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KDHE: Fish in popular Liberal lake not safe to eat

3 hours 5 min ago

LIBERAL, Kan. (KSNW) – Some residents in Liberal are learning they no longer should eat fish caught in a popular fishing spot. That word is coming down from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

A few weeks ago, KDHE emailed city officials saying fish in the Arkalon Park lake aren’t safe to be eaten and need to be released once caught.

“Well, if they catch any fish, they have to throw them back, because it’s wastewater,” said Jody Thompson with Arkalon Park maintenance department. “They don’t think they get all the contaminants out.”

Thompson says warning signs are up to make area residents aware of the problem.

“We have to put signs up to let everyone know it’s catch and release only, try to enforce it. It’s going to be tough, but that’s all I can do,” Thompson said.

The lake has been fed with treated wastewater for decades. KDHE says the lake has always been designated as a no-swimming lake. But, this year, they realized the fishing component had not been addressed.

“The permiters, when they were renewing the permit this year, noticed that people were fishing out of it and realized that they needed to mark that it’s also catch and release,” said KDHE spokesperson Kara Titus.

She says it’s a precaution more than anything else because things like the presence of hormones in wastewater don’t always get tested.

“We don’t have proof that the water is dangerous,” Titus said. “However, due to the fact that it is treated wastewater, we advise people that they should not consume the fish.”

Thompson said the lake is a popular picnicking spot.

“Well a lot of them come down here to picnic, then go fishing, or go fishing and then come down and picnic, and it’s been kind of slow,” Thompson said.

Liberal resident Judy Yates has been fishing in the lake for three years, but says she plans to follow the new warning.

“I think like myself, you know, you kind of take heed to that and say maybe that’s not a good idea,” Yates said. “That’s a nice fish, I might take a picture of it but let it go.”

Starting Wednesday, park visitors will start seeing signs warning them to throw back any fish caught in the lake.

Categories: Local News

Clearwater and Goddard bond issues up for Tuesday vote

3 hours 14 min ago

Goddard, KAN (KSNW) – Goddard USD 265 is asking for $52 Million from taxpayers with a bond issue for its schools. Clearwater USD 264 is asking for $15.8 Million.

It’s to improve schools and add things like storm shelters, upgrade electrical systems and remodel restrooms among other items. The list of improvements and additions is lengthy for each school. Both schools have a breakdown of the bond issue on their websites for parents and taxpayers to get a look at the bonds.

And both schools have been pitching the idea of safety to taxpayers.

“It is an investment in our facilities that will have a significant impact on school safety,” says Clearwater USD 264 Superintendent, Paul Becker. “And the learning environment through upgraded mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.”

Goddard Chief of Police, Ronny Lieurance, says safety is a primary driver for the bond issue.

“Doors need better locks, and we need to do some renovations… just in case,” says Lieurance. “The front entrances to our schools need to have a secure, one-way entrance that leads straight to the office… what we hope to address in this bond issue is redesign the front entrance to this school, build a new office with that secure entrance that we have at all our other facilities.”

KSN talked to parents who said they would vote yes, while others said no.

“Yes. To me, it’s a no-brainer,” says Goddard parent, Jennifer Barber. “I think that this bond issue covers all the important aspects that we need to address in our district.”

Other parents say they support specific items in the current bond issue, but will likely vote no.

“Probably no,” says Clearwater parent, Amy Layton. “Because I don’t agree with all of it. I don’t agree with a lot of the money they are going to spend… I can do some of that but I can’t do all of it. So, like your heating and air conditioning I can do that.”

Layton says the school should consider a smaller bond amount.

Other parents say the safety issues are enough to get them to vote, yes.

“I have actually heard people say, since this bond has come up, say oh my, you don’t have good storm shelters?” says parent Mandi Bega. “I will vote yes.”

Voting is tomorrow for both the Goddard and Clearwater bond issues.

 

Categories: Local News

Secretary of Harper County sheriff facing drug charges

3 hours 45 min ago

ANTHONY, Kan. (KSNW) – The secretary to the sheriff of Harper County Sheriff Tracy Chance and her husband have been arrested on drug charges.

Jessika Sona (Courtesy Harper County Sheriff’s Office)

Undersheriff Tom Burns confirmed Jessika Sona and her husband, Devon Sona, were arrested on Friday, April 21 by officers from the Anthony Police Department.

Jessika Sona was booked on suspicion of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both crimes are misdemeanors.

Devon Sona, was arrested on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana, possession with intent to sell marijuana and one county of drug paraphernalia.

