KOFO Local News

Five left homeless by electrical fire

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on January 2, 2018

OTTAWA — Five people were left homeless when their home caught fire early Friday morning. No one was injured by the fire at 926 S. Locust, Ottawa Fire Chief Tim Mathias said. The fire was likely caused by an electrical problem, he said. The Red Cross was helping the people with temporary lodging, food and clothing. Mathias estimated the damage at about $9,000.
Tuesday, Jan. 2, 4 p.m.

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A bird in hand — and in radiator — is messy

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on December 29, 2017

OTTAWA — Lucas Gilly, Ottawa, was driving his car west on K-68 next to the Wal-Mart Distribution Center east of Ottawa Thursday when he saw a flock of birds about 40 to 50 feet wide covering the road from ditch to ditch, ahead of him. He thought they would fly away as he approached and he didn’t slow down. He thought wrong. “None of them decided to take off to fly. They were bouncing off the hood and my windshield,” Gilly said. “It sounded like machine gun fire or the rumble strips along the side of the road. I literally hit hundreds of birds with my car.” He wasn’t injured but the bird barrage cracked his windshield, knocked off the car’s side mirror and broke a headlight; and 20 birds were stuck in the grill and in the radiator. Authorities sent a high-loader and truck to scoop up hundreds of dead birds from the road.
Thursday, Dec. 28, 5 p.m.

Wellsville native files for legislature

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on December 29, 2017

WELLSVILLE – A Wellsville attorney has announced he’s running for the state legislature. Mark Samsel, an attorney at the Lathrop Gage law firm in Johnson County, is seeking the Republican nomination for the 5th Kansas House District, which covers eastern Franklin County, most of Anderson County, southwestern Miami County and part of Linn County. Conservative Republican Kevin Jones, who holds the seat, is seeking the Congressional seat held by Lynn Jenkins, who is stepping down. Samsel is the first person to file for the seat. “There is no greater personal and professional privilege than giving back to the communities and people I love and the neighbors who helped raise me, including the distinct honor of seeking to represent them in Topeka,” Samsel said. He is a graduate of Wellsville High School, Missouri Valley College and the Kansas University school of law. “As a high school athlete, I developed relationships with other players, teachers, and coaches across this region.” he said. Samsel said he is a strong supporter of education, and seeks improvements in the state’s physical and mental health infrastructure. Beyond his legal career, Samsel referees youth and high school basketball and soccer, is a member of the Southwest Johnson County Economic Development Corporation, the KC Sports Commission, and KC Scholars, and he volunteers for youth clinics and the Blue Valley School District’s renowned Center for Advanced Professional Studies. He has been named a Mo/Kan “SuperLawyers Rising Star” since 2014.
Thursday, Dec. 28, 5 p.m.

State unemployment rate falls in November, but up in Franklin County

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on December 29, 2017

TOPEKA — The Kansas unemployment rate dropped slightly in November. However, Franklin County’s jobless rate increased. The state unemployment rate dropped to 3.5 percent in November, from 3.6 percent in October. “Kansas now has the largest number of people employed on record,” said Lana Gordon, state labor secretary. “November’s employment increased by 1,235 individuals making the number of Kansans currently employed at 1,435,216.” Labor economist Tyler Tenbrink saID non-farm employment increased slightly in October and has posted a small gain over the year. “Over the year, job growth moved into positive territory after reporting declines in recent months,” he said. “The state gained 2,900 jobs over the last 12 months, mostly from construction and professional and business services. This is welcome news.” However, the November numbers didn’t look as rosy for the area. Franklin County’s jobless rate increased to 3.2 percent in November, from 3.1 percent in October. Miami County’s jobless rate increased to 3.2 percent in November from 3.1 percent; Anderson county increased to 3.6 from 3.1; Osage County increased to 3.4 from 3.1; Linn County up to 4.9 from 4.8; Douglas County increased to 2.8 from 2.5; and Johnson County up to 2.8 from 2.6.
Thursday, Dec. 28, 5 p.m.

