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Updated: 23 min 46 sec ago

Update: Deputies no longer searching for man in connection to fire

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 16:55

COWLEY COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Cowley County deputies said the man they were looking for, in connection with a trailer home fire, was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The man was identified as 23-year-old Jacob Andes.

Authorities were dispatched on Tuesday to 19979 151st Road for a disturbance, and upon arrival, they observed smoke coming from a single wide trailer home that soon became engulfed.

A deputy reported hearing what sounded like popping noises from inside the residence and believed it could either be gun shots or noises from the fire itself. A perimeter was set up and crews with the Winfield Fire Department and Atlanta Fire Department arrived and extinguished the fire.

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Sheriff’s vehicle involved in crash on I-70

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 16:02

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A Shawnee County Sheriff’s deputy was involved in a crash Tuesday morning in Topeka.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reports the Nissan was westbound on I-70 when it left the roadway and struck Shawnee County Sheriff’s 2017 Chevrolet Tahoe that was legally parked monitoring traffic.

Officials on scene told KSNT News that driver of the Nissan, identified as Brooklyn McKay Rhyne, 20, of Topeka, had a medical condition that caused her to lose control of the vehicle. Rhyne was wearing a seat belt and was taken to Stormont Vail with minor injuries. A dog was also inside her vehicle and only had minor injuries as well.

Sgt. Bradley Metz, 45, of Topeka was identified as the driver in the Tahoe. He was taken to Stormont Vail with minor injuries. KHP reports he was wearing a seat belt.

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Dozens hope to save McAdams pool

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 13:54

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichitans pled with city council members Tuesday in order to save a local pool.

Dozens of adults and children joined the meeting to talk about saving McAdams.

The pool was closed back in February due to attendance and cost concerns. The pool will be converted to a splash pad.

Residents who use the pool say closing it takes away a vital part of their community.

“You adults keep telling us kids to take pride in our community. But you adults wanna take all of our resources. What’s left for us to take pride in?” said Tamara Parker, Wichita resident.

Swim USA and local sororities say they are planning to help bring attention to the pool.

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Concealed carry applications fall in Kansas

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 13:33

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt says applications for concealed carry licenses dropped to a record low last fiscal year after the state stopped requiring the permits.

Schmidt’s office announced Tuesday that it received 5,119 new applications for concealed carry licenses in the fiscal year ending June 30. That was the fewest applications received since the program began in Kanas in 2006.

In 2015, the Legislature eliminated a license requirement for Kansas gun owners. However, those who apply for the license can carry weapons in the 38 other states that recognize the Kansas license.

Schmidt said those who already have licenses continue to apply for renewals. He said the state received more than 21,000 renewal applications during the 2017 fiscal year.

More than 83,000 Kansans have active concealed carry licenses.

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Wichita Police Department to ‘Build Bridges through Books’

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 13:22

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita Police Department, along with Watermark Books & Cafe, is working on a program called “Building Bridges through Books”.

The program is made possible through a $160,000 grant from the Impact Literacy Initiative of the Wichita Community Foundation.

The program launches today, and in the next few days,14,000 Wichitans will receive a card in the mail inviting them to participate in the program and receive several free books directly from the officer’s hands.

Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books & Cafe, talks about one of the books selected as part of the “Building Bridges through Books” program. (KSN Photo)

“Families will receive the card, and they can contact Watermark Books & Cafe to sign up. We will connect the families to the police officers. We have blanketed the city evenly throughout, so that the community officers will work to get the books delivered,” said Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books & Cafe.

A few weeks after the books are delivered, there will be a community gathering in each quadrant of the city to discuss the books with the officers.

“We will have a community gathering several weeks after the drop of the books. We will have it three times a year. We don’t want to do it once. We want to create a conversation between the books, the police, and the citizens,” said Bagby.

“Unfortunately, most of the time, police contact is during a crisis,” said Officer Charley Davidson, Wichita Police Department. “This is an opportunity to build bridges through books, for us to build a bridge with our community in connecting through these books and reading these books. ”

Books have been selected for all age ranges, entertainment value, discussion points, and the quality of writing. If you receive a postcard and want to participate, the bookstore will work to get the books to you.

