TOPEKA — The Kansas Supreme Court has given the plaintiffs in an ongoing school finance lawsuit until this afternoon at 5 to file a motion how it wants to move forward in the case. The lawsuit, Gannon vs. Kansas, challenges whether cuts in state funding for public education since the Great Recession violate the state constitution. Last year, the high court upheld a lower court ruling that the state had failed to fully fund parts of the school finance formula. However, the court sent back part of the ruling back to the special panel of three Shawnee County District Court judges for review. At the end of December the panel issued another opinion upholding its earlier decision. However, Kansas Attorney Gen. Derek Schmidt has appealed and said the matter should now be heard by the high court. The supreme court is now asking the plaintiffs to respond to Schmidt’s motions.
Tuesday, March 3, 4 p.m.
OTTAWA — Today is election day for some voters in the county. Polls in western and southern Franklin County are open until 7 p.m. There are primary elections for the West Franklin school board at-large Position 7 and Central Heights school board Position 1 covering the Princeton area. Advance voting turnout for the primary was low and she hopes voters will show up at polling stations, Franklin County Clerk Janet Paddock said. She said some polling stations were consolidated to eight for today’s election to save money and stretch personnel. Candidates for West Franklin Position 7 are Rusty Ecord, Sherry Fritts-Harris, Gene Hirt, Bruce Rockhold and Perrie Swank. Central Heights Position 1 candidates are Lorri Cotter, Jeri Lynn Haynes, Patty Medina and Nikki Peine.
Tuesday, March 3, 4 p.m.
OTTAWA–The only thing left to do to move back the Ottawa Sales Tax Renewal Election is for the City Commission to vote on it. At its study session, City Attorney Bob Bezek read a new document that would set the new election date on September 1st. The Commission is expected to approve the change at its regular meeting Wednesday night.
Monday, Mar. 2, 10:45 pm
OTTAWA — An early-morning fire Tuesday caused $35,000 in damage to a house and contents in the 1000 block of South Walnut Street in Ottawa. The fire started in the furnace, Ottawa Fire Chief Jeff Carner said. There was no one home at the time of the fire, and there were no injuries, he said.
Wednesday, Feb. 25, 3 p.m.
LOUISBURG – A lockdown at Louisburg High School has ended. Officials locked down the school late this morning after a bullet was found in a hallway. Student lockers and public spaces were searched. Officials didn’t say if anything else was found or if anyone was questioned in connection with the lockdown.
Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2 p.m.
OTTAWA — An Ottawa police officer was booked into the Franklin County jail Monday night for suspicion of DUI and other charges in connection with a single-vehicle crash in the 200 block of East 15th Street. Derek Butters, 23, was booked after his vehicle hit a city utility pole shortly before 11 p.m., causing substantial damage both to the vehicle and utility pole, Police Chief Dennis Butler said. Butters suffered minor injuries in the accident and was examined by Franklin County emergency medical technicians, but not taken to the hospital for further medical treatment, Butler said. Butters, who has been an Ottawa police officer for two years, was off duty and wasn’t in uniform when the accident occurred, Butler said. Butters was also cited for failure to report an accident; texting while driving; and no proof of insurance. Bond was set at $2,900. Butters was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation, Butler said. City utility crews were summoned to investigate the damage to the pole and make repairs.
Tuesday, Feb. 24, 9 a.m.
OTTAWA–It’s now virtually certain the Ottawa Sales Tax Renewal Election will not be held in June. City Commissioners say it’s too close to the Ottawa School Bond election which takes place in April. There seems to be general agreement to move the Sales Tax Question to around the first of September.
Monday, Feb. 23, 10:50 pm
OSAWATOMIE — A rural Parker couple was killed in a one-vehicle accident Sunday afternoon north of Osawatomie. A car driven by 78-year-old Willis Hodgson, 78, was going south on Plum Creek Road when it went off the road at a point about a quarter-mile north of 335th Street, Miami County Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Talcott said. His car rolled over and caught fire. Hodgson and his passenger, Beth Hodgson, 77, died at the scene.
Monday, Feb. 23, 1 p.m.
OTTAWA–The new Industrial Park has taken one more step toward completion. The Ottawa City Commission approved buying about 13 1/2 acres on the north side of the park. The land is located close to I-35, and city officials say in years to come, they want travelers to see major business facilities as they drive past Ottawa. They hope that it will lead to further economic expansion. The parcel of land will cost about $40,000.
Wed. Feb. 18, 9:55 pm
OTTAWA — Ottawa High School is asking for nominations for Mr. and Miss OHS. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 27. The awards are the highest of honors that the school can bestow upon any senior student, high principal Ryan Cobbs said. This award recognizes leadership, character, involvement and influence, he said. Nominations can be returned to the high school office, or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. and Miss OHS will be recognized during an assembly on March 24th.
Tuesday, Feb. 17, 6 a.m.