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Wichita, KS News Weather and Sports
Updated: 26 min 34 sec ago

Be wary of the solar eclipse glasses you buy

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 19:28

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Monday, there’s going to be a solar eclipse, and you’re going to want a front row seat. But not too close.

“The sun produces an incredible amount of ultraviolet light, that’s what will give you a sunburn on your skin, it’ll also cloud the clear part, the lens of a person’s eye,” says Harold Henderson of the Kansas Astronomical Society. “That damage is permanent. It accumulates over time.”

If you aren’t wearing official ISO 12312-2 rated glasses, you’re risking permanent eye damage.

Gwen Ottenberg, the owner of Imagine That Toys, just got her latest shipment of solar eclipse glasses.

It was no easy task.

“These are from American Optics in Tennessee and we had to call in some favors to get some more,” says Ottenberg.

Not easy because of all the fakes floating around.

Viewer Steven Gilliland said his family got a call shortly after ordering their glasses on Amazon saying that they were not safety certified by the manufacturer.


Glasses the Gilliland Family bought from Amazon were not safety certified. (Photo courtesy Steven Gilliland) Glasses the Gilliland Family bought from Amazon were not safety certified. (Photo courtesy Steven Gilliland)


But they are very similar to the real ones. They even have the ISO emblem.

Melissa Wray got hosed on her order. Her glasses don’t even have the ISO rating. They just have a vague disclaimer.

(Photo courtesy Melissa Wray) (Photo courtesy Melissa Wray)


She got a refund and statement from Amazon saying they are not officially safety certified.

NASA is looking out for you though.

Online, NASA has listed reputable places through the American Astronomical Society showing the real and fake ones and locations where you can purchase the certified glasses.

As the craze continues building for the eclipse, Ottenberg realizes her store is one of very few places in Wichita that will have more glasses in stock Friday.

“The key is safety for these kids and adults that are looking. Your eyesight you only get one shot at it,” says Ottenberg.

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Storms cause major damage in Greenwood County

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 19:09
(Photo courtesy Greenwood County Emergency Management)

GREENWOOD COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Storms caused major damage in Greenwood County Wednesday.

According to Levi Vinson with Greenwood County Emergency Management, straight-line winds caused windows and doors to be blown out at Eureka High School.

Trees have been reported down on unoccupied cars. Multiple outbuildings and metal buildings have also been destroyed.

No injuries have been reported.

KSN’s Carly Willis is heading to Greenwood County to report on the damages. She will have more information in KSN’s 10:00 p.m. newscast.

(Photo courtesy Greenwood County Emergency Management)

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Great Bend city administrator announces retirement

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 18:25

GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) – The city administrator of Great Bend announced his retirement Wednesday.

Howard Partington said his retirement will be effective as of 5:00 p.m. Wednesday.

The following statement was released:

Effective 5 pm today, August 16th, I am announcing my retirement from my position as city administrator of the City of Great Bend.

I have dedicated the past nearly 36 years to serving this community and looked forward to retirement early next year, However, the recent actions of a loud and malicious minority including bullying, relentless harassment, threats, and untrue comments made about me have caused great pain to my family. This group has chosen to turn a policy dispute into a very personal attack on me and other officials. These malicious attacks have taken a devastating toll on my health, my wife’s health and the health of my daughter. Therefore, I find it necessary to take this action today.

I am 67 years old, a United States Army veteran and a cancer survivor. Even though these harassing attacks have been the most difficult challenge I have faced in my life, I am still proud to have the support of the majority of the people in this community, and proud of the many projects I have been a part of with this city over the past years ….projects like the flood control project, helping retain major businesses such as CPI and Fuller Brush, major improvements to our water, sewer, and street infrastructure, and more recently the development of the Wetlands Water Park and the Great Bend Sports Complex. We are also in the process of developing numerous current and future projects. I am proud of the City’s solid financial position a s I leave and of the carefully managed city portion of property taxes which favor the taxpayers of this community.

But the greatest joy I have truly experienced here has been the people I have been privileged to work with, the outstanding employees,  the dedicated department heads, the supportive governing body members and the great people of Great Bend…you have made my years here fulfilling. Thank You Great Bend for letting me serve you as your city administrator for so many years. We have found and will always appreciate the many friends we have in this community which has been our home for so long. My family and I will always care for this wonderful community and wish the very best for it.