“They contact the bookstore. We have several questions to ask about the family. The number of children in the home, what ages they are? We will select the books, and we will take the names according to the community officer in that region. The officers will deliver the books over a period of about a week. Within the book, there will be information about the book, some discussion questions, and also about the community event where we can all come together to talk about the book and have some snacks and get to know each other,” added Bagby.

For more information, contact Watermark Books & Cafe at 316-682-1182.

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Jayden K Smith hacking warning on Facebook is a hoax

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 10:32

Facebook users are getting flooded with warning messages from friends.

The message warns users against accepting a friend request from a profile called, Jayden K. Smith. The message goes on to say Smith is a hacker and adding him as a friend will make you vulnerable to a hacking scandal.

Here is what users say to look for:

“Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list not to accept Jayden K. Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account. If one of your contacts accepts it, you will also be hacked, so make sure that all your friends know it. Thanks. Forwarded as received. Hold your finger down on the message. At the bottom in the middle it will say forward. Hit that then click on the names of those in your list and it will send to them.”

While kindhearted users are trying to help by sharing the message, it is indeed just another hoax.

But, as always, you should not accept friends you do not know on Facebook because they will then be able to see what you’re posting.

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Chick-fil-A offers free food to celebrate Cow Appreciation Day

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 10:30

Chick-fil-A is issuing a cattle call and wants to fill your tummies with chicken, today!

Chick-fil-A is giving away one free meal to every brave soul who dresses up as a cow on their national appreciation day, July 11.

Chick-fil-A said in a press release you can nab your free meal dressed from “head-to-hoof” or sporting any cow-spotted accessory.

Children in cow costumes will also get a free kid’s meal.

This is the 13th annual Cow Appreciation Day and Chick-fil-A will have an active Cow Appreciation Day Snapchat filter, allowing guests to share their experience with friends and family.

The Cow Appreciation Day celebration will start on July 11 and last until 7 p.m. that evening. You can find your closest location here.

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ATF: Explosion was domestic terrorism or a horrible prank

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 09:17

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — An explosion outside an Oklahoma Air Force recruiting center is being investigated as a possible act of domestic terrorism, but the late-night blast could also have been a horrible prank, a federal agent said Tuesday.

Federal authorities said a device was set off around 10:30 p.m. Monday in front of the recruiting center in the Tulsa suburb of Bixby. The center was closed at the time and no one was injured. Authorities declined to specify the nature of the device.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives spokeswoman Meredith Davis said agents are treating the matter as a domestic act of terror “out of an abundance of caution,” because of the proximity to the recruiting center, but that it could also have been a prank or an accident.

“There’s no doubt that military offices have been targeted in shootings and explosions in the past, but we also see people blowing off their fingers or blowing up their garages,” Davis said. “And sometimes people see cops make a U-turn and they throw stuff, or see them coming and throw something.”

The door of the center was blown off in the blast and landed in a parking space in front of the storefront and soot-covered windows. The office is situated in a commercial area that also houses small businesses, restaurants and financial planning firms. There is a movie theater nearby.

ATF and FBI agents are scouring the area for video surveillance that might have captured someone placing the device or could show a vehicle containing suspects, Davis said.

“It’s a two-pronged investigation,” she said. “There will be work being conducted on scene and being conducted in the field, such as interviews and recovery of (video) surveillance.”

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Officials prepare for hot weather during LAW camp

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 09:12

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Starting today, more than a 100 kids are going to be out in the heat during the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s LAW Camp. The camp takes place at Lake Afton.

The camp’s purpose is to create a partnership between law enforcement and youth. Using members of law enforcement as role models, LAW Camp’s goal is to help build self-esteem, confidence, and trust through activities that stimulate positive behavior.

Camp activities include a deputy-led martial arts demonstration, wall climbing, canoeing, fishing, and swimming.

Those organizing the law camp know this week is one of the hottest so far, and they’re making sure the kids stay cool.

