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Updated: 2 hours 43 min ago

Thousands of car seats recalled

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 12:51

Britax is recalling about 207,000 infant car seats because the chest clip can break. If the chest clip breaks, it can pose a choking hazard to the infant.

Britax is sending a free remedy kit to owners who’ve registered their product. The company says the car seats remain safe in a crash without the chest clip until the remedy kit can be installed.

Owners may contact Britax at 1-833-474-7016 or visit www.bsafe35clip.com to see if your car seat is a part of the recall and request the remedy kit.

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Filing: ‘Confidential’ documents undercut voting fraud claim

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 12:42

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – Civil rights advocates say a Kansas election official is trying to hide materials that undercut his public claim that substantial numbers of noncitizens have registered to vote.

The American Civil Liberties Union obtained the documents as part of its federal civil lawsuit in Kansas challenging the state’s proof-of-citizenship document requirement.

It wants to court to remove the confidential designation Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach placed on materials he was photographed taking into a November meeting with then President-elect Donald Trump, as well as a separate draft amendment to the National Voter Registration Act.

Kobach has argued in a court filing that the ACLU’s efforts to make those materials public are meant “to annoy, harass and embarrass” him.

Trump has named Kobach vice chairman of a national election fraud commission.

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Hummus sold at Walmart recalled due to possible listeria contamination

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 12:38

Hummus products are being recalled for possible listeria contamination.

House of Thaller, a Tennessee-based company, is voluntarily recalling its 10-ounce packages of Hummus with Pine Nut Topping.

The company said a supplier notified them that one of their ingredients could be contaminated.

These products were distributed nationwide through various grocery retailers from April 18, 2017 to June 13, 2017, and in Canada on April 20, 2017.

No illnesses have been reported.

The products come in 10-ounce, clear, round plastic cups with a clear or colored plastic lid: (UPC codes and Use By dates)

  • Fresh Foods Market Artisan Hummus, Pine Nuts – clear lid edge
  • Lantana White Bean Hummus with Pine Nut & Herb Topping – white or beige striped lid edge
  • Walmart Marketside Classic Hummus with Pine Nuts – solid black lid edge
Hummus recall
Categories: Local KSN News

Michigan airport evacuated; officer seen bleeding from neck

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 12:35

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Officials on Wednesday evacuated an airport in Flint, Michigan, where a witness said he saw an officer bleeding from his neck and a knife nearby on the ground.

On Twitter, Michigan State Police say the officer is in critical condition and the FBI was leading the investigation.

Bishop International Airport posted on Facebook that passengers were safe and were being told to check for flight delays or cancellations.

Ken Brown tells The Flint Journal he was dropping off his daughter at the airport and saw the officer bleeding from his neck. He says he saw a man detained by police and a knife on the ground.

“The cop was on his hands and knees bleeding from his neck,” Brown said. “I said they need to get him a towel.”

Cherie Carpenter, who was awaiting a flight to Texas to see her new grandchild, tells Flint TV station WJRT she saw the attacker being led away in handcuffs. She described the man in custody as appearing “blank, just totally blank.”

Airport and police officials didn’t immediately respond to messages from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Flint is about 50 miles northwest of Detroit.

Categories: Local KSN News

FBI: Gunman acted alone in shooting of congressman

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 11:41

WASHINGTON (AP) — A gunman acted alone when he shot and wounded a top House Republican and four other people on a northern Virginia baseball field, the FBI said Wednesday.

Tim Slater, who leads the criminal division of the FBI’s Washington field office, also said during a news conference that James T. Hodgkinson did not have any ties to terrorism.

Rep. Steve Scalise, 51, the House majority whip, was gravely wounded in the shooting June 14. He has undergone several surgeries and remains hospitalized. His condition has been upgraded to serious.

Scalise and other congressional Republicans were practicing for their annual charity baseball game against Democrats when the gunman started shooting. U.S. Capitol Police and other officers returned fire and killed Hogdkinson, an unemployed home inspector with a deep animus toward President Donald Trump and other Republicans.

