Local News

Residents hold candlelight vigil, other events in Wichita for Lucas Hernandez

KSN - Sat, 03/03/2018 - 10:54pm

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It has now been two weeks since missing five-year-old Lucas Hernandez disappeared from his east Wichita home.

Saturday dozens of community members gathered to hold several events for the boy.

One resident described it as a day for Lucas. Residents say their goal is to continue the conversation about him.

Motorcycles made their way out of Boston Park Saturday. Residents said it’s just one way they wanted to make Lucas’ voice heard throughout the community.

“This was very short notice we only started two days ago and got a pretty good turn out,” said Chris Stewart, Wichita.

People from outside the city came to show their support of him and the search.

“I would hope that if anything would happen to our kids the community would get together like they have for Lucas,” said Joy Buckner, Sedgwick.

The riders went by Lucas’ home and Chisholm Creek Park, two places Wichita Police and others have searched for him.

And residents say they aren’t giving up.

“We all have kids we all want him to come home just as much as his parents or anybody so this is just all about him today,” said Melissa Ortiz, Haysville.

The day ended with a candlelight vigil for Lucas. Residents wore Lucas shirts, released balloons, and sang songs to pray for Lucas’ safe return together.

“Feel the love within the community of everybody that came out tonight that was a really powerful, powerful thing for me,” said Bob Johnson, Wichita.

People at the day’s events said they will keep holding events for Lucas and make sure his voice continues to be heard.

Categories: Local News

WPD officer suffers minor injuries after suspect flees traffic stop

KSN - Sat, 03/03/2018 - 10:44pm

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police are searching for a suspect who fled after being pulled over in the 1400 block of S. Broadway.

According to Sgt. Michael O’Brien an officer attempted to take a man into custody after a traffic stop but the suspect was able to drive the car away with the officer in the vehicle.

Sgt. O’Brien says the suspect hit several other cars before stopping. He says the officer was pinned and the suspect escaped through the sun roof .

Another person was also in the car at the time and was taken into custody.

Police initially set up a perimeter and were unable to find the suspect,

The officer suffered minor injuries.


Categories: Local News

Sub State Championship Games

KSN - Sat, 03/03/2018 - 10:44pm

Sub State Championship games concluded on Saturday night in the Wichita, KS area. Couple of the boys games went to overtime, including the Wichita South vs Wichita Southeast game, as well as the Trinity Academy vs Andale Boys Sub State Title game.

In the end, it was the titans and indians who won those dramatic contests. Derby boys join the Derby girls at State, defeating Garden City. Andover Central got it done over Augusta. The Maize girls were dominant over Andover, and Bishop Carroll won by ten over Heights.




Categories: Local News

Brewer family believes misfiled DCF report, later altered, could have saved boy’s life

KSN - Sat, 03/03/2018 - 9:18pm

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The family of Evan Brewer is speaking out after learning that a DCF report about abuse, months before the child’s death, was not handled correctly and altered after his death.

Friday, the Department for Children and Families released more that 280 pages of documents to KSN. This came one day after releasing them to Carlo Brewer, Evan’s dad.

The documents detail how DCF responded to allegations of abuse and neglect more than a year before Evan’s body was found encased in a concrete structure. Saturday, the Brewer family and their lawyer spoke with KSN about a closed-door meeting they had with DCF this week.

“I did appreciate the fact that they were courageous enough to initiate the contact and personal conference,” said lawyer, Shayla Johnston.

However, Johnston says thoughts and prayers are no longer needed. She says Carlo Brewer, Evan’s dad, wants change in the department.

“He was prevented from saving Evan’s life,” she explained. “DCF assisted in that prevention; they were part of the systematic block that was put on us, from saving Evan.”

Carlo Brewer made multiple calls to law enforcement and DCF, concerned for his son’s safety in the months before his body was found.