“The kids will be given hats right off the bat and will be given water bottles that they will carry with them all the time, and we’ll be pushing the water to the kids to make sure they keep drinking water. We have all sorts of water activities for them to keep them cooled off,” said Lt. Lin Dehning, Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office.

There will also be a paramedic on scene 24 hours a day. The camp starts at noon and runs through Friday.

LAW Camp is conducted by the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office in partnership with the Kansas Army National Guard. It is supported by the Wichita Crime Commission, Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Sedgwick County, and more than 25 public and private sector organizations.

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Athletes need to stay cautious in hot weather

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 08:38

VALLEY CENTER, Kan. (KSNW) — Athletes are already out practicing under the hot sun.

Even though they’re fit, it’s important for them to be careful when exerting a lot of energy in the heat.

Athletes at Valley Center’s Hornets Football Camp. (KSN Photo/Amanda Aguilar)

Valley Center High School’s football camp started Monday. High school players train from 6:30-9 a.m. Although it’s in the morning, when it’s cooler, the football coach still wants his players to be cautious during practice.

According to Coach Caleb Smith, he prepares his players for the heat by requiring them to go through health screenings — such as physicals and heart screenings.

However, he said the only way athletes can get used to the heat is to get out in the heat.

“Not just waiting until football camp,” Smith explained. “So gradually work themselves into the heat — get out, swim, do things during the summer in the middle of the afternoon, so when they get to football camp, they’re not used to the air conditioning all summer. That’s important.”

During practice, athletes are encouraged to stay hydrated.

“We tell our coaches never tell a kid ‘no’ to water,” said Smith. “If they say they’re thirsty give them a water break, especially the younger kids. We’re giving them water every 10 minutes.”

Smith also said athletes need to be drinking water when they’re not training.

Valley Center coaches go through heat tests to recognize signs of heat exhaustion, according to Smith.

According to the Kansas State High Activities Association, temperatures reaching 80 to 89 degrees could result in fatigue. At 90 to 103 degrees, heat cramps and heat exhaustion are possible.

Some signs of heat exhaustion include vomiting, cold skin and feeling weak.

“If they tell you they’re dizzy, if they’re eyes are kind of doing funny things…there’s signs that you can just visually see that they’re starting to get a little bit of dehydration,” said Smith.

If this happens, it’s important for the athlete to get out of the sun and into the shade — and most importantly, they need to drink water.

For more information about heat illness prevention strategies, visit the Kansas State High Activities Association website.

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Report: Kansas wheat harvest almost finished

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 08:25

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – The latest government snapshot shows the Kansas winter wheat harvest is almost complete.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that 93 percent of the wheat has been cut. That is near the 89 percent reported a year ago as well as the average for this time. The agency says warm, dry weather helped aided harvest progress.

Other field crops in Kansas are also making progress.

About 3 percent of the soybeans in the state are now setting pods. Four percent of the sorghum has headed. About 36 percent of the corn is now silking.

The agency rated corn condition as 10 percent excellent, 51 percent good and 31 percent fair. Another 8 percent is in poor to very poor condition.

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Trump Jr. admits he wanted info on Clinton from Russian

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 07:50

WASHINGTON (AP) — A meeting between President Donald Trump’s eldest son and a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign occurred at the behest of a Moscow-based singer with family ties to Trump’s businesses, according to a participant in the talks. Donald Trump Jr. acknowledged Monday he made time for the meeting hoping to get information about Democrat Hillary Clinton.

The circumstances surrounding the meeting, and a report by The New York Times late Monday that Trump Jr. was told ahead of time that the source of the information was the Russian government, fueled new questions about the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Moscow, which are being scrutinized by federal and congressional investigators.

The Times reported that Trump Jr., who was a key campaign adviser to his father, was told the Russian government was behind the information on Clinton in an email from music publicist Rob Goldstone. The Times cited three unnamed people with knowledge of the email.

The report is the first public word that Trump Jr. accepted the meeting with the understanding that he would be presented with damaging information about his father’s political opponent and that the material could have emanated from the Kremlin.

Goldstone spoke to The Associated Press earlier Monday to confirm he had set up the meeting on behalf of his client, Emin Agalarov, but he did not disclose the contents of the email described by The Times. Goldstone did not immediately respond to attempts to contact him Monday night.

