A crash Thursday afternoon in Arkansas City, resulted in one man being taken by ambulance to South Central Kansas Medical Center. The name of that driver… along with the extent of his injuries… remains undisclosed. Ark City Police say it happened in the 1300 block of First Street, when the driver of a Ford Explorer swerved for some reason, and slammed into a parked Ford F-150 pickup truck… pushing that pickup into a nearby tree. Nobody was in the pickup when the accident happened. The cause of the accident remains under investigation today. No word yet of any charges being filed.
Archives for August 2018
An Arkansas City man was arrested, after Ark City Police say he pointed a rifle at two juveniles in an SUV. 22 year old Jimmy Argo is now charged with one count each of disorderly conduct and
endangering a child. A 17-year-old Arkansas City boy was also arrested in connection with the same incident. It happened last weekend, when officers were called to the parking lot of A.C. Ice on North Summit Street, on a report of a man pointing a rifle at others. Before police arrived, all those involved left in seperate vehicles. Police caught up with them though, based on witness descriptions, and learned that the three people involved had earlier been involved in a similar incident at the Walmart Supercenter. When officers pulled over Argo, they learned that he had a two year old child in the back seat. Argo was sent to the Cowley County Jail in Winfield in lieu of $1,500 bond. The teen… who is also facing charges… was later released to the custody of a parent. Nobody was hurt.
An Arkansas City man has been arrested in connection with a case of aggravated battery. Ark City Police took 47 year old Evaristo Gutierrez into custody, charging him with one felony count of aggravated battery and domestic violence. His arrest comes after officers were called to a home in Arkansas City, where a 37 year old woman… whose name is not being released… told them that during an altercation, Gutierrez tried several times to stab her with a knife, and eventually succeeded… stabbing her through one of her ears. The victim had to be treated for her injuries at South Central Kansas Medical Center. Gutierrez had already fled by the time officers arrived, but they found him shortly after it happened, and he was arrested and taken into custody on West Cedar Avenue. Now, Gutierrez is in the Cowley County Jail in Winfield, where he is being held on $10,000 bond.
Panic gripped downtown Arkansas City Friday afternoon, when word came of a possible bomb in front of the police station. The area was blocked off by police for about three hours. The device… which was found by a landlord while cleaning out a rental property, was taken to an unpopulated area and safely detonated. The landlord, who is not being publicly identified, brought the device to the police station, saying he didn’t know what to do with it. Police quickly told him to take it back outside and lay it on the ground. Officers then placed a so-called bomb blanket over the device, and the area was evacuated. The Wichita bomb squad was called in, and what is being described now by the local newspaper as a “pipe bomb” was safely detonated in a secure location. An investigation is underway, and the former tenants of the property where the device was found, are being sought. By the way, because City Hall was closed Friday afternoon because of that bomb scare, people with water bills that were due Friday have been given an extension until today to pay with no late fees.
Virgil Watson Jr will get a pretty handsome separation package, including six months salary, after leaving his job last week as CEO of South Central Medical Center… that according to the agreement reached by the board of trustees yesterday. Watson served as CEO since January 2015, but last week, following a private meeting between he and the trustees, who are also the city commissioners, Mayor Dan Jurcovich said Watson had retired and was not coming back to work the next day. According to his contract, Watson could be fired with or without cause. However, that same contract also specified that if he was terminated without cause, he would be entitled to six months severance pay. In the end, Watson will get that six months of severance pay, plus 224 hours of paid days off incuding accumulated vacation and sick leave. His contract called for him to be paid an annual salary of $110,000 plus benefits, including 112 hours per year of paid days off. That means that now Watson gets…. according to the separation agreement…. a total of $66,846. Broken down, it means $55,000 in salary and $11,846 in paid time off. Jeff Bowman will now serve as interim CEO at a rate of $9,000 per month for six-months, and he will serve on a month-by-month basis as needed at the expiration of that contract. No benefits are included in his agreement.
Not guilty…. that was the answer to charges of unlawful sexual relations with a student by a former Arkansas City High School teacher Thursday. Ethan Huff appeared yesterday in an Ark City courtroom, and now a trial is set to begin at 9am on December 4th, at the Cowley County Courthouse in Winfield. Huff was a social studies teacher. He was arrested last October, and charged in connection with allegations surrounding a 17-year old female student. Huff was jailed, and then released on $10,000 bond. He was also suspended with pay from his teaching position. Since then, his employment has been terminated.
Arkansas City will soon have a new fire truck. The local paper reports that the Ark City Commission this week, unanimously approved the purchase of a 2019 Ferrara heavy-duty rescue pumper from Fire Master Fire Equipment Inc., of Springfield, MO., at a cost not to exceed $605,712. Delivery is expected in January or early February. As it is right now, the city has two pumper units, but only one is in service. The second unit has more than outlived its expected service life after 23 years of use. It is said to be having pump issues, valve issues, it’s rusting and starting to have transmission problems. Firefighters say it has deteriorated to the point that it is now only being used to transport additional hosing. They say in the last year alone, more than $6,000 had been spent on parts and the department has invested more than 80 hours of labor in order to get any use out of the vehicle at all.
The Division of Conservation at the Kansas Department of Agriculture has announced that additional counties are now eligible for funds to assist landowners with their efforts to mitigate the impact of drought. The Livestock Water Supply Financial Assistance Initiative provides financial assistance for livestock water supply wells, pipeline, pumps and tanks installed after June 1st. The State Conservation Commission took action on Aug. 13th, to approve the initiative for qualifying drought mitigation efforts, expanding the initiative to 22 additional counties beyond those which were initially approved on July 31st. Additional program details, including the full list of counties now eligible, can be found at agriculture.ks.gov/DOC-assistance. Applications must be made through local conservation districts, and questions should be addressed to local conservation districts as well.
A convicted murderer has been arrested in connection with the assault of an 8 year old girl. 56 yer old Clifford Cox, spent 18 years in prison for the murder of a Winfield woman. Cox has been arrested again… this time by Wichita police on Monday night, and is now accused of sex crimes, after the father of an 8-year-old girl reported that his daughter may have been sexually assaulted multiple times in the past few years, by Cox. He’s now behind bars in the Sedgwick County Jail, with bond set at $250,000. Cox went to prison before, for his role in the murder of Cathy Kessinger in May of 1984. Cox and Kessinger’s husband… William Kessinger… strangled her to death with a rope at their trailer in Winfield. He was 22 years old at the time. Cox was released on parole in October 2006. William Kessinger was released on parole in August 2013.
A 15 year old is now in custody after a search in Winfield over this past weekend by the teen’s mother and law enforcement officers. The teenager…. Kyler Kawik… was first reported missing on Friday, when he was also suspected of stealing a car, which was later found. Kawik was finally found Saturday night in Newkirk, Oklahoma, and he was taken into custody. Kawik is being held at the Reno County Detention Center in Hutchinson. His sentencing is scheduled for September 4th.