“We think DCF needs to be focused on helping parents keep their kids safe,” said Johnston. “There’s nothing more central to the purpose of that agency than putting families first and helping families keep kids safe and healthy. We don’t think DCF is doing that and the fact that they won’t give us [additional] records on Evan’s death, shows that they are missing the point. They are still protecting themselves rather than doing their job.”

The documents released to KSN have a number of names blacked out; these were the same redacted documents given to the family. The documents say a report was made to DCF on May 16, 2017, stating concern for the 3-year-old boy. The report lists a number of concerns including reference to the mother’s boyfriend choking Evan and having to do CPR to bring him back. It also says that the mother refused police welfare checks and did nothing to protect her son. This report was made in May but those details were not properly documented to a supervisor.

“Their own internal investigation revealed that information did not make it from intake to the DCF investigator and her supervisor,” explained Johnston.

The documents also state that there were changes made to the original report, after an internal review was ordered.

“At some point after Evan’s death – which I believe they said was September 5th – that the document or the form was altered to show that the supervisor and investigator were informed of this intake,” said Johnston, who plans to file a lawsuit in the case.

She believes that if this information would have been shared, it could have helped save Evan’s life.

“Somebody was covering up the fact that they knew Evan was about to die and did not follow through with a request for a warrant or procedures with police or missing exploited children unit,” explained Johnston.

Johnston says that DCF told Carlo Brewer, they want to learn from their mistakes and asked Carlo to come and speak to their employees about his experience.

“They acknowledged that and they want to work with Carlo and get his personal experiences and find out how he thinks this should be done and Carlo thought it was a positive meeting and that’s important,” said Johnston.

KSN reached out to DCF for comment and was sent the following statement Saturday evening:

“Given the family’s stated desire to move to litigation, we will not be in a position to further comment or clarify.  We sincerely appreciate the family meeting with us, and as the Secretary vowed when she was appointed in December 2017, and during the conversation with this family, we will make needed changes.”

The Brewer family has started a GoFundMe page to help families that find themselves in similar situations.


Categories: Local News

Hunt for missing Malaysian plane likely to end in June

KSN - Sat, 03/03/2018 - 7:39pm

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 by a U.S. company will likely end in June, a Malaysian official said, as families of passengers marked the fourth anniversary of the plane’s disappearance with renewed hope that the world’s biggest aviation mystery will be solved.

Malaysia inked a “no cure, no fee” deal with Houston, Texas-based Ocean Infinity in January to resume the hunt for the plane, a year after the official search in the southern Indian Ocean by Malaysia, Australia and China was called off.

Ocean Infinity started the search on Jan. 22 and has 90 search days to look for the plane. Malaysia’s civil aviation chief, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, said the 90-day term will spread over a few months because the search vessel has to refuel in Australia and bad weather could be a factor.

Azharuddin said Saturday the search is going smoothly and is expected to end by mid-June.

“The whole world, including the next of kin, have (new) hope to find the plane for closure,” he told reporters at a remembrance event at a shopping mall near Kuala Lumpur. “For the aviation world, we want to know what exactly happened to the plane.”

Officials have said there was an 85 percent chance of finding the debris in a new 25,000-square-kilometer (9,650-square-mile) search area — roughly the size of Vermont — identified by experts.

If the mission is successful within three months, payment will be made based on the size of the area searched. Malaysia says it will pay Ocean Infinity $20 million for 5,000 square kilometers (1,930 square miles) of a successful search, $30 million for 15,000 square kilometers (5,790 square miles), $50 million for 25,000 square kilometers (9,653 square miles) and $70 million if the plane or flight recorders are found beyond the identified area.

The plane vanished March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

The official search was extremely difficult because no transmissions were received from the aircraft after its first 38 minutes of flight. Systems designed to automatically transmit the flight’s position failed to work after this point, according to a final report issued in January 2017 by the Australian Transport Safety Board.

Family members lit candles on a stage Saturday and observed a moment of silence during the three-hour event. Most are split over whether the search will be fruitful.

