Christmas.”
Graham is one of more than 13,000 people able to enjoy the many items offered to her family through Operation Holiday.
And, for each person, the need lies in different places.
“Blankets, hats, gloves, scarves because I have three younger kids,” said Briana Hunt, a recipient. “They’re four and younger, so it helps a lot.”
It’s an experience organizers say they look forward to offering every year.
“You see the first person cry because they’re going to be able to give their children a bicycle this year or you see an elderly person cry because she’s getting a bag of cat food and she doesn’t have to try to work that into her budget,” said Carolyn Kell, marketing coordinator for Inter-Faith Ministries. “It gets you everytime.”
Operation Holiday doesn’t only lie in the hands of those who donate.
There are volunteers who take part in the time of giving as well.
“I was part of the group that actually went out to the families and helped them grab the toys and the food that they would need the Christmas holiday,” said Maycee James, a volunteer.
“It’s awesome to see how many people come together to give to those in need and also the one’s that are giving,” said Mary Blea, a volunteer.
But, even with all the donations, there is still room to give back more.
Organizers have been struggling to get enough supplies to help all those who need it and are still asking for donations of food or clothing.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Sam Cunliffe has waited a long time to take the court in a meaningful game for the Kansas Jayhawks. Saturday against Nebraska, he’ll finally get that chance.
Cunliffe transferred from Arizona State after 10 games last season, and had to sit out the past year as a result. He averaged 9.5 points per game in his 10 games as a Sun Devil, and will be counted on to provide hustle, athleticism, and some much-needed depth to this Jayhawks squad. But Bill Self cautions against expecting too much out of a player who hasn’t played in an actual game in 12 months.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – One man is behind bars just days after scamming a Wichita man into buying fake basketball tickets for this weekend’s Shockers game.
After news of the fake ticket scam got around, WPD Sgt. Nikki Woodrow was contacted by another citizen who had also purchased fraudulent tickets. Through the partnership of Sgt. Woodrow, WPD officer Meier and citizens, an arrest was made in the case.
Derek S. Devlin has been arrested for theft, possession of drugs and additional warrants.
KSN has been following this story and we will have an exciting update in our 10:00 p.m. newscast!
BELOIT, Kan. (KSNW) – A small Kansas town is celebrating Christmas in a big way. Volunteers have set up a free drive-thru lights display that gets more elaborate each year.
The festive presentation is in Mitchell County in the town of Beloit — our next stop on Main Street Kansas.
If the happy glow of holiday lights at your home first come from a tangle of cords and burned out bulbs, imagine the challenge behind the Chautauqua Isle of Lights in Beloit that takes about six weeks to set up.
“Some of them are about 19 years old,” explained Barb Axtell, volunteer for Chautauqua Isle of Lights. “We do replace some every year.
Bob Severance is 91 years old and he started the whole thing 18 years ago.
“When we’re pushed for getting things done, people will say who’s dumb idea was this,” said Severance. “And I have to hold up my hand!”
Thousands of people showed up for the first year to see the light extravaganza.
“We ended up the first year having 54 kind of dinky little displays, and we had like 14,000 people show up that first year,” explained Severance.
Now, the isle has 260 light displays, with many of them designed and donated by someone in the community. Many others are a memorial for a loved one. One in particular is close to Bob’s heart. It’s a musical display dedicated to his late wife.
“She could play the flute,” added Severance. “My gosh, she was good.”
The city of Beloit generously provides the electricity for all of the lights, and last year the impressive spectacle brought in visitors from 39 states and nine countries, plus countless happy kids.
“Yea, they’re always sitting at the windows looking out,” said volunteer Caleb McJunkin.
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – Pizza Hut is offering a $10,000 reward for information in the death of one of their drivers last month in Wichita.
The company announced the reward Thursday, seeking tips in the Nov. 26 killing of Hasan Rahman. His body was found in the trunk of his car in east Wichita. Police say he was shot to death.
Rahman delivered Pizza Hut orders the previous night but didn’t return to the restaurant.
Investigators say they currently have few clues or leads in his death.
Crime Stoppers has also offered a $2,500 reward in the case.
Rahman moved to the United States from Bangladesh seven years ago and married three years ago.
GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — Garden City’s busiest road is no longer under construction. Crews finished work on Kansas Avenue yesterday.
“Kansas Ave is to Garden City as Kellogg is to Wichita,” said Garden City manager Matt Allen, comparing the relative impacts the road projects have on their respective cities.
Since early this year, Kansas Ave was under construction. Three widening and resurfacing projects were done at the same time, compounding traffic issues.
“A bigger headache in a shorter period of time won out over a smaller headache forever,” said Allen.
Some of the biggest issues for months were on the stretch of Kansas Ave between Main Street and Fleming Street. Barriers were constantly shifting, drivers couldn’t turn left, and cars stood still. Many people avoided the area and its stores entirely.
For business owner Jon Fort, traffic patterns sent confused drivers the wrong way down his one way street.
“With this being an access street,” he said, “we had a lot of traffic that this just became the main flow to get through here to get to Dillon’s or vice-versa, simply because it was easier or I have access, but it is a private drive.”
As the final cones are collected, residents can breathe easy.
“Extremely relieved,” said Fort. “It’s been, it seems like forever the project was started.”
Several retailers tell KSN that the construction this past year kept customers away, but since yesterday, they’re already seeing a bump in sales.
KINGMAN, Kan. (KSNW) – Soft-spoken Kingman High School senior Timothy Lemen is not one to toot his own horn, or trumpet if you will.
Lemen, an 18-year-old trumpeter for the high school band recently performed CPR on a woman in crisis until help arrived.
“That could have happened anywhere at any time and I just happened to be there,” Lemen said on Thursday.
According to a Kansas Highway Patrol crash report, 53-year-old Tammy Schrag was traveling northbound on Cedar Street in her vehicle when she crashed into a utility pole. She was experiencing a medical issue.
Lemen was enjoying “Taco Tuesday” at the local Mexican restaurant before heading back to KHS for a basketball game when he noticed Schrag’s car.
“She was leaning down, unresponsive and I checked for a pulse and there was nothing and I went from there,” Lemen said.
Lemen’s passenger called 911 while Lemen performed CPR, a skill he’s learned twice in his 18 years. Once in freshman PE/health class and again more recently when he was hired on as a rescue tech for Kingman EMS and Rescue. His training kicked in.
“Adrenaline got to me honestly and emotion was out of it at that point. It was just all adrenaline,” Lemen said.
Lemen performed CPR until help arrived and took Schrag on to further care. She is expected to be okay. Schrag happens to be a school board member for Kingman/Norwich USD 331.
Her family released the following statement, “The reason she is here today is because those who witnessed the accident acted quickly and bravely. That clearly made an impact. Words cannot express how grateful and thankful we are for their actions.”
When asked if Lemen considers himself a hero, he responded that he did not.
“I just was doing my job honestly. I feel great that she’s doing alright but it’s just part of the job and I was lucky to be there at the time,” Lemen said.
Others are proud of Lemen’s quick action.
“What’s a little special here is that Tim is in high school, he’s brand new, he hasn’t had any experience, in fact never done CPR prior to this day. So very proud of him for jumping in there and getting what needed to be done, done,” EMS director Zachary Bieghler with Kingman EMS/Rescue said.
His school is proud of him too.
“He did something that came natural to him. His natural instincts took place and he went to work and did a great job of it. He claims he did his job which he did, but he’s also a hero in our eyes too,” athletic director and assistant principal Rollie Van Wyhe said.
We do have spotty sprinkles/showers out there this evening. Most, if not all of us will stay dry. There is a small potential that this activity may transition into flurries (No accumulation expected). For a check of your live local radar, click here.
Clouds to stick around before clearing out overnight. We’ll start Friday off in the 20s.Kansas Tonight
Look for sunny skies tomorrow and above normal temperatures in the 50s and 60s. This warm-up kicks off a pleasant, warming trend which will take us into the weekend.Kansas Tomorrow
We warm back into the 60s on Saturday but colder changes slide in for the second half of the weekend.This Weekend
The track of this next storm system doesn’t look too promising as far as moisture chances in Kansas. Most of the liquid form of precipitation appears to fall across southeast Kansas. Something we’ll need to keep a close eye on.
