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Wichita, KS News Weather and Sports
Updated: 14 min 21 sec ago

Some school officers say they are trained to go right at a threat

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 16:05

GODDARD, Kan. (KSNW) – With recent information coming out that an officer in Florida waited for a few minutes as bullets were flying at the mass shooting, KSN is asking what is the policy for some local school police officers.

“Our training here in Goddard with our police officers, our intention is to stop whatever threat is present,” says Goddard School Police Chief, Ronny Lieurance. “Prior to Columbine in 1999, the practice was to wait for special forces, for SWAT team to come. We’re trained today to one-on-one engage in that threat and stop that threat and that’s what we will do if necessary.”

Chief Lieurance says they will be adding one more full-time commissioned officer at the end of this school year. Some parents say that offers them piece-of-mind.

“I’m fine with adding more security. Like I say, I feel like my kids are safe in Goddard schools,” says parent Jennifer Barber. “I love having security guards at the schools. I see them when I drop my kids off, I see them out patrolling the parking lots, I know they are around. There are places you don’t even realize they are.”

At Goddard they recently changed many classroom doors to lock from the inside. The old door locks required a teacher to go out in the hallway to insert a key to lock the door.

“You can have your door already unlocked, or by the push of a button you can just lock the outside of your door. So our teachers no longer have to go out in the hallways to lock their doors,” says Goddard School Police officer, Carrie Phelps.

Phelps went through the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center, as did the other police officers at Goddard schools.

And they are taught in their 17-week courses to go at the threat, and not wait.

“You don’t wait, you go. So I would very much initiate making contact. I would not wait for a backup. I would go ahead and go through the school and find my source for my threat, and take it out,” says Phelps. “I think my training would kick in at that point and I would just go to gunfire. Because whenever you have gunfire you go to verbal commands and do as much as you can to eliminate the threat prior to really taking it out. But I would address the threat.”

Goddard school officers are taught to try to undo a hostile situation. And, while some situations can be handled more quietly, others are an immediate threat.

Officers say while Goddard is a peaceful school system, they say they are ready just in case.

“That being said we have to engage as quickly as possible to stop that active threat,” says Lieurance. “We realize going in one-on-one that may not be the optimal solution, we’re putting ourselves as police officers in danger in that situation, but that’s what we took an oath for.”

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Salina police looking for armed and dangerous man

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 13:23

SALINA, Kan. (KSNW) – Saline police are searching for an armed and dangerous man.

On Feb. 5, officers responded to a report of a gunshot victim in the 100 block of N. Front St. in Salina. During the course of the investigation, Darren James Jackson Sr. was identified as the shooter.

A Saline County warrant has been issued for Darren James Jackson Sr. on charges of aggravated battery, aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping. He is a Hispanic male, 36 years old, 5’11”, 198 pounds, black hair and brown eyes. Jackson also has numerous tattoos.

If you have information on Jackson’s whereabouts, you are encouraged to call the Salina Police Department at 785-826-7210 or Crimestoppers at 825-TIPS. Please do not approach or attempt apprehension of this person on your own.

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Swim To A Wish to be held this weekend

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 12:40

The 5th annual Swim To A Wish event will take place across the state February 24-26, 2017 at ten schools across the state.

Swim To A Wish is a fundraiser that was started by Wish Dad and Campus High School swim coach, Kelly Kennedy, in 2013.

Schools participating: Campus, Derby, Salina Central, Salina South, Wichita North, and Wichita Northwest.

We have a link to the fundraising website here.

Categories: Local KSN News

Western’s Weather Wrap: More Ice for Some Tonight

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 12:37

Stubborn clouds will keep us chilly today, but thankfully quiet with temperatures above freezing, so we will continue to melt the ice out there.

But, another storm system is on the way. A *Winter Weather Advisory* is in place for northern Kansas for tonight through tomorrow evening.

Drizzle will move into Wichita tonight, but temperatures will drop below freezing in northern/western counties, allowing freezing drizzle to develop.

A glaze of ice will be possible through central counties tonight into tomorrow morning, causing slick roads, so please be cautious. No issues are anticipated for the Wichita Metro.