“It doesn’t renew (any hope) because I also have to be realistic. It has been four years,” said Intan Maizura Othman, whose husband was a flight attendant on the plane. She was pregnant when the plane disappeared and attended the event with her now 4-year-old son.

Jiang Hui of China, whose mother was on board the plane, said that he was grateful for Ocean Infinity’s courage to mount the search, but that he hopes it will not be the end if the mission fails. He proposed for a public fund to be set up to continue the search.

“Without a search, there will be no truth,” Jiang said.

Categories: Local News

‘He’s touched our hearts and souls’: Bikers ride for Lucas Hernandez as search continues

KSN - Sat, 03/03/2018 - 6:49pm

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Both WPD and civilians have searched multiple areas across Wichita to find Lucas Hernandez after he went missing two weeks ago today from his east Wichita home.

Community efforts to find Lucas continued Saturday morning.

About 35 people searched Pawnee Prairie Park, which is near Maize Rd. and Kellogg.

The group used horses and a drone while looking for items that could lead police to the little boy. They marked everything they found with red flags to notify police in hopes of finding answers.

“I think everybody is just waiting for word. If an official says ‘show up here tomorrow and help us look through this area,’ I guarantee you half the city’s going to be there,” said Sheila Medlam.

The search organizer says they hope to join the Texas EquuSearch group that arrived in Wichita Saturday. The founder says they were contacted by detectives to help in the case. Right now, they are mapping the area before they begin their official search Sunday.

The group has chapters from several states and the group that will be here has ground searchers, ATVs, a drone and other equipment to help find Lucas.

Today, the community gathered in Boston Park for a motorcycle ride and vigil for the five-year-old boy.

Dozens of bikers wore green ribbons as they rode from the park. The rides took a trip through Lucas’ neighborhood before driving by Chisholm Creek Park.

“He’s touched our hearts and souls I mean he’s out there he’s missing you know we all have kids we all want him to come home just as much as his parents and anybody. This is just all about him today,” said Melissa Ortiz, of Haysville.

The community will have a vigil for the missing boy Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.


Categories: Local News

Western’s Weather Wrap: Fire Danger & Sunday Storms

KSN - Sat, 03/03/2018 - 6:09pm

Temperatures have been unusually warm today in the 70s and 80s. I hope you’ve gotten outside to enjoy it!

But unfortunately we have had to continue to deal with the very gusty south winds, which has kept our fire danger high.

These winds will stay strong through the night, and with increasing moisture, temperatures will only drop to 50° in many places.

Then another mild and windy day is on the way for tomorrow, very much like today, except with more clouds and a small chance for isolated storms in the eastern half of the state in the evening.

Our Sunday severe weather risk has been moved to the north due to the low chance of storms developing in Kansas, but nonetheless, a strong storm can’t be ruled out through tomorrow night in the green-shaded area.

The main story from now through Monday is the continued fire danger, with *Fire Weather Watches and Warnings* in place all across central and western Kansas, so remain cautious!

I’ll time our possible Sunday storms out coming up on KSN News at 6 and 10, or you can watch my latest forecast right here: http://ksn.com/2017/03/08/weather-forecast-discussion/

~Katie the Weather Lady

Categories: Local News

Documents show Evan Brewer case not properly handled before his death

KSN - Fri, 03/02/2018 - 10:10pm

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – In documents released to KSN, the Department for Children and Families admitted that it did not properly handle the case of Evan Brewer in the months before his death was discovered.

Evan Brewer’s body was found encased in concrete in the home he lived in with his mother and her live-in boyfriend.

Both Miranda Miller and Stephen Bodine have now been charged with his murder.

KSN began requesting documents relating to Evan Brewer on September 5, 2017, and have made repeated requests for documents since that time.