Make sure to check in with us on KSN News at 5, 6, & 10 for your full weekend forecast! – Laura Bannon
STOCKTON, Kan. (KSNW) – Authorities are asking the public for help after an inmate escaped from the Stockton Correctional Facility Thursday afternoon.
According to the Rooks County Sheriff’s Office, Ronald Ray Pollard, 47, escaped from the facility around 12:00 p.m.
Pollard is 5’6″ tall and weighs 165 pounds. He was last seen wearing standard inmate clothing and possibly a denim jacket.
If you have seen Pollard or know where he is, you are asked to call 911. Pollard was arrested on drug charges earlier this year.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Tickets to the 2018 American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship will be available to the general public on Friday, Dec. 15, the conference announced.
In 2018, the championship returns to the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, March 8-11. All 12 American Athletic Conference teams will compete for the league title, which will begin with four first-round games on Thursday, March 8.
Four quarterfinal doubleheaders will be played Friday, March 9, followed by a semifinal doubleheader Saturday, March 10. The championship will take place Sunday, March 11, just prior to the announcement of the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament field. After ESPN Networks provide television coverage of the first two days, CBS will broadcast the semifinals and championship.
Ticket packages made available to the general public on Dec. 15 include lower-level and premium seats and cover all 11 games of the championship. Tickets are available online at www.AmwayCenter.com, in person at the Amway Center box office, or by calling 407-440-7900. Tickets also are available from The American’s member institutions through each institution’s athletics ticket offices.
Fans may visit www.TheAmerican.org/MBB for the latest information on the 2018 championship.
The Amway Center hosted the 2016 American Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Championship, which culminated in UConn capturing the tournament crown.
2018 AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP • AMWAY CENTER • ORLANDO, FLA.
Thursday, March 8 – First Round (all times Eastern)
No. 9 seed vs. No. 8 seed, Noon (ESPNU)
No. 12 seed vs. No. 5 seed, 2 p.m. (ESPNU)
No. 10 seed vs. No. 7 seed, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
No. 6 seed vs. No. 11 seed, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Friday, March 9 – Quarterfinals
8/9 winner vs. No. 1 seed, Noon (ESPN2)
5/12 winner vs. No. 4 seed, 2 p.m. (ESPN2)
7/10 winner vs. No. 2 seed, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
6/11 winner vs. No. 3 seed, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Saturday, March 11 – Semifinals
Quarterfinal winners, 1 p.m. (CBS)
Quarterfinal winners, 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
Sunday, March 12 – Final
Semifinal winners, 3:30 p.m. (CBS)
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A warning for Wichita drivers heading west on Central from downtown tonight after work.
The stoplights at Central and Nims were turned on earlier today.
The stoplights were installed this week after reconstruction at the intersection.
In a vote along party lines, the federal government has ended sweeping net-neutrality rules that guaranteed equal access to the internet.
The Thursday vote at the Federal Communications Commission will likely usher in big changes in how Americans use the internet, a radical departure from more than a decade of federal oversight. The move not only rolls back restrictions that keep broadband providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from blocking or collecting tolls from services they don’t like, but bars states from imposing their own rules.
The broadband industry promises that the internet experience isn’t going to change, but its companies have lobbied hard to overturn these rules. Protests have erupted online and in the streets as everyday Americans worry that cable and phone companies will be able to control what they see and do online.
That growing public movement suggests that the FCC vote won’t be the end of the issue. Opponents of the move plan legal challenges, and some net-neutrality supporters hope to ride that wave of public opinion into the 2018 elections.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican who said his plan to repeal net neutrality will eliminate unnecessary regulation, called the internet the “greatest free-market innovation in history.” He added that it “certainly wasn’t heavy-handed government regulation” that’s been responsible for the internet’s “phenomenal” development.
“What is the FCC doing today?” he asked. “Quite simply, we are restoring the light-touch framework that has governed the internet for most of its existence.”
Under the new rules, the Comcasts and AT&Ts of the world will be free to block rival apps, slow down competing service or offer faster speeds to companies who pay up. They just have to post their policies online or tell the FCC.
