WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The man suspected of murder in Riley County was found by the Wichita Police Department at a local motel.
Steven Harris is a suspect in the shooting death of German Gonzalez Garcia, 39, of Manhattan.
He was found at the Motel 6 just off of East Kellogg near Rock Road Thursday night.
Police also arrested Cora Brown on a warrant for possession of meth. Both will be transferred to the Riley County Jail.
The Riley County Police Department thanked residents for being vigilant and providing dozens of tips.
— RCPD (@RileyCountyPD) May 26, 2017
Loren is wanted by the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office for MAKING FALSE INFORMATION. He was last known to live in the Wichita, Kansas area.
Anyone with information on the location of this person or any other wanted person or about ANY CRIME is urged to contact the Sedgwick County Sheriffs Office at 1.800.874.6449 Wichita-Sedgwick County Crime Stoppers at316.267.2111 or 911 or texting at CRIMES(274637) and enter TIP217 plus your message.
Name: Loren T. Westenfeld
Ht/Wt: 6′ 1″ – 220 lbs.
Gray hair / Blue eyes
Right Arm, Left Arm, Neck
To see more felons, or submit an anonymous tip, visit the
Crime Stoppers of Wichita/Sedgwick County website
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) A recent string of shootings in Wichita has community and faith leaders looking for solutions.
Tonight, they gathered at Saint Andrews Missionary Baptist Church for a citywide prayer to end violence in Wichita.
Dr. Marilyn Shaw is a local pastor and a member of the God Squad, a group of faith leaders that work as the bridge between the community and police.
Shaw says the recent rash of violence in Wichita is disheartening.
“I was frustrated, I just couldn’t really grasp what took place,” said Shaw.
Jason Platter helped organize the event, that saw more than two dozen people come together.
“Tired of seeing it and I’ve got kids, grand kids, friends, who’ve all been affected by the shootings and just if nobody steps up and do anything, we just can’t sit on the sidelines and let it keep happening,” said Platter.
The recent shootings is something that City Councilwoman Lavonta Williams has taken notice of.
Three of this past weekends shootings happened in the district she represents.
She says she wants to find any solution for the senseless violence.
“Somehow we’ve got to get through to those who don’t understand what they are doing to their community,” said Williams.
As for faith leaders like Shaw, she says as a member of the God Squad, she’s hopeful she can be a part of the solution.
“I think it’s important to be seen as the God Squad that even though we are pastors, people need to know that we are available and accessible to them,” said Shaw.
Many people who attended the event say it’s important that the community comes together to unite and work toward finding solutions to cut down on the violence.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It was a perfect night for baseball, and one that was filled with good-byes. People from all over Kansas made their way to Lawrence Dumont Thursday night to meet Dave Freeman, and say a final good-bye.
“We’re going to miss him. You’ve got big shoes to fill,” said KSN Viewer Ron Tunnell. “He was on point. His personality was good, he’s always good with the community. He’s always good with our kids. And, he never had a demeanor that he didn’t have enough time with any of us.”
Ellen Haig and her family have watched Dave since he got to KSN more than two decades ago, and said she wasn’t going to miss the chance to see him off on his next adventure.
“We’ve been watching him for decades now and we really trust his weather reports and want to see him for one last time,” explained Haig.
As for 8-year-old Jalynn Hockett, meeting Dave Freeman was a dream come true.
“I never miss a minute of this show. It’s special to me,” stated Hockett.
The little guy says when he grows up, he wants to be a meteorologist, just like Dave.
”I just want to wish him a good luck in Israel,” Hockett said.
And wishes like that made this night *touching for the man himself.
“I’ve always tried to think about that it’s not just the lens, there’s families on the other side of that. So, on a night like tonight you get the chance to put real faces to that camera lens,” said Dave Freeman.
One last night with the people he served for 24 years here in Kansas.
“To be able to have this is just an incredible blessing and I’m just really filled with gratitude,” stated Freeman.
