A fugitive is on the lam and law enforcement authorities in Reno County are asking for the public’s help in locating a wanted suspect. 34 year old Jeremy Brian Frischenmeyer has a warrant through Reno County District Court for violating his terms of release stemming from felony drug charges. He has outstanding warrants in Hutchinson, Saline and Gray Counties. He also has a suspended driver’s license. Frischenmeyer has recently eluded local law enforcement both on foot and by vehicle, according to a social media report. He is 6’3” tall and weighs 190 pounds. Anyone with knowledge as to the whereabouts of Frischenmeyer is asked to call 911.
Archives for March 2016
A brief tornado touchdown was reported in southeastern Cowley County as thunderstorms swept through the area Wednesday. The touchdown was reported to Cowley County Emergency Management by a citizen, according to emergency management director Brian Stone. The sighting occured one or two miles north of U.S. 166 and 271st Road, near a rock quarry. Law enforcement officers were sent to investigate, but by the time they arrived the storm the touchdown originated from had already moved off into Chautauqua County. According to Stone, there were no signs of damage.
Federal health officials say the mosquitoes that can transmit the Zika virus may live in a broader swath of the U.S. than previously thought – but that doesn’t mean they’ll cause disease here. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday have drawn new maps of the estimated range of mosquitoes, and a related cousin, on its website. Those maps now extend the range into parts of the Midwest and as far north as parts of New York and Connecticut. That new map does include Cowley County and over half of the state of Kansas and all of Oklahoma. According to the CDC, previous maps were about a dozen years old. CDC officials describe the new ones as its best estimate, and include areas where the mosquitoes have been seen recently.
Storms Wednesday, brought a brief tornado touchdown in southeastern Cowley County, along with thunderstorms, but so far, no signs of damage.
The touchdown was reported to Cowley County Emergency Management one or two miles north of U.S. 166 and 271st Road, near a rock quarry. There were no obvious signs of damage. The National Weather Service reported receiving multiple touchdown reports from that area, and storm spotters were activated in the county at around 2 p.m. Wednesday. Significant hail was reported around 2:52 p.m. Quarter-size hail was reported northwest of Arkansas City, along with many reports of smaller hail. There were no reports of wind or lightning damage. Forecasters are calling for windy conditions today and tomorrow, along with a very high fire danger that is expected to continue into the upcoming weekend.
The US Attorney’s Office has released information, indicating that a postal clerk has been arrested, and indicted on a federal charge of stealing more than $13,000 from the Rock post office where she worked. 25 year old Micah Hutchinson of Arkansas City, is charged with one count of employee theft from the U.S. Postal Service. According to prosecutors, between October and December of last year, Hutchinson issued money orders to herself, worth about $13,780. The US Attorney’s office says she then cashed the money orders, and used the money for her own, personal use. It could cost her a lot of years of freedom… If convicted, Hutchinson could spend as long as ten years in federal prison, and be forced to pay a fine of as much as a quarter of a million dollars.
Rep. Kasha Kelley of Arkansas City, has been named in a lawsuit filed by her former spouse, Scott Margolius, in which he claims the family business he worked for, First Intermark Corp., withheld wages from him. In response to the suit, Kelley, along with First Intermark Corp., and its owner, Diana Williams, have filed a countersuit, in which they deny the allegations. Margolius and Kelley were married but have since divorced. The lawsuit states Margolius was employed at the company from 1999 to 2014, during which time, according to court papers filed, First Intermark withheld wages from Margolius, and the company continued to claim it had paid his wages, even on W2 tax forms, while withholding his paychecks. The suit names Kelley and Williams as those who knowingly withheld his paychecks. The suit further alleges that Williams and Kelley have acknowledged non-payment to Margolius, and have made some payments to him for the wages that were withheld, which Margoulius claims have a principal balance of $60,119.29. Margolius is seeking $75,000 in unpaid wages, statutory penalties, attorney fees and costs and any other relief the court deems appropriate, and an additional $75,000 for what he says are violations of the federal and state minimum wage laws. Kelley has served in the Kansas House of Representatives since 2005 and currently represents District 80.
State Sen. Forrest Knox has filed for re-election to Senate District 14, which includes northern and eastern Cowley County. In a statement released on Friday, Knox said he entered the Kansas Legislature to restore “We the People” and has worked for “limited government, individual freedom, free enterprise economics, and traditional family values.” If he wins another term, it will be his second. Before becoming Senator, Knox served four terms in the Kansas House of Representatives. Knox is a big backer of loosening gun-control restrictions. Following the Hesston shooting earlier this year, he is one who questioned whether the state should continue to allow private industry to ban concealed carry. Knox also proposed a pilot foster program that would exempt parents from standard licensing requirements who meet certain standards, including marriages of at least seven years, at least one stay-at-home spouse, enforce a household ban on smoking and drinking, and have families actively, social engaged in the community. Knox is vice-chair of the Senate’s Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee and serves on several other committees, including judiciary, utilities and agriculture. Knox lives on a small farm in rural Wilson County.
It’s now official… Cowley County has been placed under a burn ban which is in effect until, at least for now, 5 p.m. March 31. The ban comes on the heels of a wildfire that started in Oklahoma spread past the Kansas boarder, sending smoke into the Arkansas City area early Wednesday evening. Officials say that some of the fires are often started by accident, due to unexpected sparks from cars or equipment, but others far too often, are caused by carelessness or lack of understanding. Every single fire that is started to burn off a pasture or field, or to burn limbs, grass, or trash, has the potential to be devastating, destructive… even deadly. As many have been evacuated in other parts of the state, the American Red Cross has opened shelters for those displaced by either the fires themselves, or the evacuation orders issued to protect them. A huge wildfire has so far, burned more than 620 square miles of rural areas in Oklahoma and Kansas, and it’s now approaching populated areas. It was last reported to be only five miles away from Alva, Okla., where about 5,000 people live.
Arkansas City Commissioner Dan Jurkovich announced at the commission meeting earlier this week, that he might resign if the sales tax for the hospital fails. Jurkovich says his compliance officer has recommended that he resign, because his current position as a commissioner could be seen as a conflict of interest, due to the construction bonds issued to South Central Kansas Medical Center. That’s because Jurkovich is employed by Edward Jones, a company that advises on the buying and selling of municipal bonds. The hospital is in dire financial straits.
As of last evening, the smoke from the wildfires in western Kansas had finally reached the Arkansas City area. The Ark City Fire/EMS Department, according to the Traveler, reported getting a lot of calls about the origins of the smoke, which reached the Wichita area around 5 p.m. Wednesday and could been seen and smelled in Ark City last night by 6:30. The fires, which began in northern Oklahoma and have spread throughout the western part of Kansas along the state line, have lead to voluntary evacuations in some areas. More than 72,000 acres were reported as being involved as of Wednesday afternoon.