Devon Sona (Courtesy Harper County Sheriff’s Office)

No information was available on when they are scheduled to make their first appearance in court.

Categories: Local News

Beware of Lowe’s coupon scam on Facebook

6 hours 4 min ago

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Facebook scam involving Lowe’s Home Improvement is making the rounds in Sedgwick County. It is an offer of $50 off coupons.

Users are directed to take a survey on a website that looks like the Lowe’s website.

Instead, the page is fraudulent and could put your personal information in danger.

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Categories: Local News

Ashland offers thanks in video for wildfire recovery help

6 hours 23 min ago

ASHLAND, Kan. (KSNW) – Residents of Ashland are offering thanks to everyone who helped in wildfire recovery efforts.

On Monday, March 6, wildfires burned more 1.3 million acres in Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado. More than 30 homes were lost and thousands of cattle were killed.

Ashland residents made a YouTube video thanking everyone for the donations of hay, fencing supplies, food, clothing, and money.

Contributions to the wildfire relief efforts can be made to AshlandCF.com or KLA.org. All the proceeds will be distributed to those directly affected by the fires.

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Categories: Local News

Governor signs bill tightning regulations after boy’s waterslide death

6 hours 38 min ago

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – The death of a colleague’s son has spurred lawmakers in the often anti-regulation Kansas to toughen the state’s inspection requirements for amusement parks.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed the legislation on Monday afternoon strenghtening amusement park regulations. The bill passed the House and Senate by wide margins.

The change comes after Republican Rep. Scott Schwab’s 10-year-old son, Caleb, died last summer on a waterslide at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas.

An investigation into the death is ongoing, but the waterslide, which was dubbed the world’s highest when it opened, has been closed since the accident.

The Schwab family has settled with the park’s owner, the manufacturer of the raft that carried riders down the slide, a general contractor and a consulting company.

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Categories: Local News

Humane society receives grant for spay/neuter program

6 hours 42 min ago

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Humane Society announced that it received a grant for more than $30,000 from PetSmart Charities to be used for a spay/neuter blitz program.

The program is for 300 dogs in zip code 67211. KHS will perform the surgeries in increments of 100, with the first 100 spots made available today. The other 200 spots will be made available later in the year.

Any pet owner living in this zip code, making less than $40,000 per year, with proof of income (previous year’s tax return, social security disability, Medicaid, KanCare, unemployment benefits) and proof of address, can now have their dog altered with a fee-waived surgery at KHS until funds are exhausted.

Each dog will also be microchipped, and owners will be provided with a collar, leash and custom tag.

Owners are encouraged to complete the on-line form at www.kshumane.org/blitz. Forms are also available at the KHS Store. All completed forms must be dropped off at the KHS Store, 3313 N. Hillside, Wichita for scheduling.

If owners have questions, they may contact the KHS Clinic Scheduler at 316-220-8719.

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Arkansas prepares for 1st double execution in US since 2000

8 hours 13 min ago

VARNER, Ark. (AP) — Two Arkansas killers set to die Monday in the nation’s first double execution in more than 16 years acknowledge they’re guilty but fear the lethal injections could subject them to excruciating pain due to their various health problems.

Jack Jones and Marcel Williams say their medical conditions — which include obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure — could complicate their executions. Jones’ execution is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and Williams’ is slated to begin at 8:15 p.m. in the same execution chamber. They have asked courts to grant them stays, but so far none has. Their appeals are now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Williams’ “morbid obesity makes it likely that either the IV line cannot be placed or that it will be placed in error, thus causing substantial damage (like a collapsed lung),” his attorneys wrote in a court filing asking justices to block the execution.

In Jones’ case, attorneys said he takes a daily dose of two medications to treat chronic pain, and they worry those drugs could desensitize him to the effects of midazolam, which is a sedative and the first drug used in Arkansas’ lethal injection protocol.

They would be the second and third inmates executed by Arkansas this month. A fourth execution is set for Thursday. Arkansas initially wanted to execute eight men before a drug used to sedate the inmates expires Sunday, but four other inmates have won stays.

Before Ledell Lee’s execution last Thursday, Arkansas hadn’t put an inmate to death since 2005. In several of the 31 states where executions are legal, drug shortages have often forced delays as manufacturers prohibit their use in executions. Arkansas believes that secrecy it grants to suppliers can solve that problem, though it still has difficulty obtaining the drugs. Courts have also forced rewrites of Arkansas’ lethal injection protocols, causing further delays. Jones and Williams committed their crimes more than two decades ago.