Howard D. Partington Great Bend

Partington’s retirement comes after the Great Bend City Council’s decision to suspend Great Bend Police Chief Cliff Couch.

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Over 2,000 people without power in Sedgwick Co.

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 16:43
(Photo courtesy Westar Energy)

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – More than 2,000 people are without power following storms that hit Sedgwick County Wednesday.

According to Westar Energy, 2,558 people have lost power in Sedgwick County.

Power is expected to be restored around 4:45 p.m.

According to Jana Dawson with Westar Energy, about 1,300 people are also without power in the Andover area.

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One person dies in Wichita motorcycle crash

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 16:03

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – One man has died after a motorcycle crash in Wichita Wednesday.

The crash happened around 2:30 p.m. in the 6600 block of W Central.

According to WPD Officer Charley Davidson, a male driver was travelling eastbound on Central in the outside lane and lost control of his motorcycle. He struck a curb and then a guard rail.

EMS pronounced the man dead at the scene of the crash. He was not wearing a helmet.

The driver’s name has not yet been released.

The Critical Accident Team and other investigators are assisting the WPD with the investigation of the crash.

Authorities said eastbound Central will be closed for some time for further investigation. They are urging drivers to avoid the area.


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Valley Center patrol car damaged in morning chase

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 15:26

VALLEY CENTER, Kan. (KSNW) – A Valley Center police car was damaged in a chase Wednesday. It started around 7 a.m. when officers were dispatched to a suspect getting into cars in the 800 block of Quail.

Officers arrived and found a white truck leaving the area with two suspects inside.

Officers attempted to pull the vehicle over and a pursuit began. The pursuit went south on Meridian and East on Ford to the interstate. They exited the interstate at 61st street. The pursuit ended at 61st and Air Cap Drive where the suspects rammed a Valley Center patrol car.

They were quickly taken into custody and booked into the Sedgwick County Jail. There were no serious injuries.

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Wichita now has one centralized passport office

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 15:12

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – If you are getting ready to travel out of the country and are in need of a passport, Wichita now has one centralized passport office.

The three locations now have been combined into one location at the Downtown Post Office at 2nd and Waco. The offices were combined to allow extended hours at one location.

“We used to not take passports on Saturdays, which we do here now from 9-5. It gives people an option to come in on Saturdays because most people work and kids go to school,” said Ryon Knopik, Wichita postmaster.

For more information, you can click here. It has all the information and forms you need to bring in to complete a passport.

The process time at the office will take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. You will still need to set up an appointment though by calling 316-262-6543.

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KSN and Kansas Humane Society team up to host Clear the Shelters event

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 14:34

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – KSN and the Kansas Humane Society will host NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ Clear the Shelters third annual nationwide pet adoption drive on Saturday, August 19.

On this day, the Kansas Humane Society will offer waived pet adoption fees as part of the nationwide Clear the Shelters initiative that seeks to help families find and adopt homeless pets.

Since 2015, Clear the Shelters has resulted in more than 70,000 pet adoptions nationwide.

“Clear the Shelters has been a hugely successful event at other animal shelters across the country and we are so excited to be a part of this year,” said Mark Eby, President/CEO of the Kansas Humane Society. “We are so thankful to KSN and sponsors Subaru, Petco, Fahnestock and York for helping us make this event happen. Because of them, we are helping families find new best friends and helping most, if not all, of our animals find forever homes.”

The event will run from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The Kansas Humane Society is located at 3313 N. Hillside.

Audiences can visit ClearTheShelters.com to access more information, including the full list of local participating animal shelters.

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Indictment: Child porn found on employee’s company phone

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 13:32

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – A federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging a Kansas man with producing child pornography.

Ronny D. Peters, 39, Kansas City, is charged with two counts of producing child pornography. According to court records, the investigation began when Peters’ former employers called the FBI to report finding child pornography on a company cell phone Peters turned in after he was fired. The phone belonged to Pop-A-Lock, a locksmith company based in Lafayette, La. The company has franchise operations across the United States and Canada, including Kansas City.

The indictment alleges Peters sexually exploited a minor child to produce videos that investigators found on the phone.

