Local KSN News
SUMNER COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – A fatal accident in Sumner County has shut down parts of US-160 west of the KTA terminal.
Officials said a car and a semi truck collided.
It is unclear how many people were injured in the crash.
WASHINGTON (KSNW) – Kansas Governor Sam Brownback was back on Capitol Hill today. Senators grilled their former colleague on whether he is fit to be the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.
Governor Brownback is no stranger in Washington. He served as U.S. Senator to Kansas for over a decade before taking on the role as governor in 2010. Today he is one step closer to moving back to Washington as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.
Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee welcomed their former colleague back to the Capitol.
“It’s Senator Brownback, not Governor – we take the higher title,” said Senator Ben Cardin, (D), Maryland.
This time Brownback is hoping to change that title to Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. As ambassador he would travel around the world to monitor and respond to threats of religious freedom, and report back to the secretary of state.
“If we don’t have religious freedom around the world you are going to see a continuation of conflicts like we have today, and probably growing and accelerating,” said Gov. Sam Brownback.
Brownback confidently told the committee that if confirmed he would fight for religious minorities around the world.
“I think the issue is just so critical,” added Brownback.
When Senator Tim Kaine asked if that fight would include protecting the rights of LGBT individuals Brownback hesitated.
“Is there any circumstance under which criminalizing, imprisoning or executing somebody based on their LGBT status could be deemed acceptable because somebody asserts that they are religiously motivated in doing so?” asked Kaine.
“I… I don’t know what that would be, in what circumstance, but I would continue the policies that had been done in the prior administration and working on these international issues,” replied Gov. Brownback.
Brownback is expected to step down as governor if he is confirmed by the Senate.
LAS VEGAS (NBC NEWS) – President Donald Trump met Wednesday with surviving victims of the Las Vegas shooting at University Medical Center in the city and hailed their heroism for trying to save others even as their own lives were in danger.
Trump also credited the bravery of law enforcement members and honored the professionalism of doctors and other medical staff for their response to the massacre.
“I have to tell you: it makes you very proud to be an American when you look at the job that they’ve done,” he said.
When asked at University Medical Center his message for those impacted by the shooting, Trump said, “We’re with you 100 percent,” adding that he had invited some victims to the White House.
“And believe me, I’ll be there for them,” he promised.
Asked about gun violence in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting, Trump deflected, saying he wouldn’t talk about that today.
After the hospital, Trump visited the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, where he spoke with law enforcement, including Sheriff Joseph Lombardo.“The mass murder that took place on Sunday night fills America’s heart with grief,” Trump said in a somber, scripted address. “America is truly a nation in mourning.”
Those “whose final act was to sacrifice themselves for those they loved should inspire all of us to show more love every day for the people who grace our lives,” the president said, highlighting stories of law enforcement officials, including some who attended the musical festival off-duty, who risked their lives to help others during the shooting.
“When…the worst of humanity strikes, and strike it did, the best of humanity responds,” he said.
In earlier, more informal remarks, the president called the shooter a “sick, demented man.”
Trump arrived in Nevada days after a mass shooting that claimed the lives of 58 people at a country music festival outside the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.
Before leaving the White House on Wednesday morning, the president spoke briefly with reporters, describing America’s deadliest shooting in modern history as “a very sad thing” and offering his praise for law enforcement.
“We’re going to pay our respects and to see the police, who have done really a fantastic job in a very short time,” Trump said. “It’s a very, very sad day for me, personally.”
The president said officials were learning more about the shooter and that information will be made public soon.
While Democrats have called for stricter gun control laws in the wake of the shooting, the White House and Republicans leaders have deemed that policy debate “premature.”
It’s been a soggy Wednesday across Kansas, as we’ve already seen isolated rainfall totals of around 1-3″. This is good news because we still need the rain, but it’s been a little too much over a short period in some places, so please be mindful of the potential for flooded roadways.
Rain and non-severe storms are still ongoing across the eastern half of the state, so you’ll want to grab your rain gear if you’re headed out to lunch: http://ksn.com/weather/interactive-radar/
Because of the rain, we’ve kept with overcast skies and muggy conditions in Wichita this afternoon – definitely feels like an October day!
The rain is expected to taper off through the afternoon, but we will keep with cloudy skies, forcing temperatures to stay mild in the 60s and low 70s.
But our rain and storms will pick back up tomorrow and Friday as yet another front makes its way across Kansas, so keep that umbrella handy at all times!
