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Updated: 34 min 56 sec ago

Kansas distributor recalls precooked sausage due to metal

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 07:59

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (AP) – A Kansas food distributor has recalled nearly 100,000 pounds of precooked sausage products that might contain metal.

The recall was announced Wednesday by Armour Eckrich Meats in Junction City.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service says the recall includes more than 8,000 cases of 16.6 ounce packages of “Eckrich Smok-y Cheddar Breakfast sausage, Naturally Hardwood Smoked.” The labels have the case or UPC code and a “27815 17984” with a use-by date of Aug. 17. The products also have the number “EST. 3JC” inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The products were distributed in Kansas, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

The fully-cooked pork, turkey and beef breakfast sausage were produced and packaged from April 26 to April 28.

No injuries from consuming the meat have been reported.

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Categories: Local KSN News

Kroger recalls Simple Truth Dry Roasted Macadamia Nuts because of listeria

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 07:51

CINCINNATI, Ohio (KSNW) – The Kroger Co. and Dillons announced the recall of its Simple Truth Dry Roasted Macadamia Nuts due to potential Listeria monocytogenes contamination.

A supplier reported the product may have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women. No customer illnesses have been reported to date.

The product comes in a 12 ounce, clear plastic package marked with an expiration date of May 02, 2018 stamped on the side. Kroger has removed the following item from store shelves and initiated its customer recall notification system that alerts customers who may have purchased recalled Class 1 products through register receipt tape messages and phone calls.

Kroger, Bakers, Gerbes and Dillons stores operating in the following states are included in this recall: Ohio, Southeast Indiana, Northern Kentucky, Kansas, Nebraska and Missouri.

Customers who have purchased any of the products described above should not consume them and should return them to a store for a full refund or replacement.

Customers who have questions may contact Kroger at 1-800-KROGERS, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. ET and Saturday through Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET.

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Wichita enlists help from Kansas State students for Delano improvements

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 07:14

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The City of Wichita has some major plans in store for the Delano neighborhood, and they’ve enlisted a group of students from Kansas State to help.

Wichita’s historic Delano District is known all the local shops and restaurants in the area. It’s also the center of a few big changes recently approved by the city.

On May 2, the City of Wichita approved plans to rebuild Lawrence Dumont Stadium and make other improvements along the Arkansas River.

With the major changes coming to the area, the city wants to factor local opinion into the designs.

“I think it is really to make sure that as the baseball project occurs and the other things that are associated with that like improvements to the river bank on the west side, a pedestrian bridge, a pathway along the former rail corridor; that all of that is compatible and meshes with you know, the existing Delano neighborhood,” said Scott Knebel, with the MAPC.

Some people in the Delano neighborhood expressed that same concern.

“Just to make sure that we maintain the old fashioned vibe we have in the Delano District and to keep it separate from the rest of Wichita and really just try to emphasize that beautiful river,” said Nicole Habashy, who works at Bohemia Healing Spa in Delano.

That’s where the partnership with Kansas State comes in.

“The focus of their effort is to try to identify some critical sites that will likely be developed in some way and come up with a plan for each of those individual sites,” Knebel said.

The city is holding a Delano Neighborhood engagement session Thursday evening where a group of landscape architecture students from Kansas State will hear feedback from residents and business owners in the area.

Those students will return to Wichita several times throughout the summer to collect data and research the neighborhood’s needs before presenting their final design ideas in July.

City leaders intend to use the information collected by the students to make the designs a reality, according to Jason Gregory, executive vice president of the Wichita Downtown Development Corp.

It’s a win-win situation, Gregory said.

“Students just bring a unique perspective,” he said. “You know, they’re thinking outside the box and they’re, you know, a lot of times they’re thinking of things that we wouldn’t as locals that live here or, in a lot of ways, they encourage us to push; push design from the design concept standpoint.”

The meeting is from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at in the MAPC Conference Room on the 2nd floor of the Ronald Regan building. The building is located at 271 W. 3rd St. in Wichita.

Check back with KSN for an update on the plans.

 

Categories: Local KSN News

WPD using pilot program to identify high-risk domestic violence victims

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 00:34

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – One in three women and one in four men have been victims of domestic violence. That is according to statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Here in Wichita, 30 percent of homicides are domestic violence related.

The Wichita Police Department and organizations that are aimed at helping domestic violence victims are partnering to help combat the problem.

WPD Captain Brian White has spent the past two years trying to put together a better way of connecting with domestic violence victims.

White says he attended an event put on by StepStone here in Wichita.

They brought in a national speaker to talk about domestic violence and the lethality program.

White thought it would something he could implement here in Wichita.

In March of 2016, he started a pilot program, training officers at Wichita Patrol North on the Domestic Violence Lethality Assessment.

“When officers are out on the scene of a domestic violence incident, they have a list of questions they ask the victim in an intimate partner case,” said White.

White says the screening process includes a total of about 18 questions.

“There are three questions that if they answer in the affirmative, we immediately know there is a high lethality situation, some of those questions are has your partner strangled you, has your partner threatened your life,” said White.

White says all 100 patrol officers and 25 supervisors at Patrol North are trained on the DV Lethality Assessment.

He says all the patrol cars are outfitted with phones that are designated to call the domestic violence shelters in the area.

“So if that individual scores high enough on that assessment, they have a special number that they use that will simultaneously call the two domestic violence shelters in the area,” said Sheri Copridge, Shelter Manager with the Wichita Family Crisis Center.

Copridge says her staff went through extensive training to be prepared to handle the around the clock phone calls and be able to shelter a victim at a moments notice.

She says the assessment is already paying off.

Copridge has compiled numbers since the pilot program started.

She says between March and December of last year, they received 100 lethality calls, 84-percent of which were new clients.

On average, Copridge says they were getting 15 to 16 lethality calls a month.

Copridge says numbers for 2017, from January to April show they’ve had 13 lethality calls so far this year.

One hundred percent of those calls, Copridge says, are from new clients.

She says they sheltered two women at their facility and helped four others seek help through their outreach programs.

KSN asked Copridge if she thought the assessment was a life saving technique.

“Chances are yes, when they were brought in their lives were saved,” said Copridge.

It’s a sentiment that was echoed by White.

“That is part of what we are looking for is to prevent homicides, that’s the ultimate goal,” said White.

White says he’s modeled this pilot program after several others across the country, including one in Johnson County.

He says his hope is to have the program implemented, city-wide, in the next two to three months.

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Dave Freeman honored by scholarship with National Weather Association Foundation

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 23:32

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Over 24 years at KSN, Chief Meteorologist Dave Freeman brought his passion for weather to the people of Kansas. But those outside of the industry may not know of his passion for mentoring and developing the next generation of meteorologists.

The National Weather Association Foundation, along with his family, have now established the David Freeman NWA Past President’s Fund to help students attend the National Weather Association Annual meetings. It honors Dave’s work to establish the Foundation and all past presidents of the NWA. While president of the NWA in 2016, he helped to establish the NWA Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships and grants to students and teachers in atmospheric science. The fund will honor all Past NWA Presidents.

