Local KSN News

Subscribe to Local KSN News feed Local KSN News
Wichita, KS News Weather and Sports
Updated: 28 min 46 sec ago

Showtime to air rare Prince music film, ‘Sign O’ the Times’

40 min 43 sec ago

NEW YORK (AP) — A rare Prince music film, “Sign O’ the Times,” will air on Showtime beginning Sept. 16.

Directed by Prince himself, the film was created as an in-theater companion to his 1987 double album of the same name. The movie features performances and other scenes shot mostly at his Minneapolis studio complex, Paisley Park, with some tour footage from concerts in the Netherlands and Belgium.

The 84-minute film captures Prince at a critical period, just after he disbanded his band, The Revolution, but it didn’t perform well in U.S. theaters and his vision of a true live concert documentary was dashed by poor sound quality.

Some critics have hailed “Sign O’ the Times” as one of the best concert films ever made.

Categories: Local KSN News

Toddler dies in makeshift cage

1 hour 16 min ago

MYERSTOWN, Pa. (WGAL) – A Pennsylvania couple has been charged in the death of their 2-year-old son.

Authorities say Justin Dwyer and Courtney Stash of Myerstown face a number of charges including involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of children in connection with the death of their young son, Owen, in April.

Investigators say the couple told them the boy was climbing out of his crib repeatedly. To keep him in it, authorities say they placed a mattress on top of the crib, held it in place with bags of rock salt, and tied it down with a bungee cord.

Police say the couple found the boy unresponsive and called 911. They say it was determined that the boy suffocated.

Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet. Follow and like us on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Local KSN News

Authorities respond to hostage situation in Norton

2 hours 6 min ago

NORTON, Kan. (KSNW) – The Norton Police Department responded to a domestic violence and hostage situation Wednesday morning. It happened in the 100 block of Howard Avenue around 2 a.m.

The situation was resolved by 7:30 a.m., and the suspect was booked into the Norton County Detention Center.

The Norton County Sheriff’s office and Kansas Highway Patrol assisted. Police said the decision was based on the safety of the victim, officers, and the community.

Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet. Follow and like us on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Local KSN News

Taylor Swift ends intrigue, announces new album in November

2 hours 19 min ago

NEW YORK (AP) — Yes, Taylor Swift fans, Wednesday was a lucky one for you.

The pop star who whipped her army of Swifties into a frenzy with video snippets of slithery snake parts on social media posted the title of her new album, “reputation,” and announced on Instagram it will be out Nov. 10.

The first single, she said in a series of posts, will drop Thursday night. And she threw in the album’s cover art for good measure: a black-and-white photo of herself — head and shoulders in slouchy sweatshirt — against a backdrop of newsprint reading, simply, “Taylor Swift” over and over again.

Swift, who is followed by millions on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, wiped her feeds clean Friday and replaced the void Monday with the first of three reptilian videos, each offering just a tad more of a snake, from tail to squirmy middle and finally its beady red-eyes and ominous fangs lunging briefly at the camera.

The teasers put fans on high alert, and the snake imagery evoked snake emojis used against her in various social media dis-fests last year, including one with Kim Kardashian West after West claimed Swift knew about hubby Kanye’s reference to Swift in his song “Famous.”

The album would be her sixth studio effort since the 2014 release of her “1989,” which is the last time she teased fans online, that round with mysterious Polaroid photographs.

Categories: Local KSN News

Wichita man accused of raping girl bound over for trial

2 hours 50 min ago

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita man accused of raping a 7-year-old Wichita girl was bound over for trial.

Corbin Brietenbach was in a Sedgwick County courtroom for his preliminary hearing. He is charged with attempted capital murder, aggravated criminal sodomy, and aggravated burglary.

In court Wednesday, several witnesses took the stand. The first witness, a woman who was in apartment during the time the 7-year-old was attacked, talked about what she saw and heard. The woman testified the crying girl woke her up around 2:30 a.m. The woman said she saw blood and choke marks but didn’t know what was happening.

Another witness, a nurse who examined the victim, testified describing the medical evidence she says showed the girl was severely strangled.

