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Updated: 15 min 58 sec ago

Kansas wheat tour reaches Wichita

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 23:40

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW)  The 60th annual Kansas Wheat Quality Tour is making its way across the state.

Groups took different routes from Colby to Wichita on Wednesday, surveying more than two hundred wheat fields.

Kellen Liebsch is an Economist with the Kansas Department of Agriculture.

She, along with three other people, made 15 stops along the way to Wichita.

The last stop was in a wheat field near Garden Plain.

“We calculated it out to be in the upper 70, lower 80 bushel range so a pretty phenomenal crop for this field,” said Liebsch.

Some experts are calling this year the tale of two different wheat crops.

KSN Ag Expert John Jenkinson says this is in part to the unseasonable snow that hit the western part of the state.

“It’s very very difficult to be able to get our arms around this crop, because it is still buried under layers of snow in some of those areas, there is still a lot of moisture, a lot of moisture underneath this crop,” said Jenkinson.

So far, early results show that the wheat isn’t as good as it was last year.

Jenkinson says this is because last year was considered a stellar crop everywhere, due in part to the perfect conditions from start to finish.

He also touched on the importance the wheat tour serves for so many people.

“So many people depend on this crop, that they need to know what to expect later on for the year, as to whether or not, we’ll have a good crop, bad crop, quality, as well as quantity, that is why this is so so carefully watched,” said Jenkinson.

Results from day two show that the average bushel ranges from as low as 18, to as high as 96 in some parts of the state.

The last day of the wheat tour will kickoff tomorrow morning, when groups leave Wichita on their way back to Manhattan.


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Wichita security expert warns about Facebook’s ’10 Concerts’ meme

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 22:35

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita security expert is warning online users about a potentially dangerous Facebook meme called ’10 Concerts.’

The meme asks users to list nine concerts they’ve attended and one they haven’t attended. Others are then invited to identify the fake concert. However, experts said the meme could be an invitation to online hackers.

“The concern in the security community is that that gives a specific, new piece of information publicly visible to an attacker, said Keith Neufeld, Wichita State University Director of Networking, Telecommunications and IT Security.

Neufeld said the meme, which has gone viral in the last few weeks, could reveal too much about a person’s background and preferences.

“If they see that the last 10 concerts you attended were all country western, then they can pick county western stars, song titles and popular themes, push those to the top of likely passwords to guess and maybe get into your account a little bit faster,” Neufeld said.

The meme also sounds similar to the security question, what is the first concert you attended, that is often asked to log into a bank account of email account. While the game may be potentially dangerous, Neufeld said it’s just one of many risks online users already take.

“In reality, it’s a risk because it exposes some information, but it really just adds onto a risk that was already there of information that we are already exposing,” he said. “In our own security group at Wichita State, our thought is that this just adds on to what is already there.”

Neufeld offered some tips for users to protect themselves from identity or password theft. He said most importantly, people must create strong passwords and multiple passwords.

“One of the simplest for most people is to use what’s called a password manager or a password vault,” he said.

Neufeld recommends using LastPass and 1Password. He said the websites are capable of storing and creating complicated passwords for users, which is vital to keeping online records safe.

“There are simple things you can do and make a dramatic difference and make yourself much less likely to be a successful target,” he said.

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Mutual aid helping restore power in western Kansas

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 19:36

WICHITA COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) — The weekend storm that dumped inches and inches of snow has left thousands without power.

Right now, crews from all the electric companies are working to get the juice flowing again, but it’s the aftermath of the storm that’s slowing them down.

“It’s wet and rainy, but that’s when we go to work,” said Jeff Reed, a lineman with Radiant Electric.

Crews from Radiant Electric in Fredonia joined Wheatland Electric to help with repairs in western Kansas.

“We got in last night about 7:30,” said Reed. “Spent six hours on the road getting here then we got started at 4:30 this morning.”

It’s exhausting work for the crews that have been working nonstop to repair miles of damaged power lines.

“It’s the same work we do every day,” said Reed. “It’s just the long hours after several days.”

Wheatland Electric also hired farmers to help tow trucks out of the mud.

The extra help is going a long way for the local crews.

“Without the mutual aid, we wouldn’t be able to do half the stuff,” said Nathan Porter, a lineman with Wheatland Electric in Leoti. “We’re a little outpost, and we’ve got tons of guys, great guys helping us.”