Then snow will expand across western Kansas throughout the day Saturday, bringing in up to 3-5″ in our far northwestern counties.

I’ll time all of this out on Stormcast for you on KSN News at Noon, or you can watch my latest forecast right here: http://ksn.com/2017/03/08/weather-forecast-discussion/

~Katie the Weather Lady

Categories: Local KSN News

Wichita police searching Chisholm Creek Park for Lucas Hernandez

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 12:11

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police are once again searching Chisholm Creek Park for Lucas Hernandez.

Last weekend, the 5-year-old boy was reported missing.

Despite extensive searches by local, state and FBI officials, the boy has not been found.

On Wednesday, 26-year-old Emily Glass, Lucas’ stepmother was booked into the county jail on two counts of child endangerment. She has not been officially charged.

UPDATE: @WichitaPolice are back in Chisholm Creek Park based off of new information they've received in the search for Lucas Hernandez. pic.twitter.com/IpfmFYJxyH

— Sara Berlinger KSN (@SarafinaKSN) February 23, 2018

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Salina student found with gun and knife

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 11:34

SALINA, Kan. (KSNW) – A student at Stewart Elementary in Salina brought a knife and gun to school Friday morning.

The gun and knife were immediately secured, and Salina police contacted.

The student was removed from the school property.

Salina USD 305 said the student brought the gun and knife not with the intention of harming anyone but was in response to a fake Facebook post.

The investigation continues as the district is working closely with the Salina Police Department.

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Nasty flu season showing signs of winding down in US

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 11:17

NEW YORK (AP) — Could this nasty flu season finally be winding down?

U.S. health officials on Friday said fewer visits to the doctor last week — 1 out of 16 — were for fever, cough and other flu symptoms than during the previous two weeks. The number of states reporting high patient traffic for the flu also dropped, to 39 from 43.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they’re cautious about saying the flu season has peaked but called the downturn encouraging. Flu usually peaks in February.

This season started early and surged for months. It has been driven by a formidable type of flu that tends to cause more hospitalizations and deaths. This year’s flu vaccine is estimated to be only 25 percent effective against that type.

Categories: Local KSN News

Kansas man pleads guilty in wife’s death

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 11:15

LARNED, Kan. (AP) – A 27-year-old southwest Kansas man has pleaded guilty in his wife’s death.

Jacob Ohnmacht of Larned pleaded guilty Thursday to voluntary manslaughter in the December 2016 death of 21-year-old Kayla Parrett at their home in rural Pawnee County.

He had originally been charged with second-degree murder and several counts of interfering with law enforcement.

Hutchpost reports Ohnhmacht said during his plea hearing that his wife had threatened to leave him. He had told law enforcement he found her hanging in an outside garden shed.

A sentencing date has not been scheduled.

In August 2017, Ohnmacht was convicted of trying to contaminate food by spitting on pizza he made for a police officer at Casey’s General Store in Larned. As part of the plea, he agreed to waive an appeal of that conviction.

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Florida man yells ‘murderers!’ as he’s put to death

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 08:15

STARKE, Fla. (AP) — As the execution drugs were being administered, inmate Eric Scott Branch let out a blood-curdling scream. Then he yelled “murderers! murderers! murderers!” as he thrashed on a gurney as he was being put to death for the 1993 rape and slaying of a college student.

The drugs included a powerful sedative Thursday evening and the 47-year-old inmate, following the outburst, gave a last guttural groan and turned silent. Minutes earlier, he had just been addressing corrections officers, saying it should fall to Florida Gov. Rick Scott and his attorney general to carry out the death sentence — not to those workers present.

“Let them come down here and do it,” Branch said. “I’ve learned that you’re good people and this is not what you should be doing.”

Branch was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. Thursday after receiving the injection at Florida State Prison in Starke. The governor’s office made the announcement.

Asked later whether Branch’s scream could have been caused by the execution drugs, Department of Corrections spokeswoman Michelle Glady said “there was no indication” that the inmate’s last actions were a result of the injection procedure. She said that conclusion had been confirmed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Branch was convicted of raping and fatally beating University of West Florida student Susan Morris, 21. Her naked body was found buried in a shallow grave — a crime whose brutality was noted by the Florida Supreme Court in denying one of Branch’s appeals.