A third witness, an Exploited and Missing Child Unit detective, said that the little girl identified Breitenbach as an attacker in a photo lineup. He testified about matching DNA evidence to the suspect. 

The defense followed up asking the nurse about her qualifications and asking the first witness about locking her door.

A judge determined there was enough evidence for the case to go to trial.  It is scheduled to begin September 25.

Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet. Follow and like us on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Local KSN News

Laura’s Look: A Fall Preview

3 hours 35 min ago

You can’t ask for better weather for late August! Check out this morning low temperatures. I threw on a sweatshirt this morning and had the heater on full blast on the way to the gym this morning! (I get cold SUPER easy). My trainer told me I was crazy… I know i’m not the only one though!

Wednesday low temperatures

Dewpoints are in the 50s which is why it’s so comfortable!

10AM Dew Points

It really looks like we’re done with the summer heat, for now at least. Temperatures in the 80s will carry us through the week’s end.

The summer heat is turned OFF as well as storm chances. We could see some storms move into western Kansas tomorrow evening. Better chances arrive Saturday, I’ll show you what to expect coming up on KSN News at Noon! In the meantime, enjoy this BEAUTIFUL weather! – Laura B.

Categories: Local KSN News

Search continues for 2 escaped inmates in northwest Oklahoma

5 hours 16 min ago

FAIRVIEW, Okla. (AP) – Authorities are searching for two escaped inmates who may be armed after they stole a prisoner transport van in northwestern Oklahoma.

Authorities in Major County say the search continued Wednesday for 32-year-old Andrew Foy and 37-year-old Darren Walp.

Sheriff Steve Randolph says the inmates overpowered two transport officers Tuesday morning and took the van on U.S. 412 north of Fairview, which is about 80 miles northwest of Oklahoma City.

Randolph says the van was found about 13 miles away, with an empty gun holster inside. Investigators believe the two inmates later stole a truck from a nearby oilfield.

Authorities say Walp was being taken to Kansas to face property crime charges, while Foy is wanted in Wyoming on burglary, forgery and fraud charges.

Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet. Follow and like us on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Local KSN News

What are the most likely numbers to win the Powerball?

5 hours 49 min ago

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – How do you pick your lottery numbers?

Many people use birthdays, others use lucky numbers or their own system. There are almost as many ways of choosing lottery numbers as there are chances of winning it.

Whatever system you choose to use, remember the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292 million.

With a $700 million Powerball jackpot on the line, millions of people will be trying to pick the winning combination.

The Powerball drawing consists of five white balls and one red Powerball.

Many players will look at the statistics. They will try to choose the numbers that come up most often.

For the Powerball, according to LottoNumbers.com, the most popular white ball numbers are 26, last drawn Aug. 12; 16, last drawn Aug. 2; 41 came up June 3; 22, drawn June 24; 32 was drawn July 22; 28, drawn Aug. 5 and 42, drawn on July 26.

LottoNumbers.com posted that the most picked red Powerball is 6, last drawn May 31. It is followed by 20, picked Feb. 18; 9 on Aug. 9; 2 on Feb. 22; 12, 11, 18, 10 and 29.

Another approach is to look for numbers that have not come up in a while.

For the Powerball, the most overdue numbers include 34, 6, 25, 27, 52, 56 and 31.

Playing these numbers does not change your odds.

Big Winner’s Advice

Richard Lustig claims to be a seven-time lottery grand prize winner and author of “Learn How To Increase Your Chances of Winning The Lottery.”

Lustig said one way to increase your chances of winning the lottery is simply by picking your own numbers versus using the Quick-Pick option.

“There’s no magic method to picking your numbers, I get emails every day asking. One number doesn’t win the jackpot, a set of numbers does,” says Lustig.

Lustig believes that what matters is whether the set of numbers people pick is a good one or not.

“The research is not that easy, it takes some time. Anything in life that’s worth having takes time,” says Lustig.

One secret Lustig will share is that he believes picking the same numbers regularly, even if you are losing, gives you more edge in the next drawing.

Wednesday’s Jackpot

The winner of Wednesday’s jackpot will get $443.3 million in cash, if you choose that option.