Hodgkinson, 66, was from Belleville, Illinois, and had volunteered for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. For months before the shooting, he had been living out of his van in the Washington area, with more than 200 rounds of ammunition among the belongings he kept in a storage unit, Slater said.

Hodgkinson had a list of six members of Congress on him, Slater said, but there was no indication that he intended to target them. He declined to say whether the people on the list were Republicans or at the baseball practice. Hodgkinson had been in email contact with the two Democratic senators from Illinois, he said.

Both the rifle and handgun Hodgkinson was carrying were purchased legally through federal firearms licenses, the FBI said. The rifle was modified to accept a detachable magazine and the original stock was replaced with a folding stock. Hodgkinson bought the guns in April, after Trump was elected, Slater said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday that Scalise “is on the road to recovery” but it will take some time. The bullet entered the congressman’s hip and shattered blood vessels, bones and internal organs, leaving him at imminent risk of death, doctors have said.

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Three ramps to be closed tonight at Kellogg and I-235 project

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 11:37

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Road work will force some ramp closures and lane reductions at I-235 and Kellogg.

Beginning at 7 p.m., the West St. entrance ramp to eastbound US-54, the eastbound US-54 ramp to northbound I-235, and the northbound I-235 ramp to eastbound US-54 will be closed. Eastbound US-54 will be reduced to one lane from I-235 to the Edwards Street exit. Traffic should return to normal by 6 a.m. on Thursday.

See details of the I-235/US-54 Interchange project at www.235red.org.

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GOP eyes Senate health care vote next week, amid grumbling

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 07:36

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are angling toward a Senate vote next week on their marquee effort to erase much of President Barack Obama’s health care law. But there’s plenty of grumbling from senators across the GOP spectrum, and leaders haven’t yet nailed down the support they’ll need to prevail.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas said Tuesday that there’s “more work to do” before the bill adequately cuts premiums. A second conservative, Utah’s Mike Lee, complained about not seeing the legislation despite being on the working group of senators assigned to craft it and said lawmakers should have seen the measure “weeks ago” if they’re to vote next week. And Alaska moderate Lisa Murkowski said she didn’t know how she’d vote, adding, “I have no idea what the deal is.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he expected to give senators a draft of the bill on Thursday. The measure would eliminate much of Obama’s 2010 law and leave government with a diminished role in providing coverage and helping people afford it.

“We have to act, and we are,” McConnell said.

Later, he just chortled when asked if he was confident the measure would pass, a victory that would elude him if just three of the 52 GOP senators voted no. All Democrats seem certain to oppose the bill.

“It’s my job to find 50 votes, and we’re going to have 50 votes,” No. 2 Senate Republican leader John Cornyn of Texas said Tuesday. In a 50-50 tally, Vice President Mike Pence would cast the tie-breaking vote.

McConnell’s ability to line up votes is considered masterful, and he’s eager to pass legislation fulfilling a keystone campaign promise of President Donald Trump and countless GOP congressional candidates. But as of now, victory is not guaranteed and he stopped short of definitely scheduling the vote for next week.

“It’s apparently being written by a small handful of staffers for members of the Republican leadership,” said Lee of the bill, using a Facebook video for an unusually public swipe at GOP leaders.

Democrats have also lambasted McConnell for writing the sweeping legislation in closed-door meetings. They unanimously oppose the GOP bill but lack the votes to defeat it. They fear McConnell will jam the legislation through the Senate with little debate, limiting their chance to scrutinize the bill and whip up opposition against it.

Aides and lobbyists said they expected the GOP bill to provide health care tax credits linked to people’s incomes, not their ages like the House-passed measure, and impose spending limits on the growth of the federal-state Medicaid program for the poor that would tighten further by the mid-2020s. Another possibility was letting states drop some coverage requirements that Obama’s law imposes on insurers, they said.

They said unresolved questions included how to make sure the subsidies can’t be used for policies that provide abortions and how fast they can repeal tax boosts Obama levied on high earners and medical companies to finance his statute’s expanded coverage.