In recent pleadings before state and federal courts, the inmates say the three drugs Arkansas uses to execute prisoners — midazolam, vecuronium bromide and potassium chloride — could be ineffective because of their poor health.

Jones, 52, has lost a leg to diabetes and is on insulin. Williams, 46, weighs 400 pounds, is diabetic and has concerns that the execution team might not be able to find a suitable vein to support an intravenous line.

The poor health of both men, their lawyers claim, could make it difficult for them to respond during a consciousness check following a megadose of midazolam. The state shouldn’t risk giving them drugs to stop their lungs and hearts if they aren’t unconscious, they have told courts.

In a response filed with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, lawyers for the state said the inmates had filed an “avalanche” of lawsuits to obtain stays. The men’s attorneys countered that the state forced their hands.

“If there was an ‘avalanche’ of litigation, as the state complains, that’s because the state created an avalanche of execution dates,” Julie Vandiver wrote.

The 8th Circuit rejected Jones’ and Williams’ requests for stays Monday, and the Arkansas Supreme Court said Monday it wouldn’t reopen the men’s cases and refused to issue stays.

The initial eight executions would have been the most by a state in such a short period since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. The state said the executions needed to be carried out before its supply of the sedative midazolam expires on April 30.

The last state to put more than one inmate to death on the same day was Texas, which executed two killers in August 2000. Arkansas executed four men in an eight-day period in 1960. The only quicker pace included quadruple executions in 1926 and 1930.

Williams was sent to death row for the 1994 rape and killing of 22-year-old Stacy Errickson, whom he kidnapped from a gas station in central Arkansas.

Authorities said Williams abducted and raped two other women in the days before he was arrested in Errickson’s death. Williams admitted responsibility to the state Parole Board last month.

“I wish I could take it back, but I can’t,” Williams told the board.

Jones was given the death penalty for the 1995 rape and killing of Mary Phillips. He strangled her with the cord to a coffee pot.

In a letter earlier this month, Jones said he was ready to be killed by the state.

“I forgive my executioners; somebody has to do it,” wrote Jones, who had a leg amputated in prison because of diabetes and uses a wheelchair.

The letter, which his attorney read aloud at his clemency hearing, went on to say: “I shall not ask to be forgiven, for I haven’t the right.”

Seven people have been executed in the United States this year, four in Texas and one each in Arkansas, Missouri and Virginia. Last year, 20 people were executed, down from 98 in 1999 and the lowest number since 14 in 1991, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

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Associated Press writers Jill Bleed contributed to this report from Little Rock.

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Follow Andrew DeMillo at http://www.twitter.com/ademillo and Kelly P. Kissel at http://www.twitter.com/kisselap

Categories: Local News

Hernandez suicide notes ordered turned over ahead of burial

9 hours 29 min ago

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Aaron Hernandez’s family turned out Monday for a private funeral to say their farewells to the former NFL star, and a judge ordered that three suicide notes he left be turned over by the time he is buried.

Hernandez’s mother, brother and fiancee were among about 50 mourners who attended the invitation-only service in his hometown of Bristol, Connecticut.

The former New England Patriots tight end, who was serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder, hanged himself in his cell in a maximum-security prison in Massachusetts on April 19. Only days earlier he had been acquitted of murder charges in the shooting deaths of two men in Boston in 2012.

Ahead of the service, a lawyer for Hernandez’s fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, asked a Massachusetts judge to release copies of three notes Hernandez left next to a Bible before killing himself. He said Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.’s office had refused to share the contents of the notes until the investigation into Hernandez’s death was complete.

The judge said Early’s office can redact information from the notes before producing copies to protect the ongoing investigation.

At the funeral home, two men in suits checked IDs as guests drove up the driveway. Police closed a street outside to traffic, and television news crews were stationed in a lot across the street. At one point, Hernandez’s mother, Terri Hernandez, stepped out ahead of the service to smoke a cigarette on the funeral home’s front porch.

The guests included twin NFL players Mike and Maurkice Pouncey; prominent medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden, whom Hernandez’s family retained to perform an independent autopsy; and at least one of Hernandez’s defense attorneys.

Maggie Amaya, of Bristol, was turned away from the service because she did not have an invitation. She said her nephew was a friend of Hernandez’s at Bristol Central High School. She and other Bristol residents said they were disappointed there wasn’t a public service.

“We love this kid regardless of what happened,” Amaya said. “I’d just rather remember the kid who represented the Patriots.”

The burial will be private at an undisclosed location, and the timing of that was unclear. Hernandez’s family in a statement asked for privacy as they mourn and thanked people for offering condolences.

Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the slaying of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee.

