Local KSN News
NEW YORK (AP) – Walmart says it will no longer sell firearms and ammunition to people younger than 21.
This story is still developing.
We’ve been waiting for the cold front to sweep through the entire state today. It decided to stall just to the northwest of Wichita until early evening, which is why the metro warmed into the lower 70s. Now, the front is through and temperatures will tumble overnight.
There is a spotty chance for some drizzle from central into eastern Kansas this evening.
It shouldn’t last too long and quickly sweep out early in the overnight. Temperatures on Thursday will be the coolest of the week because by Friday we’re headed back up again.
We will stay on the warmer side of things this weekend as spring-like temps and strong winds dominate. The fire danger will continue to grow. However, there is a chance for showers and thunderstorms in parts of the state. Join me tonight on KSN News. I’ll let you know who could see a raindrop or two and how this could affect your outdoor plans. – Chief Meteorologist Lisa Teachman
GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — One Kansas school district is testing new technology designed to let parents know if their child missed the bus or got off at the wrong stop.
Officials say it’s designed to track the kids’ movements on school buses.
“When a student gets on, they’ll walk by a scanner,” said Charlie Stillian, the transportation director for USD 457 in Garden City. “They’ll scan the card. A light will light up green or red. If it didn’t read, it’ll light up red.”
Officials hope to work out the kinks this semester and roll it out district-wide in the fall.
One of the goals is to make sure parents are in the loop.
“Through the use of an app the parents will be able to find out ‘Did my get on the bus? Did they make it to school?’ They’ll be able to know when they got off the bus at their home,” said Stillian.
The district can also send alerts directly to specific parents.
“If a bus goes down and we have to send a spare bus out,” said Stillian, “we can let the parents know this bus is not coming out, but it’ll be this bus today.”
Erin Gitau has a son at Pymell Elementary, which is one of the schools currently piloting the program.
“I thought it was a good idea,” she said. “It’s kind of nice to know when the bus is going to show up, because there has been at least once or twice when the bus has been late.”
While she thinks it’s a handy tool, she doesn’t plan to check the app every day.
“I think it’ll be a situational thing, especially with weather, because we live in southwest Kansas and the weather is extremely unpredictable here. Like yesterday it was 75, and today it’s cold.”
VALLEY CENTER, Kan. (KSNW) – One person has been arrested after a threat to Valley Center High School.
The superintendent sent a note home to parents saying that earlier today they were made aware by law enforcement of a criminal threat directed toward individuals at the school. It says at no time was the person responsible for the threat on school grounds.
Police say the suspect is an adult who was booked into jail Wednesday afternoon.
The situation is being handled in accordance with school district and law enforcement policies and procedures.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The concept of arming teachers floated by President Donald Trump has caused an immediate reaction. Some in Kansas say before any meaningful discussion about teachers with guns, the liability issues have to be addressed.
“Just like anything else, there’s two main areas of law,” says Wichita attorney, Ian Clark. “You’ve got your civil liability. You’ve got criminal liability or culpability. Who is liable as far as potentially suing? There’s going to be the question, is the school liable for the acts of the teacher? And then they’re also going to look at the teacher and see if what they did in the situation was reasonable.”
Clark says the concept of keeping kids safe is the impetus behind the concept of arming teachers. But, he adds, there are other ramifications beyond legal. Clark asked about insurance.
KSN asked EMC Insurance Companies, a group that does liability insurance for many Kansas schools, about teachers with guns.
Spokesperson and Vice President of Corporate Communications, Lisa Hamilton said they addressed the concept specifically in Kansas when it comes to liability and insurance coverage.
“EMC respects the choice of each school district to ensure the safety of their children as they see fit,” says the statement from Hamilton. “We care about the safety and well-being of school children and have concluded that handguns on school premises pose a heightened liability risk. Because of this increased risk, we have chosen not to insure school districts whose policies permit handguns to be carried by non-security personnel.”
Clark says hired and trained security personnel can be seen in a different legal light than teachers or staff carrying guns.
