KOFO Local News

Man killed in crash that ends high-speed pursuit

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on September 22, 2016

POMONA — A 29-year-old Kansas City man is dead following a police pursuit that ended with a crash inside the Pomona city limits early this morning.  K-68 is closed while investigators work at the crash scene, Franklin County Sheriff Jeff Richards said.  Traffic is being detoured until the highway is reopened later, he said.  The chase began this morning at 1 when Quenemo police tried to pull over a vehicle and the driver fled.  The vehicle went east on K-68 and raced into Franklin County.  Deputies from Osage and Franklin counties were also involved.  The man was thrown out when the vehicle crashed in Pomona, Richards said. Richards wouldn’t identify the man.  The man was one of three people in the vehicle.  The other two were arrested at the scene, he said.  The crash is being investigated by the Kansas Highway Patrol CHART team.

Thursday, Sept. 22, 7 a.m.

Man’s best friend is young readers’ best listener

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on September 21, 2016

OTTAWA — An innovative reading program is taking place at the Ottawa Public Library.  The program, which is part of Therapy Dogs International, allows young children learning to read to spend 20 minutes a week reading out loud to a pair of Doberman Pinschers, both registered with the therapy dogs association.  Children can come in, read to the dogs, and build a special relationship with them, said Cyndi Brewer, library youth services manager. Children are less likely to feel nervous about reading to a dog than to their peers or an adult, which can make learning to read a less stressful experience for them, she said.  Registration for next month’s program session will begin on-line next week. It is currently limited to four children per session.

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 6 a.m.

Health clinic wins federal IT grant

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on September 21, 2016

TOPEKA — The community health center that serves Franklin County will be among 16 health centers that will share nearly $1 million total in federal grants to improve their computer networks.  The Health Partnership Clinic of Johnson County will receive $78,589, the Kansas Health Institute News Service reported.  The clinic’s local satellite office is in the Franklin County Health Department at the county annex.  The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services says the IT upgrades will deliver better care by letting providers quickly sort through a patient’s electronic health records and allow hospitals, primary care doctors and specialists to communicate seamlessly.  Neighboring clinics also receiving grants include the Flint Hills Community Health Center, Emporia, $52,743; and the Heartland Medical Clinic, Lawrence, $44,789.

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 6 a.m.

Medicaid cuts blamed for Lyndon clinic closing

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on September 21, 2016

LYNDON — People who used the Cotton O’Neil Medical Clinic in Lyndon can only use it a few more months.  Stormont-Vail Health, of Topeka, has announced the clinic will close Jan. 31.  Randy Pearson, Stormont Vail president and CEO, blamed the state’s 4 percent Medicaid cuts and the state’s failure to expand Medicaid as the main factors in closing the clinic.  Patients will receive a letter explaining how to get services at other clinics.

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 5 a.m.

Police part of speed crackdown this weekend

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on September 21, 2016

OTTAWA — The Ottawa Police Department will join other law enforcement agencies in Kansas and five other central states this weekend for a crackdown on speeding and other traffic violations.  Law enforcement across the six-state area will be extra-vigilant when patrolling around city, rural, state and federal highways.  As speeds increase, the severity of crashes increases and there are more severe injuries and possibly deaths, Police Chief Dennis Butler said.  “Even one death is unacceptable,” Butler said.  “Please slow down, put the phone away or turn it off, and always buckle up.”

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 5 a.m.

 

Woman pinned by truck driving through store window released from hospital

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on September 20, 2016

OTTAWA – The Ottawa woman who was injured when a truck drove through the window of the Dollar Tree store, at 23rd and Main, last week has been released from Ransom Memorial Hospital.  Ayda Gerges was pinned by the truck against a display, police said.  Gerges said she had just checked out and was talking with the cashier when she heard a loud noise, then found herself unable to move. She was pinned for about five minutes until emergency responders were able to free her.

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 7 a.m.

Auditorium manager stepping down

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on September 20, 2016

OTTAWA — Long-time Ottawa Municipal Auditorium manager Shonda Stitt will step down.  Her last day is Friday.  Stitt’s knowledge of the facility will be missed, city finance director Scott Bird said.  As a result of several resignations over the years, Stitt became the person who coordinated all activities at the auditorium, he said.  Stitt served as the point of contact for anyone wanting to use the OMA for a wedding reception, dinner, concert, theater production and other events, Bird said. “But, that was just the beginning of the story,” he said. “Because she was the only full-time staff member, she coordinated each event with volunteers, the finance department, the city’s maintenance/janitorial crew, sound and lighting technicians and anyone else needed for each event.” The Ottawa City Commission and the Municipal Auditorium advisory board will work together on the next phase of the facility’s future.

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 7 a.m.

County, tourism board near agreement on ending contract

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on September 20, 2016

OTTAWA — Despite some pointed comments Monday, the Franklin County Commission and the Convention and Visitors Board were close to an agreement to transfer the Visitors Information Center on the east side of Ottawa, as well as some tourism funds, to the county.  After being at odds with the tourism board, commissioners voted earlier this year to terminate the contract for county tourism efforts and offered a new contract to the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce.  However, the present contract ends Sept. 30, with the new contract starting Jan. 1, leaving the last three months for the visitors center in limbo. The county can’t close or sell the center without refunding hundreds of thousands of dollars of a federal grant.  That also left the question of nearly $80,000 in tourism fund reserves.  Tourism board members said before they dissolve the board, they would use some of the money to wrap up three on-going tourism projects and pay final bills.  They also said they were willing to pay their remaining employee for three months to operate the visitors center, until the chamber took over.  The remainder of the money, which likely includes contributions from the city of Ottawa in earlier years, and money from the chamber, would be shared among tourism groups and efforts.  County officials said they were willing to agree to that.  Another $24,000, which came from the tourism tax, which is a special sales tax on motel beds, would be turned back to the county. Years ago, the chamber handled tourism efforts through the convention and visitors board until the county asked the chamber to spin off the board as an independent entity.

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 6 a.m.

Weather office to host open house

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on September 20, 2016

TOPEKA — The National Weather Service office in Topeka will host an open house on Saturday, Oct. 1.  The open house is free. Office tours will be 10-3.  Walk-ins are welcome, but tickets for tours can be obtained through the office’s website. The open house will offer a look at the day-to-day operations at a national weather service office, how meteorologists operate during severe weather, and meet with several local TV and radio media and local and state organizations that work closely with the weather service to help promote weather preparedness and weather safety.  The open house will also include weather balloon launches every hour, presentations on weather forecasting and weather safety and interactive weather experiments.  The weather office is at Phillip Billard Airport, Topeka.

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 6 a.m.

Paisley to perform free concert at KU

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on September 20, 2016

LAWRENCE — Country superstar Brad Paisley will perform a free concert at Kansas University’s Parking Lot 94, east of Memorial Stadium on 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14.  His concert is part of his national Country Nation College Tour.  Brett Young will open the concert.  KU is establishing parking at various lots on campus for his concert.  There will be local food trucks available.  No alcohol or drones will be permitted on the KU campus for the concert. No tailgating will be allowed.

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 6 a.m.