The No. 3 Senate GOP leader, John Thune of South Dakota, said Republicans were moving toward phasing out Obama’s enlargement of Medicaid to additional low-income people over five or six years. That might satisfy Republican senators from states that expanded their programs, but conservatives have wanted to halt the extra expenditures quickly.

At the White House, spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump “clearly wants a bill that has heart.” A week ago, Trump called the version the House approved last month “mean.” Spicer offered no specifics but said Trump wants the Senate to “strengthen it, to make it more affordable, more accessible.”

Besides Lee and Cruz, conservative Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said it would be “a non-starter” if the developing bill’s subsidies are as large as Obama’s.

Murkowski has opposed past conservative efforts to include language barring federal payments to Planned Parenthood, a group many Republicans abhor because it provides abortions.


AP reporters Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Andrew Taylor, Erica Werner and Jill Colvin contributed to this report.

Categories: Local KSN News

Britain’s Prince Philip admitted to hospital with infection

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 07:27

LONDON (AP) — Prince Philip, the 96-year old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has been admitted to a hospital for treatment of an infection and did not attend the Queen’s Speech in Parliament.

Buckingham Palace said Philip was admitted as a precautionary measure and is in good spirits. He was said to be out of bed on Wednesday.

The palace said Philip was driven to the hospital by private car Tuesday evening on the advice of a physician. His infection was related to a pre-existing condition which was not disclosed.

The queen, 91, maintained her official schedule, giving a speech outlining the government’s legislative plan in Parliament, and planned to attend the Royal Ascot horse races in the afternoon.

Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, said in May he was cutting down his public appearances and would not take on new charity roles.

He has suffered a blocked coronary artery and a severe bladder infection in recent years but has been in generally good health.

He still attends summer garden parties with the queen, hosting more than 2,000 guests at a time, and has maintained his presence at important ceremonial events, including the Trooping the Color procession earlier in June.

The palace said Philip is being treated at the King Edward VII Hospital in London.

He seemed fine Tuesday when he attended Royal Ascot with the queen and other senior members of the royal family.

The queen and Philip both suffered from severe cases of the flu at Christmas but have recovered.

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Long stretch of Gulf Coast eyes Tropical Storm Cindy

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 07:22

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — From the Florida Panhandle to eastern Texas, residents and government officials along the northern Gulf Coast kept an eye on slow-moving Tropical Storm Cindy, which the National Weather Service said posed a threat of “life-threatening flash flooding.”

Rain bands from the weather disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico began pushing ashore Tuesday even before it reached tropical storm strength. It was stationary much of the day Tuesday but was on a lumbering track that would take its center toward southwestern Louisiana and eastern Texas by Wednesday morning.

But the heavy rains were on its east side, meaning the major rain threat — perhaps a foot or more of rain by Thursday — stretched from southeastern Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.

“We could see this thing park on the west side of the state and dump rain until Saturday,” Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Lee Smithson said Tuesday.

Cindy’s maximum sustained winds were near 60 mph (96 kph) Wednesday morning with slight weakening expected to begin Thursday. But the main danger appeared to be from rain.

The prospect had a real estate manager in Mississippi’s coastal Jackson County looking for empty property on higher ground for tenants who might need it.

“We’re expecting it to be really bad,” Mark Cumbest said of possible flooding.

The third tropical storm of 2017, Cindy was 170 miles (274 kilometers) south-southwest of Morgan City, Louisiana as of early Wednesday. Forecasters warned 6 to 9 inches (15-22 cms) of rain and up to 12 inches (30 cms) in spots was the biggest threat in parts of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle, with east Texas getting anywhere from 3 to 6 inches (8-15 cms).

State and local officials in Louisiana and Mississippi were mulling the possibility of emergency declarations.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the State Operations Center on Tuesday to raise its readiness level from level four/normal conditions to level three/increased readiness. He also activated four Texas Task Force 1 boat squads and two Texas Military Department vehicles squads of five vehicles each to respond to any weather-related emergencies.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a state of emergency Tuesday because of the threat of torrential rains and other severe weather, including dangerous high tides and rip currents. Double red flags snapped in the wind on the public beach at Gulf Shores in her state, warning visitors to stay out of the pounding surf.

