LAWRENCE — The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a body found inside a burning vehicle near Clinton Lake this morning. Deputies responded to a car fire at Rockhaven Campground, said Sgt. Kristen Dymacek. Once the fire was extinguished, a body was discovered inside the vehicle, she said. No other information will be released at this time, she said.
Wednesday, March 8, noon
RANTOUL — John Brown Road between Texas and Vermont roads in eastern Franklin County is closed this morning because of several downed power lines, Franklin County emergency dispatch said. Crews probably won’t have the road cleared until 10 or 11 a.m. The lines were among several pulled down as a powerful series of severe storms packing high winds, driving rains and reported funnels Monday night. One person living north of Ottawa reported several power poles along Old Highway 59 between Sand Creek and Shawnee roads had been broken during the storm. The Ottawa Municipal Airport reported a quarter-inch of rain. Damage was reported throughout the area. Richmond-area residents reported roof damage to homes and farm buildings. Paola experienced widespread tree damage and downed limbs and trees closed a couple of streets Tuesday morning. The city said Paola city crews would pick up tree debris. Limbs and branches should be placed at front curbs before Friday, the city said. More than 500 households in an area around Ottawa and Paola remained without power early this morning. Power was reported out over an extensive area in east-central Kansas late Monday night.
Tuesday, March 7, 6 a.m.; updated 7:15 a.m.; updated March 8, 6 a.m.
OTTAWA – A 34-year-old Missouri man is dead as a result of a car-pedestrian crash Tuesday night on the east edge of Ottawa. Andrew Spisak, 69, Wellsville, was driving east on K-68 at I-35 when he struck Jake Flores, Houstonia, Mo., as Flores walked east in the roadway at about 8:01 p.m., said Adam Weingartner, assistant police chief. Another person walking near Flores was not struck and was uninjured. Spisak, and three passengers in his vehicle were uninjured, Weingartner said. Flores was taken by Franklin County Ambulance Service to Overland Park Regional Medical Center with serious injuries. At 10:39 p.m., Flores died from his injuries, Weingartner said. Flores’ next of kin has been notified. The police department requested the Franklin County Crash Team respond to investigate the crash. The team is made up of staff from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Ottawa Police Department. They will continue the investigation.
Wednesday, March 1, 6 a.m.
OTTAWA — An original copy of the Magna Carta will stop in Ottawa in the old courtroom at the courthouse next month. The free exhibit will be on display from March 1 to 31 during regular courthouse hours, 8 a.m. to 4: 30 p.m., said John Steelman, Fourth Judicial District administrator. English King John was forced by rebel barons to sign the Magna Carta 802 years ago at Runnymede. The Magna Carta became the bedrock of British and American legal rights, including trial by jury, habeas corpus and due process. “While the Magna Carta began as a series of grievances from barons in medieval England, the fundamental rights that were laid out in that document were later echoed in our own Declaration of Independence, and have been symbolic of liberty and democracy,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said. “I encourage civic clubs, educators and other interested citizens to use this opportunity to discuss our civic history and to engage in learning about the precious system of self-government we have inherited from those who came before.” “The collective genius of our nation’s founding fathers is memorialized in both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution,” said District Judge Douglas Witteman. “The Magna Carta is a portion of the deep historical roots that provided their inspiration that still manifests the liberty and justice enjoyed by Americans today.” The attorney general and the judge also said they would help arrange presentations about civics and the rule of law for civic clubs, school groups and other interested Franklin County organizations during the month the Magna Carta display is in Ottawa. Those interested in requesting a presentation may contact John Steelman, District Court Administrator, by phone at 785-242-6000 or by email at email@example.com. The Lincoln Cathedral copy began touring the U.S. two years ago to mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.
Thursday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m.
BALDWIN CITY — The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has recovered what is believed to be the body of 18-year-old Cameron Kirchner. At about 3 p.m. Wednesday, divers recovered a body from the water at Douglas County State Fishing Lake. The sheriff’s office is waiting for confirmation from the coroner’s office on the identity of the body, but it is likely Kirchner, who has been missing since his jon boat capsized at the lake Saturday night. Kirchner, Gardner, and a 17-year-old man were in the small boat when it capsized. The 17-year-old resurfaced and made it to shore, but Kirchner did not. Neither are believed to have been wearing life jackets. The boat they were in was recovered by divers Monday afternoon.
Thursday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m.
SURPRISE, Ariz. — Ottawa University plans to open a second residential campus — complete with an athletics program — in Arizona, the university announced Friday. Ottawa University-Arizona will launch this fall in Surprise, Ariz., where officials held a dedication ceremony Friday. The university has taken over an existing 27,000-square-foot building as its academic and administrative hub. Howeeaders hope to break ground on two new buildings in the coming month, a residence hall and a training and administrative facility for outdoor sports. The new campus’ enrollment goals far exceed the size of its Ottawa, Kan., campus which currently has approximately 700 students. Ottawa University-Arizona aims to enroll 250 students for its first semester of classes at the new campus, and have 3,000 residential students within 10 years, according to the university’s announcement. The school will offer multiple undergraduate and graduate degrees and 19 varsity men’s and women’s sports teams. The school aims to obtain National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics designation, which would make it one of only four NAIA programs in Arizona. OU-A teams will be called the Spirit, with their mascot as a gray wolf.
Monday, Feb. 20, 4 p.m.
OTTAWA — City utility crews and contractors are working to replace a water main on the east side of Main Street between 13th to 15th streets. There will be periodic closures of the north-bound outside lane of Main street in that area. Intermittent closures are anticipated to begin this week. Depending on weather and unforeseen delays, the project is anticipated to continue for a minimum of two weeks. Traffic control measures will be in place when closures occur.
Monday, Feb. 20, 4 p.m.
PARKER — A 25-year-old Osawatomie man was injured early Friday morning when his car went off a Linn County road a mile-and-a-half east of Parker. Ryan Warner was driving east on Linn County’s 2100 Road when his car dropped off the south side of the road, the Kansas Highway Patrol said. He over-corrected and his car careened across the road and crashed on its side facing west on north ditch. He was taken to Miami County Medical Center in Paola. He was wearing a seat belt.
Monday, Feb. 20, 4 p.m.
OSAGE CITY — The Osage County Sheriff’s Department said heavy smoke from a controlled burn along U.S. 56 contributed to crashes that injured three people Saturday evening. The crashes began when Craig Matthews II, Carbondale, slowed because of the smoke and because another vehicle slowed ahead, the sheriff’s office said. Robert Berry. Admire, rear-ended Matthews’pickup. Other drivers pulled over to offer help. The sheriff’s office said Clarke Wenger, Osage City then plowed into two people standing on the highway helping Berry and hit two parked vehicles. Helicopters flew the two pedestrians and berry to hospitals. Shaun Tevis of Admire was flown to KU Medical Center and Jarod Mosiman, Valley Falls; and Berry were each flown to Stormont Vail Medical Center in Topeka.
Monday, Feb. 20, 11:30 a.m.
OTTAWA — A 66-year-old Ottawa man was ticketed after a police officer pulled him over for having dogs in cages riding on top of the roof of his vehicle in the 1600 block of South Main Street.
Glen Webb was cited Saturday morning for cruelty to animals, police said.
Monday, Feb. 20, 11 a.m.