Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Washington High School alum graduates from basic military training

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- U.S. Air Force Airman Nicholas J. Schwab graduated from basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, San Antonio, Texas.

The airman completed an intensive, eight-week program that included training in military discipline and studies, Air Force core values, physical fitness, and basic warfare principles and skills. Airmen who complete basic training earn four credits toward an associate in applied science degree through the Community College of the Air Force.

Schwab is a 2015 graduate of Washington High School, Kansas City, Kan.

Topeka Woman Pleads Guilty To Sex Trafficking of 17-Year-Old

TOPEKA, KAN. – A Topeka woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to the sex trafficking of a 17-year-old girl, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Tiara Jade Newman, 22, Topeka, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking. In her plea, she admitted that on March 21, 2015, she and her husband, co-defendant Reginald Newman, 29, Topeka, Kan., took a 17-year-old girl from Topeka to Junction City, Kan., for the purpose of prostitution.

The Newmans rented two rooms at a Value Place motel in Junction City. The rooms -- one room for performing commercial sex acts and the other where the three slept – were rented March 21 to March 25.

On March 21, Tiara Newman and the girl met a solder from Fort Riley at the Value Place motel. The soldier paid $250 to have sex with both of them.

On March 26, Tiara Newman took the girl along on an “out call” to the Fairfield Inn in Manhattan, Kan. Newman told the customer that the girl was new and she was showing her the business. The customer noticed that the girl was nervous and gave her a tip.

Reginald Newman kept all the money from the commercial sex acts. He pleaded guilty and is set for sentencing April 1.

Tiara Newman’s sentencing is set for May 2. Newman faces a penalty of not less than 15 years and a fine up to $250,000. Grissom thanked the following agencies for their work on the investigation: The Topeka Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, the Riley County Police Department, the Junction City Police Department, the Kansas Department of Revenue, the Fort Riley Police Department, the Ottawa Police Department, the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office, the Pottawatomie County Attorney, the Riley County Attorney and local human trafficking victim specialists.

Mother Pleads Guilty to ID Theft When She Fled the Country with Daughters

U.S. Department of Justice

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A Lawrence woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to forging her ex-husband’s signature on official documents when she fled to Europe with her daughters, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said Tuesday.

Samantha C. Elmer, 33, Lawrence, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated identity theft. In her plea she admitted she forged her husband’s signature on a document giving her consent to take their two daughters to Europe. She filed the document as part of the process of getting passports for the girls.

Elmer was charged in December after she returned from Europe with the girls, 9 and 11 years old.

Sentencing will be set for a later date. She faces a maximum penalty of two years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.

Grissom commended the following agencies that worked on the investigation: the Lawrence Police Department, the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office, the Eudora Police Department, the Overland Park Police Department and the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office, as well as the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Junction City man sentenced to 30 years in cocaine trafficking case

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A Junction City man has been sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for trafficking cocaine in Junction City and Manhattan, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Anthony Caryle Thompson, 33, Junction City, Kan., was sentenced to 30 years. In a jury trial in June, Thompson was convicted on the following counts:
Count one (conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine), count three (distributing crack cocaine), count five (distributing crack cocaine), count six (distributing crack cocaine), count seven (distributing crack cocaine), count eight (distributing crack cocaine), count nine (distributing crack cocaine), count 10 (distributing crack cocaine), count 13, distributing crack cocaine).
During trial, prosecutors presented evidence that in late 2012 and early 2013 agents of Kansas Bureau of Investigation and detectives from the Junction City Police Department investigated a large crack cocaine trafficking organization in Junction City and Manhattan.

The organization was led by Thompson and co-defendant Albert Dewayne Banks. They acquired drugs from three different suppliers and sold the drugs to distributors who resold them on the streets.

Co-defendant Albert Dwayne Banks was sentenced to life, and co-defendant Martye Madabuti Madkins was sentenced to 262 months.

Grissom commended the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Junction City Police Department, the Geary County Attorney’s Office and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Mattivi for their work on the case.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Kansas City Kansas Community COllege Innovation Center launches “100 Local Garages”

KANSAS CITY, Kan. ---- The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well at Kansas City Kansas Community College as the college’s Innovation Center works to turn dreams into reality through the “100 local Garages” program.