The change also axes consumer protections, bars state laws that contradict the FCC’s approach, and largely transfers oversight of internet service to another agency, the Federal Trade Commission.
Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat who was appointed by President Barack Obama, lambasted the “preordained outcome” of the vote that she says hurts people, small and large businesses, and marginalized populations. She outlined her dissent from prepared remarks before the vote.
The end of net neutrality, she said, hands over the keys to the internet to a “handful of multi-billion dollar corporations.”
With their vote, the FCC’s majority commissioners are abandoning the pledge they took to make a rapid, efficient communications service available to all people in the U.S., without discrimination, Clyburn said in her dissenting remarks before the vote.
Cheetos Popcorn, featuring Cheetos-flavored popcorn mixed with Crunchy Cheetos, will debut at participating Regal Cinemas nationwide.
“We’re excited to give moviegoers a chance to experience Cheetos in an unexpected and delicious new way through our first national theater partnership,” said Sean Mathews, director of marketing, Frito-Lay North America. “Cheetos and popcorn are the ultimate movie snack combination, and Regal Cinemas is the perfect partner to launch Cheetos Popcorn nationally.”
Regal Cinemas is the first national cinema chain to offer Cheetos Popcorn.
“Cheetos Popcorn is our gift to Regal fans enjoying their favorite movie this holiday season,” said John Curry, senior vice-president of foodservice, Regal Cinemas. “We are thrilled to partner with an iconic brand like Cheetos to deliver blockbuster snack choices to moviegoers.”
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A retired Indianapolis fertility doctor accused of inseminating patients with his own sperm is set to plead guilty to charges that he lied to investigators.
Dr. Donald Cline, 79, is scheduled to appear Thursday afternoon in a Marion County court, when a judge is expected to sentence him on two counts of obstruction of justice. The charge carries a sentence of six months to three years in prison.
Some of the now-adult children of Cline’s former patients filed a complaint with the Indiana attorney general’s office in 2014 after they became suspicious that Cline had inseminated some of his patients with his own sperm.
Cline, who retired in 2009, initially wrote to investigators denying the allegations.
Paternity tests indicate Cline is likely the biological father of at least two of his patients’ children, according to court records. Those children allege that online genetic tests show he may be the father of 20 others.
According to prosecutors, Cline told six adults who believed they were his children that he had donated his own sperm about 50 times starting in the 1970s, according to court documents when he was charged last year. He had told his patients they were receiving sperm from medical or dental residents or medical students and that no single donor’s sperm was used more than three times.
No other charges were filed against Cline because Indiana doesn’t specifically prohibit fertility doctors from using their own sperm.
A prominent instance in which a fertility doctor secretly used his own sperm was Cecil Jacobson, who may have fathered as many as 70 children from 1976 to 1998 in Vienna, Virginia.
NEW YORK (AP) — “Net neutrality” regulations, designed to prevent internet service providers like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Charter from favoring some sites and apps over others, are on the chopping block. On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission plans to vote on a proposal that would not only undo the Obama-era rules that have been in place since 2015, but will forbid states to put anything similar in place.
Here’s a look at what the developments mean for consumers and companies.
WHAT IS NET NEUTRALITY?
Net neutrality is the principle that internet providers treat all web traffic equally, and it’s pretty much how the internet has worked since its creation. But regulators, consumer advocates and internet companies were concerned about what broadband companies could do with their power as the pathway to the internet — blocking or slowing down apps that rival their own services, for example.
WHAT DID THE GOVERNMENT DO ABOUT IT?
The FCC in 2015 approved rules, on a party-line vote, that made sure cable and phone companies don’t manipulate traffic. With them in place, a provider such as Comcast can’t charge Netflix for a faster path to its customers, or block it or slow it down.
The net neutrality rules gave the FCC power to go after companies for business practices that weren’t explicitly banned as well. For example, the Obama FCC said that “zero rating” practices by AT&T violated net neutrality. The telecom giant exempted its own video app from cellphone data caps, which would save some consumers money, and said video rivals could pay for the same treatment. Pai’s FCC spiked the effort to go after AT&T, even before it began rolling out a plan to undo the net neutrality rules entirely.