Workers on Grand Isle, Louisiana’s barrier island community south of New Orleans, worked to reinforce a rock levee protecting the island’s vulnerable west side. Officials there decided against calling an evacuation but said in a statement that anyone who wanted to head for the mainland should do so as early as possible because water might eventually cover low-lying parts of the only route off the island.

The Louisiana National Guard dispatched high water vehicles and helicopters into flood-prone areas. The state said the Federal Emergency Management Agency was moving 125,000 meals and 200,000 liters of water into Louisiana.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said the advance notice of the storm gave officials time to put emergency plans in place. Louisiana was slammed with major flooding last summer from an unnamed storm that heavily damaged the Baton Rouge and Lafayette regions.

Already some flooding was reported on Alabama’s Dauphin Island and flood control locks and gates were being closed along Louisiana’s bayou-marbled coast. Authorities in various coastal Louisiana and Mississippi communities handed out sandbags for areas along rivers and bayous.

A tropical storm warning was in effect from San Luis Pass, Texas, to the Alabama-Florida border.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu urged vigilance at a news conference as bands of rain from the system began sweeping over the city.

In coastal Louisiana’s Terrebonne Parish, Kim Chauvin said the shrimp processing businesses she and her husband run helped put out the word Monday that shrimpers should return to port and unload their catch before flood control structures closed.

“We call them, we text them, we Facebook them, we Twitter, them. Any way we can get to them,” she said.

Earl Eues, an emergency official in Terrebonne, said the closing of locks and flood gates began Monday and was being completed Tuesday.

Louisiana and Mississippi parishes and counties made sandbags available to people who wanted to protect homes and businesses.

At the Escatawpa Hollow Campground in Alabama, near the Mississippi State line, owner Larry Godfrey was prepared for flooding that would add to the woes of a rainy spring.

“We’ve had so much rain, we haven’t done any business in about eight weeks because of the rain,” said Godfrey, whose campground typically hosts swimmers and boaters. He said the Escatawpa River, at 15 feet (4.5 meters), would typically be lower than 3 feet (1 meter) at this time of year.


Associated Press writers Janet McConnaughey in New Orleans; Melinda Deslatte in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Jeff Amy in Jackson, Mississippi; and Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama, contributed to this report.

Categories: Local KSN News

KSN Threat Tracker for Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 05:54

5:30AM Here’s a look at the first sunrise of the Summer of ’17

5:00AM Still tracking some rain and thunder in NW KS this morning but that rain will taper off. Get a look at your live local radar at ksn.com/weather

Categories: Local KSN News

Mild winter brings more tick-borne illnesses to Kansas

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 23:42

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas had such a mild winter, and because of that, health officials say we’re now seeing more ticks and the illnesses they cause.

Cases of Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever have skyrocketed across the state.

“As a mom, you feel hopeless. You feel like you’re supposed to protect your child,” said Brittney Strunk.

Two-year old, Isidore Strunk, or Izzy as his family calls him, looks like a happy little boy now, but just last spring he was fighting for his life.

He started getting a rash. and it kind of at first started getting chicken pox, but he was up to date on all of his vaccinations, so that didn’t make sense,” stated Strunk.

That rash along with a 104 degree fever and seizures convinced Strunk to rush her son to the ER.

Eventually, Izzy was flown to Children’s Mercy in Kansas City the diagnosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

“They told us that he was critical and he was among the worst and it was bad,” Strunk.

The once lively little boy was connected to multiple tubes and an I-V.  In a coma for a week, Izzy lost several tips of his toes from infection.

”We never found a tick on him. We never found a tick bite. We need found anything on him that looked like a tick bite,” said Strunk.

But, Strunk did tell me, that a few days before Izzy started feeling ill, they were outside on their family property.

Health experts advise, whenever you spend a lot of time outdoors, check for tick bites.

“It’s important to check and do a full body tick check and make sure all the areas of your body don’t have ticks in them,” explained Chris Steward, Sedgwick Co. Health Dept.