“One of the concerns that we worry about here is, is that teacher hopefully and in theory trying to do something to save, to protect life, are they going to end up with some kind of criminal backlash?” asked Clark. “Are they going to get dragged into a courtroom and getting fingers pointed at them? Is it possible? Of course it’s possible.”
While no public school district was willing to confirm they have talked about teachers and guns in an official capacity, one state school board member says it would be the local school districts that would have to decide on teachers carrying guns on campus. Assuming a state law were to pass, allowing teachers to carry a gun on school grounds.
“Kansas has always been a local control state so if in fact the state would pass a law that says teachers could (carry a gun) I would say that would be a local control decision,” says State Board of Education member Janet Waugh. “Personally I don’t agree with the idea to arm teachers. That is my personal opinion and not that of the entire board. But, we are going to have a conversation about that at our board meeting next month because I believe these are areas we need to cover. And there’s many other areas we need to cover, like mental health.”
The superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese in Wichita simply said, guns are not allowed on school grounds.
“We don’t allow any weapons in our schools now. Ever,” said Superintendent Bob Voboril. “That is the policy. But I know there will be a debate on safety and I hope it’s a respectful debate because people have such strong feelings on the issue.”
Clark says it’s an area of the law that will be cutting-edge for now.
“There are just so many questions about liability that have not been answered. There is some case law out there, but there remains many questions,” says Clark.
WASHINGTON (AP) – White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, one of President Donald Trump’s most loyal aides, is resigning.
In a statement, the president praises Hicks for her work over the last three years. He says he “will miss having her by my side.”
The news comes a day after Hicks was interviewed for nine hours by the panel investigating Russia interference in the 2016 election and contact between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
She acknowledged to a House intelligence panel that she has occasionally told “white lies” for Trump. But she said she had not lied about anything relevant to the Russia investigation.
Hicks served as Trump’s one-woman communications shop during his winning campaign. She says in a statement, “There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump.”
LARNED, Kan. (AP) – A former western Kansas sheriff’s detective is charged with three felonies after an investigation into the theft of department funds.
Forty-three-year-old Jeffrey Allen King, of Larned, was charged Friday in Pawnee County with making a false information, misuse of public funds and felony theft of more than $20,000.
Ellis County attorney Thomas Drees, who is acting as the special prosecutor, said in a news release that the Pawnee County sheriff, who is King’s brother, asked the KBI to investigate in December. The release says King was placed an administrate leave in December and resigned from the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office last week.
Authorities allege that the crimes occurred from January 2015 to October 2017.
King is scheduled to make his first appearance March 15.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police said they searched another park for missing 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez.
The latest was Chapin Park in the 2400 block of East MacArthur. It happened around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday.
A person located a pile of rocks and dirt on the ground that had been recently disturbed and called police. Officers investigated with canines and nothing was found.
Police said the case is still active, but they have not planned for more searches.
“If we get information that leads us to search another area, we will utilize resources to search that area,” said officer Charley Davidson, Wichita Police Department.
Meanwhile, more volunteers spent Wednesday morning searching Cottonwood Park in the 1300 block of South Armour.
“We’ve searched through creeks, trees, the park area, we’ve just been through everything we possible can to find him,” said Dusty McElwain, searching for Lucas.
Police said the tip line is still open if you have any information on Lucas’ whereabouts. It is 316-383-4461.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police arrested two teens for shoplifting at a Wichita Kohl’s store. It happened around 9 p.m. Tuesday in the 6900 block of West Kellogg.
Officers arrived and found the teens fleeing from the store.
A 39-year-old man saw what was happening and approached the suspects. One suspect brandished a handgun and pointed it at the man. They continued to flee.
Police caught up with the suspects. They were both arrested.
One suspect was booked for theft and an outstanding warrant. The other was booked for theft, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm under the age of 18, and stolen property.
A cold front is making its way across Kansas, pulling in much colder temperatures to northern/central Kansas.
It will stay mild in Wichita through the afternoon, but the cooler air will hit by the evening.