In a statement, Trump Jr.’s New York-based attorney Alan Futerfas called the Times report “much ado about nothing,” though he acknowledged his client had received an email from Goldstone to set up a meeting with the purpose of passing along damaging information on Clinton. His statement did not dispute the Times report on the email.

Futerfas said Trump Jr. was not told the specifics of the information and nothing came of the meeting. “The bottom line is that Don, Jr. did nothing wrong,” Futerfas said in the statement, noting that the younger Trump hasn’t been contacted by any congressional panel or Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office.

The White House referred questions to the president’s son. Mark Corallo, a spokesman for President Donald Trump’s outside legal team, would not comment on the Times story, reiterating only that Trump “was not aware of and did not attend the meeting.”

Earlier Monday, Trump Jr. tried to brush off the significance of the meeting, tweeting sarcastically, “Obviously I’m the first person on a campaign to ever take a meeting to hear info about an opponent … went nowhere but had to listen.”

Trump Jr. also said on Twitter he was willing to work with the Senate intelligence committee, one of the panels probing possible campaign collusion, “to pass on what I know.”

Lawmakers on the committee from both parties said they indeed wanted to talk with the president’s son. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said the panel “needs to interview him and others who attended the meeting.” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., agreed, saying, “Based on his own admissions, this is an attempt at collusion.”

The sequence of events that led to the June 2016 meeting highlighted the tangled web of relationships that investigators now are sorting through.

The president’s son said the meeting was arranged by an acquaintance he knew through the 2013 Miss Universe pageant Trump held in Moscow.

Trump Jr. initially didn’t name the acquaintance, but in an interview with the AP, Goldstone confirmed he set up the meeting on behalf of Agalarov. Goldstone said the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, stated that she had information about purported illegal campaign contributions to the Democratic National Committee that she thought Trump Jr. might find helpful.

Goldstone said Trump Jr. agreed to squeeze the meeting into a tight schedule.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, said Monday the Kremlin doesn’t know Veselnitskaya and “cannot keep track” of every Russian lawyer who holds meetings in Russia or abroad. Although she has not been publicly linked with the Russian government itself, Veselnitskaya represented the son of a vice president of state-owned Russian Railways in a New York money-laundering case settled in May before a trial.

A staff member at Veselnitskaya’s firm told the AP on Monday that she was unavailable for comment.

During his visit to Moscow, Trump spent time with Agalarov, appearing in a music video with him and several contestants in the pageant, which Trump owned at the time. Agalarov’s father, Aras, is a Russian developer who sought to partner with Trump on a hotel project in Moscow and tried to set up a meeting between Trump and Putin during the Miss Universe contest.

According to The Washington Post and several other media accounts, the elder Agalarov paid Trump $14 million to $20 million to stage the pageant in Moscow. But Aras Agalarov was unable to persuade Putin to meet with Trump. Putin canceled the session, sending a Trump a friendly letter and a lacquered box in appreciation, the Post has reported.

On Monday, Goldstone said the Trumps and the Agalarovs stayed in contact after the pageant, and Emin Agalarov asked him to reach out to the Trumps to broker the June meeting with Veselnitskaya.

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and now White House senior adviser, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort attended the meeting. Goldstone said he and a translator also participated.

During the meeting, Goldstone said, Veselnitskaya made comments about campaign funding “that were not specific,” and then turned the subject to a discontinued Russian adoption program and the Magnitsky Act , a bill passed in 2012 that allows the U.S. to impose sanctions on Russians for human rights violations.

Goldstone said that at one point during the meeting, Trump Jr. or Kushner said, “Can we get to the point?” And later, after Veselnitskaya had finished her presentation, Trump Jr. said, “Is that it?”

“The whole thing was really vague,” Goldstone said. He said he and Trump Jr. were the last to leave the room, and “I turned to him and said: ‘I’m really embarrassed. I don’t know what that was.”

Unlike Kushner, Trump Jr. does not serve in the administration and is not required to disclose his foreign contacts.

