KOFO Local News

Odermann on Ottawa Audit

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on June 24, 2019

The annual audit for 2018 for the city of Ottawa appears to have gone well. Audrey Odermann is an accountant with Mize Houser and Company, she says, “The budget stayed within guidelines.”



There was no discussion of a budgetary error that caused 2.2 million shortfalls that are forcing some cutbacks in some areas although there were no layoffs. The city is also reducing some contributions made to community partners.

City Study

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on June 24, 2019

The Ottawa City Commission will hold a study session today and one of the topics is budgets. Specifically, how much the city of Ottawa will fund the Franklin County development council, Prarie Paws animal shelter, and the Ottawa Mains street association. City Manager Richard Nienstedt explains,



Other topics at the study session will include 911 funding. Franklin County administrator Derek Brown and emergency management Director Nick Robbins will discuss this topic.

Jorgensen on Proximity Sewer

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on June 24, 2019

It’s going to cost more, but the installation of the sewer line for the proximity park is back on track. During the regular Ottawa City Commission meeting, Mayor Blake Jorgensen talked about a snag in companies bidding for the project.



The first bidder had said it could do the job for about $1.5 million, but then withdrew it’s bid. The city is now seeking what is called a bid bond from the first bidder, which would amount to about $75,000.

Gilges on Drug

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on June 24, 2019

Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy Brad Gilges will soon be a retired deputy and he certainly has seen a lot of changes in his 41 years of law enforcement. Gilges says, “One of the worst things is illegal drug use.”

Gilges says, “Meth use has caused more crime and hurt and killed people. It seems society has gotten rougher, and he attributes it to drugs and the love of money.”

Carbondale Toxic Water

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on June 24, 2019

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a public notice for drinking water in the city of Carbondale due to low levels of microcystins. which is a blue-green algae toxin. They emphasize the levels are extremely low and are well below the health advisory level and water remains acceptable for drinking, food preparation and household uses.

Microcystins entered the supply due to blue-green algae blooms occurring in the Strowbridge reservoir, which is the source water for the city of Carbondale’s water supply. Additional samples will be collected and sent to the laboratory for analysis to confirm the microcystins levels consistently remain below the U.S. environmental protection agency’s 10-day health advisory level for microcystins for bottle-fed infants and children under 6 years old in drinking water delivered to consumers.

Shut Those Gates

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on June 24, 2019

The heavy rain Saturday night and into Sunday morning has forced the city to shut the floodgates on the main street bridge. This is the second time this year the gates have been closed. Drivers will need to take an alternative route to either side of Ottawa.

Storms Saturday night caused several power outages around the city, some lasting up to nine hours. City utility crews worked tirelessly throughout the night to remove trees from lines and repair lines.

The length of time the gates over the river will be closed is dependent on how quickly water upstream can drain from flooded areas and get down the river. Stay tuned to KOFO for all the latest updates involving the water levels and how long the gates will remain closed. The rains also caused flooding in areas of the city, including forest park, and the area around the Don Woodward center.

Also, if you are out and about this morning be aware there are many roads underwater, we have learned there is only one wat in and out of Rantoul. Vermont and Rock Creek are flooded. You will have to use John Brown road to 59 highway.

Tragic Accident for Paola Teacher

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on June 24, 2019

A tragic accident has claimed the life of a Paola middle school teacher. Adam Bancroft was one of two drivers killed in a head-on collision in the early morning hours Friday near Fort Scott.

According to a Kansas Highway Patrol report, 29-year-old Brenton Handly of Nevada, Missouri was driving west on US 54 highway just east of Fort Scott at 5:30 in the morning, when he attempted to pass. He collided head-on with Bancroft’s vehicle coming from the other way. Both drivers, who were wearing seat belts, were pronounced dead at the scene. There were no passengers in either vehicle, according to the report. Bancroft was hired by Paola USD 368 in 2017 to serve as a level three teacher at Paola Middle School.

Gilges on Retirement

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on June 20, 2019

A long-time sheriff’s deputy is retiring after decades of service.  The Franklin County Commission honored Brad Gilges, he says, “It’s been a long time.”



Gilges says, “He started working for the sheriff’s office when he was 19 years old.”

Cobbs on Middle School Repairs

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on June 20, 2019

Ottawa School students are on summer vacation, but that doesn’t mean the construction guys are. School superintendent Ryan Cobbs says, “The middle school looks lonely.”

Cobbs says, “The performing arts center at the high school is nearing completion, and it will look awesome when the general public sees it.”

Lee on Development

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on June 20, 2019

The renovation of a historical building at 401 South Main in Ottawa may or may not go ahead now that the city commission has over-ridden objections made by the state historic preservation office. Community development Director Wyndee Lee says, “The action by the commission is not necessarily the last word.”

If allowed to proceed, the building will be renovated at a cost of over $3 million.