On top of the rain chances, we are actually monitoring the potential for severe storms across southcentral Kansas Friday evening, which could impact your Friday night football games, so please stay weather aware!
Watch me time all of these showers out on Stormcast in my latest weather video right here: http://ksn.com/2017/03/08/weather-forecast-discussion/
And enjoy the rainy day!
~Katie the Weather Lady
LAS VEGAS (NBC News) – Images from inside Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock’s hotel room paint a chilling picture of the preparation that led up to Sunday’s terrifying massacre.
Just inside the blown out door lays a high-powered sniper rifle, one of 23 weapons scattered throughout the suite.
Photos obtained by the Daily Mail show chairs filled with guns, spent ammunition, and assault rifles scattered on the floor alongside Paddock’s body.
Officers say he turned one of the weapons on himself as they rushed in.
Investigators have also uncovered multiple video cameras.
“There were two cameras located in the hallway so the suspect could watch as law enforcement or security approached, and there was another placed inside the hotel room peep-hole,” said Las Vegas Metro Police Undersheriff Kevin McMahill.
Agents met Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, at the Los Angeles International Airport overnight as she returned to the United States from The Philippines. She’s being described as a “person of interest” in the case.
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) – When a lone gunman took aim at a crowd of thousands, killing at least 58 people and wounding hundreds more, it was clear Las Vegas would never be the same.
Two days later, some resorts on the Strip are considering major changes in security.
At the Wynn and Encore, new bag checks and metal detector inspections are underway for guests entering the property.
Caesars Entertainment issued a statement, saying, “We are constantly reviewing our security policies and practices to keep our guests and employees safe.”
Meanwhile, at Mandalay Bay, there remains that haunting image of the blown out windows on the 32nd floor where the gunman carried out his deadly plot.
“You hear about all the crazy stuff that happens around the world that happens on the news and you think you’re safe over here,” said Rachel Pitzel of Canada. “I’m sorry, I’m never coming back again – no offense.”
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Police in Oklahoma say a man has been arrested after threatening shootings in Oklahoma City and San Antonio similar to the recent deadly assault in Las Vegas.
Police say 39-year-old Roderick Lamar Robinson was arrested Tuesday in the Oklahoma City suburb of Warr Acres.
Jail records show Robinson is being held Wednesday on a terroristic hoax complaint. No attorney is listed to speak on his behalf.
Oklahoma City police posted on Facebook that several people messaged the department alerting officers that Robinson had posted the threats on Facebook.
A police spokesman hasn’t returned a phone call seeking comment.
A page that appears to be Robinson’s contains no such threats on Wednesday.
At least 59 people were killed Sunday night when a gunman opened fire on the Las Vegas Strip.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) – University of Kansas police are investigating after about 20 used shell casings were found outside the university’s administrative building.
Police say they have found no evidence that a weapon was shot anywhere near Strong Hall before the cases were found Tuesday in bushes.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports police believe the person or people who left the shell casings were trying to make a statement but they didn’t elaborate on what type of statement.
A Kansas law that took effect in July required state universities to allow concealed guns on their campuses. There has been strong opposition to the law on many of the universities’ campuses.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kellogg under I-235 and I-235 over Kellogg will be closed for the placement of 12 large bridge beams this weekend.
The roads will be closed beginning at 7 p.m. Friday and finish by 6 a.m. on Monday.
Detours will use the four diamond ramps on the outside of the interchange.
WASHINGTON (KSNW) – Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is testifying today in a U.S. Senate confirmation hearing.
President Donald Trump has nominated Brownback to serve as U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.
Brownback says he was an original supporter of the International Religious Freedom Act, which was signed into law in 1998.
It is one of several reasons, Brownback says he’s accepting President Trump’s nomination for a position in his administration.
“I am honored to assume, if confirmed by the Senate, such an important role,” Brownback said back in July.
Brownback said he hasn’t set a time to step down from governor. His departure would elevate current Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer as the next governor of Kansas.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) – A Kansas City, Kansas, man who called himself rapper C-Los El Gran was sentenced to 14 years in prison for participating in a $4 million drug trafficking ring.
U.S. Attorney Tom Beall says 30-year-old Carl Sierra pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. As part of his plea, he admitted being a member of a drug trafficking conspiracy led by his half-brother, Edwin Pacheco. Authorities say they distributed methamphetamine throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Investigators used confidential informants and electronic surveillance to monitor Sierra’s conversations with Pacheco, during which they discussed the drug distribution.