“She had been beaten, stomped, sexually assaulted and strangled. She bore numerous bruises and lacerations, both eyes were swollen shut,” the justices wrote.

Evidence in the case shows Branch approached Morris after she left a night class on Jan. 11, 1993, so he could steal her red Toyota and return to his home state of Indiana. He was arrested while traveling there.

Branch also was convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Indiana and of another sexual assault in the Florida Panhandle that took place just 10 days before Morris was killed, court records show.

The jury in his murder case recommended the death penalty by a 10-2 vote under Florida’s old capital punishment system, which was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016. The high court said juries must reach a unanimous recommendation for death and judges cannot overrule that. Florida legislators subsequently changed the system to comply.

One of Branch’s final and unsuccessful appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court involved whether he deserved a new sentencing hearing because of that jury’s 10-2 vote in his 1994 trial. The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that the new system of sentencing did not apply to inmates sentenced to death before 2002.

Elsewhere, Texas’ governor spared a convicted killer’s life shortly before the inmate was to have been executed Thursday for masterminding the fatal shootings of his mother and brother. Gov. Greg Abbott accepted the state parole board’s rare clemency recommendation and commuted the sentence of Thomas “Bart” Whitaker to life without parole. Whitaker’s father also was shot in the 2003 plot at the family’s suburban Houston home but survived. He led an effort to save his son from execution.

And in Alabama, officials postponed the execution of Doyle Lee Hamm, who was scheduled to die Thursday evening for the 1987 death of a motel clerk during a robbery. Hamm fought his death sentence, arguing there was a risk of a botched execution because of damage to his veins from lymphoma and other illnesses. The U.S. Supreme Court delayed the execution Thursday evening to consider Hamm’s request to block it, but then gave the go-ahead about 9 p.m. Corrections spokesman Bob Horton said there was not enough time to prepare Hamm before the death warrant expired at midnight.

In Florida, relatives of victim Susan Morris said they remain profoundly grieved by her violent death. Though Morris was 21 when she was killed, more time has passed than the number of years she lived, the family statement said. Still, the pain remains.

“Twenty-five years ago, Susan’s life was suddenly and brutally extinguished. We have grieved for her longer that she was with us. Yet because of who she was … she will never be forgotten by those who love her,” said the statement, read out by her sister Wendy Morris Hill shortly after Branch was put to death.

Categories: Local KSN News

Former WSU player listed in documents detailing potential NCAA violations

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 07:34

Yahoo Sports has obtained documents during a federal investigation into NCAA basketball.

The documents pertain to how much NBA agent Andy Miller and his ASM Sports agency paid to players. Yahoo viewed hundreds of documents in the case.

One former Wichita State basketball player, Fred VanVleet, was listed as receiving $1,070.

Other current and former players are listed. They include North Carolina, Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State, USC, and Alabama among many others.

The activity would appear to violate NCAA amateurism rules.


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Wichita Art Museum hosts the Monet to Matisse exhibit

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 06:46

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita Art Museum is now home to the “Monet to Matisse” special exhibit.

The special exhibit opens Saturday the 24th and runs through May 20th.

The exhibit comes from the Brooklyn Museum and has paintings from artist such as Monet, Matisse, Renoir, Degas, Cezanne, and many more.

These pieces will showcase Impressionism, Symbolism and Surrealism.

This is a rare opportunity for the Wichita Art Museum to host a world-class exhibit.

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What you missed in PyeongChang last night: Zagitova, Medvedeva fight for gold

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 05:02
Primetime spotlight

Figure skating is a sport known for its intense rivalries. The newest rivalry was on full display as Russians Alina Zagitova and Yevgenia Medvedeva faced off in a gold medal battle. 15-year-old Zagitova had the upper hand going into the night holding a slight lead (1.31 points) from the short program.

After two stunning performances, Zagitova and Medvedeva scored the same score in the free skate, a 156.65. Medvedeva broke the tie in the free skate, earning a higher component score. However, Zagitova had the 1.31 point lead from the short program and ended up with the higher overall score of 239.57.