“In appreciation for all your service to the viewers, to the community, and especially to the National Weather Association, of which in 2016 Dave was our president and led the establishment of the National Weather Association Foundation, a charitable organization for raising funds for our scholarships for students in meteorology and related sciences,” said Janice Bunting, Executive Director of the National Weather Association. “Your family, KSN and the foundation board, without you, established the David Freeman NWA Past President Fund, it will honor you and all the NWA past presidents who raised funds to send students to the NWA annual meeting so they can follow in your footsteps.”

Dave has been involved with the NWA for more than two decades and has served on its board for most of those years. He served as the 41st President of the NWA in 2016 and as Immediate Past President will continue on the NWA Governing Council through 2017.

Find out more about the NWA foundation here.

If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation, go here for more information.

Read Dave’s announcement about the foundation here.

Categories: Local KSN News

KSN says goodbye to Meteorologist Dave Freeman after 24 years

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 22:45

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – As we say goodbye to KSN Chief Meteorologist Dave Freeman, he will always be remembered in Wichita as the guy who kept us safe during severe weather.

But his career actually started more than 40 years ago.

In 1976, he worked as a part-time disc jockey at his hometown radio station in Ohio.  That job soon led to television and his first audition tape.

“I’m sure it was awful, but the guy was desperate. He asked me if I knew much about sports. I said, ‘As much as the next guy!’ Which nothing could have been further from the truth!” said Dave, with a smile.

But he got the job, covering sports and news.

Dave Freeman and former KWCH anchor Cindy Klose anchor together in Champaign, Illinois.

The turning point in Dave’s career came when he had to fill in for a co-worker at WSAZ-TV, a weathercaster who got sick.

“I have no idea what I put on that map, but I got in front of it and talked twice as long as I was supposed to because I was having so much fun. Our producers would say, ‘So what’s changed?'”

From that point on, weather was his true love. Other than his soon-to-be wife, Tracy, of course! He worked in Champaign, Illinois with another familiar face to Wichita television viewers– Cindy Klose, who came to Wichita not long before Dave.

Dave arrives at KSN in July of 1993.

As Chief Meteorologist at KSN, Dave quickly learned firsthand why Kansas is considered the Super Bowl of weather.

“In Dayton, I had 19 counties in my viewing area, and they were small Ohio counties. Here I’ve had 77 counties in three states and two time zones in one of the most active severe weather places in the world and a place where no winter storm is simple.”

It’s a responsibility Dave takes so seriously, he remembers the first fatality during his watch which came in 1999 with the Haysville tornado. He also remembers meeting grateful viewers.

“This man says, ‘You saved my mom’s life.’ She was in Haysville, and he was watching that night. He saw me give the warning,” Dave recalled. “He called his mom who was not watching and got her to shelter and her apartment was destroyed. When you have that experience, again, you become very conscious that this is about taking care of people.”

That includes his own family.  A tornado once headed right for Dave’s neighborhood when his 10-year-old son was home alone.

“So, I turned to my intern, a wonderful young lady who’d been with us a couple of years, and I said, live on TV, ‘Lisa, call my house.’ She looked at me, and she knew. Even now when I think about that, in that moment, I lost my game face, like I’m doing now, and I was just a dad, for just a fraction of a second, and then I just, like I’m going to do right now, I said I can’t do this right now. I have a job to do so I just shook it off and turned around and kept going.”

“Ever since that time, including the night of Greensburg, I would think about latchkey kids, but before I would say on the air, ‘Okay kids, if you’re home alone..’ I would have to take a deep breath and say, ‘Okay, we’re not going to cry.'”

That vigilance convinced many people to take shelter during the Greensburg tornado and won Dave his second Broadcaster of the Year award in 2008 from the National Weather Association.

KSN Chief Meteorologist Dave Freeman tracks the Greensburg tornado on May 4, 2007. (KSN Photo)

“That was the greatest test of our abilities, and I just know, it could have been so much worse.”

But for all the tough moments of his career, there’s also been plenty of fun, like the Santa Tracker on Christmas Eve, and bloopers, like when Dave’s microphone cord got hooked on the desk.

“So, I put the clicker up on the desk. I went under the desk to fish this out and untangle it. In the meantime, Melissa and others on the set are just howling because every once in a while, you’d see my hand come up and hit the clicker to go on to the next weather graphic.”

Now, the man we’ve turned to for 24 years at KSN to keep Kansans safe from the weather is taking on an even bigger mission.

“Tracy and I have always harbored a dream to be able to go and serve and give back, and we were particularly interested in going to Haifa, Israel, to serve at the Bahai World Center. All three of our kids went there and served a year of volunteer service, and we saw what it meant to them.”

It’s a leap of faith requiring them to sell most of their belongings and leave family and friends behind, but for this weatherman, the outlook is always sunny.

“It’s not so much I’m leaving KSN which right now is a very happy place and a good place, as it is we’re going to pursue this desire we’ve had to serve.”

See more about Dave at his website: davefreeman.tv | On Facebook : Follow Dave 

Dave’s Final Weather Forecast for Kansas Dave’s Goodbye Dave Freeman over the years KSN birthday greeting card with Todd McDermott, Melissa Beck, and Clark Schafer. 1994. Dave broadcasting live from the Kansas State Fair in 1996. Originally written in Dayton, OH, in 1992, Dave brought "When the Sky Goes Boom" with him to KSN. This cover shot is in front of Exploration Place in about 2001. Dave continues to enjoy reading "When the Sky Goes Boom" when he visits schools. Here is a fun reading party in Derby. Exploration Place, 2000. Dave celebrates a Kansas State Fair cow milking championship with good friend and colleague Mark Bogner, and ag broadcaster Larry Steckline. 2003. The KSN WeatherLab Team in March of 2005. L-R: Mark Bogner, Dave, Dave Schaffer and Leon Smitherman. Dave trying to capture the spirit of the people of Greensburg as they began the long rebuilding process. Dave becomes the only person ever honored twice as National Weather Association Broadcaster of the Year. NWA President John Scala presents the award in 2008. Dave's famous (or infamous) United Way Crazy Hair Challenge helps inspire students to partiicpate in the School Campaign. November, 2014. Dave is honored in 2016 with the highest individual honor bestowed by the Kansas Association of Broadcasters: the Distinguished Service Award, and automatic inclusion in the KAB Hall of Fame.

WEB EXTRA | Behind the scenes with Dave

WEB EXTRA | Dave tracking storms promotion

WEB EXTRA | Dave tracking the Greensburg tornado

WEB EXTRA | Dave visits schools promotion

WEB EXTRA | Dave tracks Santa

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Categories: Local KSN News

An open goodbye letter to Dave Freeman

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 19:39

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Dear Dave, as reporters we’ve had the opportunity to watch you prepare Kansans for the worst situations.
We’ve listened as you warn them to take shelter, to make preparations and tell them how to best plan to go about their day.
All the while, you were making an impact on us, here at the station.
We admire you for your professionalism, your integrity, and your willingness to answer a higher call and serve others.
You’ve set a contagious tone for kindness in an environment that can be hectic.
Thanks for being a great co-worker and friend.
You truly inspire each and every one of us so Dave, this is for you. Thank you.

