The Kansas Department of Transportation plans to start a pavement reconstruction project on U.S. 169 in Allen County next week. During the week of April 23, weather permitting, KDOT will close a seven-mile section of U.S. 169 to through traffic. The highway will remain closed between Minnesota and Delaware roads until the project is finished in the spring of 2019. Crews will replace the concrete pavement on the mainline and interchange ramps, and reestablish a new subgrade base.
Southeast Kansas Works has developed a new pilot program for Allen County to help people find jobs. The Iola Register reports that the program started at the invitation of Thrive Allen County. Career advisers will be on hand at the Thrive office on the square from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each Wednesday to offer one-on-one career guidance and job search assistance. SOUTHEAST Kansas Works is one of five workforce development boards in the state and covers 17 counties.
An early Monday morning traffic stop by the Labette County Sheriff’s Department led officers to discover a large amount of marijuana. KOAM TV reports that deputies stopped the vehicle for speeding on Highway 400 east of Parsons. During the stop, a deputy smelled a strong odor of marijuana from the vehicle. While searching the vehicle 26 pounds of pot and over $3,100 in cash was found. An Arkansas man was arrested on drug charges.
A Go Fund Me page has been set up for the family of Iola resident Trent Rhodes, who was seriously injured on Saturday. According to the online post, Rhodes was outside working when a spark caught his jacket and he was engulfed in flames. He was badly burned and transferred to the KU Medical Center in Kansas City. Rhodes works for the City of Iola and his wife Keri is a stay at home mother to their two small children. A link to the Go Fund Me page is on the Iola Radio Facebook page.
The area is need of a new coroner, a position that is sometimes difficult to fill. The Chanute Tribune reports that Dr. Erik Mitchell, MD has submitted his resignation as coroner for the 31st Judicial District. That includes Allen, Neosho Wilson and Woodson counties. Mitchell is from Kansas City and he also resigned as coroner for the 1st, 5th and 7th judicial districts, effective April 30. As for a new coroner, state statute says the local medical association submits nominations to the commission of the most populous county in the judicial district to name a coroner for the remainder of the term. In this case, it would be Neosho County.
Sonic Equipment and The New Klein Lumber Company have been recognized as the large and small business of the year by the Iola Area Chamber of Commerce. The recognition came during the chamber’s annual banquet held at the Allen County Country Club. Duane McGraw and Loren Korte were also honored for their many contributions to the Chamber.
A Humboldt board of eduction member has resigned in order to head the building trades program at Humboldt High School. The Iola Register reports that Scott Murrow’s resignation Monday creates a vacancy on the board of education. His term expires the first of 2019. The position will be up for election this November. Murrow also served as the board’s vice president and representative to the Humboldt Recreation Committee.
Humboldt is asking for your help to win the Kansas PRIDE Program Annual Review photo contest. Humboldt is one of 15 cities vying to have their photo used on the cover of the Kansas PRIDE Program Annual Review. If you’d like to vote in the contest, we have a link on the Iola Radio facebook page. You’ll be asked to type your e-mail address in the box. Then you can vote on a photo. Humboldt is number 15, a photo of the Humboldt River Park and Marsh Arch Bridge.
At this week’s Allen County Commission meeting, commissioners spent a large part of their time dealing with financial decisions. The Iola Register reports that they spent $154,000 to place a total of 28 security cameras in and near the courthouse and at Humboldt Elementary School. Commissioners also agreed to fund operations at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center with a levy of 1 mill annually. That will amount to $141,000 next fiscal year. Also, Commissioners took no action on a proposal for armed resource officers in all schools.
A Pittsburg man accused of killing his uncle and grandmother pleads no contest and is found guilty. KOAM TV reports that 32-year-old David McNabb plead no contest to two counts of first degree premeditated murder. 87-year-old Betty McNabb and her son 65-year-old Kenneth McNabb, both of Pleasanton, were reported missing in November of 2016.
The Iola USD 257 Board of Education voted Monday to discontinue holding classes at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center. The Iola Register reports that Monday’s vote to remove drama, choir and art classes from the Bowlus beginning next school year was unanimous. The move follows a ruling last November by Judge Robert Fairchild that said the decision about holding classes at the Bowlus was at the sole discretion of the board of education. USD 257 will still continue to provide one mill of funding for the Bowlus, which is about 52 thousand dollars.
Iola residents should expect to get a water rate hike soon. According to The Register, while no vote was taken, the consensus among Iola Council members this week was to institute rate and meter fee increases over each of the next two or three years. Those increases should be in the 7.5 to 10 percent range. Those hikes would narrow the gap between current revenue and expenses.
Authorities say a Coffeyville firefighter and another man died after a head on crash Sunday in Montgomery County. 44-year-old Derek Messner, of Coffeyville, and 57-year-old Garry Bush Jr, of Caney, died at the scene. The City of Coffeyville said in a Facebook post that Messner was a lieutenant with the Coffeyville Fire Department. A passenger in Bush’s truck, 55-year-old Jana Bush, was transported to a local medical center then flown to a Joplin trauma center.