If convicted, he faces not less than 15 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count.

The FBI investigated.

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Boil water advisory issued for City of Burns in Marion County

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 12:22

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a boil water advisory for the public water supply of the City of Burns located in Marion County. KDHE officials issued the advisory because of a line break resulting in a loss of pressure in the system. Failure to maintain adequate pressure may result in a loss of chlorine residual levels and bacterial contamination.

The advisory took effect on Aug. 16, 2017, and will remain in effect until conditions that place the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved adequately. KDHE will issue the rescind order following testing at a certified laboratory.

Customers should observe the following precautions until further notice:

  • Boil water for one minute prior to drinking or food preparation, or use bottled water.
  • Dispose of ice cubes and do not use ice from a household automatic icemaker.
  • Disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces by immersion for at least one minute in clean tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water.
  • Water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled. Supervision of children is necessary while bathing so that water is not ingested. Persons with cuts or severe rashes may wish to consult their physicians.
  • If your tap water appears dirty, flush the water lines by letting the water run until it clears.

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Dresses recalled due to choking hazard

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 11:53

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Laura Ashley dresses have been recalled due to a choking hazard. The recall involves Laura Ashley London Girl’s Floral Clip Dot dresses.The flower petals can detach, posing a choking hazard to children.

The dresses were sold in newborn to girl’s sizes 0/3M through 6X at Dillard’s stores nationwide and online from Amazon and Zulily. Style numbers 17156300, 17156307, 17156344, 27156300, 27156307, 27156344, 47156300, 47156307, 47156344 are included in this recall.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled dresses away from children and contact the firm for a full refund.

No injuries have been reported yet.

Pastourelle toll-free at 888-507-7275 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, email at info@pastourelle.com or online at www.pastourellerecall.com.

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Great Bend zoo loses tiger

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 11:41

GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) – The Great Bend-Brit Spaugh Zoo said their Bengal Tiger, Sunny, was euthanized.

Animal care and veterinary staff decided that Sunny’s quality of life had deteriorated to a point that we could no longer keep him comfortable.

For the last five years Sunny was monitored closely and had undergone treatment for severe arthritis and stomach ulcers.

During his 2012 annual physical, he was found to be in the beginning stages of kidney failure and in 2014 a cancerous tumor was removed from the base of his tail.

Sunny moved to the zoo along with his brother Spirit in 1998 when they were just eight weeks old.

The zoo will not immediately acquire a new tigers as the building and yard are nearly twenty years old and in need of some renovation. After the renovations are complete, the zoo will seek to acquire Malayan or Sumatran tigers through the Species Survival Plan.

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Lightning catches oil tank on fire near Salina

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 11:32

SALINA, Kan. (KSNW) – Storms caused a fire Wednesday morning in Salina.

A lightning strike hit an oil tank a little to the northeast of the city of Salina, just off North Street. Firefighters from Rural Fire District 5 responded to the fire. Thick black smoke could be seen pouring from the area.

The Saline County Sheriff’s Office told KSAL News at the scene that firefighters kept the fire from spreading as the oil was burning off. There were no injuries.

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Total solar eclipse checklist: What you should watch for

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 10:35

Here is your complete guide of what to watch out for during the total solar eclipse on August 21 from start to finish.

Diamond ring: Put on those certified eclipses viewing glasses! You will be able to see a brief flash of light on the edge of the sun and moon seconds before and after totality.

Prominences: A large, bright loop that may appear pink and extends from the sun’s surface.

Totality: During this phase, the moon will completely cover the sun and you can take off your certified eclipses viewing glasses.

Corona: The sun will appear as a dark hole in the sky during the total eclipse. This is the only time you can see the sun’s upper atmosphere because the sun’s surface is usually too bright.

Planets: In order of brightness, Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury will be visible. Venus will appear to the west of the sun about 15 to 30 minutes before totality. About 30 seconds before and after totality, Mars will appear close to the west side of the sun and will appear orange. At a similar distance on the east side of the sun will be Mercury. Jupiter will be farther to the southeast of the sun.

The horizon: Look at the horizon during the eclipse to see the most spectacular “sunset.”

Animals: During an eclipse animals reportedly change their behavior going into their safe spaces like trees and barns.