Love, the reporters of KSN.
Amanda Aguilar
Ashonti Ford
Avery Anderson
Carly Willis
Chris Arnold
Craig Andres
Emily Younger
John Asebes
Molly Brewer
Santiago Kahn

Categories: Local KSN News

Actor Sir Roger Moore, best known for playing James Bond, has died

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 09:29

LONDON (KSNW) – Actor Sir Roger Moore, the longest-serving movie star to play iconic British spy James Bond in the famed film series, has died in Switzerland after a brief bout with cancer. He was 89.

A message from his family shared on the actor’s official Twitter account Tuesday read: “With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated.”

The statement continued that Moore “has passed away today in Switzerland after a short but brave battle with cancer.

“The love with which he was surrounded in his final days was so great it cannot be quantified in words alone.”

With the heaviest of hearts, we must share the awful news that our father, Sir Roger Moore, passed away today. We are all devastated. pic.twitter.com/6dhiA6dnVg

— Sir Roger Moore (@sirrogermoore) May 23, 2017

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Man arrested for lewd behavior at Salina Target store

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 08:28

SALINA, Kan. – Salina police were called to the Target store on Sunday to confront a man who was reportedly acting bizarre with a knife according to KSAL.

According to Captain Paul Forrester, officers were sent around 12:30 p.m. and allegedly found 24-year-old Raymond Kaumans in the shoe aisle exposing himself.

A witness told officers he was flicking a knife blade at customers before police arrived.

Kaumans was taken into custody and is now facing a charge of lewd and lascivious behavior.

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The Latest: Macron pledges improved intelligence cooperation

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 07:14

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The Latest on the blast at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England (all times local):

2:10 p.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron walked to the British Embassy to offer support to the ambassador there, and pledged to improve intelligence coordination in Europe.

He said “it’s all of free Europe that was attacked, all of Europe’s youth that was attacked.”

Macron said his government would hold a Cabinet-level defense meeting on Wednesday to address intelligence cooperation and a task force against Islamic State extremists.

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2:05 p.m.

British authorities say an 8-year-old girl, Saffie Roussos, was among the 22 who died in the Manchester bombing

Medical officials say 12 children under the age of 16 were among those injured in the suicide bombing attack at a pop concert in Manchester, England.

David Ratcliffe, medical director of North West Ambulance Service, told reporters Tuesday that the children were among those taken to hospitals after the explosion at Manchester Arena Monday night, where scores of teenagers and youngsters were attending an Ariana Grande concert.

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1:30 p.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her conservative ally in Bavaria have called off a pre-election event at a beer tent in Munich following the Manchester attack.

Merkel and Bavarian governor Horst Seehofer had planned to make a joint appearance on Tuesday evening. But Seehofer’s Christian Social Union party said the event was postponed out of “respect for the victims” of the attack on an Ariana Grande concert in England.

The event was scheduled as the pair display rediscovered unity after they fell out over Merkel’s welcoming approach to refugees in 2015. Germany holds a general election in September.

Police in Manchester say a lone bomber with an improvised device died in the attack. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility and that several bombs were involved.

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1:25 p.m.

Pope Francis has expressed profound dismay over the “barbaric” attack at a concert in Manchester, England.

A condolence telegram sent in his name says he was “mindful in a particular way” of the many children and young people who perished, as well as their grieving families. He prayed for “God’s blessings of peace, healing and strength” upon Britain.

The telegram said Francis expressed “heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this senseless act of violence” and commended the “generous efforts” of emergency and security personnel.

Authorities in Manchester say the bomber was killed in blast. The Islamic State group has claimed one of its “soldiers” was responsible.

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12:55 p.m.

The Islamic State group says one of its members planted bombs in the middle of crowds in Manchester, England, where 22 people died in an explosion.

Police, however, have spoken only of “an improvised device” used in the attack.

IS says “a soldier of the caliphate planted bombs in the middle of Crusaders gatherings” then detonated them. It did not say whether the attacker was killed.

The group claimed that “30 Crusaders were killed and 70 others were wounded,” higher than the totals confirmed by authorities in Manchester.

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12:45 p.m.

A school in northern England has identified one of the victims in the Manchester concert bombing as Georgina Callander, a former pupil.

Peter Rawlinson, deputy of the Bishop Rawstorne Church of England Academy in Croston, northwest of Manchester, told The Associated Press that the school confirmed Callander’s death with members of her family.

Rawlinson says “she was academically a very gifted student, very hard-working. Just lovely to speak to.”

The school posted a photo of Georgina on its website, smiling and look smart in her school uniform. It said she died of injuries from the attack and described her as “a lovely young student who was very popular with her peers and the staff.”

12:35 p.m.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the U.S. is working closely with the British government as it investigates the bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Tillerson released a statement Tuesday saying that “our hearts go out to the families of those who have lost loved ones and to those injured in the attack.”

He says: “While it is too early to determine those responsible for this atrocity, we are working closely with the British government and supporting their efforts to investigate and respond to this attack.”

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12:25 p.m.

Queen Elizabeth II has expressed her “deepest sympathy” to all those affected by Monday’s bomb attack at a Manchester pop concert, where 22 people were killed.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the monarch said “the whole nation has been shocked by the death and injury”.

She thanked police and the emergency services, and expressed admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded to the attack: “With humanity and compassion to this act of barbarity.”

Police say they have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the attack. Police say they have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the attack.

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12:01 p.m.

Greater Manchester Police say they have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the apparent suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in the city.

Police say the man was arrested in south Manchester Tuesday, a day after the explosion killed 22 people and injured 59, many of them teenagers.

They did not provide details.

Police also said officials arrested a man at the Arndale shopping center in central Manchester — but that the arrest is not believed to be connected to Monday night’s attack.

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11:50 a.m.

Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni says efforts are underway so that this week’s G-7 summit in Sicily will yield a stronger, common anti-terrorism commitment.

Condemning the bombing that killed 22 people in Manchester, England, Gentiloni told reporters Tuesday in Rome that the summit on Friday and Saturday provides the opportunity to insist that “the cowardliness that snuffs out the lives of young people won’t get the better of our freedom.”

He said Italians can count on the “dedication and professionalism” of their nation’s security forces to ensure international events are carried out safely.

He says he planned to call British Prime Minister Theresa May to express “closeness, solidarity” to Britons.

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11:45 a.m.

Police have evacuated a large shopping center in Manchester, England. Police declined to comment on media reports that they have arrested a man there.

July McKenzie, who was shopping when the Arndale shopping center, said: “We were just in the shop and could hear people screaming and security guards telling everybody to get out.”

Some people left the scene in tears, while others waited outside the mall.