We love you, Dave. You will be missed by all of us here at KSN.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – One man’s kind gesture is having a major impact on a Wichita teen’s future.
His laugh is memorable. His work ethic is honorable. While Tariq Barksdale, 18, may seem a little shy, his smile tells a much different story.
“They gave me an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Tariq Barksdale.
Barksdale’s opportunity started at Defazio’s Italian Restaurant in early January. It was a little after 10 p.m. when the 2016 high school graduate got off work. Without a car, Barksdale started his six-mile trek to his south Wichita home.
“I walk everywhere, walking is nothing to me,” he said.
Barksdale said he was about a mile into his walk when he heard someone yell at him.
“It was freezing outside and I’m sure he was pretty cold,” said Jacob Villa. “I just hollered at him out the window, ‘Hey you want a ride?'”
“Well, at first, you know, everybody is like don’t talk to strangers, so I’m like ugh, but then I’m like I need a ride, so I’m just going to take my chances,” Barksdale said.
That chance, or choice to get in the car with Villa, would soon change Barksdale’s future. As Villa and his son drove the teen home, they started making small talk.
“I started asking him questions on what he’s doing out so late and, you know, where is he headed,” Villa said.
“I told him I was just working right now, trying to save up money to go to college,” Barksdale said.
Barksdale works two jobs. He said he’s always dreamed of going to college, but growing up in a broken home with nine other siblings, he didn’t think he could do it.
“Where I’m from, money’s not that easy,” he said.
However, Villa said his decision to help Barksdale was very easy. Villa, who is a youth boxing coach in Wichita, put Barksdale in contact with his younger brother Joshua Villa, who is a current student at Wichita State University (WSU).
“I basically learned as I went so having the resources that I have I wanted to help somebody else,” said Joshua Villa.
Joshua is a first generation student and involved with a number of organizations on campus including the Sigma Lamda Beta International Fraternity Incorporated. Joshua said he reached out to his fraternity and several key people on the WSU campus to help get Barksdale into college.
“He was enrolled within 24 hours,” Joshua said.
Within a week of meeting Jacob Villa, Barksdale was a full-time Wichita State student. His college expenses were all taken care of thanks to Joshua, his fraternity and WSU faculty member Dr. Marche Fleming-Randle.
“Josh and them took on the buck of the work, but all I wanted to do was to make sure that this young man had an opportunity to be a Shocker,” said Dr. Marche Fleming-Randle, the Assistant to the President for Diversity. “Sometimes people are overlooked and I think by the grace of God Tariq was not overlooked.”
“I don’t do it for the recognition. I do it because it’s the right thing to do,” said Joshua.
Barksdale finished his first semester at WSU in May. He made the Dean’s List and hopes to pursue a degree in education. Currently, he said he’s preparing for summer classes while looking forward to the day he will walk across the stage and become the first person in his family to earn a college diploma.
“I think it will be one of the most amazing moments ever,” Barksdale said.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the House oversight committee asked the FBI on Thursday to turn over more documents about former FBI Director James Comey’s interactions with the White House and Justice Department, including materials dating back nearly four years to the Obama administration.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported that the FBI is investigating meetings that President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, had in December with Russian officials.
The FBI and the oversight committee — as well as several other congressional panels — are looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible connections between Russia and the Trump campaign. Trump fired Comey May 9 amid questions about the FBI’s investigation, which is now being led by special counsel Robert Mueller, a former FBI director.
Kushner, a key White House adviser, had meetings late last year with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, and Russian banker Sergey Gorkov.
The Post story cited anonymous “people familiar with the investigation,” who said the FBI investigation does not mean that Kushner is suspected of a crime.
Kushner attorney Jamie Gorelick released a statement saying: “Mr. Kushner previously volunteered to share with Congress what he knows about these meetings. He will do the same if he is contacted in connection with any other inquiry.”
Earlier Thursday, House oversight committee chairman Jason Chaffetz told acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe that he wants records of Comey’s contacts with the White House and Justice Department dating to September 2013, when Comey was sworn in as FBI director under President Barack Obama.
