WAVERLY – A 26-year-old woman and a 4-year-old boy from New Strawn were killed Tuesday afternoon in a one-vehicle crash on I-35 in Osage County. Krystal Smith was driving south on I-35 about four miles north of Waverly when her Jeep SUV went into the center median, the Kansas Highway Patrol said. Smith tried to bring the vehicle back onto the road but overcorrected, causing the SUV to overturn several times before coming to rest on its wheels in the west ditch, the highway patrol said. Smith and a passenger, Cory Sheppard, were both killed. Two other children who were passengers, Christian Smith, 9, and Donavan Krutchfield, 6, both of New Strawn, were injured and were both taken to Overland Park Regional Medical Center. The highway patrol said they were all wearing seat belts or safety restraints.
Wednesday, Oct. 15, 11 a.m.
TOPEKA – Once again, former Arizona prison inmate Ralph Corey is seeking to overturn his conviction of kidnapping a Williamsburg teen and trying rape her. Franklin County assistant attorney James Ward will be in Topeka this afternoon defending the conviction before a panel of appeals court judges. Corey is trying to overturn his conviction on technical grounds, Ward said. Corey was sentenced to nearly 34 years in prison for the crime, which occurred 14 years ago after the girl left the Ottawa Wal-Mart Supercenter in Ottawa. The sentencing occurred after he was convicted after his second trial. Corey’s first trial was declared a mistrial after a juror used a smart phone to research information about the case during deliberations. Corey was in an Arizona prison when his DNA was linked to the Ottawa case by a special Kansas Bureau of Investigation cold-case computer program.
Wednesday, Oct. 15, 11 a.m.
OTTAWA — Ottawa police officers and Franklin County deputies were justified in shooting Joseph Jennings, Ottawa, on Aug. 23 in the Orscheln’s parking lot, 2008 S. Princeton St., Franklin County Attorney Stephen Hunting said. The investigation by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation of the fatal shooting is virtually complete, and no charges will be filed, Hunting said during a news conference this afternoon. The incident was sparked by a call to 911, in which a caller reported a man with a gun was behaving erratically, he said. Hunting said Jennings phoned in that report himself and gave the dispatcher a description of the man. “He described himself to a T,” Hunting said. Jennings gave his name to the dispatcher and then disconnected when officers showed up, Hunting said. He said despite efforts by the officers and members of Jennings’ family to defuse the situation, it became increasingly tense, he said. After officers fired a Taser and bean bags at Jennings, he pulled out what officers thought was a gun and pointed it at them and three police officers and two deputies opened fire, Hunting said. Jennings was hit eight or nine times. He died from his wounds at Ransom Memorial Hospital. Hunting says KBI agents found 29 shell casings at the scene. Some bullets hit a nearby house. Jennings wasn’t armed, Hunting said. Instead, it appears Jennings had black sunglasses in his hand, he said. However, testimony and evidence indicate officers believed he had a gun and that they were reacting to protect their lives and the lives of other people in the parking lot, he said. Hunting said he discussed his findings with Jennings’ family, who have been critical of the police and sheriff’s department, prior to the news conference. In a separate statement, Police Chief Dennis Butler called the shooting a tragedy and offered his condolences to Jennings’ family and friends. He says no officer wants to kill someone and he says his department is devastated by Jennings’ death. “It is my commitment to our community that when we conclude our review of what happened on August 23 our goal will be to identify any steps we can take to better prepare our police officers to protect themselves and other human life,” he said.
Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2 p.m.; updated 5 p.m.
WOLF CREEK – Operations at the Wolf Creek nuclear power plant near Burlington returned to normal after a fire Monday. A fire occurred in an emergency diesel generator room, a ompany spokesman said. Employees put out the fire before Coffey County firefighters arrived, he said. The plant was evacuated for about two hours. Federal law requires that the generator be operational within 72 hours or the plant will have to be shut down, he said. It wasn’t immediately known what started the fire or the extent of the damage. The company said no injuries were reported and no radiation was released.
Tuesday, Oct. 7, 9 a.m.
WICHITA – The coach who led Osawatomie to two state high school football championships was inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Game this weekend. Bill Freeman, who lives in LeRoy, also coached Osawatomie quarterback and NFL great Lynn Dickey. In all, Freeman’s teams at Osawatomie, LeRoy and Lawrence High School won eight state football titles and his Lawrence squads won two state track championships. He retired in 1990 after teaching 16 years at Lawrence. Freeman’s daughter, Jennifer Freeman Nauertc, led a year-long campaign to get her dad placed on the hall of fame ballot. She and her three children appeared in Wichita at the induction on his behalf. Freeman, 83, who has Alzheimers, was unable to attend.
Tuesday, Oct. 7, 9 a.m.
POMONA – A 60-year-old Pomona man reported to the Franklin County Sheriff’s office Suday morning that a trailer was stolen from the 500 block of Monroe Street in Pomona. The trailer had several items inside that were taken when the trailer was taken. The loss of the trailer is estimated at $4,000. The items inside the trailer were estimated at about $1,750.
Tuesday, Oct. 7, 9 a.m.
TOPEKA – On the very day that the first same-sex marriage was conducted in Kansas, the state’s attorney general is asking the Kansas Supreme Court to halt all same-sex marriage licenses. Derek Schmidt says he wants the Kansas Supreme Court to provide clarity on what procedures state district courts must use in handling applications for marriage licenses by same-sex couples. In a statement sent out by Schmidt on Friday, he says the Kansas law banning gay marriage remains unchanged and same-sex marriage is unlawful until a court of competent jurisdiction holds otherwise as a matter of federal constitutional law. The Johnson County clerk issued a marriage license to a female couple on Friday morning at the courthouse, and a ceremony was performed immediately afterward.
Updated 10/10/14 @ 2:15 p.m.
Dairy Queen stores in Paola, Garnett, and Lawrence, have all been identified as possibly being involved in a data breach. In a news release sent out by Dairy Queen’s national headquarters, a possible malware intrusion affected some credit and debit card payments at certain locations, including some local stores. If you made a purchase at the Paola location, the transactions possibly affected were made from August 4 through 25. In Garnett, cardholders should check their accounts following purchases made from August 3 to 29. In Lawrence, transactions made from August 4 through 29, could have been affected. KOFO News contacted all three locations for comment, but no comments were made, and one directed KOFO News to Dairy Queen’s national headquarters.
Updated 10/10/14 @ 1:30 p.m.
KANSAS CITY — A 39-year-old Quenemo man was sentenced today to 30 months in federal prison for helping to rob the Goppert State Service Bank in Pomona. Robert Martin pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Kansas City to one count of bank robbery, U.s. Attorney Barry Grissom said. In his plea, Martin admitted he took part in the March 19 robbery in Pomona. He said he drove to the bank with co-defendant Caleb Jeffcoat. Martin said he gave Jeffcoat a mask and BB gun that had been altered to make it look more like a real gun. Jeffcoat entered the bank and robbed a teller. Investigators used video surveillance from a Dollar General store and a gas station in Pomona to identify them, Grissom said. Jeffcoat, 26, Quenemo, is awaiting sentencing for the robbery. Christel Collins, 37, Quenemo, is also awaiting sentencing.
Tuesday, Oct. 7, 8 a.m.