Local KSN News
BUTLER COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – A Kansas EMS agency is starting a conversation about suicide prevention and the overall mental health wellness of first responders.
A survey of more than 4,000 first responders found that 6.6 percent of them had attempted suicide, which is more than 10 times the rate in the general population, according to a 2015 article published in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services.
“Most professionals that are first responders, they are there to help everybody else except they forget to help themselves,” said Butler County EMS Captain Josh Whiteside.
Josh Whiteside has been working in the EMS field for nearly 14 years.
“There’s actually several of us on staff, my self included, who have seen a lot of stuff and go and talk to professionals just to make sure we treat it and nothing comes of it,” Whiteside said.
Whiteside said talking to trained professionals about what he has seen on the job has helped him get through traumatic emergency calls.
“I think it was 2007. I was working and we got called out down to a wreck just north of Rose Hill and it ended up being a 19-year-old Rose Hill fire fighter who was unconscious. He was ejected from his vehicle. We lost his pulse just as soon as we put him on the back of the truck,” Whiteside said. “That has stuck with me and will always stick with me.”
Whiteside said professionals have also helped him deal with the suicide of one of his coworkers.
“It shook the department to its core,” he said.
In 2009, a Butler County EMS worker took his own life, according to Whiteside.
“This particular individual was one of those types that could get anybody to smile, to laugh, to open up,” he said.
However, behind his humor, Whiteside said the individual, who KSN is not naming per the family’s request, was struggling.
“A big part of it, I’m positive was the job. The other part was personal life as well and that is just like a double whammy,” Whiteside said.
Whiteside, who grew up with the individual, said the employee also kept a log of the people who died while in his care. Whiteside said it took him several years to come to terms with his coworker and friend’s death.
“You sit there and try to think what did I miss and that’s hard to get past sometimes especially when it’s something so personal,” he said.
Since the employee’s passing, Butler County EMS has put a focus on suicide prevention, most recently taking part in a mental health survey. Of the about 50 employees who took the survey, two of them admitted they had attempted suicide while 10 employees said they have contemplated suicide.
KSN asked Whiteside what his reaction was to the survey’s results.
“First, it’s alarming. The second one is we should know this and the then the third thought is there’s usually one or two extra per vote that’s not accounted for a lot of the times because they don’t want to speak up,” he said.
Whiteside said the survey is proof first responders must get the mental health help they need in order to combat the issue.
“The challenge is, just first off, to get an organization to accept that there is a problem, that it needs to come into focus and we need to do something about it because we lose far too many people every day, every year to mental health,” Whiteside said.
Whiteside said the department is working to put together a peer group for first responders needing to seek help. He said the goal is for them to have a resource of people to to talk to who understand what they see day in and day out as an EMS professional.
CLEVELAND (AP) – The Cleveland Indians can return to clinching their division and playoff preparations.
Their historic winning streak is, well, history.
Cleveland had its AL record run stopped at 22 straight games on Friday night as the Indians were beaten 4-3 by the Kansas City Royals, who became the first team to conquer the defending league champions since Aug. 23.
Jason Vargas (16-10) pitched into the sixth and Brandon Moss homered off Trevor Bauer (16-9) as the Royals ended baseball’s longest win streak in 101 years. The Indians set a new league mark and came within four of matching the overall record held by the 1916 New York Giants.
Following a magical, walk-off win in extra innings on Thursday night, the Indians couldn’t muster another late rally and fell for the first time in more than three weeks.
When Francisco Lindor struck out with a runner on first to end it, the packed crowd gave the Indians a prolonged standing ovation. Manager Terry Francona and the Cleveland players came out of the dugout to salute their fans.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea says leader Kim Jong Un vowed to complete his nuclear weapons program in the face of strengthening sanctions after he inspected a powerful new intermediate-range missile that was fired over Japan.
The North’s state media carried Kim’s comments on Saturday, a day after U.S. and South Korean militaries detected the missile launch from the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.
It traveled 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles) before landing into the northern Pacific Ocean.
