KOFO Local News

Fusion tonight in downtown Ottawa

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on August 23, 2016

OTTAWA — Ottawa University students and staff, Ottawa businesses and the public will join together beginning at 6 p.m. tonight for the annual Fusion event.  There will be fun activities, food and exhibits by local businesses and agencies on the Franklin County Courthouse lawn in downtown Ottawa.   Fusion helps cement the close ties between students and the community, gives students a good idea of what the community and businesses have to offer them, and gives the community a look at the economic impact of OU, OU president Kevin Eichner said.  Classes began Monday.  Enrollment at OU’s main campus is more than 700, which is the highest enrollment in nearly 40 years, Eichner said.  Enrollment at OU’s adult campuses has increased sharply as well, he said.

Tuesday, Aug. 23, 10 a.m.

Power outage set for part of Ottawa

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on August 23, 2016

OTTAWA — The Ottawa utility department has restored electrical power to an area of southern Ottawa. The utility department had planned to cut power to the area this afternoon to make critical repairs to a circuit. The city says if you are still without power this afternoon, to call the utility department immediately. The city’s electric utility did a planned power outage beginning at about 1:30 p.m. covering an area largely between 15th and 19th streets and Oak and Elm streets, utilities director Dennis Tharp said.  “We have problem in that area that needs to be fixed that simply can’t be done ‘hot’,” Tharp said.  Without the repairs, the area will likely be hit by a power outage that could last for a much longer extended period, he said.

Tuesday, Aug. 23, 10 a.m.; updated, 3 p.m.

Smart Meters

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on August 23, 2016

OTTAWA–City officials plan to start phasing in smart water and electric meters, to replace current ones.  Utilities Director Dennis Tharp says it will probably take about 5 years to implement the whole project.

Monday, Aug. 22 10:30 pm

Fogging Mosquitoes

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on August 16, 2016

OTTAWA–Concerned about Zika and the West Nile Virus, the city will start spraying for mosquitoes late this week.  Officials will fog alleyways throughout the town.

 

Monday, Aug. 15, 9:30 pm

Great fall harvest predicted — fall prices not so great

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on August 13, 2016

OTTAWA — Most farmers in Franklin county farmers could hit a homerun with the fall harvest this year, but it won’t be a grand slam. Both corn and soybeans, which are the biggest fall cash grains for area farmers, could be bin busters, Frontier Extension District natural resources and agriculture agent Darren Hibdon said. The corn has progressed well, with rain at the right time, and could produce a near-record harvest, he said. Despite a slow start in planting soybeans, that crop is also looking very good, he said. However, not so good – reports of potential bumper crops and weak export markets have caused the bottom to drop out of the prices for corn and soybeans. Farmers will have to make up the drop in prices by harvesting large amounts of corn and beans, he said.

Saturday, Aug. 13, 3:30 p.m.

County to move tourism efforts to Ottawa Chamber of Commerce

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on August 13, 2016

OTTAWA — On a split 3-2 vote, Franklin County commissioners decided to turn tourism efforts over to the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce, the group spurned by a previous commission about five years ago. Following a feud with the convention and tourism board, which has been handling the county’s tourism efforts, commissioners chose earlier this year to seek proposals from individuals or groups to run the program. The county received two — from the convention and tourism board and from the chamber. A special committee looked at the proposals and recommended the chamber, said county administrator Jon Holmes, who was on the special committee. The chamber’s proposal offered new ideas and was award of changes in tourism, in which travels use more social media, he said. Commissioner Randall Renoud was skeptical and noted that the earlier commission had taken the contract from the chamber. He also wondered why his fellow commissioners chose to take the contract from the tourism board. Renoud and Roy Dunn voted against the change. Commissioners Rick Howard, Colt Waymire and Steve Harris voted to switch to the chamber. Harris, who is the subject of a recall drive because of absences because of a new job, took part in the meeting via a telephone hookup. Waymire conceded the previous action in moving the contract but noted that the committee put a lot of work in making the recommendation, which he said was a good recommendation. Under the contract, which is yet to be negotiated, the chamber would administer the tourism fund, which is collected from a special sales tax on motel beds, plan tourism strategy, support local groups’ events, and operate the county’s Visitors and Information Center on K-68 in eastern Ottawa. After the vote, chamber president John Coen sounded a conciliatory note, saying he was aware of the controversy and would work to deal with critics’ concerns. The chamber seeks to unite the community, rather than divide it, he said. The tourism board, which lost the contract, will meet next week to decide on the next move but it’s unlikely the board will disband, said Juanita Peckham, chair of the tourism board.

Saturday, Aug. 13, 3:30 p.m.

FEMA rejects flood reimbursements

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on August 13, 2016

OTTAWA — Because of an unexpected change in FEMA policies, Franklin County could lose nearly $600,000 in reimbursements in flood damage occurring last May. Franklin county emergency management director Alan Radcliffe said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has refused to reimburse the county and state for the damages. He says that the county and state had provided the necessary documentation so that the rejection was a surprise. The state has appealed, but he recommended that local officials complain to members of Congress.

Saturday, Aug. 13, 3:30 p.m.

Louisburg crash injures one

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on August 13, 2016

LOUISBURG — A 48-year-old LaCygne woman was hospitalized as a result of a two-vehicle crash at the U.S. 69/K-68 interchange at Louisburg Wednesday afternoon. The Kansas Highway Patrol said Joyce Deason, of LaCygne, and 51-year-old Angela Lesco, 51, were driving north on the U.S. 69 ramp to K-68 when Deason stopped at the stop sign. The highway patrol said Lesco’s car rear-ended Deason’s car. Deason was injured and was taken to St. Luke’s South Hospital. A passenger in her car, Joyce Martin, 67, Louisburg; wasn’t injured. Lesco wasn’t injured. They were all wearing seat belts.

Saturday, Aug. 13, 3:30 p.m.

KDOT offers grant to upgrade U.S.59/Kingman Road

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on August 13, 2016

OTTAWA — The Kansas Dept. of Transportation has agreed to spend $1.25 million to upgrade the intersection of U.S. 59 and Kingman Road on the south edge of Ottawa. Among the improvements, left- and right-hand turn lanes and paving 500 feet of Kingman Road east of the highway, county public works director Jim Haag told Franklin County commissioners. Commissioners agreed to the deal. The county would pay for engineering and design, and right-of-way. The intersection will become one of the main entries into the new Rock Creek industrial park southeast of Ottawa.

Saturday, Aug. 13, 3:30 p.m.

Grant seeks to help rural firefighter recruitment

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on August 13, 2016

HUTCHINSON — The state fire marshal’s office wills offer a new grant program to help recruit firefighters for volunteer or part-time rural departments around the state. The $200,000 Fire Marshal Fee Fund will pay for firefighter safety gear, physical exams and other regionally-shared equipment. The grants will not require local matches. The grant program also could be used to fund youth explorer programs, to interest young people in firefighting. The deadline for submitting applications is Oct. 3, with funding available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Saturday, Aug. 13, 3:30 p.m.

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