Late Friday, DCF officials delivered 284 pages of documents relating to those open record requests that detail how the agency handled allegations of abuse and neglect involving Brewer. There are multiple redactions of personal information and names in the documents, but the documents indicate Brewer’s mother, Miranda Miller, and her boyfriend, Stephen Bodine, were accused of using methamphetamine and not taking care of the child. In other documents “severe PHA” — or physical abuse — is indicated against Evan.

The document reveals that abuse reported to DCF on May 14, 2017 was not originally included in the report given to supervisors in the case. The allegation — that Bodine “chokes [redacted] out and then does CPR to bring him back” — was not in the original report.

After Brewer’s death, DCF’s executive team ordered review of the case and found that the May 14, 2017 “record was modified so that it now inaccurately indicates that the reported information… was communicated to the assigned social worker and the social worker’s supervisor contemporaneously [at the same time] with the reporting.”

Instead it says that the information about that alleged abuse was added on September 5, 2017. Brewer’s body was found encased in concrete on September 2, 2017. The document says “this inaccuracy was reported to DCF Personnel for further investigation and possible disciplinary action.”

“The purpose of this (note) is to accurately reflect what transpired and to correct any misperception that either the regional SW or the SW supervisor or PA had knowledge of the additional allegations prior to September 5, 2017,” the document noted.

Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel met with Evan Brewer’s family hours before releasing the documents to hear their concerns and provide the family a copy of the file.

KSN has reached out to members of the Brewer family to get their response to the information in the documents. The family has previously told KSN that for months before Evan was found, they had reported the abuse and neglect to both DCF and Wichita Police.

In November Carlo Brewer, Evan’s father, told KSN that he believed the system failed his son.

“I don’t feel like this is a wound that will ever heal,” Carlo Brewer said in a November interview with KSN. “It’s really that difficult. I feel failed. I feel like everybody failed Evan. I wish there was something else that I could have done.”

“Changes to strengthen the system have already begun, and I vow these will continue,” Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel said in a press release released to KSN with the documents, late Friday. “These reforms include, but are not limited to, personnel, policies, procedures and training. Personnel will be held accountable. Policies and procedures will be updated, improved and strongly enforced. Mandatory training will occur.”

KSN has reached out to DCF representatives to ask questions about the documents, how the agency handled the case and specifically how the agency is responding to its finding of errors in the case. The calls and emails were made after business hours, and as yet, KSN has not received a response.


Categories: Local News

Putin boasts of new Russian nuclear weapons

KSN - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 6:35am

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has tested an array of new strategic nuclear weapons that can’t be intercepted, President Vladimir Putin declared Thursday, claiming a technological breakthrough that could dramatically increase Russia’s military capability, boost the Kremlin’s global position and also raise Western concerns about a potential renewed arms race in the 21st century.

Speaking in a state-of-the-nation speech, Putin said the weapons include a nuclear-powered cruise missile, a nuclear-powered underwater drone and new hypersonic missile that have no equivalent elsewhere in the world. He said the creation of the new weapons has made NATO’s U.S.-led missile defense “useless,” and means an effective end to what he described as Western efforts to stymie Russia’s development.

He noted that Russia had to develop the new weapons as the U.S. has developed a missile defense system that threatened to undermine the Russian nuclear deterrent and ignored Moscow’s concerns about it.

“No one has listened to us,” he said. “You listen to us now.”

The bombshell announcement comes as Putin is set to easily win another six-year presidential term in the March 18 election.

He said that the nuclear-powered cruise missile tested last fall has a “practically unlimited” range and high speed and maneuverability allowing it to pierce any missile defense.

The Russian leader said the high-speed underwater drone also has an “intercontinental” range and is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead that could target both aircraft carriers and coastal facilities. He said its “very big” operational depth and a speed that is at least 10 times higher than any other vessel would make it immune to enemy intercept.

Putin accompanied his statement to an audience of hundreds of senior officials and lawmakers with videos and computer images of new weapons, which were shown on giant screens at a conference hall near the Kremlin.