It was the country’s longest-ever test flight of a ballistic missile.
The North has confirmed the missile as an intermediate range Hwasong-12, which it also launched over Japan on Aug. 29.
North Korea has also threatened to fire a salvo of these missiles toward Guam. It conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Only days before Dr. Achutha Reddy was brutally murdered, Umar Dutt, the man accused of killing him, visited a gun range in hopes of purchasing a firearm.
Mike Relihan, owner of Bullseye Shooting Range, says, “Yeah, he came in Saturday trying to buy a firearm.”
Relihan says his employees felt something was off about Umar from the get go, saying they thought he might be suicidal.
“Just what he was trying to buy, he was wanting something really cheap. You can tell when somebody is under stress. You know it just wasn’t right,” says Relihan.
Relihan’s employees decided they weren’t going to sell him a gun that day, but they still ran his background check.
“When we called in ATF said they were going to delay his approval to purchase the firearm and, you know, he became upset by that and so that really kind the suspicion on our part,” says Relihan.
KSN reached out to ATF who says they are working a case with the Wichita Police Department but would not give any further comments.
“You just don’t expect to know people that this happens to,” says Tracy Leeks.
Leeks has been a friend of the Dutt family for nine years.
“You could not ask for a better family to have in your life, period,” says Leeks.
And she says this is not the Umar she came to know.
“He has never been disrespectful or anything to me,” says Leeks. “He has always, I mean, been a good kid. My heart goes out to Dr. Reddy’s family but my heart also goes out to the Dutt family.”
WPD says they may present the case to the District Attorney’s office as soon as next week.
SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – The death of Dr. Achutha Reddy leaves a hole in the mental health community in Wichita.
Reddy was a holistic psychiatrist who treated his patients by tuning in their bodies and minds. His stabbing death has patients and the mental health community grieving.
“These situations are very difficult and very painful for the community but I think what I want people to understand is, people with serious mental illness are more likely to be victims of violent crime than they are to be perpetrators of violent crime. and what you’re seeing here, is a very tragic and unfortunate anomaly,” Rick Cagan with National Alliance on Mental Illness said.
Statistics from NAMI show that 1 in 5 people will experience a mental health situation in their life while 1 in 17 struggle with a mental illness, some that can be downright debilitating.
Many of Dr. Reddy’s patients are calling into different mental health hotlines as they are without medication and treatment right now.
“Calls have been up everywhere, but here? Absolutely…just worried, and they’re grieving,” Shawna Allen with the Mental Health Association of South Central Kansas said.
The MHA has brought in therapists to their main office to just visit with patients in crisis on a case-by-case basis.
Dr. Reddy’s patients are encouraged to wait until Monday to call the clinic while staff recuperates from the tragedy. Currently, many mental health organizations are banding together to fill the void left by Dr. Reddy.
If you or a loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis, you are encouraged to call the MHA at 316-685-1821 or you can even text “NAMI” to 741741 and a specialist will help you through your struggle. Resources are available at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – The man accused of holding a Kansas judge hostage for several hours has been sentenced to life in prison for terrorism.
According to Attorney General Derek Schmidt, Senior Judge Jack Burr sentenced Jason Linn Nichols, 34, of Garden City, to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 20 years.
Nichols was found guilty of one count of terrorism, one count of kidnapping, one count of aggravated burglary, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of criminal threat and one count of criminal restraint.
The incident happened on May 31, 2016.
Kansas law defines terrorism to include the commission of a felony with the intent to influence government policy by intimidation or coercion or with the intent to affect the operation of any unit of government.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The father suspected of killing his three children in California is cooperating with investigators, though they still aren’t offering a motive for the slayings, authorities said Friday.
Robert William Hodges, 32, was interviewed by investigators after he was found near midnight Thursday parked alongside Interstate 80 about seven miles from the apartment where police found the three children following a domestic violence call. Police previously said Hodges was 33.
“I don’t know what they gleaned from that interview. I don’t know what the motive was,” said West Sacramento police Sgt. Roger Kinney.