This marks the first time two women from the same country have finished one-two in ladies’ figure skating since Tara Lipinski and Michelle Kwan did so in 1998. Zagitova became the second-youngest individual ladies’ Olympic champion behind Lipinkski. Lipinski was 26 days younger when she won gold in 1998.  Zagitova is the first Olympic medalist born after the 2002 Winter Games. It was also the Olympic Athletes from Russia’s first gold medal of the Games. More on their showdown in the figure skating section below.

Kaetlyn Osmond won the race for bronze. The Canadian was able to put together a strong free skate. Osmond is known for faltering in the free programs after strong short program skates.

The Americans were looking for redemption from their short skates. All three struggled with elements again. Karen Chen made a few mistakes and finished 11th overall. Bradie Tennell fell for the first time this competition season and ended up in ninth place. Mirai Nagasu was unable to land her triple Axel and had an up-and-down performance, finishing in tenth place overall.

Canada continued its dominance in the women’s ski cross. Kelsey Serwa won the gold, Canada’s third consecutive title. Countrywoman Brittany Phelan won silver while Fanny Smith claimed bronze.

A couple of short track races were featured in primetime. First, the men’s 500m. Wu Dajing looked untouchable in the race. He broke the world record twice in an hour (once in the final and once in qualifying).Wu becomes the first Chines man to win an Olympic short track gold medal. He’s only 23 and is expected to be a favorite in four years when the Olympics are held in Beijing. South Korea’s Hwang Dae-Heon and Lim Hyo-Jun finished second and third, respectively.

The Netherlands’ Suzanne Schulting won the women’s 1000m race. It was the Netherlands’ first short-track gold medal. Kim Boutin won her third medal of the Games, finishing second. Arianna Fontana’s bronze medal, her eight career medal, ties her with Viktor Ahn and Apolo Ohno as the most decorated short track skaters in Olympic history.

In the final short-track race, Hungary shocked everyone winning the men’s 5000m relay. Hungary only led the race for three total laps (the first lap and final two of the race). It was Hungary’s first Winter Olympic gold medal and the first medal of any color in 38 years. The relay team also set a new Olympic record. China and Canada finished second and third, respectively.

The United States won the B Final with a time of 6:52.71. It marked the first time since 2002 that the U.S. had not won a medal in the relay event.

Rivalry renewed

All eyes turned to figure skating and the ladies’ free skate programs. It was a showdown between two Russian teenagers representing the Olympic Athletes from Russia. Alina Zagitova led by 1.31 points after the ladies short program. She had score the highest score ever recorded in the short program. Her teammate, Yevgenia Medvedeva was unbeatable from November 2015 to January 2018 (before Zagitova entered the scene).

Zagitova skated first, putting down a near-perfect performance. She changed her opening-jump combination but later added it back in. The 15-year-old received some criticism because she held all of her jumps until the second half of the program to receive the 10 percent bonus. Some argue that it takes away from the overall composition of the routine (and therefore should affect the component score). She earned a score of 156.65 and was left to watch her rival and off-ice friend.

Medvedeva skated last. She too, had a near-flawless routine. The difference between Medvedeva and Zagitova is Medvedeva’s ability to connect to the music and deliver a higher performance. Both competitors can land all their jumps and do so with their hands above their head adding to the difficulty.

It all came down to whether Medvedeva’s component score could outdo Zagitova’s technical score and whether Medvedeva could overcome the 1.31 deficit as well. In the end, Medvedeva scored a 156.65 in the free skate, the same as Zagitova. This meant Zagitova claimed gold as the overall score was a 239.57. Medvedeva walked away with a silver. The silver lining is that she won the free skate because her component score was higher.

Kaetlyn Osmond was able to win Canada’s first medal in the ladies’ individual event since 2002. She had a very strong short program and was able to execute her free program for an overall score of 231.02. She took home the bronze medal.

Satoko Miyahara had one of the surprise performances of the night. She skated flawlessly and earned a personal best score of 146.44 in the free skate, for 222.38 points overall to take fourth place.

The Americans ladies, like their male counterparts, were looking for strong free skate performances after shaky short programs. The ladies did not have as happy of an ending as the American men.

Karen Chen was the first to skate. The 2017 National Champion made a few mistakes scoring 119.75 points in the free skate and 185.65 for 11th overall.

