KOFO Local News

Ottawa man jailed in RMH threat, lockdown

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on January 15, 2018

OTTAWA — A 38-year-old man was jailed Friday night after Ottawa police said he threatened Ransom Memorial Hospital, and then fled them on foot. Jeremy Penland, Ottawa, is accused of posting threats to “shoot up” RMH on social media in his own name. RMH locked down the facility at 7:17 p.m., and police officers and sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the hospital to protect the staff and patients, said Ottawa Police Chief Dennis Butler. Other officers, deputies and state troopers formed a team to find Penland, Butler said. They spotted a vehicle leaving the residence of Penland’s friend. The vehicle was stopped on East Second Street near Cedar. The driver was cooperative but when the passenger was identified as Penland, he ignored officers’ instructions, jumped out of the vehicle and ran down the alley between Second and Third streets, Butler said. He ran west between houses until he was arrested near Cedar after he was subdued by a Taser, Butler said. He was taken to the hospital for examination after being hit by the Taser. He was booked into the jail on suspicion of making several criminal threats, aggravated assault, aggravated endangering a child, domestic battery, reckless driving, interference with a law-enforcement officer, and resisting arrest over three separate incidents. The driver was released after the traffic stop. No bond was set for Penland.
Monday, Jan. 15, 10:30 a.m.

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Kidnapping appeal hearing postponed

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on January 15, 2018

OTTAWA — A hearing for a man convicted of kidnapping and trying to rape a Williamsburg teenager 18 years ago has been postponed until late March. Ralph Corey won a new hearing for his latest appeal. His appeal noted testimony by a defense expert that lab work by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation used to convict him was sloppy and the results were inconsistent. Corey was serving time in Arizona when he was extradited to Kansas after a KBI cold-case team matched his DNA to the Ottawa kidnapping. A jury found him guilty of kidnapping the 16-year-old girl from the Wal-Mart SuperCenter parking lot and trying to rape her in the then-Country Mart parking lot in February 2000. His case has been marked by a mistrial and several appeals. He’s serving a 35-year sentence.
Monday, Jan. 15, 10:30 a.m.

911 dispatch center may get new boss

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on January 9, 2018

OTTAWA — The Franklin County 911 emergency dispatch center could be moved from the purview of Sheriff Jeff Richards to EMS ambulance director Nick Robbins. The move will save some money and reduce some of Richards’ responsibilities, said county administrator Derek Brown. Richards also supervises the jail and juvenile detention center. Richards and Robbins said they agree with the change. The dispatch center would remain as a separate entity. The change comes as the county completes a replacement of all of the emergency radios and the radio system in the county. Commissioners could decide on the change as early as Wednesday.
Tuesday, Jan. 9, 3 p.m.

Middle school counselors deal with student traumas

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on January 9, 2018

OTTAWA — It seems that quite a number of Ottawa Middle School students are experiencing trauma that adversely affects them at school. Trauma makes students experience poor mental and physical health, Matt Schurman, a social worker who works with middle school students, told Ottawa school board members during their meeting Monday night. Such students are always visiting the school nurse or out of class because they feel ill because of on-going traumatic experiences, he said. Such experiences include disruptive home life, poverty, divorces, abuse or neglect, mentally ill family members or frequent moves, he said. “These are the things we deal with at the middle school all the time,” Schurman said. Schurman said he and others are trying to take a more positive approach to troubled students because regular disciplinary measures don’t improve things.
Tuesday, Jan. 9, 3 p.m.

Judge orders mediation in USD 287 lawsuit

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on January 9, 2018

KANSAS CITY — A federal judge has ordered West Franklin USD 287 and two men suing the school district into mediation. Gene Hirt, Lyndon, and Eric Clark, Williamsburg; filed a civil rights suit against the school district and superintendent Jerry Turner because Turner banned Hirt from school property following an altercation between the two. Turner has since dropped the ban. The two sides were ordered to schedule mediation sessions before Judge Gary Sebelius before March 16.
Tuesday, Jan. 9, 3 p.m.

Garnett looking at 24-hour access at rec center

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on January 9, 2018

GARNETT — Garnett city manager Christopher Weiner said he’s working on a plan that would allow 24-hour access to the Garnett Recreation Center. That includes security and access improvements that would allow the facility to be used at any time, he said. The change will help increase membership and more use of the facility, he said. The center, which is the former National Guard armory, includes a cardio room, a weights and conditioning room, gym and walking track.
Tuesday, Jan. 9, 3 p.m.

Commissions reorganize; pick leaders

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on January 9, 2018

OTTAWA — Randall Renoud of Wellsville has been named as franklin county commission chairman for this year. Richard Oglesby was named vice chair. For the city of Ottawa, Mike Skidmore was named mayor. Both commission chair and mayor are largely ceremonial positions. Blake Jorgensen was named mayor pro-tem and will serve in those times Skidmore is unavailable. Former county commissioner Tom Weigand was sworn in as Ottawa city commissioner. Commissioners met Monday for their annual reorganization meeting.
Tuesday, Jan. 9, 3 p.m.

Former Linn County deputy arrested by KBI for sex crimes

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on January 9, 2018

LaCYGNE — A former Linn County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested by the KBI. David Huggins, 45, LaCygne has been arrested in Decorah, Iowa; for aggravated indecent liberties with a minor and sexual exploitation of a child. Linn County Sheriff Paul Filla requested KBI assistance in October based on information received from the Pleasanton school district, where Huggins had been assigned as a school resource officer. He was removed that job from in October. He was fired from the sheriff’s office in January.
Tuesday, Jan. 9, 3 p.m.

Because of cold, city will estimate water readings

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on January 4, 2018

OTTAWA — The city of Ottawa will not read water meters this month because of the cold temperatures and will estimate the water portion of the utility bill. When the weather is this cold, opening the lids to the water cans allows freezing air to get into the meter pit which freezes the meter, creating problems for the city and the property owner, said city finance director Scott Bird. The city uses a formula based on the water usage for the same month from the previous year and the previous month, he said. If the city’s estimates are off, they will be corrected on the next month’s bill, he said. If you have a question about your bill, call city hall at 229-3600.
Thursday, Jan. 4, 11 a.m.

Trucker found dead after semi runs off I-35 near Wellsville

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on January 4, 2018

WELLSVILLE — The driver of a semi-truck killed after his truck drifted off I-35 Wednesday has been identified as Scott “Boogie” Powell, 58, Waverly. He was traveling north on I-35 when his truck went off the road, went through a fence and traveled approximately a quarter mile across a field before coming to rest in a ditch at Shawnee and Vermont roads, the Kansas Highway Patrol. Troopers said they believe he suffered some type of medical emergency before the crash. Diesel fuel leaking at the scene was quickly contained. The truck broke a water pipe belonging to Rural Water District #1. The breakage didn’t affect the entire water district, Franklin County emergency management coordinator Thomas Winter said. Five households next to the breakage had to boil their water, he said.
Thursday, Jan. 4, 11 a.m.; updated 11:45 a.m.