Hodges is being held for arraignment Monday on suspicion of three counts of murder in the slayings of 11-year-old Kelvin Hodges, 9-year-old Julie Hodges and Lucas Hodges, nearly eight months. Prosecutors expect to file formal charges Monday, said Yolo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Raven.
A message left at a telephone number linked to Hodges’ parents was not returned. Authorities said he does not yet appear to have a lawyer.
Hodges also is being held on suspicion of attempted murder in the assault on his wife, Mai Hodges, which Kinney says reflects the seriousness of the attack.
“She didn’t go to a hospital but what he did to her was significant enough that it did merit a charge of attempted murder from our investigators,” Kinney said.
Family members were also still struggling Friday with what triggered the slayings.
Mai Hodges’ sister, Lyang Xvang, said the family was not aware of any problems between the couple. Police said they had no history of calls to the family’s apartment, and Hodges had no significant criminal history.
“They love each other very much,” Xvang told The Associated Press in a Facebook messenger exchange. “Before baby Lucas was born, Robert loved my little girl so much. I just don’t understand how he made this choice.”
Hodges’ wife was the one who initially called police about 9:20 p.m. Wednesday to report that she had been assaulted as she returned home, Kinney said. A “very emotional, very upset” witness then called moments later, while officers were still en route, to report “there are three possibly deceased juveniles in that apartment.”
Hodges left as officers were on their way. Kinney couldn’t say when the children were killed or if they were already dead when his wife arrived home and was assaulted. He said the mother was close by when the killings occurred but didn’t witness the killings.
Mai Hodges is talking with investigators as she is able while she recovers and deals with her grief, Kinney said.
“It may take some days to get a really good statement from her,” he said. “I’m sure she’s going through a rollercoaster of emotions, so we’re getting what we can out of her as she’s able to communicate.
“She is doing the best she can, considering her three kids were murdered, and she has lots of community support,” he added. That was illustrated, he said, by the roughly 2,000 people who attended a candlelight vigil Thursday at an elementary school attended by the two older children.
Police and district attorney’s investigators planned to work through the weekend as they prepared for Hodge’s first court appearance.
Rodriguez reported from San Francisco.
It’s a winter wonderland in Montana today. This is a welcomed sight as the state has been battling wildfires for some time. The picture above was captured this morning in the higher elevations — a sign that the seasons are changing and “Winter Is Coming!”
We will be on the much warmer side of things heading into next week. We still have a few spotty showers and random rumbles along and east of the Turnpike this afternoon from Wichita to Emporia.
This wave will push east and continue to weaken. Because of this rain and the clouds associated with it, our temps have been affected in Wichita. We’re struggling to get back into the 80s, whereas the rest of the state is toasty!
I still see a chance for an isolated shower or thunderstorm early this evening. Don’t cancel your outdoor plans, but I would take an umbrella to the football game this evening just to be on the safe side.
Over the weekend, our storm chances will increase throughout the state. Some of the storms Saturday evening could be on the strong to severe side. I’ll have an hour by hour look tonight on KSN News at 5, 6 and 10. – Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita State University officials are looking for answers after 11 sculptures on campus were discovered vandalized Thursday night and Friday morning. Duct tape was placed over the mouths of women depicted in the sculptures.
“The Martin H. Bush Outdoor Sculpture Collection is a university and community treasure that brings quality, pride and character to the campus,” said WSU President John Bardo. “Defacing great works of art is an attack on freedom of speech, artistic expression and the very nature of the university. A university is an environment that must welcome many voices and the discussion of differences, and it also must respect the creativity that is the essence of humanity.”
It is unclear who is behind the vandalism, but Natasha Stephens, the university’s Title IX coordinator, said there are other ways to express your voice that are more constructive rather than vandalizing art.
“Our goal is to foster a campus community that is fair and equitable to all in Shocker Nation,” said Stephens. “We strive to provide opportunities for individuals to articulate their concerns and to support and empower one another.”