Three from Gardner injured in two crashes

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on December 29, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Three people from Gardner were injured in two separate weather-related crashes in Wyandotte County Tuesday morning. In the earlier crash occurring shortly before 6:30, Gradi Mumbeny, 19, Kansas City; was driving south on I-635 near State Avenue when she lost control of her car because she was driving too fast for the wintry weather conditions, the Kansas Highway Patrol said. Her car skidded into the center barrier wall and was hit by a car driven by Monica Klaurens, 50, Gardner. Klaurens was taken to KU Medical Center. Mumbeny wasn’t injured. In the later crash, which occurred at 9:30, the highway patrol said Marlon Molina-Mejia, 23, Gardner; was driving a pickup truck north on I-635 near K-5 when he lost control and hit a bridge wall. He and his passenger, 26-year-old Uliser Gutierrez-Meza of Gardner, were taken to KU Medical Center.
Thursday, Dec. 28, 5 p.m.

Power outage around Osage City

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on December 29, 2017

OSAGE CITY — It was a dark and cold winter night – especially in much of Osage County Tuesday night. Westar Energy’s power outage map showed more than a thousand customers in and around Osage City for much of the early evening. Power was restored at about 5:30. What caused the outage wasn’t immediately known.
Thursday, Dec. 28, 5 p.m.

Louisburg marching band in Rose Parade

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on December 27, 2017

LOUISBURG — The Louisburg High School band boarded an airplane early this morning for the sunnier skies of southern California where they’ll take part in the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day. About 190 students – about one-quarter of the high school — are making the trip. Louisburg has applied five times over the last 10 years for the parade. A parade organizer visited Louisburg this fall for the city’s Labor Day parade. The Wildcat band is one of 13 high school bands in the parade monday. Louisburg is the first band from Kansas in the parade in nearly 20 years.
Tuesday, Dec. 26, 9:30 p.m.

Property tax payment deadline Wednesday

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on December 19, 2017

OTTAWA — The deadline to pay the first half of property taxes is Wednesday. Taxpayers can pay in the county treasurer’s office, which is open 8-4:30; by mail, on-line or leave payments in the drop box at the courthouse, County Treasurer Jody Edwards said. If you pay at her office Wednesday, expect to stand in line because there will be a last-minute rush, she said.
Tuesday, Dec. 19, 5 p.m.

Some law officers dismissed from lawsuit involving deadly shooting

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on December 19, 2017

DENVER — A federal appeals court in Denver has dropped five law officers from a $7 million lawsuit by the family of an 18-year-old Ottawa man who was shot and killed by Ottawa police officers and Franklin County deputies three years ago in the Orscheln’s parking lot in Ottawa. However, the 10th Circuit of Appeals upheld the suit by the family of Joseph Jennings against the city of Ottawa, Franklin County, and five other law officers. At the request of the family, the lawsuit was dismissed against Derek Butters, Hunter Dryden, Bryce Hart, Doug Waterman and Dwayne Woods. Those officers didn’t fire at Jennings during his 17-minute confrontation with officers Aug. 23, 2014. Jennings, who was unarmed, was experiencing a mental health crisis and court documents called the deadly incident a “suicide by cop.” According to court documents, Jennings called the 911 dispatch center and reported a man was waving a gun around in the parking lot. Jennings gave the dispatcher a description of himself. Several officers surrounded him during the confrontation and officers ordered him to show his hands, which he didn’t do. Officers opened fire when Jennings pulled a pair of sunglasses out of his waistband of his pants and pointed them at some officers, the filing said. The family says officers over-reacted and that the city and county had failed to properly train officers to deal with mental health crises. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation looked at the incident. After examining the KBI report, county attorney Stephen Hunting declined to press criminal charges.
Tuesday, Dec. 19, 4 p.m.

Burlington man found dead in partly-submerged truck

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on December 19, 2017

BURLINGTON — A Burlington man was found dead in his overturned pickup truck in a creek south of Burlington Sunday morning. Tyler Kraft was found in the partially submerged truck after it was pulled from the creek, the Coffey County Sheriff’s Department said. A deputy spotted the truck in the creek near Third Terrace and Homestead Road. The cause of Kraft’s death was under investigation.
Tuesday, Dec. 19, 4 p.m.