As the days wear on, they’re tackling smaller and smaller population areas. Today, it’s Marienthal.

“We got a few on yesterday afternoon and we’ll get a few more on tonight,” said Porter.

Crews say it’s cold and tiring work, but it’s worth it.

“Yesterday, fortunately, I got to meet quite a few customers and turn them on,” said Porter. “That’s one of the best parts about this job, you know? They appreciate it and that makes you feel good.”

Some outages are pretty remote, so full recovery is likely weeks away, but crews are focused.

“It’s tiring,” said Porter, “but it’s got to be done, so we got to get-r-done.”

Officials with one company, Pioneer Electric, which serves western Kansas, reports that it may take crews up to ten days to restore electricity to some areas of Hamilton and Kearney counties, west of Garden City.

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Topeka cop saves boy from drowning, ‘I was in the right place at the right time’

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 18:55

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Chilling body camera footage captured a moment that no parent ever wants to see.

“This will stay with me for the rest of my life,” said Officer Aaron Bulmer, Topeka Police Dept.

Officer Bulmer, a 13 year veteran with the TPD was out on patrol Sunday when he noticed a 3-year-old boy walking towards a pond.

He says he was meant to be in the area.

“It could have been anyone, but it just happened to be me. And I felt that it was God’s hand of protection on that child and he used me as an instrument,” said Bulmer.

The officer immediately jumped into the pond, and helped pull the little boy, Elijah, to safety.

“I’m very grateful that everything turned out the way that it did, cause things could have been way worse,” explained Jaclyn Hamby, Elijah’s mother.

According to Hamby, Elijah had gotten out of their house by unlocking the door.

“I don’t think he’s able to fully comprehend the dangers behind that,” stated Hamby.

What Bulmer didn’t know at the time – Elijah has autism.

“As soon as he saw me, he stood up and said ‘mama’. And, that’s something that we worked really hard to get him to say for the longest time. He came right to me,” recalled Hamby.

A scary event that would have ended much worse, if this vigilant officer wasn’t there to save the day.

“Sometimes bad things happen, but for the most part we all want to help and be there for all of our citizens,” said Bulmer.

Elijah’s parents say he wasn’t injured and that they’ve installed a chain lock at the top of the door to keep this from happening again.

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WSU student leadership vote on proposal for YMCA

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 18:53

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) Student leaders took a vote Wednesday on a proposal to bring a YMCA to the Wichita State University campus.

The previous student government voted down a structure that would increase student fees per credit hour.

But, with new leadership voted in, the proposal has changes, and the Student Government Association president is hoping that the minds of the voters will change, too.

The old plan, which was turned down in March, meant the more classes you took, the higher fees you’d have to pay.

The new plan changes that.

SGA President Paige Hungate says, “When they (Administration) were looking at how student fees are assessed, and how they are per credit hour right now, it just seemed quite unfair that somebody taking so many hours is paying so much more than somebody taking a few hours.”

So it was back to the drawing board, for the structure of student fees.

Under a new proposal a flat rate would put students in one of three different tiers.

Hungate says that saves far more students money in the long run, and would include money for operational costs of a new YMCA.

It is based on headcount.

Some students are still not happy about the increase in fees.

“I would not be happy to pay for more fees when I already have a membership to the Y. They should take consideration about taking out those fees for people who already have Y memberships.,” says Haley Moore.

“Even when they were mentioning a head count fee it still seems like a lot,” says Gabrielle Billar.

After much debate, a vote came to a close. Ultimately it did pass with 23 votes for yes, and 16 for no.

The vote, however, is not binding. It will go to the Kansas Board of Regents, where they will cote on whether or not to increase student fees.

KSN News will continue to follow this story.

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Local family grateful for St. Jude donations

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 18:50

HAYS, Kan. (KSNW) – In two weeks, we find out who wins the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway. The money from the Dream Home tickets is helping children who have life-threatening diseases.

It was a routine eye exam that led to some shocking news for then-15-year-old Tyler Jones, and his mother Pam.

According to Pam, the doctor found bleeding behind his retina.

Tyler had a MRI, and his doctor found a tumor on his brain stem. It’s called juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma, a rare type of childhood brain tumor — that sent Tyler to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas for a biopsy.