The radar is quiet across the state, but some drizzle will be possible later today. Check the radar here: http://ksn.com/weather/interactive-radar/
Stormcast shows the front bringing north winds and cooler temperatures this evening, along with a spotty shower or drizzle for central/eastern Kansas.
This cool down doesn’t last long though, and a better rain chance is on the way for the weekend… I’ll have the details on KSN News at Noon, or you can check my latest forecast right here: http://ksn.com/2017/03/08/weather-forecast-discussion/
~Katie the Weather Lady
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Three former salesmen for a Wichita car dealer have entered into a consent judgment with the Office of the District Attorney based on allegations of deceptive and unconscionable acts and practices involving car sales.
The agreement between Angelo Jefferson, Barry Ristick, & David Ephrem, who were salesmen for Lucky 7 Used Cars LLC, 2759 S. Broadway, and the District Attorney’s Office called for the three men to pay $40,000 in civil penalties and $8,318 in restitution. The District Attorney’s Consumer Protection Division alleged the men failed to disclose safety recalls, were not properly licensed, failed to provide titles to customers, and failed to honor warranties. The consent judgment was signed by Judge David Dahl.
The District Attorney reminds residents that safety recalls affect millions of cars and residents should inquire before buying a vehicle if the vehicle is subject to a recall. Residents can check their cars, trucks, and motorcycles for recalls at https://www.safercar.gov/vin. Recalls are free and repairs are covered by the manufacturer. Customers should also receive certificates of title within 60 days of vehicle purchase. Otherwise, a transaction between a customer and a business is void and customers are entitled to a full refund.
A civil action against Alonzo Anderson and Lucky 7 Used Cars LLC is still pending and jury trial is scheduled for May 14, 2018.
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – The Reno County Sheriff’s Department said one man was killed after being hit by another vehicle. It happened Tuesday in the 9000 block of South Worthington Road. Two men were working to pull a SUV out of the ditch when the accident happened.
The sheriff said the accident involved three vehicles. One man, 58-year-old Carl Yoder of Burrton, did not survive his injuries.
A neighbor used a pickup truck to pull Yoder’s SUV out of the ditch, a passing truck hit both vehicles. One of those vehicles struck Yoder and the other man.
Yoder died at the scene. The other man and the driver of the other truck were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Deputy Sipe said the driver of the passing truck did not see the other vehicles in the road. The accident is still under investigation.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) – Tyson Foods Inc.’s poultry subsidiary has been ordered to pay a $2 million fine for discharges from a southwest Missouri plant that caused a fish kill.
The U.S. Justice Department announced Tuesday that Tyson also must pay $500,000 for damages and serve two years of probation after pleading guilty in September to two counts of violating the federal Clean Water Act.
The discharge of an animal feed ingredient into the wastewater treatment system in the town of Monett killed more than 100,000 fish in a nearby stream.
The Arkansas-based company said previously in a statement that it was taking full responsibility for the “an unfortunate mistake.”
Under the sentence, Tyson also will hire an independent auditor to examine environmental compliance at its poultry facilities, conduct training and improve procedures.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Authorities say a train has struck and killed one person and critically injured another on a northeast Kansas railroad bridge.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the pedestrians were hit around 5:10 p.m. Tuesday on railroad tracks that run behind a private residence near Tecumseh. Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper B.J. Rethman says one person was dead when first responders arrived.
Multiple agencies, including the Kansas Highway Patrol, Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office and Shawnee Heights Fire Department were at the scene.
NEW YORK (AP) — Dick’s Sporting Goods will immediately end sales of assault-style rifles and high capacity magazines at all of its stores and ban the sale of all guns to anyone under 21 years old.
The announcement Wednesday comes two weeks after the school massacre in Parkland, Florida.
“When we saw what the kids were going through and the grief of the parents and the kids who were killed in Parkland, we felt we needed to do something,” Chairman and CEO Edward Stack said on “”Good Morning America.”