The sculptures could have suffered further damage if discovered too late. Bob Workman, director of the Ulrich Museum, said the extent of the damage won’t be fully evaluated until later next month.
The vandalism comes just days after another sculpture was covered with taped posters.
Anyone with information regarding the vandalism is asked to contact Wichita State University Police at 316-978-3450.
A roundup of some of the most popular, but completely untrue, headlines of the week. None of these stories are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out; here are the real facts:
NOT REAL: Florida Governor Rick Scott Now Listed As ‘Critical’ After Bizarre Hurricane Cleanup Accident
THE FACTS: The Last Line of Defense, a well-known producer of hoax stories, has claimed in a series of articles that Scott was severely hurt when a ceramic roof tile hit him in the head Monday during the cleanup following Hurricane Irma. Scott has been crisscrossing Florida surveying damage and checking in on relief efforts in the days since the storm hit and was not injured.
NOT REAL: Georgia Mosque KEEPS Hurricane Harvey donations, will send to Syrian refugees instead
THE FACTS: This viral hoax story from Daily Notify says the Ramazala Mosque in Peachton, Georgia, is diverting relief money for Harvey victims to refugees from Syria. Neither the mosque nor the town exists. In addition, the photo included in the story also appears on the site of a Canadian relief organization providing aid to Myanmar.
NOT REAL: Vladimir Putin donates $5 million dollars to Houston Hurricane Harvey victims
THE FACTS: While many well-known figures opened their wallets to make sizable contributions to relief efforts in Texas, the Russian president wasn’t one of them. A site make up to look like a news outlet claims Putin also called on “other individuals, organizations and also countries” to follow his lead in donating money. Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells the AP he’s not aware of the leader making any such donation.
NOT REAL: Tony Romo OUT 4-6 Weeks After Suffering Sore Throat In Broadcasting Debut
THE FACTS: The former Cowboys quarterback is scheduled to be in the CBS broadcast booth Sunday in New Orleans when the New England Patriots take on the Saints. A prank story from Daily Snark claimed Romo would be replaced by a young broadcaster named Pak Brescott. The site appears to be ribbing Romo, who lost his job to rookie Dak Prescott last year after getting injured in the preseason.
NOT REAL: World’s most popular candy to be removed from shelves by October 2017!
THE FACTS: Fans of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups shouldn’t be concerned about the sweet and salty snack disappearing just before Halloween despite a story from Breaking News 365 that claims the candy is being discontinued. Hershey’s, which owns the Reese’s brand, tells the AP that people can rest assured that “the only people removing Reese’s products from shelves are consumers, who are taking them home to eat.”
This weekly fixture is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing efforts to fact-check claims in suspected false news stories.
Find all AP Fact Checks here: https://www.apnews.com/tag/APFactCheck
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas State students rallied against white nationalism after racist posters were plastered around campus.
The Kansas City Star reports that participants in the Thursday night solidarity rally also decried President Donald Trump’s decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Children Program, which allows some immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay. About 800,000 people are affected by Trump’s decision to give Congress six months to end their limbo status.
The rally was organized after posters appeared on campus Wednesday. The school described the fliers as “unwelcome” in a statement.
The university also found several racist messages on campus during the spring semester, including a noose hanging in a tree. Kansas State created two new diversity and inclusion administrative positions over the summer.
If you thought it was unusually hot yesterday, you would be right! Temperatures soared well above normal into the 90s across Kansas. Even Dodge City and Hill City reached the century mark, breaking their record high temperatures yesterday!
Things have been a little different today, with rounds of showers and non-severe storms moving through, keeping our temperatures down in southcentral Kansas. Get the latest radar view here: http://ksn.com/weather/interactive-radar/
We’ve also seen an increase in south winds today, which will be a nuisance through tomorrow. More humidity is also going to make it feel hotter outside come this evening.
So for the rest of your Friday, keep note that spotty showers and storms will be possible, but much of the state looks to remain quiet. Otherwise, increasing sunshine, hotter temperatures, humid conditions, and gusty south winds.