Atmosphere: The temperature will drop several degrees during the total solar eclipse.

Shadow bands: Check out the shadow bands immediately before and after the total eclipse on the ground. They appear different each time there is an eclipse and no one is sure why.

Baily’s beads: Put your glasses back on as totality approaches and look for Baily’s beads around the rim of the moon.

You can find a list of all the approved glasses for safe viewing of the solar eclipse here.


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Violence adds momentum to removal of Confederate statues

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 10:28

Cities and states accelerated their plans to remove Confederate monuments from public property as the violence over a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, moved leaders across the country to plan to wipe away much of the remaining Old South imagery.

Only two statues were taken down immediately, in Gainesville, Florida, where the Daughters of the Confederacy removed a statue of a Confederate soldier known as “Ole Joe,” and in Durham, North Carolina, where protesters used a rope to pull down a Confederate monument dedicated in 1924.

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But the anti-Confederate momentum seemed to ensure that other memorials would come down soon. Many local and state governments announced that they would remove statues and other imagery from public land, or consider doing so, in the aftermath of Saturday’s white nationalist rally that killed one person and injured dozens more.

The changes were publicized as President Donald Trump defended Confederate statues in wide-ranging remarks.

“This week it’s Robert E. Lee. I notice that Stonewall Jackson’s coming down,” Trump said during a visit to Trump Tower in New York. “I wonder, is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”

Asked specifically whether Charlottesville’s Lee statue should come down, he said: “I would say that’s up to a local town, community or the federal government, depending on where it is located.”

All around the country, Republican and Democratic officials at the state and local levels moved swiftly to begin a process to remove the statues.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said he would ask the Legislature to reverse a 2015 law signed by his Republican predecessor, Pat McCrory, that prevents the removal or relocation of monuments, and to defeat a measure giving immunity to motorists who strike protesters. He also planned to ask state officials to determine the cost of moving Confederate statues and to give him options of where they could go.

Map locates and totals up the estimated number of Confederate monuments in the U.S.

“Our Civil War history is important, but it belongs in textbooks and museums?— not a place of allegiance on our Capitol grounds,” Cooper said in a statement.

In Maryland, GOP Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday he would push to remove the statue of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, author of the infamous Dred Scott ruling in 1857 affirming slavery, from state land.

“While we cannot hide from our history, nor should we, the time has come to make clear the difference between properly acknowledging our past and glorifying the darkest chapters of our history,” said Hogan, who before had resisted calls to move the statue.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings announced plans Tuesday to ask his city council to appoint a task force to study the fate of the city’s Confederate statues. Rawlings said he personally finds the monuments to be “dangerous totems,” but a task force would ensure a productive conversation.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, called on state officials Monday to remove a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate cavalry general and an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan, from the Tennessee Capitol. Protesters earlier draped a black jacket over the head of the bust while cheering, “Tear it down!”

Similar plans were being made in Baltimore and San Antonio, as well as Lexington, Kentucky; Memphis, Tennessee; Jacksonville, Florida; and elsewhere.

In Durham, Sheriff Mike Andrews said protesters who toppled a nearly century-old Confederate statue in front of a North Carolina government building would face felony charges. The Confederate Soldiers Monument, dedicated in 1924, stood in front of an old courthouse that how houses local government offices. The crumpled and dented bronze figure has been taken to a warehouse for storage.

Deputies later arrested Takiyah Thompson, who identified herself Tuesday as the woman who tied the rope that was used to tear it down. She said her actions were justified because Confederate statues represent white supremacy.

A law professor and director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio called removal a “slippery slope,” saying judging historical figures through a modern lens can be difficult.

“A healthy democracy and people within that democracy should be able to say, ‘This is our history.’ And history is made up of actions of human beings, and human beings aren’t perfect,” said Jeffrey F. Addicott, who stressed he was speaking for himself and not the law school.

Statues, he added, can be moved, but he’s opposed to them being “put in a warehouse never to be seen again because then you’re kind of erasing or rewriting history.”

The Sons of Confederate Veterans condemned attempts to take down Confederate statues around the country.

“These statues were erected over 100 year ago to honor the history of the United States,” added Thomas V. Strain Jr., the group’s commander in chief. “They’re just as important to the entire history of the U.S. as the monuments erected to our forefathers.”