A computer video showed the drone being launched by a submarine, cruising over the seabed, hitting an aircraft carrier and also exploding near the shore.

Putin noted that the tests of the compact nuclear reactor to power the new drone were completed last fall.

Putin’s statement marked the first time the new systems were officially announced with a high degree of detail, and it wasn’t immediately possible to assess the veracity of it or assess the degree of their readiness.

“You will have to assess that new reality and become convinced that what I was said today isn’t a bluff,” he said. “It’s not a bluff, you trust me.”

He added, to applause, that names for the nuclear-powered cruise missile and the drone haven’t yet been chosen, and suggested that the Defense Ministry run a nationwide contest for the best names. The playful offer evokes the Soviet-era tradition of giving the innocuous names to some of the deadliest weapons systems.

“No one in the world has anything like that,” Putin said. “It may appear someday, but by that time we will develop something new.”

The Russian leader said that another new weapon called Avangard is an intercontinental hypersonic missile that would fly to targets at a speed 20 times the speed of sound and strike “like a meteorite, like a fireball.”

Putin said that the weapon is capable of performing sharp maneuvers on its way to targets, making it “absolutely invulnerable for any missile defense system.”

Putin said that Russia also tested a new heavy intercontinental ballistic missile, called Sarmat, adding that its range allows it to fly over both the North and the South poles to reach any target. He said it carries more nuclear warheads than its Soviet-era predecessor, known in the West as Satan.

He said that another new weapons system, called Kinzhal, already has been deployed in Russia’s Southern Military District. He added that it’s a hypersonic missile carried by an aircraft that flies at a speed 10 times of the speed of sound and has a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) away.

The Russian leader emphasized that the development of new weapons that have no equivalent in the West came in response to the U.S. withdrawal from a Cold war-era treaty banning missile defenses and U.S. efforts to develop a missile defense system.

“I want to tell all those who have fueled the arms race over the last 15 years, sought to win unilateral advantages over Russia, introduced unlawful sanctions aimed to contain our country’s development: all what you wanted to impede with your policies have already happened,” he said. “You have failed to contain Russia.”

He emphasized that Russia is concerned about the Pentagon-led nuclear review released earlier this year that envisaged the development of low-yield nuclear weapons, saying that it could lower the threshold for using nuclear weapons.

“We will interpret any use of nuclear weapons against Russia and its allies no matter how powerful they are, of low, medium or any other yield, as a nuclear attack,” he said. “It will trigger an immediate answer with all the consequences stemming from it. No one should have any doubts about it.”

Jane’s by IHS Markit noted that coming after the U.S. nuclear posture review Putin’s statement “not only signals strength to a domestic Russian audience, but is a clear sign to the U.S. that Russia will continue to modernize its nuclear forces to ensure their credibility. “

Putin said that Russian military experts and diplomats would be ready to discuss new weapons systems with their U.S. counterparts.

“We aren’t threatening anyone, we aren’t going to attack anyone, we aren’t going to take anything from anyone,” he said. “The growing Russian military power will guarantee global peace.”

Categories: Local News

One injured in early morning shooting

KSN - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 6:21am

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – One person is in critical condition after an early morning shooting outside of a laundromat near Harry and George Washington Blvd.

Police say the shooting happened inside a car outside of a laundromat.

The victim is in serious condition but is expected to live. Police say the victim is not cooperating with police so additional details are unavailable.

Categories: Local News

Laura’s Look: Weekend fire danger

KSN - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 3:19am

Wind swept warmth leads to concern for fire danger this weekend.

You’ll notice the cooler changes first thing Thursday morning. To add insult to injury, the winds are making it feel much colder.

4AM Wind Chill

Winds relax through the day. Under sun drenched skies temperatures climb into the 50s.