Powerball is offered in 44 States, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Tickets cost $2 each.

Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet. Follow and like us on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Local KSN News

Students head back to school in Wichita

6 hours 26 min ago

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita students headed back to school on Wednesday. Along with new start time, there are some other changes happening inside the classroom.

District leaders plan to focus on improving student behavior as they’ve seen an increase in discipline incidents in elementary schools. Leaders want to continue building relationships and provide support to students. School staff will focus on having more social and emotional conversations with students. Leaders also want to set classroom and school wide expectations.

“Students will immediately know what the teacher expects when they come into their classroom and also what they expect when they go to the lunch line, when they get on and off the bus, when they go to the library, when they go to the auditorium,” said Susan Arensman, Wichita Public Schools spokeswoman.

KSN News was at Brooks Magnet school as students were heading to class. It is one of the schools with the earliest start times. It is also the school where Wichita’s new Superintendent Alicia Thompson went.

KSN asked Thompson about he plans for the district moving forward, and what she is looking forward to this year?

“One of the first exciting things I am looking forward to is going out and listening to all of our stakeholders. I’m listening to our community members, our family members, our teachers, and our students so that I can understand what they want for our school district so that we can build a shared vision together.”

Thompson will be visiting Heights High School and Chisholm Trail today. Those are both schools she attended as a student in Wichita.

Welcome back to school students! Dr. Thompson has a special welcome message for you! pic.twitter.com/hcImXhcPmU

— WichitaPublicSchools (@WichitaUSD259) August 23, 2017

Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet. Follow and like us on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Local KSN News

Mel B dumps water on Simon Cowell on ‘America’s Got Talent’

6 hours 56 min ago

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Simon Cowell has been left all wet by a joke he made at the expense of fellow “America’s Got Talent” judge Mel B.

Cowell was giving his appraisal of an act that had a technical mishap during Tuesday’s live shows when he said it reminded him of Mel B’s wedding night, because it had a lot of anticipation but “not much promise or delivery.” The former Spice Girl flashed a shocked smile before dumping a cup of water on Cowell midway through the joke and storming off stage.

Mel B was back in her judge’s chair for the next act.

The singer filed for divorce from husband Stephen Belafonte in March and won a restraining order against him in April after accusing him of emotional and physical abuse. Belafonte has denied the allegations.

Categories: Local KSN News

Remains in Kansas lake identified as those of missing man

7 hours 6 min ago

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) – Authorities have identified the human remains found at a lake near downtown Kansas City, Kansas, as those of a missing man.

The Kansas City Star reports that the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office says the remains of 61-year-old William Boyd Jr. were found on Aug. 11 at Big Eleven Lake. The sheriff’s office says it is still investigating the circumstances, but no foul play is suspected.

Barry Bennett, Boyd’s brother-in-law, says the family received the official word about Boyd’s death on Monday. Boyd, known as “Bucky,” lived nearby and was known to frequently visit the lake. Bennett says the family was “somewhat prepared” but “still praying it wasn’t him.”

Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet. Follow and like us on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Local KSN News

The Treehouse Labor Day run is coming up

7 hours 11 min ago

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The 5th annual Treehouse Labor Run will be held on Monday, September 4, at Sedgwick County Park. The run is a family-friendly 5K walk/run event. Strollers, toddlers and kids of all ages are welcome to participate. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. or you can register online in advance.

Registration is $30 in advance $35 day of registration and $20/$25 for children under age 12. Warm-up starts at 8 a.m., and the run begins at 8:30 a.m.

Dollars raised from the run will benefit The Treehouse’s mission to help mothers and babies in need. It is the largest fundraiser for the organization.

Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet. Follow and like us on Facebook and Twitter.

Categories: Local KSN News

Uncounted Kansas ballots fuel fears about Kobach’s proposals

8 hours 7 min ago

WICHITA, Kansas (AP) — A conservative firebrand promoting President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud oversees a Kansas election system that threw out at least three times as many ballots as any similarly sized state did, fueling concerns about massive voter suppression should its practices become the national standard.