A federal appeals court upheld the rules in 2016 after broadband providers sued.
WHAT TELCOS WANT
Big telecom companies hate the stricter regulation that comes with the net neutrality rules and have fought them fiercely in court. They say the regulations can undermine investment in broadband and introduced uncertainty about what were acceptable business practices. There were concerns about potential price regulation, even though the FCC had said it won’t set prices for consumer internet service.
WHAT SILICON VALLEY WANTS
Internet companies such as Google have strongly backed net neutrality, but many tech firms have been more muted in their activism this year. Netflix, which had been vocal in support of the rules in 2015, said in January that weaker net neutrality wouldn’t hurt it because it’s now too popular with users for broadband providers to interfere.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT
Although the FCC’s two Democrats said they will oppose the proposal, the repeal is likely to prevail as Republicans dominate 3-2. The vote for net neutrality in 2015 was also along party lines, but Democrats dominated then.
In the long run, net-neutrality advocates say undoing these rules makes it harder for the government to crack down on internet providers who act against consumer interests and will harm innovation. Those who criticize the rules say undoing them is good for investment in broadband networks.
But advocates aren’t sitting still. Some groups plan lawsuits to challenge the FCC’s move, and Democrats — energized by public protests in support of net neutrality — think it might be a winning political issue for them in 2018 congressional elections.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) – Authorities are investigating the deaths of three people found in the rubble of a burned Kansas City, Kansas, home as homicides.
Police announced the homicide investigation Wednesday in a tweet. The early Tuesday fire initially was labeled as suspicious.
Firefighters searching the single-story home found two bodies at that time. A third body was found later in the day as firefighters sifted through the house.
The names of the victims weren’t immediately released. A police spokesman says the coroner is working to identify the remains.
NEW YORK (AP) — Disney is buying a large part of the Murdoch family’s 21st Century Fox for about $52.4 billion in stock, including film and television studios and cable and international TV businesses, as it tries to meet competition from technology companies in the entertainment business.
The deal gives Disney film businesses including Twentieth Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Fox 2000, which together are the homes of Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Deadpool. On the television side, Disney will get Twentieth Century Fox Television, FX Productions and Fox21, with shows including “The Simpsons” and “Modern Family.”
21st Century Fox shareholders will receive 0.2745 Disney shares for each share they own. The transaction also includes approximately $13.7 billion in debt.
Robert Iger will continue as chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Co. through the end of 2021.
Before the buyout, 21st Century Fox will separate the Fox Broadcasting network and stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network into a newly listed company that will be spun off to its shareholders. That Rupert Murdoch and his sons were willing to sell off much of the business that has been built up over decades came as a shock to the entertainment industry.
The entertainment business is going through big changes. TV doesn’t have a monopoly on home entertainment anymore. There’s Netflix, which is spending up to $8 billion on programming next year. Amazon is building its own library, having splashed out on global TV rights to “Lord of the Rings.” Facebook, Google and Apple are also investing in video.
As consumers spend more time online, TV’s share of U.S. ad spending is shrinking. Advertisers are following consumer attention to the internet, where Google and Facebook win the vast majority of advertisers’ dollars.
“We’ve been talking about cord cutting for the better part of a decade. But now it’s real,” USC Annenberg communications professor Chris Smith said. The media companies have to compete with the internet giants for consumers’ attention — and the younger generations pay more attention to YouTube, Facebook and other “platforms” than traditional TV, Smith said.
To combat this trend, Disney is launching new ESPN- and Disney-branded streaming services over the next couple of years. It could beef them up with some of the assets it’s acquiring from Fox, making them exclusive to its services and sharpening its ability to compete with Netflix for consumer dollars.
“The core underlying driver for this deal in our opinion is the impending battle royale for content and streaming services vs. the Netflix machine,” GBH analyst Daniel Ives wrote.
Not everyone thinks this is a good bet by Disney, though. Rich Greenfield, a longtime Disney critic, thinks the deal is a bad idea that ties Disney to older TV-distribution systems — cable and satellite TV — rather than helping it look toward the future.
He also notes that regulators may not like the idea of combining two major movie studios. The Justice Department surprised many in the industry and on Wall Street when it sued to block another media megamerger, AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner, in November.