Strunk says after extensive rehab, and lots of prayer, Izzy is now a healthy child.

But it’s a tough lesson the family had to learn.

“Think, oh it’s just a tick it’s no big deal, it’s just a bug bite. No, it’s not just a tic, they carry diseases that can kill you,” said Strunk.

Izzy still has regular checkups with doctors at Children’s Mercy to make sure the infection did not stunt any brain function.


Categories: Local KSN News

Police: thieves steal Kansas Salvation Army donations

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 23:22

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Hutchinson police said thieves have swiped donations from the Salvation Army Thrift Store numerous times in the month of June.

James Dixson is the store manager and he prides himself on the work he does and the relationships he makes with his customers at the store.

“It’s embedded in my soul what the Salvation Army does and is capable of doing to help individuals in hard times,” James Dixson said.

Dixson’s parents were involved with the Salvation Army when he was a kid. He said at times his family would rely on the organization and the services it provided.

“There were times when we depended on them to help get us out of a jam and they were there for us,” Dixson said.

Dixson is now asking the Hutchinson community to step up and help identify the people who are continuing to steal from the thrift store.

“They will take out one bag, they will load up three. It’s not a give and take,” he said.

Hutchinson police said they are investigating 10 theft incidents at the thrift store. They said seven of the cases occurred on June 11 between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. near the donation drop-off area. There are surveillance cameras and signs saying ‘stealing is a crime’ posted at the location.

“That’s very frustrating,” Dixson said. “Every time that happens, you are taking away an opportunity for us to pay it forward.”

Dixson said when people aren’t stealing donations, they are often times using the drop off area as an illegal dumping site for items like moldy appliances and broken furniture.

“They are dropping off stuff because they don’t want to take the trip to the landfill,” he said.

Dixson told KSN if the crimes don’t come to a stop sometime soon, there could be major consequences for the people the Salvation Army serves.

“If the good stuff keeps walking, then we have to find a balance. Do we consider raising prices? Do we consider cutting services? We don’t want to do either,” he said.

For now, the Salvation Army is urging residents to only drop off donations during business hours.

Hutchinson police have posted some photos of the suspects on social media. They say they have been able to identify several of the suspects, thanks to tips.

Categories: Local KSN News

Officer-involved shooting in Marion Co.

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 21:22

MARION COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – According to authorities in Marion County, there has been an officer involved shooting in the town of Lehigh.

The KBI is on their way to investigate the situation.

No other details have been released at this time.

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Trump likely to reveal this week whether secret tapes exist

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 20:50

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is expected to make an announcement in the coming days on whether any recordings exist of his private conversations with former FBI Director James Comey, potentially bringing to an end one of the central mysteries of the ongoing probe that has consumed his White House.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that he expects an announcement “this week” on the possibility of tapes. The president fired Comey in May and then tweeted that the lawman, who was overseeing the investigation into possible contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials, “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press.”

Trump and his aides have since then steadfastly refused to clarify that extraordinary if ambiguous warning. The president last month told reporters that “I’ll tell you about that maybe sometime in the near future” but offered no hints as to whether the tapes exists, except saying that some journalists would “be very disappointed” to find out the answer.

The House intelligence committee has asked White House counsel Don McGahn to provide an answer to the question about tapes by Friday. Under a post-Watergate law, the Presidential Records Act, recordings made by presidents belong to the people and can eventually be made public. Destroying them would be a crime.

Comey testified before the Senate that Trump asked for his loyalty and asked for him to drop the probe into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Some have raised the possibility that Trump’s request constituted obstruction of justice, but the president has yet to produce the tapes that could theoretically clear his name.

The investigation was originally launched to look into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. Trump has at times cast doubt on that conclusion, and Spicer said Tuesday that he has yet to discuss with the president whether he believes that Moscow was behind the election interference.

“I have not sat down and talked to him about that specific thing,” Spicer said.