However, due to insurance reasons, Tyler couldn’t stay at the hospital. They ended up sending him to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis — something Pam is forever grateful for.

“I just think that the technology and the specialized treatment that they have at St. Jude,” she said. “It’s the place to be.”

Tyler went through 33 radiation treatments over a two month period, all of it paid for by St. Jude.

KSN asked Pam if she believes the treatments, provided by St. Jude, helped keep Tyler alive.

“I do,” she said. “I really do.”

At first, it was hard for Pam to stay focused on helping Tyler fight the cancer. She said it was hard to think on your own, but St. Jude staff and volunteers helped her.

“Every morning you walk in and they hand you a sheet of paper,” she explained. “That is your job for the day. It’s an agenda.”

That morning routines helped her get through their stay at St. Jude.

“It’s where you need to be if you’ve got a sick kid,” said Pam.

St. Jude continued to monitor Tyler’s progress, with the family going back to Memphis every couple of months. However, a visit in 2014 showed that Tyler’s tumor doubled in size — causing him balance problems.

The doctor was able to remove the tumor, but Tyler ended up paralyzed on the left side of his body. St. Jude found Tyler a specialized treatment rehab that serves stroke victims, and once again, paid for all of it.

“Once you’re a St. Jude patient,” said Pam. “You’re a patient for life.”

Right now, Tyler is going through physical therapy and can walk without any aides.

“We don’t really need to hang on to him,” said Tyler’s physical therapist, Charmane Kandt. “But we do when we push him to go fast, so I hang on to him.”

Pam says it’s nice to see her son, now 26 years old,  almost back to normal again.

“We’ve got him to the point where he can drive a vehicle again,” she said. “He’s more independent. He doesn’t need me to take him anywhere.”

Pam is grateful for St. Jude, but knows Tyler’s progress wouldn’t be possible without the community’s help.

“Anybody that does donate to St. Jude, just know it’s going right where it belongs,” she said. “They don’t spend it anywhere except on the kids.”

Currently, Tyler is a patient in St. Jude’s lifetime study and he’ll be going back to Memphis every five years. Once again, St. Jude will pay for travel costs, housing and food, so that the family can focus on their main priority — Tyler.

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Wakeeny police chief arrested Wednesday afternoon

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 18:42

WAKEENEY, Kan. (KSNW)  The Kansas Bureau of Investigation arrested Wakeeney Police Chief Terry Eberle Wednesday afternoon.

Eberle was arrested for the following:

  • suspicion of blackmail
  • harassment by telecommunications device
  • attempted interference with law enforcement
  • intimidation of a witness or victim
  • tampering with a public record
  • two counts of theft

In January, Trego County Attorney Christopher Lyon requested that the KBI investigate several allegations of unlawful conduct made against Eberle.

Eberle was arrested without incident. He had his first appearance Wednesday afternoon.

The KBI said the investigation is still ongoing. Any further inquiries should be directed to the Trego County Attorney’s Office.

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Great Bend police arrest man for suspected kidnapping

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 18:05

GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) — Dispatchers take thousands of calls every day, from accidents to fires, and the most common — an “open call.”

When a Barton County dispatcher took an open call Tuesday afternoon, she didn’t know what she would be responding to.

“They could hear stuff in the background and it sounded kind of like an argument or altercation,” said Great Bend police chief Cliff Couch. “You could hear a male yelling at a female.”

The dispatcher was able to locate where the call was coming from and sent officers to a house located on McKinley Street.

Great Bend police officers are praising dispatchers — who worked to get the Tuesday night’s victim help.

“No matter if it’s a pocket dial, misdial, no talking on the line, we still dispatch our officers out there,” said Dena Popp, Barton County dispatch director. “We don’t know if it’s a true emergency.”

In this case, officers said it was. When they arrived and tried contacting someone inside the house, police said a woman dove out of a window yelling for help.

“It was obvious that she had been roughed up maybe,” Couch said. “She had some injuries about her face. Her shirt was torn.”

Officers were able to get the woman medical attention, and eventually arrested the suspect — who police identify as 32-year-old Miles Jackson.

Chief Couch said he appreciates the work dispatchers do, and in this case, it helped save a woman’s life.

“Information is power, and they’re our source of information,” he said. “The more information that our guys have when they go there, the better.”