In a letter to McCabe, Chaffetz said he is seeking to review Comey’s memos and other written materials so he can “better understand” Comey’s communications with the White House and attorney general’s office.
Chaffetz, R-Utah, previously requested Comey’s recent memos about his private contacts with Trump. But the bureau told him Thursday it could not yet turn them over because of Mueller’s probe.
Chaffetz, who said last week he has his “subpoena pen” ready to force Comey or the FBI to turn over the documents, told McCabe that “Congress and the American public have a right and a duty to examine this issue independently of the special counsel’s investigation.”
He added, in a thinly veiled threat, “I trust and hope you understand this and make the right decision — to produce these documents to the committee immediately and on a voluntary basis.”
Chaffetz’s letter comes a month before he is scheduled to leave office after abruptly announcing his resignation earlier this year. He canceled a hearing scheduled Wednesday after Comey declined to testify.
Assistant FBI Director Gregory Brower told Chaffetz on Thursday the agency is evaluating his request and will update him as soon as possible.
Some Republican members of Congress have pressured Chaffetz to step down from the Comey probe, saying it should be led by someone who will remain in Congress.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., is considered the front-runner to replace Chaffetz as oversight chair. Gowdy led a special House panel that spent more than two years investigating the deadly 2012 attacks at a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
BARTON COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Barton County residents are moving forward in an effort to clean up and rebuild following the tornado of May 16, 2017. A tabulation of storm damage dollar amounts is continuing, but as of today damage amounts are short of the threshold needed for a federal disaster declaration through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Before beginning permanent repairs to homes and buildings, property owners are reminded to obtain building permits from the appropriate jurisdiction. In addition, if the property is within a floodplain then a floodplain compliance process will need to be completed before a building permit is issued. Property owners within the city of Pawnee Rock should contact the city clerk for building permits and floodplain compliance information. Individuals can call the Pawnee Rock City Office, 620-982-4386.
Property owners within the rural areas of Barton County should contact Judy Goreham, Barton County environmental manager/zoning administrator, 620-796-4300, for information on building permits and zoning requirements. If the rural property is within a floodplain, the individuals should contact Barry McManaman, Barton County engineer, for floodplain compliance, 620-793-1808. If residents are unsure if their property is within a floodplain, either McManaman or Goreham can be contacted.
In an effort to help residents clean up their properties, the Barton County Board of County Commissioners waived fees for non-commercial waste at the Barton County Landfill. In order to qualify, Barton County residents need to provide the name and location where the debris came from. Landfill staff will perform visual inspections of the debris as it is brought into the landfill. Questions concerning construction and demolition disposal should be directed to Barton County Landfill staff by calling 620-793-1898.
Storm victims in the rural areas of Barton County who need help cleaning up properties should contact Barton County at 620-793-1800 with information on what help is needed. Effort will then be made to work with appropriate groups/agencies that can provide help in the upcoming days.
Individuals wanting to dispose of tree debris in the rural areas of Barton County need to contact the fire chief of their jurisdiction for a burn permit. Barton County 911 Communications may be contacted at 620-793-1920 for a list of fire chiefs.
Individuals who want to volunteer within the City of Pawnee Rock should contact Linda McCowan-Waite, Pawnee Rock mayor, at 620-617-7121.
Additional resources within Barton County are available for storm victims through local agencies. Victims are encouraged to contact these agencies directly for assistance.
- Food Bank of Barton County
3007 10th St, Great Bend
Mon, Wed, Fri: 1-3 p.m.
- Hoisington Community Food Bank
2nd & 4th Monday of month
- Ellinwood Food Bank
Mon: 2-4 p.m. Thurs: 4- 7 p.m.
- Hungry Heart Soup Kitchen
For a Hot Meal
1515 Williams, Great Bend
Mon – Fri: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Emergency Aid
For Rent, Utilities, Lodging
3007 10th St, Great Bend
Mon, Wed, Fri: 8:30-11 a.m.