Thursday Day Planner

The warmer temperatures tomorrow will be a nice treat. The wind on the other hand won’t be too friendly. Winds in excess of 40MPH can be expected. With the stronger winds, Fire Weather Watches have been issued ahead of Friday’s high fire danger threat. This will be a big concern all weekend.

Fire Weather Watch

The dry spell will be broken up with a chance of showers and storms this Sunday. Not everyone will get in on the action. Most of the moisture looks to hug central and eastern Kansas.

Sunday 2PM

If you have outdoor plans this weekend you’ll want to check in with us on Kansas Today. We’ll talk about the warming temperatures as well as Sundays’ rain chance. That’s from 4:30-7 a.m. on Kansas Today. – Laura Bannon

Categories: Local News

State of Madness Basketball Challenge 2018

KSN - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 12:01am
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Categories: Local News

No stone unturned: local woman leaves reminders of Lucas’ search

KSN - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 10:41pm

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Five-year-old Lucas Hernandez’s has been missing for 11 days and Wichita police have stopped their searches until new credible information comes to light.

That hasn’t stopped community members from keeping Lucas’ name in the spotlight.

“He’s out there, he’s missing, nobody knows where he’s at you know,” said Melissa Ortiz. “Again, he’s everybody’s child right now.”

Ortiz, a Haysville resident, is having difficulty sleeping at night since hearing of Lucas’ disappearance.

As a mother of two, his story continues to tug at her heartstrings.

“My little boy just brights up my life,” said Ortiz. “He makes me so happy and I just couldn’t imagine him being gone.”

To help find Lucas, Ortiz and her family have painted rocks to remind people how important it is to bring him home safe.

“On this specific rock, the batman rock, I got that from one of Lucas’ pictures. He was wearing a Batman backpack.”

Each unique rock shares a message about Lucas, as well as the tip line to contact police.

“It’s not just a rock,” said Ortiz. “It’s it’s just like a missing person’s flyer, except for you’re going to leave these in parks, grocery stores, gas stations.”

Wednesday, Ortiz and her sister placed rocks around Boston Park.

“It just keeps the light out for him, you know, keep shining that light on him,” said Ortiz. “So, that’s the way I see it is a positive. We’re not going to let this die out. We’re not going to give up on Lucas.”

Categories: Local News

Former drug addicts thank arresting officers years later

KSN - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 10:32pm

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – What can two cops and two former drug addicts possibly have in common?

It’s a conversation has been 18 years in the making after two officers, now sergeants, arrested David Gilkey and his wife Lynn.

“I have remembered it all these years,” says Lynn Gilkey.

“You were my obligations,” says Jess Hancock.

The night started with a bang.

“We are grateful that the door came down,” says David Gilkey. “With that much cocaine we had, we don’t know if that could have been our last night on earth.”

That changed their lives for the better.

“God spoke to me in my sleep and told me I had a job to do,” says Gilkey.

The Gilkey’s now run a youth program, having helped hundreds of kids graduate high school.

“That is what it does when you leave a clean life you live a long healthy life,” says Sgt. Ed Browen.

It’s a life that started with Sgt. Browen and Sgt. Hancock.

Instead of having their door beat down on Wednesday, they opened it to police.

“I know for me I just wanted to say thank you,” says Gilkey. “We wanted to let you guys know through the grace of God allowing you guys to do your job it saved our life.”

Categories: Local News

St. Jude is ‘home away from home’ for one Jamaican mother and daughter

KSN - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 9:10pm

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Perhaps the only thing scarier than your child having a rare form of cancer is not being able to get the treatment they need.

That’s what a family from Jamaica faced when their 2-year-old daughter, Azalea, was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma.

“When we knew what she had, the only thing in our mind was we wanted to get her to St. Jude because we knew that would provide hope for us,” said her mother, Simone.

Her wish was granted just hours after doctors found Azalea’s soft tissue tumor.

They traveled from Jamaica to Memphis, where they lived on the St. Jude campus for a year.