Bradie Tennell had an uncharacteristic fall in her free skate. Tennell had not fallen in the competition season leading up to the Olympics. She finished in ninth place, earning a score of 128.34 points for a total score of 192.35. She will leave PyeongChang with a bronze medal, having skated the ladies’ short program in the team event.

Mirai Nagasu was the last of the American ladies to skate. She popped her triple Axel, only performing a half of a turn, and earned zero points for the element. She made another costly mistake in the second half of her program, turning a triple Lutz into a single Lutz.

Regardless of her free skate score of 119.61 points and overall score of 186.54 (good for 10th overall), Nagasu walked away with a smile. She told NBC that she was thinking of today as a ‘Dancing with the Stars’ audition. After not making the team for Sochi four years ago, Nagasu leaves PyeongChang with a medal after her strong performance (she successfully landed the triple Axel) in the team event helping the U.S. earn a bronze.

A Canadian dynasty?

Kelsey Serwa won the women’s ski cross, giving Canada its third consecutive title. Serwa was the 2014 Olympic silver medalist. Her teammate Brittany Phelan came from behind to finish second, giving Canada a silver medal.

Reigning gold medalist Marielle Thompson was attempting a comeback after needing surgery on both her ACL and MCL four months before the Olympics. Her day ended early after falling early in the 1/8 final race.

It came down to two Swiss teammates competing for bronze, both of them world champions in the event. Fanny Smith was the 2013 World Champion and Sandra Naeslund was the 2017 World Champion. Naeslaund has been dominating the women’s ski cross event this season. Smith just out-edged Naeslund to win the bronze.

Switzerland bounces Canada

For the first time since curling returned to the Olympics in 1998, Canada will leave the Winter Games without a medal. Switzerland beat Canada 7-5 to win the bronze in men’s curling. The bronze medal is Switzerland’s second of the Games in curling. The Swiss took home the silver medal in mixed doubles.

Skip Peter de Cruz outplayed Canada’s Kevin Koe. The Swiss won two of the first three ends, and never relinquished the lead.

Golden ticket

The Olympic Athletes from Russia beat Czech Republic 3-0 in the semifinals to advance to the men’s hockey gold medal match. OAR will play the winner of the Canada vs. Germany semifinal game. The Czech Republic will play the loser for the bronze medal.

After a scoreless first period, OAR scored two even-strength goals 27 seconds apart in the second. The first goal was scored by Nikita Gusev, who leads his team with eight points in the tournament. OAR goalie Vasily Koshechkin stopped all 21 shots he faced for a shutout.

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Laura’s Look: Rain & Snow Chances Saturday

Fri, 02/23/2018 - 03:26

Patchy freezing fog may slow you down this morning. This will also aid in additional slick spots this morning. It is very cold this morning, treat all wet-looking surfaces as if they are frozen. A Dense Fog Advisory has been issued for part of Kansas.

Dense Fog Advisory Dodge City Sky View

Clouds hold strong today but we’ll see some pokes of sunshine as temperatures climb to the 40s.

Kansas Today

After a brief break from winter weather, another storm system strolls in overnight.

Saturday 3AM

While most of us are sleeping, a wintry mix to snow will overspread western Kansas. Rain showers can be expected around the Metro. Temperatures are critical during this time period. Make sure you’re connected to us at KSN by downloading our KSN Storm Tracker 3 Everywhere App.

Saturday 6AM

This system is a quick mover and will clear from west to east.

Saturday Noon Saturday 5PM

Snow totals aren’t all that impressive. Expect the highest amounts across northwest Kansas. On top of the snow in northern Kansas, a light glaze of ice is possible. This could make travel tricky during this time period. Please plan accordingly. *No snow in the Metro, just rain.*

Snow Totals

The rest of the weekend looks pleasant with sunshine returning Sunday.

Weekend Forecast

We’re tracking the road and weather conditions coming up on Kansas Today! There are several delays you need to know about before you head out the door, click here for the list.  —- Laura Bannon


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Hotels gear up for NCAA tournament

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 22:05

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – In just over three weeks, Wichita will be all about dunks and three pointers as teams take center court at Intrust Bank Arena.