Over the weekend, Trump Jr. initially omitted any mention of Clinton from his account of the meeting, describing it as a “short introductory meeting” focused on the disbanded program that had allowed American adoptions of Russian children. Moscow ended the adoptions in response to the Magnitsky Act sanctions.

A day later, Trump Jr. acknowledged he was told beforehand that Veselnitskaya might have information “helpful” to the Trump campaign, and was told by her during the meeting that she had something about Clinton.

“No details or supporting information was provided or even offered,” he said. “It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.” He said there was no follow-up after the meeting and his father was unaware it happened.

Foreign nationals are prohibited from providing “anything of value” to campaigns, and that same law also bars solicitation of such assistance. The law typically applies to monetary campaign contributions, but courts might consider information such as opposition research to be something of value.

Bradley A. Smith, a former Bill Clinton-appointed Republican Federal Election Commission member, said that based on what’s known about the meeting, Trump Jr.’s actions are unlikely to be considered illegal solicitation. “It’s not illegal to meet with someone to find out what they have to offer,” Smith said.

But Larry Noble, a former general counsel at the Federal Election Commission, said the situation “raises all sorts of red flags.”

“You do not want your campaign to be involved with foreign nationals, period,” said Noble, now senior director at the Campaign Legal Center.

The New York Times first reported the lawyer’s meeting with Trump Jr. and the meeting’s prospect of negative information about Clinton. Trump Jr.’s acknowledgment that he hoped to get information from her on Clinton only came in response to questions from the Times.

___

Moody reported from New York. Associated Press writers Eric Tucker, Mary Clare Jalonick, Andrew Taylor and Stephen Braun in Washington, Julie Bykowicz in Baltimore and Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow contributed to this report.

___

Submit a confidential tip to The Associated Press: https://www.ap.org

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At least 16 die in military plane crash in rural Mississippi

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 07:47

ITTA BENA, Miss. (AP) — A U.S. military plane used for refueling crashed into a soybean field in rural Mississippi, killing at least 16 people aboard in a fiery wreck and spreading debris for miles, officials said.

Leflore County Emergency Management Agency Director Frank Randle told reporters at a briefing late Monday that 16 bodies had been recovered after the KC-130 spiraled into the ground about 85 miles (135 kilometers) north of Jackson in the Mississippi Delta. A witness said some bodies were found more than a mile from the crash site.

Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Sarah Burns said in a statement that a KC-130 “experienced a mishap” Monday evening but provided no details. The KC-130 is used as a refueling tanker.

U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, who represents North Carolina, said the plane was from the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. Tillis, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, said in a statement Tuesday morning that he and his wife were extending their deepest condolences to the families of the Marines killed, as well as to the Cherry Point station.

In a Tuesday morning tweet, President Donald Trump offered condolences.

“Marine Plane crash in Mississippi is heartbreaking. Melania and I send our deepest condolences to all!” Trump wrote.

Andy Jones said he was working on his family’s catfish farm just before 4 p.m. when he heard a boom and looked up to see the plane corkscrewing downward with one engine smoking.

“You looked up and you saw the plane twirling around,” he said. “It was spinning down.”

Jones said the plane hit the ground behind trees in the soybean field, and by the time he and other reached the crash site, fires were burning too intensely to approach the wreckage. The force of the crash nearly flattened the plane, Jones said.

“Beans are about waist-high, and there wasn’t much sticking out above the beans,” he said.

Jones said a man borrowed his cellphone to report to authorities that there were bodies across U.S. Highway 82, more than a mile from the crash site.

Greenwood Fire Chief Marcus Banks told the Greenwood Commonwealth that debris from the plane was scattered in a radius of about 5 miles (8 kilometers).

Jones said firefighters tried to put out the fire at the main crash site but withdrew after an explosion forced them back. The fire produced towering plumes of black smoke visible for miles across the flat region and continued to burn after dusk, more than four hours after the crash.

Aerial pictures taken by WLBT-TV showed the skeleton of the plane burning strongly.

“It was one of the worst fires you can imagine,” Jones said. He said the fire was punctuated by the pops of small explosions.