Only six states — all among the top 10 in population — discarded more votes during the 2016 election than the 33rd-largest state of Kansas, according to data collected by the bipartisan U.S. Election Assistance Commission, a federal agency that certifies voting systems. Kansas’ 13,717 rejected ballots even topped the 13,461 from Florida, which has about seven times as many residents.

Critics of Kansas’ election system argue its unusually high number of discarded ballots reflects policies shaped over several elections that have resulted in many legitimate voters being kept off voter rolls in an effort to crack down on a few illegitimate ones.

There is particular attention on Kansas now because its secretary of state, Kris Kobach, is co-chairman of Trump’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The architect of strict election policies requiring voter ID and proof of citizenship, Kobach has suggested Kansas’ rules could become a national panacea for voter fraud, which Trump — without providing proof — blames for Hillary Clinton’s popular vote victory.

“It is somewhat ironic that (Kobach) is claiming to really care about the integrity of voter rolls when this suggests that there may be a real problem that Kansas has with keeping voter rolls up to date,” said Wendy Weiser, director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program.

Kansas Elections Director Bryan Caskey argues it is difficult to compare states because their election laws differ and that Kansas officials are actually more aggressive than other states at getting ballots in the hands of would-be voters.

“I am understandably a little defensive about it because our routine is that if you walk in the door you get a ballot,” Caskey said. “… Even if there is no way that ballot is going to count, to at least give us a chance to do a little research to see if we can count it, and many states don’t do that.”

Under federal law, almost all states are required to hand out a provisional ballot to anyone who shows up at a polling place but isn’t listed on the voter rolls. The purpose of provisional ballots is to preserve the ballot until a voter’s eligibility is determined and alert officials of a breakdown in election administration, so Weiser argues a high number of them could be “a red flag that something is quite wrong.”

Jason Kander, the former Democratic secretary of state in neighboring Missouri, says it’s “not at all true” that poll workers in Kansas hand out provisional ballots to voters who would’ve been turned away in other states. He argues most election officials are aggressive about handing out regular ballots whenever possible because the provisional ones can be thrown out for something as small as a sloppy signature.

Missouri discarded 3,803 ballots in November — about a quarter of Kansas’ total. Kansas gave out 40,872 provisional ballots, compared to 5,511 for Missouri.

“Secretary Kobach uses every trick that he can to make it as hard as possible for eligible voters to cast a ballot — whether it is unconstitutional legislation, targeting immigrants or forcing more eligible voters to use provisional ballots,” said Kander, president of Let America Vote, a voting rights advocacy group. “He is on a crusade to stop people from voting and now the president of the United States has given him a bigger platform.”

According to Kobach’s office, Kansas did reject 931 provisional ballots because voters either lacked documentary proof of citizenship when they registered or failed to show sufficient identification at the polls.

By far the largest chunk of the state’s rejected ballots — 10,148 — was due to other polling-site issues such as voters who were not registered in the state or who tried to cast ballots at precincts in the wrong jurisdiction.

In Kansas, if a voter moves to another county without updating the registration address, the entire ballot is discarded. However, when a voter shows up in the wrong polling place but the correct county, the only votes that are counted are the races that overlap both jurisdictions. Kansas had 22,726 ballots that were partially counted in 2016.

The Kansas policy on out-of-county voting is much stricter than rules in many other states. Some states, including California and Ohio, hand out provisional ballots as a way to update their lists of voter addresses and then counts the full verified ballot.

Fifteen states, plus the District of Columbia, also allow people to register and cast a ballot on the same day, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Kobach derailed a bill during the last legislative session that would have instituted same-day registration in Kansas.

Some Kansas voters — although the exact number is unclear — even went to the polls incorrectly believing they had legally registered, misled by erroneous confirmations the online registration system generated. Emails Kobach’s office provided to The Associated Press under an open records request show problems with the online system dated back months before the general election, although state officials did not recognize it as a systemic glitch until the month before the election.

The office explained it didn’t tell the public about the problem because it had received only “occasional reports of a few people.” Instead, county officials were told to only count the ballots of unregistered voters who produced a computer printout of the online confirmation. Anyone without such proof received a provisional ballot, but those were later discarded.