- Catholic Charities of SW Kansas
For Non-Food Pantry, Infant Needs
2201 16th St, Great Bend
Mon, Wed, Fri: 1-5 p.m.
- Central Kansas Dream Center
For Rent, Utilities, Lodging
2100 Broadway Ave, Great Bend
- Salvation Army
For Clothing, Utilities
2545 10th St, Great Bend
- Barton County Health Department
For Vaccines, STDs, Family Planning, WIC
1300 Kansas Ave, Great Bend
- Catholic Charities of SW Kansas
For Disaster Response, Family Planning
- Family Crisis Center
For Domestic & Sexual Violence
- The Center for Counseling
For Crisis Intervention
Fundraising efforts for storm victims are being coordinated by the United Way of Central Kansas and the Golden Belt Community Foundation. More information concerning these efforts will be released later this week.
For additional questions or information contact Amy Miller, Emergency Management Director, 620-793-1919.
GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — The farming community got a bit of a shock this week when the White House budget was unveiled.
It included deep cuts to agriculture safety net programs.
Congressman Roger Marshall represents the first district and is on the agriculture committee.
“It was very disappointing to see those cuts,” he said.
Marshall applauded the budget overall but has major issues with cuts to crop insurance.
“Of all the things that’s important for the federal government to invest in,” he said, “crop insurance is next to military and national security. Crop insurance be right there on the next line.”
With low grain prices, farmers have been working in the red for years.
“If there’s ever a year that proves how much we do need it,” he said, “a year when we’ve had prairie fire followed by now tornado and hail and the virus.”
Wheat streak mosaic virus will likely continue to impact wheat crops for years to come. Despite this constant threat to crops, Marshall said he’s not willing to commit to voting against a bill that would cut crop insurance.
“I can’t back myself into a corner. I think that I’ll be fighting very hard both on the Ag committee as well as in the Republican caucus on the House floor to make sure we have adequate funding for agriculture.”
While the proposed budget outlines the President’s vision, Congress will likely make major changes before voting.
“I think we’re going to have to do some very, quite a bit of tweaking and re-prioritize some of these dollars.”
He said his ideal bill would maintain current funding levels for crop insurance: no more, no less.
“That would be my goal is to hold it steady and to make sure we prioritize the agriculture dollars towards that.”
The proposed budget calls for a 36 percent cut to federal crop insurance subsidies. That’s about $29 billion over the next 10 years.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A detention deputy with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office was arrested early this morning.
Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter said the detention deputy was booked in to jail on allegations of driving under the influence.
Sheriff Easter said a patrol deputy with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office stopped the vehicle the detention deputy was driving for a traffic violation shortly before 3:00 a.m.
He said the DUI case will be presented to the District Attorney’s Office for charges and no further comments will be made by the sheriff’s office.
Sheriff Easter said the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office is a professional organization that honors the core values of, integrity, duty, ethics, attitude, leadership, and service. He said they take pride in demonstrating these values on a daily basis. The Sheriff’s Office will always investigate any allegation against an employee with the due diligence that the public entrusts in us.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita man was sentenced Thursday to 46 months in federal prison for turning stolen mail into 14 false identities.
Jeremy Peterson, 43, Wichita, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to produce false identification documents. In his plea, he admitted that other conspirators provided him with stolen mail he used to produce counterfeit documents including driver’s licenses and state identification cards. He produced documents for 14 stolen identities that conspirators used to buy cars. Local auto dealers suffered an actual loss of more than $218,000 as a result.
Peterson was one of 13 defendants charged last year in USA v Below, an indictment alleging they took part in a $3.5 million fraud scheme.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Earlier this week, agricultural groups pushed back against proposed cuts to agriculture proposed by President Donald Trump.
One of the proposals is a $40,000 cap on crop insurance, meaning many farmers will be unable to insure their entire acreage.
“Crop insurance cuts, seed is high, chemical is high, crop prices are low and crop insurance is already high so why should it get any higher?” AJ Lanier, a farmer near Whitewater said.
