Archives for April 2017

Stolen Artwork Valued At $40K

Wichita/Sedgwick County Crimestoppers is offering a big reward after someone stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of art from a storage locker. The act was caught on a security camera, which you can view at the Wichita Police Department’s Facebook page. Detective Wendy Hummell says the theft happened on March 10th at the Public Storage near Harry and Rock Road. A passenger in a red pickup punches in the gate code and the thieves made two trips. The stolen art is valued at about $40,000 and included works by artists Marco Sassone, Milford Zornes, John Ruthven and John Stobart. ANyone with information that leads to an arrest will be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,500. Call CrimeStoppers at 267-2111.

ESU Childcare Program Investigated For Alleged Abuse

Emporia State University’s Center for Early Childhood Education is being investigated for alleged child abuse. Emporia State spokeswoman Gwen Larson, tells the Emporia Gazette the Kansas Department for Children and Families is investigating reported child abuse at the center. The center provides an early childhood environment for children of university students, faculty and community members.

KS Lawmaker Proposes Utility Bill Fee For Schools

The Kansas Senate’s majority leader is suggesting that the state impose an extra fee on utility bills to provide new dollars for public schools. Overland Park Republican Jim Denning said Thursday that he’s working on a proposal to charge residential customers $3 a month on each of their water, electric and natural gas bills. Businesses would pay $10 a month on each bill.

Brownback Proposes $24M To Keep Guns Out Of State Hospitals

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is proposing an additional $24 million over two years to spend on extra security to keep concealed guns out of state hospitals. The Republican governor unveiled the proposal Thursday as part of budget changes he has suggested to the House and Senate budget committees. Most of the cost would be associated with hiring 180 new employees for the four hospitals, including armed guards.

Wichita Looks At Expanding Q-Line Service Downtown

Wichita city leaders are looking at expanding the Q-Line service downtown. Phillip Zevenbergen, the assistant planner for Wichita Transit, says they’re trying to redesign the Q-Line to make it more attractive and to go to places people want to go to. The trolley system runs only runs downtown at night, Monday through Saturday. Zevenbergen says they want to add more hours and larger routes to possibly include Delano and Clifton Square.

Two People Sentenced For Local Mail Crimes

A former mail carrier from Derby is going to prison for stealing mail. 34 year-old Gary Yenzer pleaded guilty to one count of mail theft, admitting that he stole the mail while he worked for the US Post Office in rural Sedgwick County. Investigators say Yenzer would look for birthday and anniversary cards in order to remove cash and gift cards. He’ll spend a year in prison.

In another case, Lateasha Linthicum was sentenced to three years prison for accepting stolen mail. Prosecutors say a storage trunk full of stolen credit cards, mail and checks was found inside her motel room at the Inn at Tallgrass. Linthicum pleaded guilty to creating and cashing fake checks, costing victims more than 300-thousand dollars.

LaTurner Sworn In As State Treasurer

Former Kansas state Sen. Jake LaTurner has been sworn in as the new state treasurer. LaTurner took the oath of office Wednesday from Kansas Supreme Court Justice Caleb Stegall in a ceremony at the Statehouse. Dozens of family, friends and legislative and political colleagues watched. The Pittsburg Republican was appointed last week by GOP Gov. Sam Brownback to replace former Treasurer Ron Estes after Estes won a special congressional election.

State Lawmakers Work On New Income Tax Proposals

Top Republican lawmakers in Kansas are working on new proposals for raising income taxes to fix the state budget that include a plan similar to one GOP Gov. Sam Brownback vetoed. Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning said Wednesday that fellow GOP senators are drafting a plan to retain separate rates for lower- and upper-income earners. He said they’re also working on a plan to move from two rates to three.

Goddard And Clearwater Voters To Decide Bond Issues

Voters in Goddard are heading to the polls today to decide a school bond issue. The school district is asking voters to pass a 52-million dollar bond issue that it says would add safety and security improvements. One of the biggest improvements would be safety locks on every single classroom door in the district. Right now, many teachers are required to step outside their classroom to lock their door, which exposes them to a threat that might be in the hallway.

Voters in Clearwater are also deciding a similar bond issue today.

Brownback Signs Amusement Ride Regulations

The death of a colleague’s son spurred the governor in the often anti-regulation Kansas to toughen the state’s inspection requirements for amusement parks. A new law signed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback on Monday strengthens the state’s amusement park regulations, which currently allow parks to inspect their own rides.