No more smoke was rising Tuesday morning from the site. State patrol units blocked all farm roads on U.S. Highway 82 about 2 miles (3 kilometers) away from the wreckage to keep anyone who wasn’t law enforcement or a response unit out of the area.

Officials did not release information on what caused the crash.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point is about 115 miles (185 kilometers) southeast of Raleigh and about 20 miles (30 kilometers) from the Atlantic Ocean.

The station was authorized by Congress just before the start of World War II. It supports the 2nd Marine Aviation Wing, providing, among other services, KC-130 aircraft used for in-flight refueling. The station covers 45 square miles (115 square kilometers) and has nearly 14,000 Marines, sailors and civilian employees.

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Wichita school superintendent lays out goals for the upcoming school year

Tue, 07/11/2017 - 00:00

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The state’s largest school district officially has a new leader.

Back in February, Dr. Alicia Thompson was announced as USD 259’s new superintendent, replacing outgoing superintendent John Allison.

That change was effective July 1st.

Tonight, was the first USD 259 Board of Education meeting for Dr. Thompson as the districts new leader.

Many community members turned out for the meeting, to congratulate Thompson on her new job.

“This has been a road that she has been working for and with that said we know that you are going to do a good job,” said Emile McGill, President of Delta Sigma Theta Inc. Wichita Alumni Chapter.

Other people who stood up at the podium offered well wishes.

“Her dedication to education and serving the community at large will make her an outstanding superintendent for our district,” said Larry Burks Sr., President of the NAACP Wichita Branch.

Dr. Thompson didn’t waste any time outlining some of her goals for the upcoming school year.

“We are really going to work on teaching a little bit differently so that our kids have the opportunity so that our kids have the opportunity to be problem solvers, to be more analytical thinking and be able to be creative in the ways that they display their learning,” said Dr. Thompson.

She also spoke about the challenge the district needs to tackle, revolving around the social and emotional character of the students.

“We know a student can be as smart as they can be, but once they go into the workforce, they really need to be able to have skills that will be able to help them collaborate and work well with others,” said Dr. Thompson.

Dr. Thompson said she and the board will also be seeking the communities input as well.

She says they plan to engage in listening sessions.

“I think it is very critical for me to be out internally and externally listening to the people in the field and in our community about what you all want to see this district to become,” said Dr. Thompson.

Dr. Thompson says those listening sessions should kick off sometime in October.

 

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Kansas farmer to trespassers: ‘It’s ridiculous! It’s disrespectful!’

Mon, 07/10/2017 - 22:46

VALLEY CENTER, Kan. (KSNW) – A Kansas farmer said he’s fed up with people trespassing on his property.

Josh Patterson’s life is fairly simple. The 5th generation farmer spends a majority of his time tending to his crops and animals. When he’s not behind the wheel of a tractor or combine, he’s often spending time with his family who also shares his love for farming. There is, however, one thing Patterson does not love, trespassers.

“I was out feeding calves out at the farm and all of a sudden they just take off running and they break all of my fences,” said Josh Patterson.

Patterson, caught off guard on Sunday morning, quickly searched for the culprit.

“So then I look up in the sky and there’s a great big ole hot air balloon and we know what that means,” Patterson said.

Patterson said hot air balloons near his farm often mean trouble.

“Well, first off it’s a floating torch,” he said.

Patterson said the balloon was headed straight toward his brother-in-law’s freshly cut wheat field.

“Fire and wheat stubble, especially in low humidity does not equal good things,” Patterson said.

Patterson said the pilot ended up landing the balloon across the road in a nearby pasture, but not before it spooked his cattle, causing them to break some of his fencing. He said while it will cost him to repair the fence, he was more worried about his animals.

“We don’t want them to move a lot because then they lose pounds and when they lose pounds, we lose money. When we lose money that’s a hit to our livelihood,” he said.

This was not the first time a hot air balloon as landed near or on Patterson’s property. Patterson said about two years ago a pilot landed in his newly planted soybean field, damaging a portion of his crop.

“To me it’s just a major slap in the face and disrespectful,” he said.