America’s top intelligence officials have concluded that Russia undoubtedly interfered in America’s 2016 presidential campaign. Characterizing it as the “high-confidence judgment of the entire intelligence community,” Comey testified that there is no doubt that the Russians meddled “with “purpose,” ”sophistication” and technology. Trump, meanwhile, has dismissed investigations into the meddling and potential collusion with his campaign associates as a “witch hunt.”

Robert Mueller, the special counsel now overseeing the investigation, met Tuesday with the leaders of the House Intelligence committee. Reps. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, and Adam Schiff, D-Calif., issued a brief statement saying the meeting but provided no details about their discussion.

Mueller is slated to meet Wednesday with top members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, including the chairman, GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, and the top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California. He’ll also meet with Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.

One reason for the Capitol Hill meetings is to ensure there is no conflict between Mueller’s probe and the work of the congressional committees.


Lemire reported from New York.


Follow Lemire on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@JonLemire and Colvin at http://twitter.com/@colvinj

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Union contract for Century ll workers rejected by city council

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 20:35

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The City of Wichita rejected an updated contract from the union stagehands after Music Theatre Wichita and other groups said they’re concerned about how it would impact their educational programs.

“This was an attempt in a number of respects to create uniformity and to remove ambiguity,” said Tim Mcculloch, Lead Negotiator of International Alliance of Stage Theatrical Employee’s.

That’s what union stagehand workers are looking for in the form of a new contract. The one in place is more than two decades old, and they say it doesn’t include enough workers.

The union also wants some verbal agreements they have with several non-profits added in writing.

“That created issues among various Century II tenants and users because it is not fair to one group if they get an exemption that another group does not,” said Mcculloch.

“It could have caused financial ruin for us,” added Wayne Bryan, Producing Artist Director of Music Theatre Wichita.

Bryan said Music Theatre Wichita pays about $110,000 to union stagehand workers, and the new contract could have spelled out financial disaster for them and required them to have four union stagehand workers every time they operated in these shops.

“This would have required us to come up with an additional $67,000 or so,” explained Bryan.

Bryan also said the new contract meant he would have to pay more union workers for simple tasks.

“It looked like we had to use four union people for a minimum of four hours to open the trunk of a car and take the costume out,” said Bryan.

For aspiring talent, the programs are a stepping stone to their greater ambitions.

“Anything that I can do to have a greater understanding and meet people and just really learn more about the industry is invaluable,” said Edward Sturn, an apprentice.

Now, that the deal has been officially struck down by council, the two groups are now asked to find a common ground that benefits both parties.

“We were just worried that we would not be able to afford that and we wouldn’t be able to work side by side with our union,” said Bryan.

Mcculloch said now they are going to take this to their national union to see what they should do next.

Both sides have voiced their support of each other and say they should be able to come up with a deal.

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Downtown construction leaves residents without water

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 19:34

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita city crews have had to shut down streets to fix aging pipes. The work is focused in the downtown area causing nearly 100 residents to lose running water for a day.

“This isn’t the first time I’ve received a notice that the water would be shut off,” said downtown resident, Jeremy McTaggart.

The base of this work is centered at Central and Waco, completely closing down eastbound Central Avenue between Waco and Veterans Parkway. Tuesday, I spoke with people that live and work in the area as well as the city to find out how long they expect the construction to go on.

“It’s definitely an inconvenience,” said downtown resident, Jeremy McTaggart. “With this road being closed you have to kind of get creative in how you come and go wherever you’re headed.”

Another resident in the area shared the same concerns.

“I used to be able to just drive straight through Central and get on I-35 and now I have to go around,” said Evan Poole.

Some downtown residents told me they’ve received several notices over the last few months, warning them that their water would be shut off for the day. They said at this point, they’re hoping the construction won’t last much longer.

“I’d like it if I saw people out here working on it,” explained Poole. “The fact that it’s midday right now and there’s nobody out here; they can at least be getting something done.”

However, Steve Degenhardt, who is the construction division manager says, the bigger job is under the surface.

“They’ve got crews that are in the ground installing new water main pipes,” explained Degenhardt.

These main pipes were originally installed in the 30’s and currently contractors are working on replacing an again infrastructure.