Pacheco is awaiting sentencing.
Country star Jason Aldean is cancelling three upcoming tour dates after a mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas out of respect for the victims and to take time to mourn.
The singer was onstage Sunday when a gunman shot at the Route 91 Harvest festival. Aldean said in a statement Tuesday that this weekend’s shows scheduled for Los Angeles, San Diego and Anaheim, California, would be cancelled and he would resume his tour on Oct. 12 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
“It has been an emotional time for everyone involved this week, so we plan to take some time to mourn the ones we have lost and be close with our family and friends,” he said. He also issued a rallying cry for Americans to come together.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is reckoning with the aftermath of a deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas when he visits the city on Wednesday.
Trump heads to the city days after a gunman on the 32nd floor of a Vegas Strip casino and hotel opened fire on people at an outdoor country music festival below. The Sunday night rampage by Stephen Craig Paddock killed at least 59 people and injured 527, some from gunfire and some from a chaotic escape.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Trump said: “What happened is such a tragedy. So unnecessary. Who can believe what happened to Las Vegas?”
Trump will be joined by first lady Melania Trump. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he and Rep. Mark Amodei, a Nevada Republican, also will make the trip.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The official death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico has increased to 34 from 16, the U.S. territory’s governor said Tuesday.
Gov. Ricardo Rossello also said he believes the hurricane that struck on Sept. 20 with winds over 150 mph caused $90 billion in damage across the Caribbean island.
The governor made the announcement at a news conference following U.S. President Donald Trump’s short visit to the U.S. territory to assess the storm’s impact.
During his stop, Trump congratulated Puerto Ricans for avoiding a high death toll of “a real catastrophe like Katrina.” As many as 1,800 people died in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina breached levees protecting New Orleans.
The governor said the death toll in Puerto Rico included 19 people who died as a direct result of the storm and 15 whose deaths were caused indirectly by the storm, local media reported.
Nearly two weeks after the storm, 95 percent of electricity customers remain without power, including some hospitals. Some people have expressed concerns about the effect that extended outages will have on the ill and vulnerable in the tropical heat.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, there are now more than 10,000 federal officials on the ground on the island, and 45 percent of customers now have access to drinking water. Rossello has said he hopes 25 percent of electricity customers will have power by the end of October.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – At least 59 people were killed and more than 500 others were injured when a gunman opened fire on a crowd at a music festival in Las Vegas.
As the shots rang out, the crowd had only seconds to decide what to do. Videos of the shooting show some people running and other huddling together on the ground.
Although the situation in Las Vegas was unique, local law enforcement said it’s always important to have a plan.
“The things we need to think about now is getting ourselves in the right mindset to react,” said Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Chad Crittenden. “Because under these events and stressful times, if you haven’t already began to prepare for these incidents, more than likely you’re going to panic or freeze because you have to think about what should I do next.
In most active shooting situations, law enforcement teach the “Run, Hide, Fight” method. These are federal guidelines by the Department of Homeland Security:
- Running is your best option. Getting away from the shooter or shooters is the top priority.
- Leave your belongings behind and get away
- Help others escape, if possible, but evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow.
- Warn and prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be.
- Call 911 when you are safe, and describe shooter, location, and weapons.
- If you can’t run, then hide. Get out of the shooter’s view and stay very quiet.
- Silence all electronic devices and make sure they won’t vibrate.
- Lock and block doors, close blinds, and turn off lights.
- Don’t hide in groups — spread out along walls or hide separately to make it more difficult for the shooter.
- Try to communicate with police silently through text message or social media — so they know geo-tagged location, or by putting a sign in a window.
- Stay in place until law enforcement gives you the all clear.
- Your hiding place should be out of the shooter’s view and provide protection if shots are fired in your direction.
- Fighting is the last resort. Commit to your actions and act as aggressively as possible against him/her.
- Recruit others to ambush the shooter with makeshift weapons like chairs, fire extinguishers, scissors, books, etc. to distract and disarm the shooter.
- Be prepared to cause severe or lethal injury to the shooter.
- Throw items and improvise weapons.
These are some of the tips KHP teaches during their active shooter mitigation course — usually geared toward businesses and schools. However, the course is open to the public.
In wake of what happened in Las Vegas, Trooper Crittenden said it’s important for the public to get in the right mindset to react in emergency situations.