Alicia Hooks, director of entrepreneurship at KCKCC, said the goal of the “100 local Garages” program is to “connect fabbers and makers with those having ideas and dreams in order to create realities.”

“Shifting the emphasis to local production, ‘100 local Garages’ is a way to support local makers who have skills and/or equipment that can be used to assist those with ideas and inventions and help the creation and small level manufacturing through their work areas which in many cases is their basement or garage,” Hooks said. “It assists makers in finding each other as well as students, retirees, etc., who can offer their skills and services utilizing the tools they already have.”

The “100 local Garages” program is the second initiative the KCKCC Innovation Center has announced in the last few weeks. KCKCC will also be participating in the InventYES program, which helps to get entrepreneurs excited about getting their ideas through the licensing and patent process. Students participate in the program by asking questions, completing short assignments and working their way through the 10-step InventYES system. The program was developed by Stephen Key who has been mentoring up and coming entrepreneurs and inventors for almost 15 years. The class began Oct. 29 with the course, “What is Licensing?” Subsequent courses will happen every two weeks focusing on subjects such as Inventing the Marketplace and prototyping ideas, among many others.

Hooks said this support of inventors, makers, business owner and innovators additionally supports the manufacturing arena and economic development as a whole.

“Entrepreneurialism is live and vibrant in Kansas,” she said. “This helps us to grow local and eventually expand to transition services into our local manufacturing firms.”

United States Sen. Jerry Moran of Kansas also recognized KCKCC during a recent Congressional session for its efforts in supporting entrepreneurship and innovation through the launch of “100 local Garages.” Hooks, along with KCKCC President Dr. Doris Givens, Maris Gray, director of Workforce Development at KCKCC and Board of Trustee member Mary Ann Flunder also met with Gov. Sam Brownback Oct. 30 to discuss the initiative.

“The story of America is a story of entrepreneurs, individuals who took great risks to pursue their dreams. These entrepreneurs built the foundation of the American economy from its earliest days by pushing forward innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges,” he said. “I commend KCKCC for its efforts to promote innovation and the spirit of entrepreneurship in Kansas City, Wyandotte County, the State of Kansas and the region.”

Other supporters of the “100 local garages” program include Kansas City, Kansas Mayor Mark Holland; Senator David Haley; U.S. Representative Kevin Yoder; Shopbot Tools and MidAmerica Manufacturing and Technology Center.

For more information about the “100 local Garages” program or InventYES, visit the Innovation Center or send an email to Information is also available by calling 913-288-7572.

Sen. Moran voices opposition to Environmental Protection Agency proposal

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today voted in favor of S.J. Res. 24 and S.J. Res. 23, which both passed the Senate, to express disapproval with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan rule. The latest proposal threatens to increase energy costs for Americans with minimal environmental benefits.

“Washington should focus on commonsense policies to make energy cleaner and more affordable rather than adding more cost, red tape and regulations,” Sen. Moran said. “This administration continues to ignore the impact a rule like this has on Americans, and I believe we should work to put in place environmental policies that can both protect our natural resources and safeguard our economy.

Sen. Moran continued, “Kansans would be disproportionately affected because nearly two-thirds of our electricity production comes from coal. Our state’s power providers have made great progress in reducing emissions over the years, but the additional regulations mandated in this rule will result in higher costs without demonstrating much environmental benefit.”

According to a recent National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) study that measures the impact of a 10 and 25 percent electricity price increase on jobs and gross domestic product (GDP) from 2020 to 2040, there is a devastating relationship between higher electricity prices and job losses. Even a 10 percent increase results in 1.2 million jobs lost in 2021 across the country with nearly 500,000 of those lost jobs in rural communities.

Kansas Department of Transportation: I-70 Reopened at WaKeeney

KANSAS CITY, Kan. ----- The Kansas Department of Transportation has reopened I-70 at WaKeeney as of 2:15 a.m. CST. As always, please use caution when driving during winter weather conditions.

For up-to-date information on road closures and road conditions, call 511 in Kansas or 866-511-5368 outside Kansas, or check travel information online at or on your mobile device.