Dick’s, a major gun retailer, had cut off sales of assault-style weapons at Dick’s stores following the Sandy Hook school shooting. But Dick’s owns dozens of its Field & Stream stores, where there has been no such ban in place.
In a letter released Wednesday, Stack wrote, “”We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognize and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens. But we have to help solve the problem that’s in front of us. Gun violence is an epidemic that’s taking the lives of too many people, including the brightest hope for the future of America — our kids.”
Nickolas Cruz, the gunman who killed 17 people in Florida, mostly students, had purchased a shotgun at a Dick’s store in November 2017, Stack said.
“It was not the gun, nor type of gun, he used in the shooting,” Stack wrote. “But it could have been. Clearly this indicates on so many levels that the systems in place are not effective to protect our kids and our citizens.”
The gun issue has embroiled a number of companies since the Parkland shooting, from Delta Airlines to FedEx.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. is based in Pittsburgh in a state where the first day of deer hunting season is an unofficial holiday for some families.
Stack said on “Good Morning America” that Dick’s is prepared for any potential backlash, but will never allow the sale of such guns in its stores again.
Stack on Wednesday called on elected officials to ban assault-style firearms, bump stocks and high capacity magazines and raise the minimum age to buy firearms to 21. He said universal background checks should be required, and there should be a complete universal database of those banned from buying firearms. He also called for the closure of the private sale and gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks.
Walmart Inc., also a big gun seller, stopped selling AR-15 rifles and other semi-automatic weapons in 2015.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. response to Russian meddling and disinformation campaigns has not been strong enough to deter Moscow’s activities, a top intelligence official said Tuesday.
Adm. Mike Rogers, director of both the U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, said he’s taken steps to respond to the threat, but that neither President Donald Trump nor Defense Secretary James Mattis has granted him any additional authorities to counter Russian efforts to sow discord in the United States.
“I’ve never been given any specific direction to take additional steps outside my authority. I have taken the steps within my authority, you know, trying to be a good, pro-active commander,” Rogers said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. “I have not been granted any additional authorities.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders wouldn’t discuss what authority Rogers was referencing, but said the president was looking at ways to prevent Russian meddling. “I can tell you that we are taking a number of steps to prevent this and we are looking at a variety of other ways that we’re going to continue to implement over the coming weeks and months,” Sanders said.
Rogers told Congress that he thinks a more aggressive response is needed, but that he doesn’t set policy and doesn’t want to tell the president what to do.
“I believe that President (Vladimir) Putin has clearly come to the conclusion that there’s little price to pay and that therefore, ‘I can continue this activity,'” Rogers said. “Clearly what we have done hasn’t been enough.”
Rogers’ statements fueled Democrats on the committee.
“We’re watching them intrude in our elections, spread misinformation, become more sophisticated … and we’re just, essentially, just sitting back and waiting,” said Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the ranking Democrat on the committee.
Rogers said he didn’t fully agree with the characterization that the U.S.was just sitting back and waiting. But he said: “It’s probably fair to say that we have not opted to engage in some of the same behaviors that we are seeing” from Russia.
Rogers said he doesn’t have the day-to-day authority to try to deter Russian activities at their source. He said that authority is held by Trump and Mattis. “There are some things I have the authority to do and I’m acting on that authority.”
He said U.S. sanctions and recent indictments of Russians have had some impact. But Rogers said: “It certainly hasn’t generated the change in behavior that I think we all know we need.”
Earlier this month, Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Bill Nelson of Florida and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire sent a letter to Mattis urging him to order the U.S. Cyber Command to prepare to engage Russian cyber operators and disrupt Russian activities if they conduct any clandestine influence operations against the upcoming midterm elections.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A longtime milkman delivered more than what the labels on his packages promised, smuggling marijuana, tobacco and cellphones into an Ohio prison hidden inside milk cartons, a prosecutor said.
Ray Adams was in contact with an inmate at Lebanon Correctional Facility who facilitated the deliveries and set up payments, according to Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell.