A Kansas commercial balloon pilot and instructor told KSN landing in crop fields or near animals is highly discouraged, but it does occasionally happen especially if the winds change direction during flight. The expert said most of the time things can be worked out between land owner and pilot.

However, Patterson said he’s had enough.

“It’s ridiculous! It’s disrespectful! I don’t go to their yards and drive around and do whatever I want, so why are they going to do it to me?” he said.

Patterson said in both ballooning cases the pilots have not offered to pay for the damage done to his crops or fence. He has contacted the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office about the incidents.

 

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Military plane crashes in Mississippi; at least 5 dead

Mon, 07/10/2017 - 22:32

ITTA BENA, Miss. (AP) — A military transport plane crashed Monday in Mississippi’s Delta region, killing at least five people aboard, officials said.

Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks told The Associated Press that a KC-130 military refueling tanker crashed about 85 miles (135 kilometers) north of Jackson.

At least five of the nine people supposed to be aboard have been confirmed dead, Banks told The Greenwood Commonwealth. He said a helicopter was searching for others around the crash site in a soybean field in a sparsely populated area.

Marine Corps spokeswoman Capt. Sarah Burns said in a statement that a Marine KC-130 “experienced a mishap” Monday evening but provided no further details.

Greenwood Fire Chief Marcus Banks, no relation to the sheriff, said the crash was reported about 4 p.m. CDT and debris from the plane was scattered in a radius of about 5 miles (8 kilometers). An intense fire fed by jet fuel hampered firefighters, Banks said, causing them to turn to unmanned devices in an attempt to control the flames.

“We were driven away by several high-intensity explosions,” he said.

Aerial pictures taken by WLBT-TV showed the skeleton of the plane burning strongly, producing plumes of black smoke visible for miles across the flat landscape of the delta.

Austin Jones, who owns a neighboring farm, said the fire continued after sunset.

“It’s burning worse now than it was early in the afternoon,” said Jones. He said his son watched the plane go down while working on the farm and said it was smoking as it descended.

Officials did not release information on what caused the crash or where the flight originated.

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Newton police explain high speed chase policy

Mon, 07/10/2017 - 17:58

NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) — Last weekend, Newton police got the call from the Kansas Highway Patrol to be on the lookout for a man going very fast on a motorcycle.

Newton officers found the suspect and chased him, hitting speeds of up to 120 miles-per-hour on the interstate between Newton and Wichita.

While nobody was hurt in the chase, we asked what the police stance was on chasing a suspect.

The Newton police chief says he has three layers in play. One, the officer doing the pursuit looks at traffic. Two, a field supervisor considers conditions like the weather, and three, as was the case this weekend, the chief himself gets in on the conversation, making sure they are getting the suspect, but also keeping the public, safe.

“As a supervisor, if I’m not in the pursuit, I can see where my units are located, which direction they are headed,” said Corporal Mike Stinger, Newton Police Department.

Corporal Stinger is one of those who can be assigned to watch a pursuit. A computer tracker shows where the pursuit is and what the traffic conditions may be on any given day. It’s one of the big reasons Newton police say they did not call off that high-speed motorcycle chase this weekend from Newton to Wichita.

Chief Eric Murphy, Newton Police Department (KSN photo)

Newton Police Chief Eric Murphy said “Some of the constant questions I was asking, and he was also asking, including the corporal who was involved in the pursuit, what was the traffic like?”

Chief Murphy believes his stance on chasing is a conservative one. Some of the things he watches for are no school zones, no bad weather and no heavy traffic, like rush hour.

But when they do chase, he gets an alert on his phone, like he did this weekend, where he then calls in to the supervisor, who was already monitoring the officers chasing their suspect.

Newton residents, like Rich Toevs, says he thinks chasing should be evaluated each time someone runs from officers.

“What they know about the person they are chasing,” said Toevs. “And whether they’ve posed a threat.”

But Chief Murphy says that already is one of his conditions for chasing criteria. Is the person running a threat?

“The biggest thing is, why are we chasing them?” said Murphy. “If it’s a low-level crime we are probably not going to be chasing them as far as we will somebody with a higher level crime.”

