OTTAWA — The plan to upgrade some electrical circuits in downtown Ottawa has gotten the final go-ahead from Ottawa city commissioners. The bids for the project came in higher than the engineer’s estimate. Ottawa utilities director Jim Bradley noted that the cost of doing the work has been difficult to estimate but the engineer cut the cost by changing the finish deadline and by eliminating the installation of fiber-optic cable. Bradley said with materials already purchased, the grand total of the project will run around $750,000.
Tuesday, March 11, 11:27 a.m.
OTTAWA — At a special evidence hearing this morning, District Judge Thomas Sachse agreed to allow an interview between murder suspect Kyle Flack and Franklin County sheriff’s detectives to be used as evidence. Flack is charged with the murders of Kaylie Bailey, her baby daughter, Lana-Leigh Bailey; Andrew Stout and Steven White last year near Richter. The detectives testified that Flack told them that Andrew Stout and Steven White got into an extended argument over rent payments that lasted a couple days. Flack told them that during the argument, White stormed out and went to the garage. Stout grabbed a shotgun and followed him, they said Flack told them. Flack said Stout shot White with the shotgun and handed it to him. Flack told the detectives that he fired a second shot at White. He said he helped Stout move White’s body and cover it with a tarp in the garage. He said he and Stout sat in the house and smoked marijuana afterwards. Following the hearing, the preliminary hearing on charges that Flack killed all four people began is now under way. The preliminary hearing is scheduled to take two days. In a preliminary hearing, prosecutors must present their evidence against Flack to determine if there is enough evidence to try him for the murders. If Flack is convicted of murdering Kaylie Bailey and her daughter, Franklin County Attorney Stephen Hunting said he will seek the death penalty. If Flack is convicted in the killings of Stout and White, Hunting will seek a Hard-50 sentence.
Tuesday, March 11, 11:02 a.m.; updated 2 p.m.
OTTAWA — Ottawa police are looking for two people after an Ottawa man was hit by a vehicle during a domestic disturbance at about 7:45 p.m. Monday. Gerald Collins, 35, was hit by the vehicle at Acres Estates Mobile Home Park near the intersection of East Sixth and Burroughs, Captain. Adam Weingartner said. He was taken to Overland Park Regional Medical Center. His condition wasn’t known this morning, Weingartner said. A 37-year-old Quenemo woman was reportedly forced into the vehicle during the initial incident but was able to escape from the car nearby and returned to the scene of the incident, Weingartner said. She was uninjured. The suspect, and another person in the vehicle, fled in the vehicle. The suspect and passenger have been identified; but they have not been located, he said. The vehicle was recovered abandoned later in the night by police in Ottawa. Detectives with the Ottawa Police Department continue to investigate the incident. Police were assisted by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office with the initial response and investigation. Police are asking anyone with information about this incident to contact the police department at 785-242-2561, dispatch at 785-242-1700 or Franklin County Crime Stoppers at 888-311-TIPS. Tips can also be sent in by text or email at http://www.tipsoft.com/index.aspx. Tipsters can remain anonymous.
Tuesday, March 11, 10:50 a.m.
OTTAWA–No one is yet counting their chickens before they hatch, but nevertheless the recent Kansas Supreme Court decision that schools are underfunded could pay off in a big way. Ottawa Superintendent Dr. Jeanne Stroh says the Ottawa School District could see almost a million dollars in extra state aid. Stroh emphasizes though that a lot of details have to be worked out, so no one should make assumptions on what the final extra aid might be.
Monday, Mar. 10, 11:05 pm
OTTAWA — Ottawa police and Franklin County deputies searched an area west of the downtown area for a man who bolted from district court this morning. The man was identified as Mark Baber, who was scheduled to be in court this morning on two separate matters, including a hearing on motion to revoke his bond and send him to jail. Baber was last seen at Fourth and Main, heading west on Fourth. Officers searched homes in the 200 block of West Fourth.
Thursday, March 6, 1 p.m.
LeLOUP – The southbound lanes of I-35 were reopened at 3:30 p.m. after being closed at mid-day so investigators could examine the scene of an accident involving a semi-truck in the southbound lanes of I-35 southwest of the Tennessee Road interchange at LeLoup. According to initial reports, one driver was pinned in the wreckage of a vehicle and had to be cut out. Rescuers tried to bring an air ambulance to the scene but most helicopters were grounded by lingering fog this morning.
Thursday, March 6, 1 p.m.; updated, 3:30 p.m.
ANTIOCH — Miami County emergency personnel were called to a two-vehicle traffic accident involving the roll-over of a school bus at 223rd Street and Gardner Road near Antioch north of Hillsdale Lake shortly after 7 a.m. Kansas City television aerial photos show the bus on its side and a truck with front-end damaged. Television stations report three people were taken to hospitals for what were described as minor injuries. That couldn’t be immediately confirmed.
Thursday, March 6, 8 a.m.
OTTAWA–A project to upgrade electrical circuits in downtown Ottawa has been given the green light. The action came at the regular Ottawa City Commission meeting. The total cost of the project is put at about 750,000, at least twice the original cost estimate.
Wednesday, Mar. 5, 10:30 pm
OTTAWA — Daylight Savings Time begins early Sunday morning. As area residents prepare to “spring ahead” one hour, the Ottawa Fire Department reminds everyone to test their smoke alarms and change the batteries. It’s always a good rule to change the smoke detector batteries when homeowners change their clocks, Capt. Dennis Nowatkze said. Nowatzke said families should have an escape plan and practice it. It doesn’t hurt to vacuum the dust and cobwebs from detectors as well, he said. And if Franklin County residents, don’t have smoke detectors, the fire department can help with that, too. Because of a previous Leadership Franklin County class, the Ottawa and rural fire departments have a supply of free smoke detectors. For those who live in Ottawa, firefighters will install those as well, he said.
Wednesday, March 5, 4 p.m.
OTTAWA — Franklin County District Judge Thomas Sachse has barred television cameras and recording equipment from Tuesday’s evidentiary hearing for Kyle Flack. Flack has been charged with the murders of four people near Richter last year. The hearing, which had been originally closed, includes a motion on whether to suppress potential evidence. In his written ruling, Sachse said one of the participants objected to television coverage of the hearing. Under Kansas Supreme Court rules, Sachse said he will restrict all video and audio equipment other than still photography. Still photography for hearings involving Flack is limited to the Ottawa Herald, which disseminates photos to other news organizations. However, Sachse said he’ll ban still photography if witnesses ask not to be photographed. Reporters can still attend and report on the hearing. If Flack is convicted of murdering Kaylie Bailey and her baby daughter, Lana-Leigh Bailey, Franklin County Attorney Stephen Hhunting said he will seek the death penalty. If Flack is convicted of murdering Andrew Stout and Steven White, he will seek the Hard-50 sentence.
Wednesday, March 5, 4 p.m.