Lanier and his family farm hundreds of acres of wheat and soybeans. The harsh winter and strange spring weather patterns could take a toll on their yield, making insuring their crops important.
Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) said in a statement, “Now is not the time for another hit to Kansas farmers. With low prices, tough weather, poor yields and the latest freeze’s damage to the wheat crop, things could not be worse. The proposed cuts to crop insurance would greatly reduce the effectiveness of the program for farmers and ranchers trying to manage risk and continue feeding the nation.”
We reached out to Senator Pat Roberts, R-Kansas who sits on the agriculture committee in Washington DC, who made a joint statement with fellow agricultural committee chairman Rep. K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, saying:
“We support the Trump administration’s goal of achieving three percent economic growth for our nation. USDA’s latest estimates find agriculture, food, and related industries contribute $992 billion to our economy. As we debate the budget and the next Farm Bill, we will fight to ensure farmers have a strong safety net so this key segment of our economy can weather current hard times and continue to provide all Americans with safe, affordable food. Also, as a part of Farm Bill discussions, we need to take a look at our nutrition assistance programs to ensure that they are helping the most vulnerable in our society.”
The National Farmer’s Union called the cuts “deeply disappointing” in a statement.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police said an elderly woman was targeted in two robberies this week. The latest happened early Wednesday morning in the 1400 block of North Coolidge.
The 73-year-old woman told police two suspects forced entry into her home. One suspect was armed with a shotgun and demanded property. The suspects left.
Police said the same woman was approached earlier this week in her driveway. A suspect demanded money and was armed.
If you know anything about either robbery, call Crime Stoppers at 267-2111. Police are also looking for nearby homes that may have surveillance video of the men.
GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) – Great Bend police are looking for the occupants of a vehicle that allegedly fired shots an officer. It happened Wednesday evening around 9 p.m.
Police said the officer was exiting the police department when he observed a dark-colored passenger car driving northbound on Williams Street in front of the building.
The officer noticed a person hang out of the passenger window and point what appeared to be some sort of assault rifle. The officer then heard numerous shots come from the direction of the car.
Due to the sound of the shots, the officer believed the weapon to be some sort of air gun, such as an airsoft gun or BB gun.
The officer did not return fire on the vehicle.
“This was obviously a very dangerous situation, whether the weapon used turns out to be real or not. I’m proud that the officer in this incident showed such restraint, but not all situations turn out that way,” said Chief Cliff Couch, Great Bend Police Department. “It’s very difficult for an officer to identify a fake weapon, across the street, in a matter of seconds; and the people in that car could have very easily been killed as a result of their actions.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Great Bend Police Department at 620-793-4120 or Crimestoppers at 620-792-1300.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police said they made an arrest in a weekend shooting at the Aroma Hookah bar.
Police tell us it happened around 1 a.m. in the 4900 block of East 21st Street North.
One employee was shot and was taken to the hospital in serious condition.
According to police, 21-year-old John D. Houze was arrested on suspicion of aggravated battery with a firearm. He was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) – A surgeon who has served as the University of Kansas Medical Center’s executive vice chancellor is the new top overseer of the University of Kansas.
The Kansas Board of Regents on Thursday named Dr. Douglas Girod as the successor to retiring Bernadette Gray-Little.
Gray-Little has been chancellor since 2009 and announced last September she would retire this summer.
As the medical center’s executive vice chancellor since February 2013, Girod oversaw educational, research, patient care and community engagement efforts of the university’s medicine, nursing and health professions schools. Those schools have more than 3,300 students, 2,100 faculty and 4,000 staffers.
Girod also served as the medical school’s interim executive dean until early 2014.
He joined the University of Kansas Medical Center faculty in 1994 and has served in the Navy Reserve.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – The Kansas House has approved a bill that would phase in a $280 million increase in the state’s spending on public schools over two years even though some members said the extra money isn’t enough to satisfy a court mandate.
The vote Thursday was 84-39. The bill goes next to the Senate.