Doug Bonney, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas, said his group heard from several people who were affected by the website bug.

“They were rightly outraged by it,” Bonney said. “They thought they had done everything they needed to, and had a confirmation that they were in fact registered, and it turned out to be false.”

___

Sign up for the AP’s weekly newsletter showcasing our best reporting from the Midwest and Texas: http://apne.ws/2u1RMfv

Categories: Local KSN News

Leon’s Breakfast Blog: Another Day in Paradise!

10 hours 20 min ago

You could not ask for a much nicer start to an August morning!! Temps start off in the lower 60s! It is actually kind of a refreshing start to the morning! As you head out to work you’ll have a nice dry commute and by the time lunch rolls around you’ll want to grab a seat outside!! Mild temps and low humidity will make for a great afternoon! There will be plenty of sunshine today but temps remain quite mild warming into the mid to upper 70s by lunchtime and highs topping out in the mid 80s with light winds!! This is a beautiful day so make sure you make the most of it!!!

 

 

It’s hard to imagine a nice start to the day and the sunrise is just as beautiful as the forecast!

Categories: Local KSN News

Harvey County drug task force continues to move forward

15 hours 30 min ago

NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) – Law enforcement officials in Harvey County are ramping up their drug task force, in an effort to tackle the county’s drug problem.

KSN first told you back in March that Harvey County Drug Task Force was being revived.

It was originally disbanded five years ago.

Tuesday night, both the Newton Police Chief Eric Murphy and Harvey County Sheriff Chad Gay updated city and county leaders on their progress.

Sheriff Chad Gay says they have converted a room into a space where the two current members of the task force can work, side by side.

“We had one guy in this office and all the way on the PD side, which is a considerable distance from here, we had the other drug task force member,” said Sheriff Gay.

On top of a better work space, Chief Eric Murphy says they are adding personnel.

“We are looking forward to a third investigator after the first of the year with the sheriff’s department,” said Chief Murphy.

As well as, staff to oversee their operations.

“We are going to have oversight and supervision by both the Newton Police Department and the Sheriff’s Department over the drug task force as far as daily supervisory responsibilities,” said Chief Murphy.

However, Chief Murphy says they still have some needs.

“Equipment, we do have enough equipment to run one operation, but if we have one operation that goes at a time, we definitely need more surveillance equipment,” said Chief Murphy.

The needs are something city officials are aware of and will try to address as the drug task force progresses.

“When I talk to citizens in Newton, law enforcement, safety and the concern over drug use and sales and trafficking is a huge issue,” said Barth Hague, Newton Mayor.

Before the Harvey County Drug Task Force returned, one detective for the Newton Police Department was responsible for investigating cases.

Preliminary numbers show that detective investigated 129 cases in 2016 alone.

Both Chief Murphy and Sheriff Gay say they are working to get other agencies in Harvey County to collaborate with them on the drug task force.

Categories: Local KSN News

Wichita boy’s stolen special needs trike returned, family grateful

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 22:36

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A stolen special needs trike has been returned to its owners.

“It means so much,” said Karen Wild.

Karen Wild and her family were driving from Nebraska to their Wichita home on Tuesday when they got a much anticipated call from police.

“He said ‘this is Officer Spalding with PD South and we think we have your son’s tricycle,'” Wild explained.

Wild said she and her family immediately drove to the police substation to identify the trike. Sure enough, Wild said the trike was her son’s custom, AMBUCS trike.

“The more we looked and the more we inspected the more we became very, very certain,” Wild said.

Wild said the trike was stolen from the family’s fenced in front yard in College Hill on August 6. Since then, Wild has shared pictures of the trike on social media and put up missing flyers around town. KSN also did two stories about the stolen trike and the community’s support to get it back.

“We knew it was there because of the Facebook and because of the news coverage and everybody looking to the news coverage and to the Facebook story,” she said.

Wichita police said someone purchased the trike from another person outside a local laundromat. They said that person then rode it around town for several days, not knowing it had been stolen. They said the person then saw a missing flyer at a Wichita store and turned the trike into police.