Strain, who said his group did not participate in Charlottesville, condemned the Klan, white nationalist groups, neo-Nazis and other extremists.

“It’s painful to watch for lack of better words,” he said. “It was our family that fought, and it was our families that died, and now we have these knuckleheads hijacking the flag for their own purposes.”

But city and state officials said Charlottesville convinced them it’s time to move on from having Confederate imagery in prominent public places.

In Lexington, Kentucky, Mayor Jim Gray moved up his announcement by a day in reaction to the Charlottesville bloodshed. Memorials to John C. Breckinridge and John Hunt Morgan are perched outside a former courthouse that was the site of slave auctions before the Civil War.

“This is the right time,” Gray said Monday. “We accelerated that because of the events in Charlottesville, but I knew that it was the right thing to do.”

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5 missing after Army helicopter goes down off Hawaii

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 10:14

HONOLULU (AP) — U.S. Coast Guard and military crews are searching the ocean off Hawaii for five crewmembers of an Army helicopter that reportedly went down during a training exercise, authorities said Wednesday.

Officials at Wheeler Army Airfield near Honolulu reported losing communications around 10 p.m. Tuesday with the crew of a UH-60 Black Hawk, the Coast Guard said in a news release.

Responding teams reported spotting a debris field about 2 miles (3 kilometers) west of Kaena Point, Oahu, shortly before 11:30 p.m., the release said.

An airplane, two helicopters and several boats are being used in the search across an area with light winds and 2-foot seas.

Two Black Hawk crews were conducting training between Kaena Point and Oahu’s Dillingham Airfield at the time communications were lost, officials said.

Night training offshore is routine, said Lt. Col. Curtis Kellogg, public affairs officer for the Army’s 25th Infantry Division.

The search began immediately after one aircrew lost visual and video contact with the other helicopter, Kellogg said.

The two helicopters are elements of the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade.

The UH-60 Black Hawk is a four-bladed, twin-engine utility helicopter manufactured for the Army by Sikorsky Aircraft starting in the 1970s.

Kaena Point is northwest of Honolulu.

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Woman dies after ambulance crashes

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 08:47

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a 66-year-old woman was killed when the ambulance in which she was riding crashed in southwest Oklahoma City.

The highway patrol says the wreck happened early Wednesday on Interstate 44. According to a preliminary report, the ambulance drove off the road then overturned and landed on its top.

The highway patrol says the cargo compartment of the ambulance separated from the vehicle’s cab, and two passengers in the back of the ambulance were ejected.

Authorities say Carolyn D. Koch of Blanchard was pronounced dead at the scene. The ambulance’s driver and another passenger were taken to the hospital in good condition.

The cause of crash is under investigation.

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Police stress safety in school zones

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 08:30

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Kids were out of school all summer, and drivers and pedestrians had a break from worrying about school zones.

Now that school is back in session, law enforcement wants to remind drivers and pedestrians that it’s back to sharing the road.

According to Safe Kids Kansas, every day in the United States, more than 40 kids are hit by a vehicle while walking.

School zone safety tips for drivers:
  • Know school drop-off procedures
  • Do not double-park
  • Put away cell phones or any distracting items
  • Be alert for children who might dart across the street or between vehicles

Law enforcement added that kids and pedestrians must also stay safe in or near school zones.

School zone safety tips for pedestrians:
  • Look left, right, left before crossing and continue looking in all directions while crossing
  • Do not cross mid-block
  • Watch out for cars backing up from parking lots or driveways
  • Phones down, headphones off and heads up when walking

According to local law enforcement, officers will be out on duty near school zones enforcing safety tips and posted school zone signs.

Need a refresher on what the signs mean? Watch KSN’s Amanda Aguilar give Katie Taube and Mark Davidson a ‘Safety signs’ pop quiz!

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How to make a pinhole projector to view the Solar Eclipse

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 07:55

Too late to get your hands on some eclipse glasses? NASA might have your solution!

Mobile users click here for video.

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KSN Threat Tracker for Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 05:55

5:00AM Storm tracker radar shows a pretty active radar with strong showers and storms especially in NW KS this morning. These storms can produce some very heavy rain and wind. Rain chances will remain today and this evening across the state. Stay with KSN through the day as we track the storms.

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