The Arndale center was rebuilt after an IRA bombing in 1996.

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11:35 a.m.

Turkish officials say they “strongly condemn” the attack in Manchester and promised to work together with the United Kingdom against terror. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that Turkey “shares the pain of the state of England and the English people” in the attack that killed 22 people.

Turkey has been hit by a string of attacks blamed on the Islamic State group and Kurdish militants since 2015, killing at least 550 people.

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11:15 a.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says that it is “beyond doubt” that Britain and the city of Manchester have fallen victim to “a callous terrorist attack.”

Speaking outside her offices in London, she says “Although it is not the first time Manchester has suffered in this way, it is the worst attack the city has experienced, and the worst ever to hit the north of England.”

May says police believe they know the attacker’s name but are not disclosing it immediately.

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11:10 a.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May says police and security staff in Manchester believe they know identity of the apparent suicide bomber who attacked people leaving an Ariana Grande concert Monday night, but they are not revealing the name for the time being.

Speaking in London, May said: “This attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice.”

She says the attack, in which 22 people died, was one of the worst the nation had suffered.

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11:00 a.m.

Harun Khan, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, has joined the condemnations of the Manchester attack.

In a statement, Khan says: “This is horrific, this is criminal. May the perpetrators face the full weight of justice both in this life and the next.”

He adds: “I urge all those in the region and around the country to pool together to support those affected.”

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10:55 a.m.

Finance ministers from the 28 European Union countries, including Britain’s Philip Hammond, observed a minute’s silence in memory of those killed and injured in the attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Ahead of the regular EU meeting of finance ministers, Hammond expressed his condolences to the victims and their families of “this barbaric attack” in Manchester.

“It is, as far as we know, a terrorist incident,” he said. “We are treating it as such.”

Hammond, who was due to speak at a panel in Brussels, is to return to London at the meeting’s conclusion instead.

Flags are also flying at half-staff outside the European Commission in the heart of the Belgian capital.

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10:40 a.m.

France’s interior minister says the government will be issuing instructions Tuesday to regional administrators on working with event organizers on how to secure public spaces.

After a high-level security meeting in Paris Tuesday, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said organizers of sports events, concerts and other performances already had a series of instructions on how to secure their venues. Collomb said France’s airports have also been secured.

France has been on heightened alert since the Nov. 13, 2015, attacks that struck a concert, the national stadium and cafes and bars.

Early Tuesday, the Paris mayor’s office said all shows and concerts scheduled in coming days are going ahead as planned. Ariana Grande is scheduled to perform in Paris on June 7.

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10:30 a.m.

President Vladimir Putin says Russia is ready to boost anti-terror cooperation with Britain in the wake of a deadly explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.

In Tuesday’s telegram to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Putin offered condolences over what he called a “cynical, inhuman crime” and wishes for a quick recovery of all those hurt.

Putin reaffirmed Russia’s readiness to “expand anti-terror cooperation with British partners, both on bilateral level and within the framework of broad international efforts.”

Britain and other NATO allies have cut cooperation with Moscow on fighting terrorism over Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and support for a pro-Russia insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

Manchester police say an apparent suicide bomber set off an explosive device at the end of the concert, killing 22 people.

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10:15 a.m.

Former Manchester United soccer star David Beckham posted on Facebook: “As a father & a human what has happened truly saddens me. My thoughts are with all of those that have been affected by this tragedy.”

In targeting Manchester, the attacker struck at one of Britain’s cultural hearts. The once gritty industrial city, with London and Liverpool, has been one of the main cultural influences on modern Britain, with its iconic Manchester United football team, its cross-city rival City and chart-toppers Oasis, The Smiths and other globally famous bands. Oasis singer Liam Gallagher tweeted that he is “in total shock and absolutely devastated.”

Peter Hook of Manchester bands New Order and Joy Division tweeted that his daughter “made it home safe” from the Ariana Grande concert and added: My heart goes out to all parents & those involved. Manchester stay strong.”

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10:05 a.m.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has denounced the “ugly terrorist attack” in Manchester, speaking after a West Bank meeting with President Donald Trump. Abbas says he is sending his condolences to the British prime minister, the British people and the families of the victims.

Both Trump and the Palestinian leader opened their remarks with a condemnation of the attack in which 22 people were killed by a bomb blast during a concert in the city in northern England.

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9:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump is expressing solidarity with the United Kingdom in the wake of a deadly explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, condemning the “evil losers” behind the blast.

Trump spoke Tuesday after a meeting in Bethlehem with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (mahk-MOOD’ ah-BAHS’).

Manchester police say an apparent suicide bomber set off an improvised explosive device at the end of the concert, killing 22 people.

Trump says the attack preyed on “innocent children.” He says this “wicked ideology must be obliterated. And I mean completely obliterated.”

Manchester police so far have said nothing about the attacker’s identity or possible motivation.

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9:00 a.m.

Social media users are helping the desperate hunt for people missing in the Manchester concert bombing by circulating names and photos with the MissingInManchester hashtag.

The city’s regional government and its mayor, Andy Burnham, were among scores of Twitter users that circulated the hashtag to help people seeking missing family members and friends.

Those named as missing included Olivia Campbell. Her mother, Charlotte Campbell, said the 15-year-old attended the Ariana Grande concert with a friend from school who has since been found and is being treated in a hospital. But Olivia is missing, having last called home just before the concert, the mother told ITV television’s Good Morning Britain breakfast show.

She says: “I’ve called the hospitals. I’ve called all the places, the hotels where people said that children have been taken and I’ve called the police. If anyone sees Olivia, lend her your phone, she knows my number.”

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8:45 a.m.

A Czech woman who was at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester says that “there was almost no security check, rather zero. They let us get in without any check if we have anything with us.”

Nikola Trochtova told the Czech public radio that “the only thing they were interested in was if we had any bottles of water with us. They almost didn’t check our bags, they didn’t take a look.”

She says she was leaving the venue when she heard an explosion at the entrance, but learned the details only after returning to her hotel.

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8:35 a.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says it’s “incomprehensible” that someone would target a pop concert to kill and wound people.

Merkel said in a statement Tuesday that the attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester “will only strengthen our determination to keep acting together with our British friends against those who plan and carry out such inhuman deeds.”

She added: “I assure people in Britain that Germany stands beside you.”

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8:20 a.m.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says Europe is mourning with Britain after a bomb killed 22 people at a concert in Manchester.

Juncker said in a statement Tuesday that “today we mourn with you. Tomorrow we will work side by side with you to fight back against those who seek to destroy our way of life.”

He adds: “It breaks my heart to think that, once again, terrorism has sought to instill fear where there should be joy, to sow division where young people and families should be coming together in celebration.”

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8:10 a.m.

NATO’s chief is expressing solidarity with Britain after a bomb attack in Manchester killed 22 people, just as leaders of the military alliance prepare to meet to discuss counter-terrorism.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a tweet Tuesday that “NATO stands with the U.K. in the fight against terrorism.” He also said his thoughts were with all those affect by the “barbaric” attack.