Soon you’ll see players and fans from all over the country here for the NCAA Tournament.

“It’s going to be busy,” said Susie Santo, president and CEO of Visit Wichita. “It’s going to be hopping.”

You don’t bring one of the country’s most exciting tournaments to town and not expect the hype to be as real as the crowds that come with it.

It’s going to be busy. It’s going to be hopping.”   

“Wichita has over 8,000 rooms in the city limits of Wichita,” said Santo. “So, we’ve got plenty of rooms to welcome the teams and all the visitors that want to come in and partake in the NCAA Tournament.”

While players prepare to go head-to-head, hotels are ready to take on their own challenge.

“We will need extra housekeeping staff,” said Christine Allen, general manager at the Hotel at WaterWalk. “We’ll probably schedule heavy those days because there’ll be lots of rooms to clean.”

The Hotel at WaterWalk is about a half mile from Intrust Bank Arena.

Allen says right off the top, they’re expecting fans to fill half of their 88 rooms.

And, even some smaller venues are gearing up for the big weekend.

RELATED LINK | March Madness 2018 dates and schedule

The Noble House Inn isn’t only taking phone reservations, people are also claiming rooms online through Airbnb.

“I just think it’s a good opportunity,” said Tim Pitzer, who owns the Noble House Inn with his wife JoAnn Pitzer. “And, we are the only bed and breakfast in Wichita.”

Many of these places aren’t sure which crazy fans they’ll be getting yet, but after Selection Sunday when the teams are chosen, that’ll change.

“What we expect to have happen is a flood of calls and reservations on Selection Sunday,” said Allen. “And, so we’ll have extra staff here to man those calls and in the days following.”

Ready is an understatement.

Wichita has over 8,000 rooms in the city limits. So, we’ve got plenty of rooms to welcome the teams and all the visitors that want to come in and partake in the NCAA Tournament.

“We’ll have posters and other things in the lobby to welcome the fans,” said Allen. “And, we will be telling all the fans about the things going on around the city at that time that go hand-in-hand with the tournament.”

Hotels and city officials say, they’ll have a better idea of how many rooms will be booked for the tournament, once we know which teams will be coming.

But many of them said, they’re expecting nothing short of a full house.

Categories: Local KSN News

Special Report: Nickel and dime justice

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 22:00

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – For Paul Rhodes, the feeling of betrayal by two of his trusted employees at the Times-Sentinel Newspapers in Cheney was almost worse than losing all the money they stole.

Paul Rhodes felt betrayed after two trusted employees of the Times-Sentinel Newspapers embezzled thousands. (KSN Photo)

“Oh, it was absolutely devastating,” said Rhodes.

Last year, after Citizens State Bank spotted some suspicious checks, Rhodes’ office manager, Victoria Vinciguerra-Johnson, confessed to forging his signature, stealing $158,281 over four years.

“The bulk of the money had been spent on clothes she had bought online,” said Rhodes.

Yet, the embezzlement went back even further to the previous office manager, Johnson’s mother. Diane Nieses, 60, was convicted of embezzling another $48,429.

“She started this scheme the minute she started working for us,” said Rhodes, shaking his head.

Both women are now making monthly restitution payments, and Rhodes counts himself lucky. Many victims of financial crimes are never repaid.

Victoria Vinciguerra-Johnson and Diane Nieses are both making monthly restitution payments to Paul Rhodes. (KSN News)

“Of all the reports, only 10 percent are getting to court,” said Robert Short, a prosecutor with the district attorney’s office in Wichita. “Of those 10 percent, if we get any restitution out of half of those, I would think that’s a pretty good number.”

Robert Short heads up a special team called the Economic Crimes Unit. Since it was formed in 2013, prosecutors have recovered $836,483 in stolen property and money at the time of sentencing, but victims are still owed much more.

In the last five years, judges in the 18th Judicial District have ordered criminals to pay back more than $18,629,436 in 2,633 cases; yet only a little more than $3,159,752 was actually collected.

“A lot of victims in cases wait a long time to get their payments,” said Short.

The reasons are many.

“Of all the reports, only 10 percent are getting to court,” said Robert Short, a prosecutor with the district attorney’s office in Wichita. “Of those 10 percent, if we get any restitution out of half of those, I would think that’s a pretty good number.”