“They (Tri Delta Place) has a big sign when you go in that says, ‘Welcome Home,’ and that’s what it feels like,” said Simone. “It’s a home away from home.”

Azalea first went through chemotherapy to shrink her tumor before an operation to remove it.

“The surgery that was actually done to correct her cancer was the first ever done in the United States,” said Simone.

It’s a breakthrough in research that Azalea’s oncologist will share with doctors everywhere.

“Azalea, for me, holds a special place in my heart,” said oncologist, Beth Stewart. “I see this really excited 3-year-old. I see the future.”

“I’m so happy because it goes way beyond her, and what was done with her is going to help so many others kids, not just in the United States, but all across the world,” said Simone.

Azalea is now healthy and full of energy again, but she’s still flown back to St Jude every 3 months for a checkup; in fact, doctors will continue follow-ups until she’s 21 years old.

Categories: Local News

Fire crews get large house fire in south Wichita under control

KSN - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 8:50pm

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita firefighters battled a large house fire in south Wichita.

The first call came out around 8:15 p.m. reporting the fire on Broadway in the area of Gilbert.

The fire was very intense, and crews were pulled out of the house. Officials on the scene said they do not believe anyone was living in the house and that the house was vacant.

The fire is now under control. However, when crews first arrived to the scene, the fire was spreading quickly, making the fire extremely dangerous.

Crew also had to work around power lines that were surrounding the house.

“The lines were on fire, no lines actually went down. Westar was called and they controlled the service,” said Captain Colby Roberson, WFD. “The tree in the front yard was on fire as well.”

An investigation is being conducted to determine what caused the fire.


Categories: Local News

Kansas company makes power poles, helps Puerto Rico with Hurricane Maria aftermath

KSN - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 6:06pm

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s been more than five months since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, and the island is still trying to recover. It’s difficult when almost 200,000 people still don’t have power.

One Kansas company, in Ellsworth, is helping out by making power poles.

For about three months, Maico employees in Ellsworth, Kansas have been busy at work.

“The shop’s been running basically 18 hours a day almost everyday,” said Jeff Landon, Pole Division Project Manager.

But the team says they don’t mind the long days or getting their hands dirty. They know their efforts are helping put the lights on in a place needing it most.

“There’s still like a third of Puerto Rico that still doesn’t have power from September and these guys have been have been knocking it out for three months now and take a lot of pride in what they do,” said Landon.

They are part of a FEMA project and will make a little more than 2,500 poles to help the electrical infrastructure there.

But why Maico? Well, it’s what makes the company unique.

“We have one of the largest press breaks in the United States,” said Landon.

Landon says most of their work is actually sent out of Kansas, like their steel beams that are now part of the New York Giants practice facility.

They’re a hard-working group that Landon says like to get the job done.

“Had guys building them and kicking them out the other end just as fast as the material was coming through the door,” added Landon.


Categories: Local News

Police, volunteers still searching parks for Lucas Hernandez

KSN - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 1:27pm

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police said they searched another park for missing 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez.

The latest was Chapin Park in the 2400 block of East MacArthur. It happened around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday.

A person located a pile of rocks and dirt on the ground that had been recently disturbed and called police. Officers investigated with canines and nothing was found.

Police said the case is still active, but they have not planned for more searches.

“If we get information that leads us to search another area, we will utilize resources to search that area,” said officer Charley Davidson, Wichita Police Department.

Meanwhile, more volunteers spent Wednesday morning searching Cottonwood Park in the 1300 block of South Armour.

Dusty McElwain and a handful of other people walked through the high grass and wooded areas, hoping to find Lucas.

“We’ve searched through creeks, trees, the park area, we’ve just been through everything we possible can to find him,” said McElwain.

McElwain says the disappearance really hits home for her.

“As a mother it has touched me a lot, with having three kids of my own and around Lucas’s age, if something were to happen to me, I’d want to be, to have people help me,” said McElwain.