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled in March that the state’s $4 billion a year in aid to its 286 school districts is inadequate. The court did not say exactly how much spending must increase when it set a June 30 deadline for lawmakers to pass a new school funding law.
Attorneys for the four school districts that sued the state consider the plan inadequate and Democrats predicted the court will reject it. Many Republicans disagreed.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) – The Harvey County Attorney said the case against the former Halstead city administrator has been dismissed.
Last year, James R. Hatfield was arrested as the result of an investigation conducted by David Yoder, the Harvey County Attorney and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. Hatfield was charged with one count of felony perjury.
The attorney released the following statement:
“The specifics of the decision are not open to public dissemination at this time, other than to report that after detailed examination of the facts in this case, my office has determined that there is insufficient evidence to proceed with these charges.”
CENTERON, Ark. (KHBS and KHOG) – A woman shopping in a Wal-Mart in Centeron, Arkansas is the target of racist comments from another shopper.
Eva Hicks was the target of the remarks.
“I encountered this lady that was on my way and I asked her politely you know if I could pass, and I said excuse me, and she was being very hateful, immediately.”
Woman: Get out of here.
Eva Hicks: No I’m not going to get out of here.
Woman: Go back to Mexico.
Eva Hicks: No! No I’m not!
Woman: You’re just going to stand here and argue.
Eva Hicks: No, because this is my country.
Woman: Your country?
Eva Hicks: Yes, this is my country.
Woman: This is not your country?
Eva Hicks: Oh yes it is.
Woman: We don’t want you here
Eva Hicks: Yes it is, I don’t care.
Manager: “That’s not true, we do want you here.”
Woman: We don’t want you here
Eva Hicks: Oh yes it is.
Manager: That’s not true, we do want you here.
Eva Hicks: I don’t care what you want or not.
Manager: We do want you here.
Woman: Leave me alone.
Manager: That’s not true.
Woman: Go. Go.
Hicks said the incident upset her so much because of her love for this area.
“This country has given me so much, so much opportunities for me, for my family, for my kids. It is a beautiful country. This is a free country.”
During the incident, several bystanders and a store manager stepped in to defend Hicks.
“I felt love, I felt like, yes, I belong here. There is no reason for someone to treat me less, just because my skin is different, just because I have an accent, just because I was born in a different country.”
The unidentified woman also made comments to another woman who was attempting to help.
Hicks said she just wants to put the encounter in the past and wants the best for the other woman.
“I just wish her good, it’s really sad to see somebody like that,” said Hicks.
The assistant manager did ask the woman to leave the store. They also gave this statement saying quote: “We value respect for everyone who visits our stores. We have no tolerance for the language or actions of this customer and are proud to see that our assistant manager responded appropriately by asking her to leave the store.”
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) – A woman who tried to dig up a grave at a Hutchinson cemetery has pleaded guilty to two municipal charges.
Thirty-three-year-old Natasha Holmes pleaded guilty Wednesday to criminal desecration of a grave and criminal damage to property.
The Hutchinson News reports investigators have not disclosed the reason Holmes said she was trying to dig up the grave at Eastside Cemetery.
Holmes was transferred to Larned State Hospital for evaluation after her arrest but was released on bond before Wednesday’s hearing.
Patrol Lt. Rob Rowe said Holmes didn’t appear to be intoxicated or under the influence of drugs when she was arrested May 1.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – A Missouri man who admitted driving drunk has been sentenced to more than 16 years in prison for causing a wreck in Topeka that killed a man from Ohio and a woman from Texas.
Fernando De Jesus Osorino was sentenced Friday for two counts of involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence of alcohol and one count of driving under the influence.
The Kansas Highway Patrol says Osorino was driving east in the westbound lanes of Interstate 70 Feb. 28 when his car collided with a vehicle driven by 27-year-old Corey Jackson, of Newark, Ohio.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports a passenger in Jackson’s car, 24-year-old Coral Lynn Clark, of Fort Worth, Texas, died. Jackson died March 8.
Osorino also was ordered to pay $23,788 in restitution.