MURDOCH FAMILY TAKES A BOW
Rupert Murdoch built 21st Century Fox and News Corp. out of an inheritance from his father in Australia. He bought a string of papers there, in the U.K. and the U.S., building an influential platform for his views. He expanded into TV and movies, launching the Fox network and Fox News and changing the face of American news and entertainment.
“Rupert has spent many, many years assembling the components of his empire,” said NYU business professor Samuel Craig, who specializes in the entertainment industry.
Rupert Murdoch has ostensibly already handed the reins over to a new generation at Fox. His son James is CEO, while his other son, Lachlan, like Rupert, has the title of executive chairman.
The Murdoch empire has already been divided. After a phone-hacking newspaper scandal in the U.K., News Corp. was split off into a separate company for the publishing and newspaper businesses, which include the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Sun and The Times in the U.K., and book publisher HarperCollins. Now Fox is also being split up as the company sets itself up to deal with the growing power of the tech industry.
“The Murdochs realize they don’t have the same kind of leverage Disney has, the same kind of brand power,” Smith said.
It would be harder to launch a Fox-branded streaming service that attracts lots of the new generation of consumers, for example. Smith said that makes it a great time to sell off the entertainment business.
Fox is also selling to Disney its substantial overseas operations. It is offloading its 39 percent stake in European satellite-TV and broadcaster Sky after running into regulatory roadblocks in the U.K. trying to take over the rest of the company, in part because of how Fox handled the sexual harassment scandal at Fox News. Disney is also acquiring Star India, a major media company with dozens of sports and entertainment channels.
Fox will be left with the live events, news and sports, that are key parts of the traditional TV bundle. There is speculation that the Murdochs would want to recombine what’s the slimmed-down Fox with News Corp.
It’s not clear what Disney will want or be able to include from Fox in its own upcoming services. But it’s possible to make some educated guesses.
The Disney-branded service, expected in 2019, will have classic and upcoming movies from the studio, shows from Disney Channel, and the “Star Wars” and Marvel movies.
Disney will also win majority control of Hulu, both its live-TV service and the older service with a big library of TV shows.
Disney could continue to add movies and TV shows from Fox’s library to its services, making them more attractive compared with Netflix’s offerings. The combined libraries of the Disney and Fox movie and TV studios could have more titles than Netflix, Barclays analyst Kannan Venkateshwar said. Buying Fox’s FX networks will add edgy TV shows that complement Disney’s long list of kid-friendly series and films, he said.
Greenfield, however, notes that a lot of programming wouldn’t be immediately available to Disney. Fox movies are exclusive to HBO through 2022, for example.
Disney also plans an ESPN Plus service for next year. It isn’t a duplicate of the ESPN TV network, but it will stream tennis matches along with major-league baseball, hockey and soccer games, as well as college sports. It might be able to add more sports if Disney buys Fox’s 22 local sports networks — cable channels that show popular sports in the viewer’s region.
Disney also owns Marvel, but not all the Marvel characters. It’s made movies starring Thor, Doctor Strange and Captain America and the Avengers crew. But the X-Men are at Fox. Bringing them home under one roof could mean movies with more of the characters together.
Michelle Chapman in New York contributed to this report.
Storm Tracker Radar is picking up on possibly a few flurries and sprinkles in western Kansas this morning, though it may be too dry for any of this to really reach the ground. Check the radar here: http://ksn.com/weather/interactive-radar/
Overall, it’s just chilly this morning with a slight breeze making it feel like it’s in the 20s and 30s to start our Thursday.
You’ll definitely want a coat today, as high temperatures will be much cooler in just the upper 40s, on top of mostly cloudy skies. Winds will stay strong in western Kansas, and sprinkles and flurries can’t be ruled out.
But then we warm right back up as we head into the weekend, with highs near 60 on Saturday. But this won’t last long, as yet another cool down hits on Sunday!
There have been a lot of rumors floating around social media about a Christmas snowstorm… But I’m here to debunk that myth right now. It is WAY too far out to forecast for Christmas at this point, ESPECIALLY in regards to any precipitation like snow or ice. It is always possible – but we just don’t know right now, and we won’t really have any idea until around the middle of next week. What I can confirm is that it’s looking like we will see a slight pattern shift Christmas week, which may mean at least colder temperatures will settle in for the holiday. But you’ll just have to stay tuned to see what happens!
