Wednesday, July 1, 2015

LINK: Overland Park woman killed in Kansas City, Kansas

Kelsey Ewonus, 22 of Overland Park, Kan., was shot and killed on Tuesday in Kansas City, Kan.

More from 41 Action News:

Police investigate homicide after woman found shot inside vehicle in KCK

KANSAS CITY METRO TRAFFIC ALERT: Pavement Reconstrution Project from 4th Street to 20th Street in Leavenworth County


Kansas Department of Transportation

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- U.S. 73/K-7 from 12th Street to 16th Street will be reduced to one lane each direction (in Leavenworth), 24/7 round the clock, as Phase Four pavement reconstruction work begins on Monday morning, July 6, weather permitting.

Here’s what this means for drivers:  U.S. 73/K-7 will now be reduced to one lane each direction from 10th Street to 16th Street for pavement reconstruction work.

Phase Three work (from 10th Street to 12th Street) began on June 10 and is scheduled to be completed in mid- to late July 2015, weather permitting.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lack of summer meal programs concerns state nutritionist

By Lindsey Elliott
Kansas State News and Communications

KANSAS CITY, KAN. — A federal program that helps feed hungry children in the summer is not being used as well as it should be in Kansas — and that concerns a Kansas State University nutritionist.

"There has been a lot of concern because the summer food service program, a well-accepted program offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, just isn't getting the launch that it should be having for the number of hungry kids we know are around the country," said Sandy Procter, assistant professor of human nutrition and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program coordinator. "We are especially concerned for Kansas because we rank as one of the lowest states when it comes to providing summer meals."

Kansas fed summer meals to about 7 out of 100 low-income children in July 2014, according to the annual report from Food Research and Action Center. Currently, 122 summer meal programs are available across the state, which compares to 420 school lunch programs during the school year.

Schmidt files lawsuit asking court to overturn ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today that he has joined eight other state attorneys general in a lawsuit asking a federal court to overturn new water regulations that could significantly extend the regulatory reach of the federal government onto Kansas private property.

The regulations, known generally as the “Waters of the U.S.” rule, would extend the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers’ regulatory reach into small waterways, ditches and ponds on Kansas farms, ranches and land developments.

This new rule would have significant consequences for homeowners, farmers and other entities by forcing them to navigate a complex federal bureaucracy and obtain costly permits in order to perform everyday tasks such as digging ditches, building fences or spraying fertilizers.

“Congress never intended for the federal government to regulate ditches or farm ponds,” Schmidt said. “This regulation grossly exceeds the authority granted to federal agencies by the Clean Water Act – authority that rightfully belongs to the states and that is limited by private property rights protected by the Constitution.”

In the complaint filed today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, the attorneys general of Kansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin argue the final rule put forward by the EPA and Corps of Engineers violates the Clean Water Act, the Administrative Procedure Act and the U.S. Constitution, and usurps the states’ primary responsibility for the management, protection and care of intrastate waters and lands.

The complaint asks a federal judge to declare the rule illegal and issue an injunction to prevent the agencies from enforcing it. It also asks the judge to order the agencies to draft a new rule that complies with the law and honors state authority.

A copy of the complaint is available at http://1.usa.gov/1U4xXLR .

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Former Housing Director in Liberal Sentenced for Wire Fraud

KANSAS CITY, KAN. - A former executive director of the housing authority for the city of Liberal, Kan., was sentenced to a year on federal supervised release and 250 hours of community service for wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Carol Beckwith, 64, Eufaula, Okla., pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. In her plea, she admitted that before she retired in May 2013 she falsified a copy of the housing authority’s personnel policies.

She added language in the section defining retirement compensation so she could collect one-half the value of her accumulated sick leave. She provided the fabricated copy of the policy to the new executive director when she retired and made demand for half her accumulated sick leave in the amount of $30,855.

In October 2017 she caused a civil complaint to be filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas seeking to be paid for half her sick leave and referencing the falsified personnel policy.

Grissom commended the Housing and Urban Development - OIG and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart for their work on the case.

Time Warner Cable expanding field tech workforce by 40 in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, MO. ----- Time Warner Cable is expanding its field tech workforce by 40 in Kansas City, Missouri.

“We are looking to expand our field tech workforce in our Kansas City office, which provides many employment opportunities for this region of the state,” added Perry Watson, Area Vice President at Time Warner Cable. “With the roll out of new products and services this year, the increased workforce is needed to assist customers.”

The open house will take place Wed., June 24 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Time Warner Cable’s Kansas City office, located at 6550 Winchester Ave., Kansas City. Time Warner Cable will not be available to meet with applicants who arrive at different dates or times then specified.

During the fair, candidates will have the opportunity to meet field tech leaders and assess the company culture, while learning about hours, pay, and training.  Candidates who have successfully sold themselves will be invited for a final interview.

Field technicians install, maintain and repair Time Warner Cable residential equipment and services located between the distribution point and the customer’s equipment. All positions offer competitive compensation structures and an extensive benefits package. Job applicants should bring updated copies of their resume and dress in business appropriate attire.

Applicants must apply online at http://bit.ly/1fhbTgY and complete an assessment prior to the event and use requisition code 167224.   For more information on Time Warner Cable, please log onto www.timewarnercable.com.

Indictment: Washington men arrested in Kansas with more than 13 pounds of meth

U.S. Department of Justice

KANSAS CITY, KAN. - Two Washington men who were arrested in in Thomas County with more than 13 pounds of methamphetamine have been indicted on federal drug charges, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.

Jose Valenzuela-Rojo, 30, Pasco, Wash., and Rafael Gastelum-Castro, 34, Pasco, Wash., are charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

They were arrested June 8, 2015, in Thomas County.

If convicted, they face a penalty of not less than 10 years and not more than life in federal prison and a fine up to $4 million. The Drug Enforcement Administration investigated. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Jacobs is investigating.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt launches statewide human trafficking awareness billboard campaign

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Attorney General Derek Schmidt today announced a statewide billboard campaign to raise awareness and reporting of human trafficking.

Schmidt’s office is partnering with Clear Channel Outdoors and Lamar Advertising to raise awareness of this crime and encourage the public to report suspicious activity to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC) hotline.

The public awareness campaign is aimed at reaching both trafficking victims who may be unaware that resources exist to help them and community members who can help identify suspicious activity.

Clear Channel Outdoors and Lamar Advertising are donating space on several of their digital billboards across the state to promote the NHTRC hotline. Clear Channel Outdoors and Lamar also are leveraging traditional (printed) billboards and posters in the campaign to target the audiences and deliver the messages with high frequency.