After the Massachusetts medical examiner ruled the death a suicide, Hernandez’s brain was taken to Boston University, where scientists will study it for any signs of repeated trauma suffered during his years of playing football.

A judge on Friday ordered key evidence in the prison suicide preserved, granting a request from Hernandez’s fiancee so the family can investigate the circumstances of his death.

Categories: Local News

Frito-Lay is recalling select jalapeño-flavored potato chips

9 hours 34 min ago

(NBC News) – Frito-Lay is recalling select jalapeño-flavored potato chips because their seasoning could be contaminated with salmonella.

The voluntary recall involves all sizes of jalapeño flavored Lay’s Kettle Cooked Potato Chips and jalapeño flavored Miss Vickie’s Kettle Cooked Potato Chips with a “guaranteed fresh” date of July 4 or before. Some multipacks with a use by date of June 20 or before are included as well.

No other flavors of Lay’s Kettle Cooked or Miss Vickie’s potato chips fall under the recall.

To get reimbursed, consumers who purchased the recalled chips can visit jalapenochiprecall.com.

Consumers can contact Frito-Lay Consumer Relations at 866-272-9393 for additional information from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The specific recalled product information is listed below:

    • All sizes of the following two products that have a “guaranteed fresh” date of JUL 4 or prior printed on the front upper panel of the package:
      • Jalapeño Flavored Lay’s Kettle Cooked potato chips
      • Jalapeño Flavored Miss Vickie’s Kettle Cooked potato chips
    • All of the following multipack offerings that have a “use by” date of JUN 20 or prior printed on the multipack package. In addition, a “guaranteed fresh” date of JUL 4 or prior is printed on the front upper panel of the individual recalled product packages inside each multipack offering. Any other products or flavors contained in these multipacks are not being recalled.
      • 12 count Lay’s Kettle Cooked Multipack Sack
      • 20 count Frito-Lay Bold Mix Sack
      • 30 count Miss Vickie’s Multipack Tray
      • 30 count Lay’s Kettle Cooked Multipack Tray
      • 32 count Miss Vickie’s Multipack Box

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Categories: Local News

Teens arrested after chase and crash in stolen vehicle

9 hours 55 min ago

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police said two teens were arrested after a chase and a crash in a stolen car. It happened early Sunday at 3:10 a.m.

Police spotted a white Ford Taurus that was stolen from Haysville near Hillside and Lincoln.

Officers started to chase the vehicle until it crashed into a building near George Washington Boulevard and Lincoln.

The 16-year-old driver ran on foot and was arrested for auto theft, destruction of property, hit and run, and evade and elude.

A 17-year-old passenger was arrested for drug paraphernalia and possession of alcohol by a minor.

There were no injuries at the business where the car crashed.

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Categories: Local News

Wind blows semi over on I-70

10 hours 18 min ago
Courtesy: Darren Pittenger, via KSAL

SALINA, Kan. (KSNW) – High wind contributed to a single-vehicle crash along Interstate 70 west of Salina Monday morning.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, high wind blew over a semi in Lincoln County near milepost 229. The truck, which was pulling an empty box trailer, was headed east in the Lincoln hill area when it blew over into the median.

The road was not blocked, and the driver was not hurt.

Strong wind is anticipated all day Monday. A wind advisory is in effect through early evening. A steady south wind will blow from 25 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph.

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Categories: Local News

Congo government: UN experts’ murders filmed on cell phone

10 hours 49 min ago

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo’s government has obtained a five-minute cell phone video that shows the gruesome murders of two United Nations experts who were killed last month while investigating human rights abuses.

In the video shown to journalists on Monday, a group of young men identify themselves as members of the Kamwina Nsapu militia.

American Michael Sharp, Swedish national Zaida Catalan and their interpreter Betu Tshintela went missing March 12 in central Congo and their bodies were found two weeks later. Three others working with the team remain missing.

Congo’s government has vowed justice for the victims and arrested two suspects, though one escaped custody.

More than 400 people have been killed and more than 200,000 displaced since government troops killed the militia’s leader in August, according to the U.N.

Categories: Local News

Trump calls US astronaut who broke record for time in space

11 hours 9 min ago

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump made a very long distance phone call to the International Space Station, to congratulate its commander on breaking the record for the most time spent in space of any American astronaut.

The president spoke Monday with Peggy Whitson, commander of the International Space Station, and fellow astronaut Jack Fischer.

Whitson, the first woman to command the International Space Station, surpassed the record of 534 days, two hours and 48 minutes for most accumulated time in orbit by an American. That record was set last year by Jeffrey Williams.