“We need people to be leaders and to take charge and help, because a lot of times it is the civilian world out there that’s taking care of business, sometimes before even law enforcement can arrive,” he said.
If you’re interested in attending the Kansas Active Shooter Mitigation course, contact the KHP Training Academy at (785) 822-1700.Medical ID app for emergencies
After the Las Vegas shooting, many people were reported missing and had no identification. However, there is a tool that first responders, law enforcement and hospital staff can access in case of an emergency situation.
WATCH: KSN’s Amanda Aguilar explains how to use the Medical ID app
LAS VEGAS (AP) – The girlfriend of the Las Vegas mass shooter is back in the United States after being in the Philippines during the shooting.
The Las Vegas gunman’s girlfriend will be at the center of the investigation into the shooting deaths of 59 people as authorities try to determine why a man with no known record of violence or crime would open fire on a concert crowd from a high-rise hotel.
Marilou Danley, 62, was in the Philippines at the time of the shooting.
A law enforcement official says FBI agents met Danley at the airport in Los Angeles late Tuesday night. The FBI did escort her through the Los Angeles International airport.
The official wasn’t authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Paddock opened fire on a country music festival on Sunday.
He died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Authorities have not discovered a motive.
Starting off the day with scattered showers and thunder developing across the state this morning!! Storms are not severe, but they could drop some locally heavy rain.
You can tell that there is a cold front trying to work it’s way into Wichita!! It is moving slowly and at this hour it’s pretty easy to see that it is hung up between Wichita and Hutch. But it will get here and when it does we will get cooler and less humid air.
Our StromTracker Forecast is looking really positive for widespread rainfall across the state! Especially in SW KS! Looking like Wichita will have some nice rain through Friday as well!!
Temps will be in the 60s and 70s across Kansas today and there will be on again and off agian chances for rain statewide all the way through Friday. This is very good news since the state needs the rain!
Rain chances will wrap up right on time, giving us a nice warm weekend!! Then take a look at what happens early next week!! A true taste of Fall as a push of cool Canadian air move in!!
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita Animal Control presented their annual report to the city council Tuesday morning.
The report shows that euthanasia rates at the Wichita Animal Shelter has dropped dramatically, since the facility opened in 2009.
Wichita Police Lieutenant Brian Sigman is the commander for Wichita Animal Services.
He says in 2009, the euthanasia rate on dogs was 47 percent.
Lt. Sigman says it was much highers in cats, at 80-percent and for other animals, like rabbits and guinea pigs, it was 78-percent.
Altogether that accounted for a 60 percent euthanasia rate for the facility.
However, as of 2016, the numbers are much different.
“Those numbers went to a six percent euthanasia rate on dogs, 43 percent on cats, and 47 percent for other animals, which when you combine all that together that makes a 22 percent euthanasia rate,” said Lt. Sigman.
It is numbers like that, Lt. Sigman says, are better than the rest of the country, on average.
“The national average is 31 percent so Wichita’s animal services actually comes in under the national average,” said Lt. Sigman.
So KSN asked, why the drop in the numbers?
“A lot of it is with our partnerships with the Kansas Humane Society next door to us, the other partnerships with the local rescue groups is another reason those numbers have gone down,” said Lt. Sigman.
Under the Kansas Animal Act and by Kansas law, Lt. Sigman says they have to keep animals for three days.
However, he says, they’ve taken that a step further to help decrease their euthanasia numbers.
“We actually extended that time to six days, so we are actually doubling the time the animals are kept here to be able to help with us being able to reclaim that animal to an owner,” said Lt. Sigman.
It’s something that has gotten the attention of city officials.
“By data, it looks like we are making some improvements and I appreciate that,” said Mayor Jeff Longwell.
Lt. Sigman admits, they are happy with the numbers.
“Our whole mission is to get these pets reunited with their owners and as those numbers show, it is working,” said Lt. Sigman.
However, he says they are working to decrease the euthanasia rates even more.
Lt. Sigman says they are making efforts and taking strides to reduce the euthanasia rates in cats.
One way to do that, Lt. Sigman says, is to encourage cat owners to get their pets microchipped.
He says he’ll be talking with different rescue groups to get their input on the issue.
KSN checked with the Kansas Humane Society to see what their numbers are.
Mark Eby, the President and CEO of the Kansas Humane Society says they are setting all-time records in almost every category.
He says through August of this year, they have brought 3,694 animals over from Wichita Animal Services.
That is up from 3,534 at this time last.