Even better storm chances are on the way for tomorrow evening as our front stalls out across central Kansas. Most of your Saturday will be quiet, so you can still head out to the Kansas State Fair or do anything else outdoors. However, just keep an eye to the sky during the evening hours for a few possibly strong to severe thunderstorms.
Get all of the details on your weekend forecast right here: http://ksn.com/2017/03/08/weather-forecast-discussion/
~Katie the Weather Lady
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – The Kansas Department of Labor says the state’s unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent in August, an increase of two-tenths of a percent from July.
The unemployment rate in August 2016 was 4.3 percent.
The department said Friday the increased unemployment was related mostly to manufacturing layoffs and revised government job estimates.
Economist Emilie Doerksen said nonfarm employment grew by 800 jobs last month and the service-providing sector added nearly 2,000 jobs. But that was offset by temporary layoffs in manufacturing and decreased government job estimates.
Officials say Kansas has lost 9,000 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs, including 6,300 private-sector jobs.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department said a deputy’s vehicle was struck Friday morning. It happened around 10:30 a.m. in the 4200 block of Dover.
A deputy working traffic patrol in the Oaklawn area found a car with a stolen tag.
“He tried to stop that car. The vehicle took off, and over the course of about a minute, the vehicle drove through a fence, backed up, hit the patrol car, and drove off and hit a truck in the area,” said Lt. Lin Dehning, Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department.
The driver and two others inside the stolen vehicle ran. The deputy was able to apprehend the driver. Another woman with pink hair and a man wearing a ball cap and light-colored jacket escaped. If you see them, you are asked to call 911.
SALINA, Kan. (AP) – Salina has settled a lawsuit with a family whose 12-year-old daughter died several months after being shocked while playing in a rainstorm.
The Salina Journal reports that the civil suit filed by Jaymie Hicks and Jonni Cullison was settled for an undisclosed amount.
The couple’s daughter, Jayden, was 11 in May 2013 when she slipped in a puddle and fell onto an in-ground junction box at the entrance to a plaza in downtown Salina. The box had been installed without a grounding wire and contained damaged wires. Jayden underwent months of hospitalization and rehabilitation before she died in December of that year.
Her parents previously reached undisclosed settlements with the manufacturer of the junction box and company that installed it. Court records say the city never inspected the wiring.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita State men’s basketball schedule was released Friday morning. The schedule promises unprecedented exposure, with all 18 conference dates and eight additional non-conference games selected for air on national linear television (CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and CBS Sports Network).
The Conference Schedule
Following the opener at UConn, Shocker fans get their first live look at American Athletic Conference action on Thursday, Jan. 4 against Houston (ESPN or ESPN2). South Florida visits three days later for a Sunday afternoon tip on CBSSN.
Following a Jan. 11 visit to East Carolina (8 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2), the Shockers play the first hoops installment of their “Havoc in the Heartland” rivalry series at Tulsa on Saturday, Jan. 13 (6:30 p.m., ESPNU). The Golden Hurricane make a return trip on Sunday, Jan. 28 (5 p.m., CBSSN).
Other January home dates include midweek matchups against SMU on Jan. 17 (6 p.m., ESPNU) and Central Florida on Jan. 25 (8 p.m., ESPN2). In between, the Shockers travel to Houston on Jan. 20 (11 a.m., ESPNU).
WSU plays back-to-back road games to begin the month of February at Temple (Feb. 1, 6 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2) and Memphis (Feb. 6, 8 p.m., CBSSN), then returns to Wichita for games against UConn (Feb. 10, ESPN/ESPN2) and Temple (Feb. 15, 6 p.m., ESPN/ESPN2).
The Shockers close with a difficult five-game stretch, beginning with a trip to Cincinnati on Sunday, Feb. 18 (3 p.m., ESPN). WSU faces Tulane for the first-and-only time on Feb. 21 (6:30 p.m., CBSSN), then hits the road for games at SMU on Feb. 24 (ESPN/ESPN) and UCF (Mar. 1, 6 p.m. ESPN).