“It means so much that he realized this and turned it in at a cost to himself. I just can’t express enough thanks for that, I really can’t,” Wild said.

Police would not release the name of the person who returned the trike. Wild said she is now working to track him down to properly thank him.

“I want to say thank you to him and I want to say that i really, really want to help him. I want to do everything I can to make sure he is not at a loss for this,” she said.

The trike was returned with several safety features missing. It was also partially painted a new color.

Air Capital AMBUCS, the nonprofit organization that originally donated the custom trike to Ellis is now working to make the repairs.

“It’s missing a significant amount of stuff. Some of the stuff it’s missing is pretty important stuff, like the steering bar,” said Air Capital AMBUCS volunteer Brian Cavin.

Cavin said he will use parts from another trike, which was donated to AMBUCS after the first KSN story, to make Ellis’s trike complete.

“It’s going to be a wonderful thing. He’s going to be able to get back up on the road in no time,” Cavin said.

All of the money donated to AMBUCS in Ellis’s name will also go toward additional repairs. If there is any money left over, Cavin said it will go toward funding another child’s trike.

Wichita police said they’re still looking for the trike thief. They would not say how much the person bought the trike for.

 

Categories: Local KSN News

Think twice before tossing out those solar eclipse glasses

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 19:53

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Millions of Americans were left in amazement after seeing Monday’s great solar eclipse. But now, they’re left with solar eclipse glasses. So what do you do? Throw them away?

KSN has received mixed advice. Some optometrists say they expire after three years while other experts say, if taken care of, they last much longer.

But first, what did you think of that eclipse?

“It was a lot more than I expected,” says Chrissy Shahankary.

Jason Ferguson, Professor of Physics at Wichita State University, says “We saw the diamond ring at the end of it and it was really just amazing.”

“It was amazing,” said Shahankary. “Towards the end when the colors started changing and stuff it made me a little sick to my stomach so I had to go in the house. It was just intense,” adds Shahankary.

Ferguson would describe it differently. “Just a wonderful, beautiful thing that nature does occasionally and sometimes it just lines up and you are in the right place,” says Ferguson.

Ferguson studies Astronomy and was amazed by the spectacle. Already, he’s gazing ahead to the next eclipse in 2024 which he expects to be even better.

“In seven years, we will be able to see the same kind of thing again, only one small difference, the totality in seven years is going to be four minutes,” says Ferguson.

Different eclipse but he’ll wearing the same glasses. According to NASA, if you bought the real safety certified 12312-2 eclipse glasses, they never expire, as long as they don’t get scratched or punctured. Ferguson says he is saving his.

“I think the hardest part is going to be able to find them.” He adds, “Where did you put them seven years ago?”

Kara King is an educational specialist at the Sedgwick County Zoo says and she is donating her solar eclipse glasses to a special cause.

King says the Sedgwick County Zoo will be collecting them to donate to Astronomers Without Borders.

“They will use the glasses for students, children and scientists who may not have access to them in Asia and South America.” A win-win situation says King. “It promotes conservation and it promotes science.”

In the middle of KSN’s interview the zoo got their first donation.

Something others like Chrissy Shahankary plans to do in the near future.

“You know, just give that little bit back to them because they don’t get to experience stuff the way that we do because we have the cool little gadgets. They need the gadgets too,” says Shahankary.

The Sedgwick County Zoo is collecting the glasses through August 28.

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.

Categories: Local KSN News

Wichita schools begin, with no final budget in play

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 18:52

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s a relatively small problem, considering the budget of $682 million a year to educate more than 50,000 kids. But, Wichita schools have to decide what to do with an “extra” $28 million. That’s one issue to resolve in the 2017-18 budget, even though classes began for some kids in USD 259 this week.

“It would be nice to know what we’re doing before we got there,” says USD 259 school board president, Mike Rodee on the beginning of the new school year.

But Rodee says with changes in Topeka and teacher negotiations in progress, the budget has to be a work in progress.