Eby says 7,291 animals have found a home from the KHS through August of this year.
That is up from the 6,891 that had found a home at this time last year.
Eby says this correlates with fewer animals being euthanized.
He says the save rate for the KHS in August of this year was 98-percent. For the entire year, it has been around 92 to 93-percent.
Eby says that is up from the 87 percent save rate they had in 2016.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Three weeks after the murder of a Wichita doctor, some of his patients said they are still struggling to find care.
The doors are locked and a closed sign now hangs outside the office of late Wichita Doctor Achutha Reddy. Former patient Susan Murphy said Reddy’s murder is still raw.
“A lot of emotions are built up because of Dr, Reddy and how much he helped me, how much he was there for me,” said Murphy. “He through the years became a mentor, a friend, a therapist, a psychiatrist.”
Murphy suffers from bipolar disorder and depression. She relied on Dr. Reddy’s services for 17 years. Murphy said she is still trying to come to terms with his death.
“Terrible. I haven’t slept. My voice, I can tell is pressured now,” she said.
Murphy, like so many other patients of the holistic psychiatrist, was left in limbo after Reddy was killed on September 13. Now, nearly three weeks later, Murphy said she has finally had contact with a new psychiatrist. However, she said she is concerned her new doctor won’t be able to prescribe her medications.
“Dr. Reddy, many times, would only see me for 5 minutes and was able to prescribe meds,” she said.
David Kapten is the program director at Wichita’s Breakthrough Club, a social and vocational program for people with a mental illness.
“Dr. Reddy had seen our members for quite a long time and they had built very strong relationships. He was one of the kind that went out of his way to accommodate, to schedule our members in when they were not scheduled to,” Kapten said. “We have two members in Breakthrough right now that are really struggling.”
Kapten said about 10 Breakthrough members were patients of Dr. Reddy.
“I think Dr. Reddy’s office is trying to accommodate them, but still they haven’t. Most of them, ones I have talked to say they haven’t been able to find another psychiatrist just because it’s difficult in Wichita to find a psychiatrist,” Kapten said. “It’s a system, a systematic problem getting somebody to receive services in Kansas is sort of difficult. You have to go through a lot of channels.”
Officials with Wichita mental health organizations told KSN they are working to make sure none of Dr. Reddy’s patients fall through the cracks. The Behavioral Medicine Specialists said they’re serving about 30 of his patients. The Mental Health Association said it’s caring for about 55 of his patients.
Shawna Allen with the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas said finding care for each of Dr. Reddy’s patients has been a challenge because mental health services were already operating with a skeleton staff before Reddy’s death. She said, however, the mental health community has come together to treat those in need.
Allen said there are about 5 different organizations and providers helping to fill the gap. She said one of her part-time doctors at the Mental Health Association has started working another day to help serve Reddy’s patients.
Murphy said she has an appointment scheduled for mid-October to meet with a new psychiatrist. She said she is hopeful, yet concerned about her overall well-being.
“He got me out of that depression and I’m like, ‘who is going to do that now when that happens?'” she said.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Eric Laurence has the people of Puerto Rico on his mind.
“I saw the necessity,” says Laurence. “I saw that there was nobody in Wichita doing it.”
And supplies for them in his shop.
“You know with a generator you go from misery, to having something. You have a light. Maybe you can turn on a fridge,” says Laurence.
Laurence has been keeping tabs on his family there.
“They are able to get gasoline. They are able to get food. But there are a lot more people who don’t have those resources and that is the people we want to reach for,” he says.
He has been collecting donations and has gotten quite the response from the community.
He has filled a garage and two vans. He has so much that this his neighbor at the Faith Center has taken in the overflow.
The challenge is getting it all to Puerto Rico.
“Out of nowhere we got the phone call that we got the containers coming. We have the drivers coming this way as we speak. So, we are just really excited about that,” says Laurence.
At no cost to Laurence, a private company is stepping up. They’re sending two trucks to Wichita, packing them up, and hauling them to Galveston, Texas. There they will be loaded on to ships and taken to Puerto rice. On one condition.
“The only thing she asked me for was not to mention who she was or who the company, because they don’t want to take credit for anything. They just want to help because they have a good heart.”
Next stop, Puerto Rico.
“It is a community effort. It is a city effort. It is a state effort. You know it is just everybody helping out.”
You can drop donations off from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at PR Auto Glass until Saturday. That’s located at 308 East Lincoln Street.