“Obviously with 80 years old it’s prone to leaks and with the water main leak and water main brake,” explained Degenhardt, “it certainly can impact some local businesses and even some important buildings such as the county court house and city hall itself.”

Degenhardt said the work around Central and Waco will be complete in 3 weeks.

Categories: Local KSN News

Harvest kicks off in southwest Kansas

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 19:12

LAKIN, Kan. (KSNW) — The winter wheat harvest has begun in southwest Kansas. Despite disease and disasters, this season’s winter wheat has been pretty resilient.

For farmer Kyler Millershaski, when it comes to moisture, his crop is coming in anywhere from nine to 13 percent.

“Nine’s a touch dry,” said Millershaski. “I believe the co-op starts docking at about 13 and a half percent moisture, so ideally, we want to have it right at 13.”

His test weights came in a little light — about 58 lbs per bushel compared to the standard 60 — but he’s anticipating a typical harvest of about 35 to 40 bushels per acre.

“You’ve got to remind yourself last year when we had 80 bushel wheat was a phenomenal year,” he said. “Coming off of that, I don’t want to say it’s a letdown, but you’re got to remind yourself this is a good, average crop.”

With the harvest comes outside help.

Kyler said he noticed some custom cutters arrived in southwest Kansas about a week early, after their jobs in Oklahoma were finished. This year, he and his family hired one cutter and two truck drivers, which is typical for them.

“[It’s] kind of a family reunion almost. I think they’ve been cutting with my grandpa for many, many years.”

With all signs pointing to an average harvest yield-wise, Kyler’s biggest concern is possible fires.

“We make sure to clean the machines off every morning. We’ve got fire extinguishers on everything.”

There’s one thing he’s really looking forward to.

“Dinner,” he said with a laugh.

Categories: Local KSN News

Larned prison plans to add career technical classes for inmates

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 18:05

BARTON COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – The changes coming to the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility (LCMHF) gives Barton Community College an opportunity to help out with the facility’s new mission — to lower the state’s recidivism rates, in other words, keeping a convicted individual from re-offending.

According to the Kansas Department of Corrections, men, ages 18-25, are the state’s highest recidivism group, with almost 40% re-offending after being released.

“One of the risk factors for that demographic is lack of education, lack of job skills, and that’s what we’re hoping that this program addresses,” said Tim Easley, a deputy warden at LCMHF.

Barton Community College will provide two instructors for General Education Development (GED) courses. Officials said their instructors are very involved in correctional education.

“It is something that motivates them, that gives them great reward,” said Barton Community College vice president Elaine Simmons.

Inmates will also get the opportunity to take career technical classes, such as carpentry or welding.

“So that upon release, they come to us in society and they bring those skills,” said Simmons.”If all works as we hope, they will acquire a job, and they will contribute and work.”

The college’s education and vocational model is also being done at Ellsworth Correctional Facility, where it has seen a lot of success. The Department of Corrections expects the same for Larned.

“Our staff are really excited about being able to impact the states recidivism rates,” said Easley.

The correctional facility and the college are still in the planning and development phase of the new program, but they expect it to start in the next few months.

Categories: Local KSN News

Building collapse in Haysville leaves 2 injured

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 17:35

HAYSVILLE, Kan. (KSNW) – According to dispatchers, a building has collapsed in the 200 block of N. Main Street in Haysville. 

Officials said two people have been injured as a result.

A worker at Iron Wagon BBQ, which is a business nearby, said they can see a small red car in the debris in front of what seems to be an office building.

KSN has a crew on the way to the scene and will provide more details as they unfold.

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Categories: Local KSN News

12-year-old boy missing, last seen in NW Wichita

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 17:06

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita Police Department has sent out an alert of a missing child. Robert E. Witherspoon, 12, of Wichita was last seen in the 1500 block of N. Gow.

According to authorities, Witherspoon ran away from home on Saturday.

If you have any information regarding Witherspoon’s whereabouts, or if you see him, please call 911.

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Categories: Local KSN News