Adams, an employee of Martins Ferry-based United Dairy Inc., made thousands of dollars sneaking the items in over time, Fornshell said
On Jan. 8, authorities searched the nearly 30,000 milk cartons Adams was delivering that day and found contraband, including 12 cellphones, in 30 of them.
Adams, 50, has not yet entered a plea to charges of conveying drugs and cellphones and remains free on bond. His attorney and United Dairy did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith declined to comment because of the pending criminal charges against Adams.
Ohio began relying on outside companies to deliver milk to prisons after selling off its dairy cows in 2016. Reducing contraband was one of several factors the prisons director cited at the time in support of the move.
“The department anticipates that phasing out prison farming operations will also minimize the opportunities for passing illegal contraband into our prisons,” according to an April 2016 fact sheet from the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
Adams has been a driver with United Dairy for 14 years and a prison milk deliveryman for the past two years, Fornshell said.
Investigators believe the contraband scheme was dreamed up last August.
Before making deliveries, Adams would meet a contact at a nearby highway gas station and receive substitute milk cartons containing the contraband before entering the prison, Fornshell said. An inmate took it from there.
“It’s not being brought in just to be randomly passed out to whoever — ‘Hey it’s your lucky day, you’re one of 30 winners today,'” Fornshell said.
“Somebody on the inside had to be looking for the milk cartons coming in, knowing how they were going to be marked, knowing what day they were coming in,” the prosecutor said.
Fornshell said the investigation was ongoing and there could be additional charges.
Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Last February, KSN told you about the Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay urging his officers to let drivers off with a warning for minor traffic violations.
Some worried that leniency might lead to more accidents.
Now, one year later, KSN is following up by checking the policy and the numbers.
As of September 22, 2017, written warnings are part of the WPD traffic policy. Officers could always give verbal warnings, but now, warnings can be printed by their e-citation devices and tracked through the system.Officer A. Weber prints out a traffic citation during a traffic stop. (KSN Photo)
“The warning is a much shorter piece of paper that prints off because it doesn’t have all the instructions like a normal citation,” said Officer A. Weber during a traffic stop.
Giving more warnings, instead of tickets, is part of the police chief’s campaign to build better relationships between citizens, starting with a community cookout in 2016.
“A warning is one way to do that on minor violations,” said Deputy Chief Troy Livingston. “We don’t write them on major violations.”
For example, Officer Weber ticketed a driver going 61 mph in a 40 mph zone. He also issued a citation to a driver who didn’t have proof of insurance and was going 12 mph over the posted speed limit.
Another driver speeding 9 mph over the posted limit was let off with a warning.
“A warning is one way to do that on minor violations,” said Deputy Chief Troy Livingston. “We don’t write them on major violations.”
“Being stopped by police, for most people, is a big deal,” said Officer Weber.
The WPD traffic policy outlines when a warning can and cannot be given, but it’s ultimately up to the officer to decide when a fine or just a friendly reminder is enough.
But does a warning change a driver’s behavior the way a ticket would?
“I think some of the criticism in the beginning was that, ‘Hey, your accidents are going to go up. Your fatalities are going up if you’re giving more warnings,” said Deputy Chief Livingston. “I get that perspective; however, that doesn’t appear to be the case.”
KSN checked the numbers. Wichita had 2,393 injury accidents in 2016, compared to 2,008 last year, a drop of 385 collisions. Fatal accidents also decreased from 27 in 2016 to 26 in 2017.
Good news, but Livingston admits, it’s not conclusive.
“Twelve months does not a longitudinal study make, but to me, this seems like good, important data.”
As for how many written warnings were issued compared to citations, police didn’t start tracking warnings until September of 2016. For that reason, we can only look at averages.
In that year, WPD issued an average of 233 written warnings per month and 4,049 citations per month. In 2017, warnings increased to an average 287 per month, and citations fell to 3,141 per month.
WPD plans to track these numbers, as the traffic section consolidates into one location with 20 officers and 16 motorcycles by spring.