President Donald Trump and other NATO leaders at to gather in Brussels on Thursday to discuss ways the military alliance can do more against terrorism.

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8:00 a.m.

The German government is offering condolences to Britain after the deadly explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel wrote Tuesday on Twitter: “Terrible news from Manchester! Our thoughts are now with our British friends. United we stand.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, tweeted: “Our thoughts (and) prayers are with the people in #Manchester affected by the blast. We mourn for the dead (and) hope the injured can recover fully.”

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7:45 a.m.

France’s government is offering sympathy and solidarity following the bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester which killed 22 people.

In a statement, French President Emmanuel Macron said France would continue to work with Britain to fight terrorism. Macron said he would speak with British Prime Minister Theresa May to stay abreast of developments.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo also expressed solidarity.

Paris has grim experience with the type of attack that struck Britain, after multiple Islamic State attackers struck a concert hall, the national stadium and cafes and bars on Nov. 13, 2015, killing 130 people.

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7:30 a.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump is being provided updates on the Manchester concert explosion by his national security team.

Trump is in the midst of his first overseas trip as president. He’s meeting Tuesday in Bethlehem with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and speaking at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

His spokesman Sean Spicer provided the update on Twitter.

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7:20 a.m.

Manchester police say an apparent suicide bomber set off an improvised explosive device at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.

Police raised the death toll to 22 early Tuesday, and dozens more have been reported injured.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins says forensic investigations are continuing to determine if the attacker had accomplices. He provided no information about the individual who detonated the device.

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7:10 a.m.

Greater Manchester Police have raised the death toll in a blast at an Ariana Grande concert to 22.

The force’s chief constable, Ian Hopkins, said Tuesday they believe one person carried out the attack. Police are trying to determine if the person acted alone or had support in the Monday night blast.

Police say some 400 officers were deployed overnight to help with the investigation.

Officials say children are among the victims.

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7 a.m.

Police say they are treating an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England as terrorism. Greater Manchester Police says the blast killed at least 19 people, and the ambulance service says 59 people have been taken to hospitals.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins says police are treating the blast as an act of terrorism “until we know otherwise.”

There was panic after the explosion, which struck around 10:30 p.m. (2130 GMT) Monday night as Grande was ending the concert.

Grande, who was not injured, tweeted hours later: “Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words.”

___

6 a.m.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says he and Prime Minister Theresa May have agreed to suspend election campaigning until further notice.

Corbyn said Tuesday he is “horrified” by the events in Manchester and that his thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have died and been injured.

Campaign events ahead of the June 8 general election will now be put on hold as Britain comes to grips with the incident and its aftermath.

Corbyn says he had spoken with May after the explosion.

__

5:45 a.m.

Australia’s prime minister has told the Australian Parliament that the deadly explosion at Manchester Arena appeared to be a “brutal attack on young people everywhere.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the British were treating the blast that killed at least 19 people and injured more than 50 as a terrorist attack, although its cause was unknown.

Turnbull says: “This incident, this attack, is especially vile, especially criminal, especially horrific because it appears to have been deliberately directed at teenagers.”

In Tokyo, a spokesman for the Japanese government condemned the attack.

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4 a.m.

Campaigning has been suspended in Britain’s national election after a deadly explosion at Manchester Arena.

Prime Minister Theresa May canceled campaign events Tuesday after the blast, which killed at least 19 people and injured more than 50. She is due to chair a meeting of the government’s emergency committee, COBRA, later.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron canceled a campaign tour to Gibraltar after the explosion.

Britons are due to go to the polls on June 8.

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3:45 a.m.

A number of Manchester taxi services offered free rides to people stranded by the incident.

The taxi companies posted messages about the free rides on Twitter after an explosion at Manchester Arena after an Ariana Grande concert Monday night. The blast killed 19 people and injured dozens more.

The service could also be used by people trying to get to local hospitals to look for loved ones.

In addition some city residents opened their homes to provide overnight lodging for people who were stranded by the shutdown in some train services because of the incident.

City officials said the true spirit of Manchester was surfacing in the hours after the incident.

___

3:35 a.m.

The Department of Homeland Security says there is no evidence of credible threats against music venues in the U.S., as England reels from an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert late Monday.

The department says the U.S. public may experience increased security in and around public places and events.

DHS says it is closely monitoring the situation at Manchester Arena and working with U.K. officials to obtain additional information about the cause of the explosion.

The government is urging U.S. citizens in Manchester to heed directions from local authorities and be vigilant about their security.

The explosion killed at least 19 people and injured dozens. Police say they are treating as a terrorist attack.

___

3:20 a.m.

Frantic loved ones of young people missing after an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert have taken to Twitter and Instagram with their photos and pleas for help.

Many Manchester residents responded early Tuesday with offers of shelter and details on locations where displaced concert-goers had been taken in.

The 23-year-old Grande, true to her youthful fan base, is a social media phenomenon with 105 million followers on Instagram and 45.6 million followers on Twitter. Her fans, proud “Arianators,” were among those who took to Twitter with prayers and tears.

Fellow stars offered condolences as well.

Taylor Swift tweeted, “My thoughts, prayers and tears for all those affected by the Manchester tragedy tonight. I’m sending all my love.”

Ellie Goulding, Cher (fresh from a big night at the Billboard Awards) and Katy Perry were among others to tweet their support.

Categories: Local KSN News

Trump pushes for Mideast peace, but avoids thorny details

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 07:09

JERUSALEM (AP) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday pushed for elusive peace between Israel and the Palestinians, calling on both sides to put aside the “pain and disagreements of the past.”

Trump met with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during his quick stop in the region. Speaking at the Israel Museum, he declared both sides ready to move forward, though there were no tangible signs of the dormant peace process being revived.

“Palestinians are ready to reach for peace,” Trump said. Turning to the prime minister, who joined him for the speech, Trump said, “Benjamin Netanyahu wants peace.”

A longtime businessman, Trump has cast Middle East peace as the “ultimate deal” and has tasked his son-in-law Jared Kushner and former real estate lawyer Jason Greenblatt with charting a course forward. Still, White House officials had downplayed the prospects for a breakthrough on this trip, saying it was important to manage their ambitions as they wade into terrain that has tripped up more experienced diplomats.

The president notably avoided all of the thorny issues that have stymied peace efforts for decades. He did not weigh in Israeli settlements, the status of Jerusalem or even whether the U.S. would continue to insist on a two-state solution giving the Palestinians sovereign territory.

Aides said the approach was purposeful, and the normally free-wheeling Trump was well-aware of the risks of veering off script on issue where every word is intensely scrutinized.

From Israel, Trump was heading to Italy for an audience with Pope Francis. He’ll close his ambitious first foreign trip at a pair of summits in Brussels and Sicily, where his reception from European leaders may be less effusive than his welcome in Israel and Saudi Arabia, his opening stop on the trip.