Trump joked that the call was possible because of “great American equipment that works, and that is not easy.”

He said he’s more impressed by the astronauts than by any of the politicians he deals with in Washington.

Trump’s daughter and close adviser, Ivanka Trump, and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, joined him in the Oval Office during the call.

Whitson says it’s a “huge honor to break a record like this,” and that it would not have been possible without the support of NASA.

Last month, Trump signed new legislation adding human exploration of Mars to NASA’s mission.

Whitson said she’s excited about the new legislation and said there is equipment being made now in preparation for the launch.

Whitson already was the world’s most experienced spacewoman and female spacewalker and, at 57, the oldest woman in space. By the time she returns to Earth in September, she’ll have logged 666 days in orbit over three flights.

The world record — 879 days — is held by Russian Gennady Padalka.

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Associated Press writers Catherine Lucey and Vivian Salama contributed to this report.

Categories: Local News

Kansas officials certify special Congressional election

11 hours 16 min ago

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Republican Ron Estes will take his seat in Congress Tuesday after Kansas officials certified his victory in the state’s special election.

Gov. Sam Brownback, state Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rucker on Monday certified the results in the race for Kansas’ 4th Congressional District seat. Estes will replace former Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo, who was chosen by President Donald Trump to head the CIA.

Totals released Monday show Estes defeated Democrat James Thompson by 6.2 percentage points, strong challenge by a Democrat in a historically GOP district. Pompeo was re-elected to the seat by about 30 percentage points in November.

Estes was state treasurer before the election. Brownback nominated state Sen. Jake LaTurner to the post and he will be sworn in Wednesday.

Categories: Local News

Crunch time on ‘The Voice’

12 hours 12 min ago

HOLLYWOOD (NBC) – It’s crunch time on “The Voice”.

Last week, the show’s live rounds began, and now only 12 contestants remain.

“This is very far out of my comfort zone,” says Jesse Larson. “I’m in uncharted territory here.”

“Everything happens so fast up there,” adds Troy Ramey. “You prepare so long for one two-minute song.”

The payoff is now earning the chance to stay in the competition.

Click here for more. 

Categories: Local News

One injured in drive-by shooting Sunday night

12 hours 27 min ago

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police are investigating a drive-by shooting. It happened Sunday evening around 6:45 p.m. in the 2900 block of South Richmond.

Several witnesses stated a silver vehicle was shooting at a dark-colored truck.

Shortly after the call, a dark-colored truck arrived to Fire Station 4. EMS responded and it was determined the driver’s injuries were probably the result of flying glass.

Three occupants of the truck stated they did not see who was shooting at them. The truck was struck three times. No other injuries were reported.

If you have information on the shooting, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 267-2111.

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Categories: Local News

Caught on camera: Girl falls from moving bus

12 hours 42 min ago

HARRISON, Ark. (NBC News) – A 4-year-old girl is recovering after falling from a moving bus.

A volunteer firefighter’s dashboard camera was rolling when the girl tumbled to the street in Harrison, Arkansas.

In the footage the back door of the bus swings open and the child falls out. The unknowing bus driver kept going.

Ryan Ciampoli stopped his car and rushed to the girl. He happens to be a licensed EMT and volunteer firefighter.

Ciampoli says the girl was unconscious at first, but started to wake up as he approached her.

 

Categories: Local News

Kansas legislative panels to resume work on budget issues

12 hours 45 min ago

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Two Kansas legislative committees are resuming their work on budget issues this week before all lawmakers return to the Statehouse.

The House Appropriations and Senate Ways and Means committees are scheduled to have a joint meeting Thursday morning. They plan to review a new fiscal forecast issued last week.

The new forecast is more optimistic than one issued in November and boosted the state’s projected tax collections. But Kansas still faces projected budget shortfalls totaling $889 million through June 2019.

And the budget gaps don’t include extra money for public schools following a Kansas Supreme Court ruling last month that education funding is inadequate.

The committees also plan to have separate meetings Thursday and Friday to draft budget measures to consider after lawmakers return from their annual spring break May 1.

Categories: Local News

2 ride away on bikes after 1 dies, 1 wounded in Topeka

12 hours 53 min ago

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Authorities are searching for two men who rode away on bicycles after one man was killed and another wounded in a central Topeka shooting.

Police said in a news release that officers responded to the shooting early Sunday in the parking lot of an apartment. One of the victims was pronounced dead at a hospital. The other victim is recovering from non-life threatening injuries.

Authorities say the suspects were wearing dark clothing and were armed with handguns.

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