I’ll have more on all of this all morning on Kansas Today, or you can catch my latest forecast right here: http://ksn.com/2017/03/08/weather-forecast-discussion/
~Katie the Weather Lady
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – You don’t have to look very hard to see new construction projects are popping up here in Wichita and in our neighboring communities.
The Delano District is one of those booming areas, especially after an announcement Tuesday that the city approved a 50-million dollar project.
The project includes 180 apartments and 90 hotel rooms.
Many say this is critical to the city’s future plans to build a new baseball stadium and land a ball club with major league ties.
Projects like this can be seen elsewhere.
Derby is putting in a Dinosaur Park with a price tag of 39-million dollars.
To the west of Wichita, in Goddard, they are expected to break ground in the spring on a 30-million dollar sports and entertainment project.
That kind of growth has also been seen right here in downtown Wichita.
“There are over 60 projects that have been completed or under construction since 2010,” said Jeff Fluhr, President of the Downtown Development Corporation.
Fluhr says with so many projects, a lot of dollars have been invested to make it all happen.
“We’ve seen a half a billion dollars of investment that has been completed or that is under construction, that number is actually starting to increase toward three-quarters of a billion,” said Fluhr.
With so much development here and elsewhere. KSN asked economic expert Jeremy Hill if these are positive investments.
“This just aligns pretty well with the business investment, businesses are now ready and willing and wanting to do it, took a while to get them on the table, and the government is obviously partnered up with them,” said Hill.
However, Hill says.he questions how these projects could impact other areas of the economy.
“If it’s the housing side, if we speak generally, well without a growing economy, you spur more housing or apartments in one location, there is only so much demand, it is going to impact other housing,” said Hill.
So, KSN asked, will all of this growth ultimately pay off?
“We are seeing it exponentially, if you look at what has been happening in this downtown, I think the next two to five years is going to be very dynamic, think about Austin, Nashville, Charlotte, they all had a transformative moment to become the city as we see them as today, we believe Wichita is in that moment,” said Fluhr.
Fluhr also pointed out that from the Delano District, all the way down to Washington Avenue, all along Douglas Avenue there have been 280-million dollars worth of investments.
He says we’ve seen a good return on the investments made in that area.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Life after prison. Former inmates say it’s not easy.
They often rely on their parole advocates to help them transition. One Wichita man has helped hundreds of people after being behind bars himself.
John Agnew says often doing the time, is easier than the challenges once out of prison. He hopes by sharing his experiences with former inmates, he can help even more people break down barriers.
John has met many people in this room including Joshua Bodner earlier Wednesday. Most share the same concerns.
“Oh, nervous it’s fearful I mean just getting re-acquainted with everything,” said Joshua Bodner, Wichita.
Joshua was released from prison just five days ago and wants to re-build his life after doing time. He says speakers like John make him and others believe change is possible.
“He’s been through what we’ve been through, he’s done, he’s not going to look down upon or anything else like that because he’s been there, he’s seen it, he knows the struggle, he knows what comes next,” said Bodner.
“Somebody’s gotta take my place, one of you guys gotta take my place,” said John Agnew, Certified Recovery Coach.
It’s been sometime since John’s prison days
“I got caught a couple times with drugs and first time I was on probation, and second time they said you going to prison,” said Agnew.
And today – he enjoys being on the outside and coaching others to see their potential.
“Those that want to change their lives, I go to bat for them,” said Agnew.
Leaders within the Kansas Department of Corrections also notice John’s impact on those recently released.
“I mean they talk about calling him. He’s been in my doorway and he’ll get a phone call, it’s rare that he doesn’t have a phone call,” said Sally Frey, Southern Parole Region Director
John says his work empowers him to continue on his path and celebrate the success stories. Joshua hopes, he can be a new one.
“Work in a program, stay clean, going to meetings and just being a service to other addicts,” said Bodner.
This is Joshua’s first year of supervised parole and if during his first six months he is violation free, he will be off.