Short says those convicted of theft often face other issues, like unemployment, drug addiction or mental illness. If sentenced to prison, they can’t earn money for restitution so if the crime is non-violent, prosecutors push for extended probation.

“If somebody is willing to work a treatment program, get a job, make their payments, kind of rehabilitate themselves and pay back that victim, that’s a win-win scenario for everybody.”

But even the best intentions can fall short.

Twenty years ago, Betty Kimball was convicted of deceptive commercial practices for bilking customers of her bus touring company.

Betty Kimball made monthly restitution payments of about $100 until she died last year. (KSN Photo)

Kimball owed $325,402 to 143 victims. She made a monthly restitution payment of about $100 until she died last year, still owing $302,921.

One of her victims, David Stone, said he only recovered $200 from Kimball out of the $1,400 she stole.

Many others ordered to pay restitution never do, so the district attorney’s office pays a law firm, Todd Butler and Associates, to go after that money.

If the convicted person has a job, his wages can be garnished, but if he leaves Kansas, many other states won’t allow garnishment.

Another option is taking the money from a state tax refund or lottery winnings.

But if the person is simply poor and unemployed, but otherwise following his probation or parole, the state’s hands are tied.

“We don’t have debtor prisons anymore so the only thing we can do is be patient and wait,” said attorney, Todd Butler.

Restitution orders never expire so he says his firm will pursue cases for years.

As for Paul Rhodes, his newspaper business will survive, and he feels some satisfaction making the guilty pay.

“For us, it was a question of justice,” said Rhodes. “It at least feels like, on an ongoing basis, that justice continues to be served.”

When it comes to property crimes like car thefts and home burglaries, prosecutors say it’s much easier to safeguard your belongings up front, than for police to try to recover them later.

They recommend you don’t leave personal documents or valuables in your car, and always lock your vehicle.

Keep your home secure with good lighting, locks and fences.

Prosecutors also advise you to document your belongings with a photo, I-D number, or appraisal. This helps police track them down if stolen.

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1 person killed in plane crash in Grant County north of Ulysses

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 21:45

ULYSSES, Kan. (KSNW) – One person has been killed in a plane crash near Ulysses.

According to Grant County Fire Chief John Crosby, the plane crashed around 9:30 Thursday night about five miles north of the Ulysses airport near Rd. 7. One person was killed in the crash.

Authorities on the scene said the crash site is on fire and there is a lot of debris scattered. The identity of the victim is unknown.

Officials with the Kansas Highway Patrol and Grant County Sheriff’s Office are on the scene.

KSN has a crew on the way to the scene. Stay with KSN for updates as they will be provided when additional information becomes available.

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Video: Wichita man uses flame thrower to melt ice

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 21:05

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita man used his creativity and a unique tool to deice his business’s parking lot.

While many Kansans scraped or shoveled their way out of their driveways on Thursday, Nathan Pham gave new meaning to fire and ice.

“We have this for a while. My wife bought it for me for about 6 months now and I haven’t had a chance to use it safely, so we see ice, we see snow, so here’s our opportunity to use it and have some fun,” Pham said.

Wearing safety goggles, Pham was able to finally use his flame thrower.

“It works pretty good,” he said.

Pham’s wife filmed him using the flame thrower to deice their business’s parking lot. She then posted it on Facebook where it quickly got dozens of likes, shares and comments.

KSN asked Pham about his new internet stardom.

“I just did it for fun. I didn’t expect any publicity out of it,” Pham laughed.

Pham also mentioned safety was a top priority while using the flame thrower.

“We want to make sure we have the fire extinguisher and open area,” he said.

A Wichita Fire Department spokesperson said using a flame thrower to melt ice is not a safe procedure and the department does not recommend it.

“Apparently some of these devices are manufactured for specific uses in the agricultural industry, but deicing would probably not be one of them. Any damage to property by use of a device such as this would be investigated as an arson case,” said Wichita Fire Marshal Stuart Bevis.


Categories: Local KSN News

Sulking at silver: Canadian hockey player refused to wear medal

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 19:56

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (KXAN) — It’s hard to face silver when your team was one point away from gold, but one Canadian hockey team defense player went further than merely feeling glum. She initially refused to even wear the second-place medal.