“I don’t know that there’s really a level of frustration,” explains Rodee. “You fight all year with the legislators, trying to get budget money, and then they (lawmakers) have their own set of issues to work out. We’re going to have a budget here the 28th, which is a couple of weeks after school starts. And we haven’t got collective bargaining done which will affect our budget again so we’ll probably have to do something.”

Rodee says that “extra” $28 million is not really extra. He has been on the school board since 2013.

“And since then we’ve cut $97 million out of our budget. So to get $28 million back is fantastic but it still doesn’t offset the $97 million that we’ve cut,” says Rodee.

About $8 million will automatically be used to compensate for cost increases for things like rate hikes in insurance and fuel for buses. More of that money will go to offset new costs in electric rate increases.

That still leaves roughly $20 million to be added.

“But we’re looking at, we cut programs last year. The METRO programs we cut. We weren’t happy,” explains Rodee. “Our biggest push is going to be the recruitment and retention of teachers because we need good teachers. So we’re going to put some money back into that.”

Before the budget is finalized, the public will have a chance to have a say. There is a board meeting August 28 at North High School at 6:00 p.m. and the public is invited to attend.

“We will have a budget soon,” says Rodee. “And we will get a deal with the teachers. Soon.”

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.

Categories: Local KSN News

Kiowa suffers millions in storm damage

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 17:57

KIOWA, Kan. (KSNW) – Barber county residents are still picking up the pieces from a storm that shook up an entire town, including a high school that’s working double time to get the campus back in order before school starts. KSN was in Kiowa the day after the storm and went back Tuesday to speak to residents about how they are recovering.

The National Weather Service told the folks that live in Kiowa that the damage was caused by a 5 minute downward micro burst. This was something that had never seen before. However, to the residents that actually live in Kiowa, this was just a really bad day that stretched them thin.

“Things like this can really take a lifetime to recover from,” said Kiowa resident, Greg Miller. “People sometimes forget about us out here because we are a very small town.”

Now, it’s all about the recovery and for some folks like Greg, that suffered extensive damage, he’s willing to get things back in order by any means necessary.

“These guys came from Oklahoma,” explained Greg. “Sometimes it does requires favors; sometimes a lot of them. I may not have any favors left after this ordeal.”

This ordeal left Kiowa residents without power for nearly a week and Greg without a car. At the time of the storm it was parked inside of his garage that collapsed. These damages are similar those that South Barber high school has been working to recover from.

“Somewhere in the scheme of things, things went in all directions,” said Andi Williams, South Barber’s superintendent.”Our field was basically picked up and thrown across the field.”

Andi tells KSN that they are hoping to have home games but folks will need to bring lawn chairs for seating.

“It’s just really shocking how much damage was created in such a short period of time,” said Andi.

She adds that they are still finding new damage everyday which so far has included; fences, windows, leaks and other structures around campus. Damages that will be covered under the schools insurance but Kiowa’s city manager, Lou Leone, tells me the rest of the town won’t be so lucky.

“FEMA denied our claim,” said Leone. “It cost us $100,000 just to get our power back up but according to the FEMA guidelines our total dollars in damage doesn’t meet the requirements which, is typical for small towns but it doesn’t make it right.”

Leone is currently waiting on a response from the state senator as to if the town will receive any assistance for what the storm damaged.

“Things like this really can set a small town like Kiowa back 20 years,” said Leone.

 

Categories: Local KSN News

Teachman’s Take: Milder Temps And A Stormy Break

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 17:31

You probably felt the winds of change today!  They have been a little stronger and have also changed directions from the north.  This puts us on the drier side of things for the rest of today and into parts of tomorrow.  Eventually this evening, the humidity will fall a little more as the winds from the north continue to bring in air that’s not as muggy.

Here is a look at our temps across the state going into 4 PM.  We have temperatures in western Kansas in the 70s!  Central Kansas is warmer in the 80s.

And what you see here is what you’re going to get for a while.  I”m not seeing a return to the 90s any time soon.

We will, however, increase our rain chances in western Kansas by Wednesday evening.

This will also open the door to an unsettled stretch of days.  I’ll explain on KSN News tonight at 5, 6 and 10.

All my best, Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman

 

Categories: Local KSN News

Pages