Trump and Netanyahu in particular lavished praise on each other during their multiple meetings. The prime minister, who had a frosty relationship with Trump’s predecessor, leapt to his feet when the president declared Tuesday that his administration “will always stand with Israel.”

Yet some Israeli officials are less certain of Trump. He’s taken a tougher than expected line on settlements, saying he doesn’t believe they help the peace process, though he’s stopped short of calling for a full construction freeze. He’s also backed away from his campaign pledge to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, bending to the same security risks as other presidents who have made that promise.

At the same time, Abbas and the Palestinians have been pleasantly surprised by their dealings with Trump. On Tuesday morning, Trump met with Abbas in Bethlehem, traveling across the barrier surrounding much of the biblical city, which serves as a visual reminder of the complexities of the conflict in the region.

Abbas said he was keen to “keep the door open to dialogue with our Israeli neighbors.” He reiterated the Palestinians’ demands, including establishing a capital in East Jerusalem, territory Israel claims as well, insisting that “our problem is not with the Jewish religion, it’s with the occupation and settlements, and with Israel not recognizing the state of Palestine.”

After his meeting with Abbas, Trump returned to Jerusalem for a solemn tribute to the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust. On a visit to the Yad Vashem memorial, the president and first lady Melania Trump laid a wreath on a stone slab under which ashes from some of those killed in concentration camps are buried. They were joined by Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, as well as daughter Ivanka Trump and Kushner.

The White House said Trump was being updated on the attacks in Manchester, England, by his national security team. More than 20 people were killed by an apparent suicide bomber. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

“So many young, beautiful innocent people living and enjoying their lives, murdered by evil losers in life,” Trump said, echoing the theme he presented during his meetings with Arab leaders in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The White House said it was Trump’s idea to use the term “evil losers.”

Trump declared that he would not call the attackers “monsters,” a term he believes they would prefer, instead choosing “losers,” a longtime favorite Trump insult and one he has directed at comedian Rosie O’Donnell, Cher and others.

Trump’s visit to Jerusalem has been laden with religious symbolism. He toured the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which by Christian tradition is where Jesus was crucified and the location of his tomb. Wearing a black skullcap, he became the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, the most holy site at which Jews can pray.

Trump was also joined at the wall by his family, who separated by gender to pray. The president and Kushner visited one side, while the first daughter and first lady visited a portion of the site reserved for women. Trump approached alone and placed his hand on the stone.

The visit raised questions about whether the U.S. would indicate the site is Israeli territory. The U.S. has never recognized Israeli sovereignty over parts of the Old City seized in the 1967 war.

The White House struggled to answer the question. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley declared the site part of Israel, while U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday dodged the question. Trump himself never commented.

___

Associated Press writers Josef Federman in Jerusalem, Karin Laub in Bethlehem, West Bank, Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Darlene Superville, Vivian Salama and Ken Thomas in Washington contributed to this report.

___

Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JonLemire and Pace at http://twitter.com/@JPaceDC

Categories: Local KSN News

Islamic State claims concert bombing; children among 22 dead

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 07:06

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The Islamic State group claimed responsibility Tuesday for the suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester that left 22 people dead and sparked a stampede of young concertgoers, some still wearing the American pop star’s trademark kitten ears and holding pink balloons.

Teenage screams filled Manchester Arena just after the explosion Monday night, and members of the audience tumbled over guardrails and each other to escape.

An 8-year-old girl was among the dead — the youngest known victim — and the child’s mother and sister were among 59 people wounded in what British Prime Minister Theresa May called “a callous terrorist attack.” The wounded included 12 children under 16.

“We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage,” May said as campaigning for Britain’s June 8 national election was suspended.

May and police said the bomber died in the attack — something that went unmentioned in Islamic State’s claim of responsibility, which gave no name for the attacker. British police announced Tuesday they had arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the bombing and raided two locations, carrying out a controlled explosion at one of them.

The attack was the deadliest in Britain since four suicide bombers killed 52 London commuters on subway trains and a bus in July 2005.

The attack sparked a nightlong search for loved-ones — parents for the children they had accompanied or had been waiting to pick up, and friends for each other after groups were scattered by the blast. Twitter and Facebook lit up with heartbreaking appeals for the missing.

Some concert-goers said security was haphazard before the show, with some people being searched and others allowed inside unhindered. The bombing took place at the end of the concert, when the audience was streaming toward the exits of Manchester Arena, one of the largest indoor concert venues in the world.

Witnesses said the blast scattered bolts and other bits of metal, indicating the bomb may have contained shrapnel intended to maximize injuries and deaths.

“There was this massive bang. And then everyone just went really quiet. And that’s when the screaming started,” said 25-year-old Ryan Molloy. “As we came outside to Victoria Station, there were just people all over the floor covered in blood. My partner was helping to try to stem the blood from this one person … they were pouring blood from their leg. It was just awful.”

As police shut down public transport shut down, Manchester residents opened their hearts. Taxis offered to give stranded people free rides home while some residents opened their homes to provide lodging.

Grande, who was not injured in the blast, tweeted hours later: “broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.”

May said authorities believe they have identified the attacker, but did not release his name. She said authorities were trying to determine if he had an accomplice.

Hayley Lunt was staying at a hotel nearby and had taken her 10-year-old daughter Abigail to her first concert at Manchester Arena on Monday evening. She said the explosions rang out as soon as Grande left the stage.

“It was almost like they waited for her to go,” she said.

“We just ran as fast as we could to get away from that area,” Lunt said. “What should have been a superb evening is now just horrible.”

Police cars, bomb-disposal units and 60 ambulances raced to the scene as the scale of the carnage became clear.

“A huge bomb-like bang went off that hugely panicked everyone and we were all trying to flee the arena,” said 22-year-old concertgoer Majid Khan. “Everyone from the other side of the arena where the bang was heard from suddenly came running towards us as they were trying to exit.”

The city’s regional government and its mayor, Andy Burnham, were among scores of Twitter users who circulated the MissinginManchester hashtag, used by people looking for family members and friends.

The first confirmed victim was Georgina Callander, whose death was reported by her former school.

Bishop Rawstorne Church of England Academy in Croston, northwest of Manchester, posted a photo of Georgina on its website, smiling and looking smart in her school uniform. It described her as “a lovely young student who was very popular with her peers and the staff.”

Saffie Roussas, aged 8, was the youngest of the 22 victims identified so far. The head teacher of the Tarleton Community Primary School that she attended in the village of Tarleton, Lancashire, described Saffie as “simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word. She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair.”

U.S. President Donald Trump, in Bethlehem, said the attack preyed upon children and described those responsible as “evil losers.”

“This wicked ideology must be obliterated. And I mean completely obliterated,” he added.

Islamic State’s claim of responsibility echoed others the group has made for attacks in the West, on an established communications channel but with vague details that leave room for an opportunistic attempt at propaganda.

The Dangerous Woman tour is the third concert tour by 23-year-old Grande and supports her album of the same name.