The U.S. women’s hockey team edged out Canada 3-2 during a tiebreaker shootout Thursday — and that’s only after battling out their intense rivalry for 60 minutes of regulation play and 20 of sudden-death overtime.

Both teams lined up to shake hands afterward, but during the medal ceremony, Canada’s #3 Jocelyn Larocque removed her medal within seconds of it being placed around her neck.

Canada's Jocelyne Larocque took off her silver medal immediately after receiving it. #WinterOlympics https://t.co/wS6s9ulmoA pic.twitter.com/CcjiKOd58W

— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 22, 2018

Larocque addressed the reason she refused to wear it with reporters.

“Just hard,” Larocque said. “We were going for gold.”

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA – FEBRUARY 22: Jocelyne Larocque #3 of Canada refuses to wear her silver medal after losing to the United States in the Women’s Gold Medal Game on day thirteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre on February 22, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Although she didn’t wear it during the ceremony or in interviews afterward, Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail reported an official from the Olympic Ice Hockey Federation talked to her and explained she can’t “legally” refuse to wear the medal.

On Thursday morning, the Wikipedia page for Larocque listed her position as “poor sport.”

The Wikipedia page for Jocelyn Larocque listed her position as “poor sport” on Feb. 22, 2018 (Wikipedia Photo)


This was the U.S. women’s first gold since 1998. During the last Winter Olympics in Sochi, it was the reverse situation, in which Canada edged out the U.S. for gold. Larocque was on that winning team, so she does at least have a gold medal from those games in her cabinet.

Categories: Local KSN News

Stepmother of Lucas Hernandez remains behind bars, search continues

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 19:52

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It has now been five days since a five-year-old boy went missing and investigators say their search efforts continue.

Since Saturday, police have searched Chisholm Creek, Glen Dey and Harrison Parks and the home that Lucas hernandez lived in with his father and stepmother.

Wednesday afternoon, his stepmother, 26-year old Emily Glass was arrested on suspicion of two counts of endangering a child.

Each count pertains to two different children, one being Hernandez and the other, a one-year-old child.

She is currently being held on a $50,000 bond in the Sedgwick County Jail.

KSN spoke with Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter Thursday afternoon.

Sheriff Easter has worked similar missing child cases during his tenure at both the Wichita Police Department and Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office.

He couldn’t speak about the specifics of the Hernandez case, but says these types of cases involve a lot of manpower and man hours

Sheriff Easter says investigators can end up working anywhere from 24 to 48 hours straight trying to solve the case.

“I know a lot of people think they are so busy I don’t want to bother them with it, especially in cases like these, it is extremely important that we get all the information available because that one little tip might be the crack in the case,” said Sheriff Easter.

Wichita Police have been reaching out to the public all week long, hopeful information provided can lead them to where Hernandez is located.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Lucas Hernandez, you have urged to call the Wichita Police Departments tip line, (316)-383-4661.

Categories: Local KSN News

Teachman’s Take: Tracking Another Winter Storm

Thu, 02/22/2018 - 19:02

A few areas of freezing drizzle and rain will linger early this evening.  As this departs, freezing fog will form across much of the state.

Locations that saw more freezing rain and sleet this week will have the greatest concern for freezing fog through the Friday morning commute.  Please be careful while walking or driving as conditions will be slick.

We will have a nice breather Friday afternoon with warming temps.

The ice we got this week should melt.  However, the break won’t last long.  Another winter storm arrives Friday night into Saturday.

Before its arrival, a Winter Storm Watch is already in effect for NW Kansas and SW Nebraska.

This is where most of the snow will fall.  Elsewhere across the state, location will be key because it will determine what you get from this storm.

Wichita begins with rain and a light wintry mix.

Temps will continue to climb overnight into Saturday changing it all over to rain for the metro.

However, snow will favor the western part of the state with a rain/snow mixture in northcentral Kansas.  We will be tracking this developing storm.  Be sure to join us tonight on KSN News for a look at potential snowfall amounts and how this storm will affect your weekend plans. – Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman

Categories: Local KSN News