KOFO Local News

County continuing to negotiate with administrator finalist

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on January 7, 2017

OTTAWA — Franklin County commissioners were continuing to negotiate with their selection for the next county administrator this past week. Commission chair Rick Howard said it’s not a done deal yet: The county and the candidate have swapped counteroffers but both sides remain some distance apart, he said. If there’s no deal, Howard said the commissioners will discuss how to proceed. Commissioners are looking for a successor to Jon Holmes. County counselor Derek Brown is serving as interim administrator.

Saturday, Jan. 7, 3 p.m.

Weingartner named assistant police chief

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on January 7, 2017

OTTAWA — Adam Weingartner, who has been with the Ottawa Police Department more than 20 years, has been promoted to assistant chief of police. Weingartner said the promotion comes with oversight of some restructuring being done at the department. The department is being split into three divisions with supervisors over each. The three divisions will be patrol, investigations and support services. The restructuring will allow them to have an increased presence in the community, he said. Two other promotions have also taken place. Casey Crane and Bobbie Hawkins have been awarded the rank of lieutenant.

Saturday, Jan. 7, 3 p.m.

Officials seek to placate tourism volunteers

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on January 7, 2017

OTTAWA — As the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce takes over the tourism efforts on behalf of the county this week, chamber and county officials have been scrambling to keep volunteers at the Visitors Information Center happy. Many volunteers were angered by the county commission’s action in taking the tourism contract away from the Franklin County Convention and Visitors board late last year. Because volunteers have a crucial role in operating the Visitors Information Center in eastern Ottawa, county and chamber officials have tried to placate the volunteers. County administrator Derek Brown told county commissioners Wednesday that the chamber will keep Susan Rader as the manager of the Visitors Information Center. Rader was popular with many of the volunteers and Brown expressed hope that will mollify them and encourage them to continue volunteering at the center.

Saturday, Jan. 7, 3 p.m.

New Year’s baby comes New Year’s Day

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on January 7, 2017

OTTAWA — It didn’t take long for the first baby of the new year to be born in Franklin County. Baby girl Eva Eilene Rossi, 8 lbs. and 20 in. long, was born New Year’s morning at 6:36 born at Ransom Memorial Hospital in Ottawa. She was born to Alicia and Markuss Rossi of Wellsville. Eva has one sister, Lila. Markuss Rossi said he was very thankful to the staff for their handling of some complications during labor. Alicia was taken to the ICU after the delivery and had to receive two blood transfusions, but is doing much better now, he said.

Saturday, Jan. 7, 3 p.m.

Rock Creek Road closed after crash

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on January 5, 2017

OTTAWA — Rock Creek Road between Ohio and Nevada roads east of Ottawa was closed at 10 a.m. and will remain closed and will remain closed for at two hours today.  A utility crew is restringing wire and replacing a power pole that was destroyed when a vehicle crashed into it early this morning.

Thursday, Jan. 5, 10 a.m.

Wellsville boy dies as result of fire

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on December 28, 2016

WELLSVILLE — Six-year-old Brex Whalen of Wellsville has died as a result of a fire in Wellsville late Tuesday night. The Wellsville Fire Department was called to the fire in the 200 block of Walnut shortly after 10 p.m. The fire began in the living room of a rented home, said Kevin Doel, spokesman for the Kansas Fire Marshal’s office. Whalen’s mother, Leigh Anne Morris, was also in the home and escaped with an infant, he said. Whalen’s step-father is in the military and is on deployment, Doel said. According to initial reports, Whalen was trapped in a bedroom. He was taken to Overland Park Regional Medical Center, where he died. Two sheriff’s deputies received medical treatment for smoke inhalation at the scene, and a third deputy was taken to Ransom Memorial Hospital for treatment of minor injuries he received trying to break in through a window trying to rescue the boy, Franklin County Sheriff Jeff Richards said. The cause of the fire hasn’t been determined and the investigation continues under the auspices of the Fire Marshall’s office, Doel said.

Those wishing to contribute to Whalen’s memorial fund can do so by sending donations to:

BREX WHALEN MEMORIAL FUND
c/o MID AMERICA BANK
PO BOX 671
1008 POPLAR ST
WELLSVILLE, KS 66092

Wednesday, Dec. 28, 6 a.m.; updated 2 p.m.

Coffey County deputy arrested on sex crime charges

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on December 28, 2016

BURLINGTON — A Coffey County deputy was arrested Tuesday afternoon for sex crimes involving a minor. Agents from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation arrested Matthew Vander Linden, 28, at the Coffey County Sheriff’s office in Burlington without incident.  Vander Linden was booked on suspicion of two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child, one count of electronic solicitation, and one count of sexual exploitation of a child, the KBI said in a written statement.  The KBI said the investigation began Dec. 20 at the request of the Coffey County Sheriff’s Department. Vander Linden had been a Coffey County deputy since March 2014.  He was fired Tuesday. The KBI said the investigation is ongoing.

Wednesday, Dec. 28, 6 a.m.

Planning commission meeting cancelled

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on December 27, 2016

OTTAWA — The Ottawa Planning Commission meeting for Wednesday has been cancelled.

Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2 p.m.

New hearing in FOI lawsuit against West Franklin USD 287

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on December 27, 2016

OTTAWA — A Williamburg man may have won his Freedom of Information lawsuit against the West Franklin school district and something more. Following a recent hearing, District Judge Eric Godderz instructed Eric Clark to submit paperwork showing how much it cost Clark to pursue the lawsuit against the school district. Originally, Clark requested only a dollar but Godderz told to resubmit that. In turn, Clark filed a document that shows it cost him $405 to pursue the Freedom of Information quest. Earlier this year, Clark demanded letters and other information relating to bans against Gene Hirt, Pomona, and the late Henry Snodgrass that kept them off district property and away from district events and school board meetings. Supt. Jerry Turner refused and Clark went to court. Another hearing will be Jan. 10 in Franklin County District Court.
Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2 p.m.

Car rolls over on I-35 on Christmas

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on December 27, 2016

WILLIAMSBURG — Two people were injured in a one-car crash on I-35 near the Williamsburg interchange on Christmas day.  Daniel Gibson, 30, Wichita; was driving north on I-35 when his car drifted off the shoulder and onto the grass, the Kansas Highway Patrol said.  He overcorrected and his car shot across the north-bound lanes and into the median strip where his car started rolling over, the highway patrol said.  The car came to a rest on all four wheels on the shoulder of the south-bound lanes.   He and his passenger, Lillian Gibson, 8,Wichita; both received injuries but refused an ambulance. The highway patrol said neither were wearing seat belts.

Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2 p.m.