After Manchester, Grande was due to perform in London on Thursday and Friday, and later at venues in Europe, including Belgium, Poland, Germany, Switzerland and France, with concerts in Latin America and Asia to follow.

Pop concerts and nightclubs have been a terrorism target before. Most of the 130 dead in the November 2015 attacks in Paris were at the Bataclan concert hall, which gunman struck during a performance by Eagles of Death Metal.

In Turkey, 39 people died when a gunman attacked New Year’s revelers at the Reina nightclub in Istanbul.

Manchester, 160 miles (260 kilometers) northwest of London, was hit by a huge Irish Republican Army bomb in 1996 that leveled a swath of the city center. More than 200 people were injured, though no one was killed.

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Katz reported from London. AP writer Leanne Italie in New York; AP Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu in Jersey City, New Jersey, and Lori Hinnant and John Leicester in Paris contributed.

Categories: Local KSN News

Preserving the art of architecture

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 22:55

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A historic house in Wichita is known to art lovers around the world, but not many Kansans.

“It’s a spectacular house,” said Liz Koch. “It’s one of the prairie houses that Frank Lloyd Wright built. It’s been touted as one of the 10 best in the country.”

That’s why Koch is frustrated many Wichitans have never seen the house built in 1918 for newspaper publisher and former Kansas governor, Henry Allen.

“It’s probably the best kept secrets in Wichita, and I wish it weren’t a secret because it’s a real jewel in our crown,” said Koch.

Click image for Historical Timeline of the Allen House

So inspiring, Liz Koch says her own home that she and Charles have lived in in east Wichita since 1975 is heavily influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, starting at the front door she helped design.

“It’s my favorite thing about the house. At night, with the lights on it, it’s really beautiful.”

But the treasured Allen house, in the heart of College Hill at 2nd and Roosevelt, had become a bit tarnished over the years.

Howard Ellington (KSN photo)

“It took us three months to strip off the wood and expose the natural color,” said Howard Ellington, who has worked with Liz Koch to run a foundation to restore the Allen House.

Past owners made changes that didn’t fit with Frank Lloyd Wright’s vision of emphasizing horizontal lines and squares in colors found in nature. The architect also used materials like Carthage marble, brick, wood and tile inside the house and out.

All the work to return it to its original condition is almost finished and will be unveiled to the public June 8 at Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th birthday celebration.

That includes furniture designed by the architect, like a dining room table and chairs, a banquette in the entryway, and a long bookcase in the living room.

Even the kitchen is authentic again.

“When we got the house, there was a gas stove here, an electric stove over here. All of the cabinets had been ripped out,” Ellington pointed out during a tour.

But the most noticeable change may be outside the house.

Lead Gardener, Ava Perkins (KSN photo)

“The garden is completely different than anyone’s ever seen in the past,” said lead gardener, Ava Perkins.

Perkins and other volunteers have cleaned out all the flower beds that were overgrown and full of weeds.

“The very first time I came through, this was so thick, you couldn’t really walk through here,” said Perkins, shaking her head.

They planted native flowers and hostas named after Frank Lloyd Wright, and took out bushes that once cluttered the clean lines of the house.

“To me, this is monumental because for the first time, we’re doing what Frank Lloyd Wright wanted on his house,” said Perkins. “You can see the whole design now. You can feel that plain that’s represented by the house.”

If you would like to schedule a tour, visit flwrightwichita.org.

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Categories: Local KSN News

Wichita firefighters battle 2-alarm apartment fire

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 21:22
A two-alarm fire burns at the Colony West Apartment complex near W. Central and N. Ridge Rd. in west Wichita on May 22, 2017. (Photo: KSN/Ryan Newton)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita firefighters battled a two-alarm apartment fire in West Wichita Monday night.  The fire broke out around 8 p.m in the Colony West Apartments.  They’re located one block north of W. Central and just west of N. Ridge Rd.

A Wichita police officer, who first responded to the scene, said flames reached a height of about 30 feet. Fire officials say around seven or eight units were destroyed in the fire. The cause of the blaze is not known at this time. Twenty crews and 60 firefighters responded to the scene. Four firefighters received minor burns fighting the fire but were not hospitalized. A resident was injured after returning to the apartments and seeing his residence on fire. Firefighters are investigating a cause.

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Categories: Local KSN News

Parents of pregnant woman killed in murder-suicide speaks out

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 19:04

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita family is in mourning, after a murder-suicide left a woman and her unborn baby dead.

Wichita oolice say 21-year old Antrese Bland, who was seven months pregnant at the time with a baby boy, was shot and killed by her boyfriend.

Bland’s boyfriend, 24-year old Aris Brown, then turned the gun and killed himself.

KSN sat down with Bland’s parents this afternoon, who were very emotional as they continue to process everything.

Bessie Evans-Manuel, Antrese’s mother, described her daughter as very outspoken and real.

She says Antrese was loving and fiesty.

Her mother says the whole family was excited about the baby coming, with presents already waiting for him at their home.

Evans-Manuel says Antrese was determined to make the best of herself for her baby.

“We was getting the baby shower ready and she was just ready that night before. We were watching her move around and talking about how long it was and just, I never thought I wouldn’t see her no more,” said Evans-Manuel.

Before Bland was killed, WPD says she went to a neighbor’s house and tried to phone her family.

KSN spoke with her neighbor, Linda Alexander.

Alexander says it wasn’t the first time Bland used her phone, and even this time, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

“She seemed fine, she used the phone like I said she came back out, she left, she went back over to her apartment, probably like 20 minutes later is when I heard her mom screaming at the top of her lungs, ‘he killed my baby, he killed my baby,” said Alexander.

The family says Bland and Brown did have a rough past.

However, they say they felt Brown was a good man and wonder what went wrong.

“I don’t think Aris was a bad person, I don’t have any bad feelings toward him, you know I know him and Antrese, they tried, you know, they’re young,” said Evans-Manuel.

Evans-Manuel says her daughter was getting ready to start summer classes in hopes of becoming a pharmacist.

She says Bland felt with a new baby boy coming, it was important to get her education.

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Categories: Local KSN News

KSN looks back at Dave Freeman’s dedication to the community

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 19:00

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – For the last 24 years, KSN Chief Meteorologist Dave Freeman has been one busy man.

Whether it is tracking severe weather to keep us safe, to giving thousands of school talks.

Dave even milked cows at the Kansas State Fair and slapped on some blue jeans to help the Wichita Symphony.

Recently, Dave helped with the science part of the new Explore Kansas project at Exploration Place.

As you can see, Dave has done a lot for KSN, and he has spent the last two decade being there for the community.

“It is going to be sad to say goodbye, not just to a professional, we’re saying goodbye to a friend,” said Pat Hanrahan, Chief Executive United Way of the Plains.

KSN followed Dave to his very last school talk ever. He did get a bit emotional.

“Well, we feel very privileged that if we’re the last ones that we got that amazing presentation if that really is his last one,” said Jill Doerflinger, 5th grade teacher.

If you know Dave, he has a special passion for helping raise money for the United Way of the Plains.