While it may feel like a thankless job, dispatchers know they’re making a difference in someone’s life.

“That’s probably the most important thing for us as 911,” said Popp. “We are here to help those in need.”

Police said the woman told officers that she and Jackson were in a relationship, but she had left him.

According to police, Jackson called the woman almost a week ago, asking to work things out.

Police said the woman agreed to stay with him in Great Bend, but wanted to leave several days later when he became controlling of her.

The woman reported to police that Jackson wouldn’t let her leave and began hitting her at some point. According to police, Jackson also broke her cell phone after the woman told him she was going to leave him again.

Police said the victim was able to use Jackson’s cell phone to call 911 and threw the phone under a bed in hopes that someone would come save her.

Jackson was booked in the Barton County Jail on suspicion of aggravated kidnapping. According to police, officers also contacted Nicholas Espinoza, 24, and Nikalem Helms, 19, when they were in the house. Police said the officers later discovered Espinoza had an outstanding warrant, and he was also taken into custody.

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Radio and social media appeal to taxpayers

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 17:26

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Lawmakers need to find nearly $900 Million dollars to fix the budget. Some groups are appealing to voters to call legislators.

The group called riseupkansas.org is appealing for a direct call to lawmakers.

“Lawmakers are voting on a revenue package, revenue reform package, right now in their wrap up session,” says Duane Goossen with riseupkansas.org and the Kansas Center for Economic Growth. “And it’s critical that lawmakers fix up the state’s financial system so that schools can be adequately funded.”

Goossen’s group, riseupkansas.org has ads airing on the radio that appeal for a call to action.

The ad says, in part, “Kansans are ready to reverse course. Now it’s up to state lawmakers. The legislature has until June 30th to join the 74-percent of Kansans who reject the Governor’s agenda.”

But another group disagrees with those numbers. The Kansas Policy Institute is running social media and radio ads and offering online support materials that say only 4-17 % of Kansans want to reverse course on Governor Sam Brownback’s tax cuts, or to raise personal income taxes.

“Our hope is that people feel plugged in viewing the Kansas better together ads. Not necessarily to call lawmakers but to seek out more information, to take surveys that we’ve set up in some of the different advertising,” says James Franko with the Kansas Policy Institute. “To come to our site to learn more about what the true situation of the state budget really is.”

The Kansas Policy Institute has online ads and radio and social media ads that say, in part, “A few years ago Kansas passed tax cuts for everyone. Not long after the state budget was strained. But not because of lower taxes. The problem was because of more government spending.”

Franko says a responsible approach to fixing the Kansas budget includes not spending nearly $200 Million of taxpayer money on the current budget fix. He says there is a lot of money budgeted, that is no longer allocated for specific spending.

“Some of the biggest challenges that we face is providing accurate information to different people. A lot of folks up in Topeka, in good faith, have a different perspective and we certainly have a perspective as well,” says Franko. “Our message is absolutely the same, that before we go asking individual Kansans to send more money to Topeka, we should make sure that we are asking government to operate efficiently. And until that happens, we shouldn’t even be talking about tax hikes.”

Goossen’s group, meanwhile, says reinstating tax breaks championed by Governor Sam Brownback in 2012, is the right thing to do.

“Our budget continues to be out of balance,” says Goossen. “If lawmakers do not adequately fund schools or put an appropriate amount into the school finance formula, then there is a real chance that schools may not open this August because the court then may rule that the funding formula or the revenue package for the finance plan for the schools is not adequate.”

Two different approaches to spending.  You likely will be hearing one or both on radio and social media, soon.


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Suspects charged with first-degree murder in stabbing of 86-year-old man

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 17:11

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The man and woman accused of killing 86-year-old Otto Meyer on Friday made their first court appearance in Sedgwick County court today.

Boe Adams, 28, and Yvonne Mosqueda, 18, were both charged with first-degree murder, along with other crimes. Their bonds have been set at $250,000 each.

Adams has been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated robbery, forgery, and two counts of theft. Mosqueda has been charged with first-degree murder, aggravated robbery, and theft.

Officers were dispatched to a home in the 800 block of North Chautauqua to investigate after the victim was found dead inside with multiple stab wounds.

Both Adams and Mosqueda are scheduled to make their next court appearance on May 17.

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