The network-televised Senior Day finale against Cincinnati features two teams with lofty preseason expectations. The Bearcats (30-6 in 2016-17) and Shockers (31-5) are both expected to begin the year in the top-25.
Non-Conference Times, Television Info Finalized
Wichita State’s Dec. 16 INTRUST Bank Arena game has been selected by ESPNU with a 6 p.m. CT tip, meaning the Shockers will play six of their 12 non-conference games on the ESPN Family of Networks.
Road games at Baylor (Dec. 2, ESPNU) and Oklahoma State (Dec. 9, ESPN2) were announced previously. The Shockers are also guaranteed three appearances on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU during the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, beginning with a Nov. 20 matchup against California on ESPN2.
Two other non-conference home games have been picked up by CBSSN: Nov. 13 against College of Charleston and Dec. 22 vs. Florida Gulf Coast.
The five Cox games will all tip at 7 p.m. CT (Henderson State, Nov. 4; UMKC, Nov. 10; Savannah State, Nov. 28; South Dakota State, Dec. 5; and Arkansas State, Dec. 19)
2017-18 Wichita State Men’s Basketball Schedule
All-Times Central, Home games in BOLD CAPS
Sat. Nov. 4 — HENDERSON STATE (exhibition), 7 p.m. [Cox HD 2022]
Fri., Nov. 10 — UMKC, 7 p.m. [Cox HD 2022]
Mon. Nov. 13 — COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON, 8 p.m. [CBSSN]
Mon. Nov. 20 — vs. California %, 4:30 p.m. [ESPN2]
Tue. Nov. 21 — vs. Marquette or VCU %, 12:30 p.m. [ESPN] or 3 p.m. [ESPN2]
Wed. Nov. 22 — vs. Chaminade/LSU/Michigan/Notre Dame %, TBA [ESPN2 or ESPNU]
Tue. Nov. 28 — SAVANNAH STATE, 7 p.m. [Cox HD 2022]
Sat. Dec. 2 — at Baylor, 1 p.m. [ESPNU]
Tue. Dec. 5 — SOUTH DAKOTA STATE, 7 p.m. [Cox HD 2022]
Sat. Dec 9 — at Oklahoma State, 3 p.m. [ESPN2]
Sat. Dec. 16 — ^ OKLAHOMA, 6 p.m. [ESPNU]
Tue. Dec 19 — ARKANSAS STATE, 7 p.m. [Cox HD 2022]
Fri. Dec. 22 — FLORIDA GULF COAST
Sat. Dec. 30 — at UConn*, 11 a.m. [CBS]
Thu. Jan 4 — HOUSTON*, 6 or 8 p.m. [ESPN or ESPN2]
Sun. Jan. 7 — USF*, 3 p.m. [CBSSN]
Thu. Jan. 11 — at East Carolina*, 8 p.m. [ESPN or ESPN2]
Sat. Jan. 13 — at Tulsa*, 6:30 p.m., ESPNU
Wed. Jan. 17 — SMU*, 6 p.m. [ESPNU]
Sat. Jan. 20 — at Houston*, 11 a.m. [ESPNU]
Thu. Jan. 25 — UCF*, 8 p.m. [ESPN2]
Sun. Jan. 28 — TULSA*, 5 p.m. [CBSSN]
Thu. Feb. 1 — at Temple*, 6 p.m. [ESPN or ESPN2]
Tue. Feb. 6 — at Memphis*, 8 p.m. [CBSSN]
Sat. Feb. 10 — UCONN*, TBA [ESPN or ESPN2]
Thu. Feb. 15 — TEMPLE*, 6 p.m. [ESPN or ESPN2]
Sun. Feb. 18 — at Cincinnati*, 3 p.m. [ESPN]
Wed. Feb. 21 — TULANE*, 6:30 p.m. [CBSSN]
Sat. Feb. 24 — at SMU*, 1 p.m. [ESPN or ESPN2]
Thu. Mar. 1 — at UCF*, 6 p.m. [ESPN]
Sun. Mar. 4 — CINCINNATI*, 11 a.m. [CBS]
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oklahoma City police say the death of a man found underneath a pile of books in a burning bookstore is being investigated as a homicide.