“What we can tell is he really believes in the United Way, this is not just doing an emcee job he does it because he really cares about people, and you can feel that when he’s at the podium,” said Hanrahan.

Dave came up with the idea for the United Way Crazy Hair Challenge to inspire students to raise money for the non-profit.

“So, 11 years ago, he issued, a, totally volunteered the hair challenge, and so every year afterwards, we’ve seen him on the weather, his hair done up in the colors of the winning school. He loves to do it. You can tell he has fun with it, and the kids love it. He’s helped us raise a lot of money and educated kids on the value of philanthropy.”

With his final weather presentation over, Dave is close to closing this chapter of his life.

“It is bitter-sweet, because I’ve always enjoyed that experience that’s why I loved Exploration Place for the years we were there, cause we’re constantly having that chance to talk to kids and maybe light that spark.”

As he leaves for the final time, Dave takes a moment to reflect on the job he’s done during his time being here for you at KSN News.

Dave Freeman throughout the years Meteorologist Dave Freeman tracks the Greensburg tornado (KSN Photo)

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Categories: Local KSN News

White’s Foodliner plans to open grocer in St. John

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 19:00

ST. JOHN, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s news St. John residents have been waiting for.

“I was ecstatic,” said Dawn Siebert, after learning about the new grocery story coming to town. “I think it’s going to be a wonderful thing.”

Dottie Sheets echoed Siebert’s and said, “I think it’d be really beneficial to the community.”

White’s Foodliner, a family-owned business, signed a Letter of Intent to open a store in St. John.

“It is contingent on our ability to construct and finance a building for them to operate their business in,” said Stafford County Economic Development director Carolyn Dunn. “But providing we can meet all those conditions, they are ready to come here and do business here in St. John.”

For more than a year now, residents have been shopping at the local Dollar General or driving miles and miles to other cities for groceries.

“I know for myself, I use to go to the grocery store, if not daily, you know multiple times a week, and we just don’t have that convenience like we used to,” said Siebert.

For Sheets, who just moved to St. John, she sees the new grocer as a great opportunity for growth.

“The reason I moved here is because it is growing and it’s getting bigger,” she said. “So my hopes is that it does come so that more people will move into the community.”

Officials said White’s Foodliner will be located on Fifth Avenue, along highway 281. It will include a pharmacy and possibly a fuel station.

“By including fuel sales with this grocery story, as many major grocers do, we can increase non-fuel sales at this grocery store by 10 to 15 percent,” Dunn said.

Officials expect the new grocer to be about a $2.5 dollar project — with funding coming from the city, grants and private donations.

County officials started looking for contractors. They expect to begin construction in the fall, with the store opening by spring of 2018.

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Sheriff: Chiefs top draft pick Mahomes unharmed in robbery

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 17:25

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Rookie Kansas  CityChiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes escaped injury after being robbed outside a Texas home after attending a college baseball game, authorities said Monday in describing the holdup as random.

Mahomes and the three other people were stepping from a vehicle on a home’s driveway outside Tyler on Friday night when a suspect approached, gestured he had a handgun in his waistband and took unspecified items from the victims before speeding away, the Smith County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office said.

Deputies later arrested two suspects in the reported getaway car and recovered items taken during the holdup. Michael Pinkerton, 34, was charged with aggravated robbery, while Billy Ray Johnson, 58, was accused of two counts of possession of a controlled substance and with tampering with evidence involving one of the items taken during the holdup, sheriff’s Sgt. Darrell Coslin said.

It was not immediately clear Monday whether Pinkerton or Johnson had an attorney.

Coslin said Pinkerton “has a long criminal history and is known to us” and randomly robbed Mahomes and the others as the four returned to a residence after attending a baseball game at the University of Texas-Tyler.

“We have no reason to believe (Mahomes) was being targeted,” Coslin told The Associated Press. “This appears to have been a crime of opportunity.”

Mahomes, 21, played at Texas Tech and last month was selected by the Chiefs with the 10th overall pick in the first round of the NFL draft. Kansas City sent first- and third-round picks this year and their first-round pick next year to Buffalo, climbing from the 27th overall pick to acquire the heir apparent to veteran Alex Smith.

“I can’t really get into the details,” Mahomes told the Tyler Morning Telegraph . “I’m just glad me and my friends are safe and the cops got the suspects.”

Last season, Mahomes threw for more than 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns at pass-happy Texas Tech. He already has earned gunslinger comparisons to another protege of Chiefs coach Andy Reid during his days in Green Bay — Brett Favre — and his big arm and gaudy numbers have Chiefs fans energized after years of quarterback mediocrity.

Ted Crews, the Chiefs’ vice president of communications, told media outlets that the franchise was aware of the robbery and “is thankful Patrick and everyone involved are safe because that’s what’s most important.”

Mahomes’ hometown, Whitehouse, is about 10 miles from Tyler and about 100 miles southeast of Dallas.

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More AP NFL: pro32.ap.org and twitter.com/AP_NFL

Categories: Local KSN News

Bret Blevins found guilty in crash that killed two Starkey clients

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 17:07
Bret Blevins (Courtesy KDOC)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Bret Blevins was found guilty Monday in a traffic crash that killed two Starkey clients in May 2016. The victims were Dusty Atterbery and Dirk MacMillan.

Sedgwick County jurors found Bret Blevins of Wichita guilty of 14 counts, including second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and multiple charges of aggravated battery.

Officers said Blevins was behind the wheel of an SUV when it slammed into a van carrying the Starkey residents and staff. Blevins was going 49 miles an hour and still accelerating when the crash happened. A blood test also found that Blevins was legally drunk and also tested positive for meth when the SUV hit the van.

During his trial, Blevins testified he wasn’t driving the SUV at the time of the crash.

The judge said he will not allow Blevins out on bond before sentencing next month. Blevins is being held in the Sedgwick County Jail.

KSN’s Craig Andres is following the trial in court. Look for his updates on Twitter. 

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Design council votes to support composite material for Cowtown’s boardwalks

Mon, 05/15/2017 - 15:58

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita Design Council voted 5-3 to recommend composite material to replace Cowtown’s boardwalks.

The boardwalk has to be removed for drainage improvements. Composite material has a 40 year life span. Brazilian ash wood has a 20 year span.

The city manager asked the Design Council to take a look at two options.

“I think a lot of the members would like real wood, but the extended lifespan of the composite material kind of over won that one for the long-term maintenance of the museum,” said Phil Meyer, Wichita Design Council Chairman.

“The boardwalk has to be removed for drainage improvements. We currently have standing water on the site,” said John D’Angelo, Director of Arts and Cultural Services for the City of Wichita. “As part of that replacement, we also have a requirement to make the site ADA accessible and being ADA accessible will require us using some concrete, which again, we try to be sensitive to making it look the least imposing as we can.”

This is the second group to vote in favor of the composite material, even though some Cowtown re-enactors had argued for keeping real wood.

The recommendation will go to the city council who will have the final say.

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