People also gathered at Chapin Park hoping to search the area there.

Kristen Crowe-Merritt and Cody Clark brought out a drone, hoping an aerial view might help in finding Lucas.

“We’re looking in areas that most people don’t get to, they’re not about to get into the thorns and there’s a lot of thorns and it’s important for us to stick with this because we have to find this child,” said Crowe-Merritt.

Police said the tip line is still open if you have any information on Lucas’ whereabouts. It is 316-383-4461.

Categories: Local News

1 killed, 1 hurt in train crash on Kansas railroad bridge

KSN - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 8:59am

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Authorities say a train has struck and killed one person and critically injured another on a northeast Kansas railroad bridge.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the pedestrians were hit around 5:10 p.m. Tuesday on railroad tracks that run behind a private residence near Tecumseh. Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper B.J. Rethman says one person was dead when first responders arrived.

Multiple agencies, including the Kansas Highway Patrol, Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office and Shawnee Heights Fire Department were at the scene.

Categories: Local News

Dick’s cuts off sales of assault-style rifles in stores

KSN - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 7:23am

NEW YORK (AP) — Dick’s Sporting Goods will immediately end sales of assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines at all of its stores and ban the sale of all guns to anyone under 21.

The announcement Wednesday comes two weeks after the school massacre in Parkland, Florida.

“When we saw what the kids were going through and the grief of the parents and the kids who were killed in Parkland, we felt we needed to do something,” Chairman and CEO Edward Stack said on “”Good Morning America.”

Dick’s, a major gun retailer, had cut off sales of assault-style weapons at Dick’s stores following the Sandy Hook school shooting. But Dick’s owns dozens of its Field & Stream stores, where there has been no such ban in place.

In a letter released Wednesday, Stack wrote, “”We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognize and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens. But we have to help solve the problem that’s in front of us. Gun violence is an epidemic that’s taking the lives of too many people, including the brightest hope for the future of America — our kids.”

Nikolas Cruz, the gunman who killed 17 people in Florida, mostly students, had purchased a shotgun at a Dick’s store in November 2017, Stack said.

“It was not the gun, nor type of gun, he used in the shooting,” Stack wrote. “But it could have been. Clearly this indicates on so many levels that the systems in place are not effective to protect our kids and our citizens.”

The gun issue has embroiled a number of companies since the Parkland shooting, from Delta Airlines to FedEx. Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. is based just outside of Pittsburgh in a state where the first day of deer hunting season is an unofficial holiday for many families.

On the other side of the state Wednesday, a religious group plans to host a blessing ceremony for couples with AR-15 rifles.

The World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland, north of Philadelphia, believes that the AR-15 symbolizes the “rod of iron” in the biblical book of Revelation.

An elementary school down the street has cancel classes for the day.

While guns that have been pulled from the racks at Dick’s stores are not typically used for hunting, the company has entered an intense national conversation that most companies steer clear of to avoid offending potential customers.

Stack said on “Good Morning America” that Dick’s is prepared for any potential backlash, but will never allow the sale of such guns in its stores again.

Stack on Wednesday called on elected officials to ban assault-style firearms, bump stocks and high capacity magazines and raise the minimum age to buy firearms to 21. He said universal background checks should be required, and there should be a complete universal database of those banned from buying firearms. He also called for the closure of the private sale and gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks.

Gun-control advocacy groups said voters and corporations are taking the lead on U.S. gun policy, and lawmakers need to catch up.

“This is the moment when business leaders across the country get to decide if they want to stand on the right side of history. Mothers make the majority of spending decisions for their families, and we want to shop with businesses that care about the safety of our families – making this a smart business move, too,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Acton for Gun Sense in America. “Dick’s Sporting Goods should be applauded.”

Walmart Inc., also a big gun seller, stopped selling AR-15 rifles and other semi-automatic weapons in 2015, citing weak sales.

Categories: Local News