In the case of this weekend’s chase between Newton and Wichita, which ended in Wichita with the suspect being arrested, Newton police say communication was key — keeping the suspect in sight, and radioing that information ahead.

“Just because you can go fast doesn’t mean you can outrun the police but, you still can’t go faster than the radio,” said Corporal Stinger.

Categories: Local KSN News

American Legion Post 273 to remain open

Mon, 07/10/2017 - 17:30

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – There is new hope for American Legion Post 273 here in Wichita. This post is the last of three African American posts in the state of Kansas so when they received a letter to close from Topeka last month, they say they were shocked.

“We have been here since 1920,” said Post 273’s commander, William Young. “I refuse to be the last commander of post 273; there’s just too much history here.”

Young tells us the letter from Topeka stated that they were not following housekeeping rules set by American Legion and they had 19 days until their doors would close. This was now over a month ago. The post appealed the decision and  that appeal was sent to American Legion’s national headquarters in Indianapolis. Monday morning headquarters responded that the legion would remain open and the appeal would be presented in front of the entire committee at the national convention in August.

“Well, like I said before my dear, we are still here and plan to continue to be here,” said Young. “But now, we have a bigger problem.”

With the recent scare of the post closing, Young says members have stop coming in to the post and ultimately stopped paying their membership dues.

“We can fight whatever is legally happening with the post — we can fight those things but the lack of members attending our post, those things we can’t fight,” explained Young.

Young tells us there have been over one hundred members that have stopped paying their dues in the last 30 days.

“We had 5 members in the house on Friday night at 12 o clock. We can not continue to run this post and continue to pay our obligations without the membership support,” said Young.

The commander has received an out-poor of support from former commanders of posts that closed in Topeka and Lawrence. Locally, the NAACP chapter also has announced they too would be supporting the legion during this time.

“There was some hint of discrimination in the letter that was presented to the legion last month and ultimately, that’s what we are about; protecting any and everyone from discrimination. ” explained NAACP President, Larry Burkes. “Going back all the way to world war 1 through present time,  this has been a place where they have been able to come and be part of the community and this is something that they should have. They earned this through their service to this country.”

Categories: Local KSN News

Wichita schools begin to move administrative offices

Mon, 07/10/2017 - 16:41

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita Public Schools system is beginning to move administrative offices to the old Southeast High School building at 903 S. Edgemoor. The transition will occur through August 31.

The district’s administrative offices are moving following the BOE’s decision in June 2013 to relocate Southeast High School to its brand-new facility at 127th and Pawnee. The administrative offices are relocating to fulfill a promise to the neighborhood that the building at Lincoln and Edgemoor would remain vibrant once Southeast relocated.

The BOE approved the sale of the current administration building at 201 N. Water in December 2014. It is planned to become residential units.

Parents, business partners, and vendors are asked to call 973-4000 before coming to the administration offices to ensure the location of the department they wish to visit.

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Categories: Local KSN News

WICHway traffic alerts available by text or email

Mon, 07/10/2017 - 15:43

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – WICHway, the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) on Wichita’s highways, is offering a new feature.

The feature will send subscribers texts and/or emails that share special traffic alerts created by operators at the WICHway Traffic Management Center.

The alerts are created when a traffic problem such as a major crash, a highway closure or a similar event causes a significant disruption on a Wichita highway.

The alerts are an extension of the WICHway website, an informational resource the public can consult before traveling on Wichita’s highways. The website adjusts to the type of device being used – a computer, a tablet or a smartphone – and can be bookmarked on a smartphone so that it performs similarly to an app. A short video showing how to bookmark any page from the site can be viewed at KDOT’s YouTube page.

WICHway shares information that is gathered from 55 roadside cameras and 63 traffic sensors. Messages are displayed on 25 electronic message signs, shared on the website and can now be sent to subscribers so that travelers, commuters, freight operators and others using Wichita’s highways can make informed decisions about their route.

To subscribe to WICHway alerts, create an account at My Kansas 511 and select Wichita WICHway Alerts.

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Categories: Local KSN News

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