“What I expect with centralized traffic is that we will be able to hit high accident locations more effectively, more efficiently,” said Deputy Chief Livingston.Police issued an average of 233 written warnings per month and 4,049 citations per month in 2016. In 2017, warnings increased to an average 287 per month, and citations fell to 3,141 per month.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police say their search of local parks for missing 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez is over, unless new information comes to light.
Officers have combed through Chisholm Creek Park, Dr. Glen Dey Park, Harrison Park and Cottonwood Park over the last 10 days.
WPD officials say officers, K9’s, divers and drones have found no signs of Lucas.
But that’s not stopping some in our community from looking for Lucas on their own.
“If my five-year-old was missing, I would want everybody out looking for him also,” said Sharisse Robinson.
Robinson is one of many people providing whatever help possible to find Lucas.
Tuesday, she and her kids went on their own search trying to gather answers.
“Everybody else is already looking in the parks,” said Robinson. “Everybody’s already looking at the apartment complexes that used to be lived in and all these places. I just want to look outside that box.”
This is one of many searches community members have been organizing, and one of the main platforms has been social media.
One page for missing children that has nearly 60,000 followers on Facebook is helping spread the message.
One woman who lives two hours away is working with another group out of Missouri that works to find missing children.
They are planning to come to Wichita for a search on Sunday.
“Nobody knows what condition we’re going to find him in,” said Theresa Nelson, who is helping organize that search. “So, it’s important for everybody, not just Wichita community. It’s important for all the people. You know, he’s our son.”
Wichita police say they continue to ask for the community’s help in looking for Lucas.
But, they say citizens need to make sure they are at a place they have permission to search.
“Going to private property, even with good intentions, without the permission of some property owner could be a violation of city ordinance,” said Charley Davidson, public information officer for the WPD.
There is another community search planned for Wednesday morning at Cottonwood Park.
Wichita police ask if you do find anything to not touch it and to contact them immediately.
If you have any information that can help in the search, please call the tip line at 316-383-4661.
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A Wichita woman is sending a warning to social media users after she said someone attempted to hack her Facebook account.
“I was very confused and I was kind of worried because I don’t know how something like this happens,” said Riley Terreau.
Terreau, 21, was at work when she said she got a notification on her cell phone.
“I randomly received these text messages from an unknown number, so I opened my phone and saw that I had my Facebook password changed. “It said that an unknown computer had accessed my account and changed my password,” she said.
Alarmed by what was happening, Terreau turned to her father and technology expert Bill Ramsey.
“The dad and the geek kind of kicked in in high gear,” Ramsey said.
Ramsey, the former Chief Technology Officer at CybertronIT and CybertronPC, immediately took Terreau’s cell phone and started to investigate.
“What really had happened was somebody from Saudi Arabia was gaining access to her account and we were just staying one step ahead of them by continuing to change the password before they could change her phone number or email address in the system. Had they been able to change her phone number, they would have received the texts and then they could have taken over,” Ramsey explained.
Ramsey was able to stop the person from getting into Terreau’s account by first changing her password to a much more secure and elaborate passphrase and then updating a number of her account’s security settings.
One of those was to choose several trusted contacts on Terreau’s Facebook profile. A trusted contact is notified if a person is ever locked out of their account. The trusted account is able to send a recovery code with a special URL to the profile owner to get back into their account.
“I also set up two factor authentication. Many people think it’s inconvenient, but it’s the number one best thing you can do,” Ramsey said. “You have two options. You can have it send you a text message with a code that you have to use every time you want to log in or you can set it up to use an authenticator app.”
Ramsey said the more secure a person’s account is, the less likely they are to fall victim to an online scam or hacker. However, he adds a cyber attack can happen to anyone.
“I can name probably 20 people in the last month that I know of that have had their accounts hijacked. It happens all the time,” he said. “You are only as safe as the company makes you and as safe as you take the time and go in and make yourself.”
Account Security Tips
- Use a strong passwords or passphrase
- Use two-factor authentication
- Specify your trusted contacts
- Close the accounts you’re not using.
- Check your account activity
- Delete third-party account connections
- Keep your mobile apps updated