Firefighters found the man’s body Thursday after extinguishing the blaze at 30 Penn Books. Police have not yet said how the man died but said he suffered injuries that happened before the fire, which investigators say was intentionally set.
Authorities say the adult man was found about 20 feet from the front door of the bookstore. Nearby businesses were evacuated, but the fire was contained to the bookstore.
Authorities have not yet released the name of the man found dead.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The president got what you might call a grassroots display of support at the White House, welcoming an 11-year-old Virginia boy who offered to help cut the lawn.
President Donald Trump high-fived Frank Giaccio, who lives in the Washington suburb of Falls Church. The White House says Frank wrote Trump to say he admires the president’s business acumen and runs his own neighborhood lawn-care business.
Frank was so focused on pushing the lawn mower, he didn’t notice Trump had emerged to greet him until the president was next to him in the Rose Garden.
Trump says Frank is “the future of the country” and will soon be “very famous.”
Frank said he wants to be a Navy SEAL, to which Trump exclaimed, “He’ll make it.”
DALLAS (AP) — Crews have removed a statue of Robert E. Lee from a pedestal and carted it away from a Dallas park named for the Confederate general.
In an unannounced but expected move, a large crane was brought through the city by a police escort to Lee Park, where it lifted the large statue from its pedestal late Thursday afternoon.
City officials said in a statement that an art conservator monitored the proper handling of the statue, and police tactical officers with automatic rifles provided security.
The statue was lowered onto a flatbed trailer for transport to an abandoned naval air station owned by the city on its western outskirts. It’s expected to remain there until city officials decide the statue’s future.
The 14-foot-tall, 6-ton statue depicting Lee on horseback flanked by an anonymous Confederate soldier was erected in what was originally called Oak Lawn Park. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the statue in 1936 as part of the Texas Centennial celebration.
The Dallas City Council voted Sept. 6 to remove the statue but was met with a series of delays, including a brief court stay obtained by a pro-Confederacy group and a collision last Sunday between a semitrailer and a crane assigned to remove the statue. The driver of the semitrailer was killed in the crash.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Orange cones started to pop up in some Wichita neighborhoods, as residential street repairs are underway.
Last year, the Wichita City Council voted to put $10 million from the Hyatt Hotel sale into neighborhood roads.
“The residential streets haven’t received the same sort of funding and attention over the years as our big main streets,” said Alan King, Wichita Public Works and Utilities director.
King explained that, every 18 months, the city conducts inspections on streets — looking for stresses, cracks and at the past maintenance history. Once they have that information, officials come up with an estimate of remaining life.
For many streets in Wichita, it doesn’t look too good.
“The ones that we’re dealing with have an estimated remaining life of zero years, so they’re past the remaining life,” King said. “We mitigate them to try to keep them travel-able, but they’re past their remaining useful life — those are the streets that we’re working on.”
Almost 210 miles of residential streets will get an improved look and feel.
Crews will be making spot repairs on cracks or any big holes. Once those repairs are finished, they’ll cover the street with a seal coat to give it that brand new look.
Merlan Grable lives on N. Robin Road in west Wichita. Crews were out by his house surfacing Birch Lane, which Grable describes as a “rough drive.”
He added he’s happy to see the city invest in the preservation and safety of the streets.
“It’s excellent,” he said. “A lot of them need it.”
City officials don’t expect the road work to impact traffic. There will always be one lane open on any impacted street, and any affected residents will receive advance notice of the road work.
According to King, street repairs can last between one to two weeks, depending on the contractor. However, there are some streets that crews will spot repair this year, and then the surfacing will happen next year.
With 210 miles to repair, the city is splitting the project up into two years.
Depending on future funding, King said the city may use the same approach to repair additional streets.
The City of Wichita has an interactive map to show what neighborhoods will be affected by the street repairs.MAP | City Street Repairs Interactive Map