City, Kiwanis Club hope to make Bluemont Hill overlook more accessible

Attendees view renderings of the Bluemont Hill Overlook Project Tuesday night inside the K-State Student Union. (Staff photo by Hailey McClellan)

The Manhattan Kiwanis Club is raising money to enhance ways visitors can view the east side of the Little Apple from Bluemont Hill.

Dubbed the Bluemont Hill Overlook Project, the Kiwanis Club is partnering with the City of Manhattan and its Parks and Recreation Department to construct an ADA accessible platform above the letters on the side of the hill that spell out “Manhattan.”

“The Kiwanis Club build the sign in 1927 and we’ve been maintaining it twice a year ever since then,” Manhattan Kiwanis Secretary Kitty Pursley told KMAN Tuesday. “It’s really rough. The terrain is eroding a little bit. It’s rocky. It’s not really comfortable or safe to walk around.”

A fundraiser was held Tuesday night inside the K-State Student Union for the project and it raised nearly $9,000. Pursley said the overlook platform is expected to cost $70,000. The club and city have plans for a Phase II project that includes a complete children’s playground in the area that would bring the costs to over $100,000.

Pursley said the goal is to begin construction later this summer or early fall. The property is owned by the city. She added grant funding is also being explored.

Purlsey and Manhattan Kiwanis Community Services Chairperson Kent Foster were guests for a segment of KMAN’s In Focus Wednesday to talk more about the project. That segment can be listened to below:

      0419 IF Bluemont Hill Project

Wednesday’s complete In Focus can be heard here.

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VIDEO: MFD responds to apartment fire at Garden Way, saves two dogs

Crews of the Manhattan Fire Department tend to an apartment fire call Wednesday morning. (Photo courtesy MFD)

The Manhattan Fire Department was dispatched to 1010 Garden Way for a report of a structure fire just before 9 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to a press release from MFD.

Upon arrival, crews found a three-story apartment building with smoke showing from Apartment A. The fire was quickly contained in less than 10 minutes. There was no one inside the apartment that had the fire and all other occupants exited prior to fire department arrival. Crews were able to remove two dogs and were able to resuscitate them. A total of 19 firefighters responded on 5 fire apparatus with the last units still on scene at the time of this release.

The building is a three-story, six-unit apartment building. All occupants were able to return to their apartments, other than Apartment A where the fire occurred. Loss is estimated at $5,000 to contents and $25,000 to the structure. The owner is listed as 3SC Venture I LLC of Liberty, Missouri. The fire cause is under investigation, but preliminary investigation appears to indicate it was accidental.

Riley County Police Department, Riley County Emergency Medical Service, and City of Manhattan Animal Control assisted at the scene.

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Semi avoids school bus, overturns Monday afternoon

Officers responded to the report of an injury crash near the intersection of Tuttle Creek Blvd and Walters in Manhattan Monday afternoon at 3 p.m., according to the Riley County Police Department.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 2015 school bus driven by 36-year-old Laura Kumle of Manhattan was westbound on Walters Drive. KHP says she failed to yield to the right of way by driving across the intersection of Walters Drive and U.S. 24.

A northbound 2000 Peterbilt semi hauling grain driven by 45-year-old Delbert Henson of Beluve, steered right and hit the brakes to avoid colliding with the bus.

In the process, the truck flipped onto its right side and came to rest in a ditch.

Henson was transported to Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan.

No other injuries were reported.

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RCPD Daily Activity 4/17/18

Officers filed two reports for forgery in the 1100 block of Westloop Pl. in Manhattan on April 16, 2018 at approximately 4:40 PM. Officers listed Dillons as the victim when it was reported two unknown suspects used fraudulent checks at the business. The estimated total loss associated with both cases is approximately $6,832. Police ask that anyone with information contact RCPD or the Manhattan Riley County Crime Stoppers. Using the Crime Stoppers service can allow you to remain anonymous and could qualify you for a cash reward of up to $1,000.
 William Haman, 29, of Wamego, was arrested while in the 300 block of Valley Dr. in Manhattan on April 16, 2018 at approximately 12:55 PM. Haman was arrested on offenses of burglary and conspiracy to commit. Haman was issued a total bond of $9,000 causing him to remain confined at the time of this report.
 Dalana Wagner, 21, of Manhattan, was arrested while in the 300 block of Valley Dr. in Manhattan on April 16, 2018 at approximately 12:55 PM. Wagner was arrested on offenses of burglary and conspiracy to commit. Wagner was issued a total bond of $9,000 causing her to remain confined at the time of this report.

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New license plate process in Kansas will start in August

The process for getting a new license plate in the State of Kansas will change on August 1.

Riley County Treasurer Shilo Heger explained the new process to the county commissioners during their meeting on Monday.  Heger said when a customer comes to register for a new plate, instead of getting the plate right then and there, they will receive a 30 day tag and their plate will be mailed out to them.  She said the plates will arrive 8-10 days later.

Heger said the process is part of Kansas’ Digital License Plate Project.  The project is in place to save money for the state,  She said there is currently over one million dollars in excess plate inventory throughout the state.  This new process will not have an excess of inventory produced, instead the plates will be made on demand.

“Anytime a new license plate comes out, they have to print so many of that plate so that each county has enough to hand out,” Heger said, “There are a lot of those plates that they have produced a lot of inventory for, but they don’t sell as many.”

Heger said the state has halted sending out new license plates in the hope that the excess tags are used up.

New license plate design.(Picture provided by Riley County Commission)

As for the new look, Heger said they will be flat and the alphanumeric characters will be black instead of blue.  She said law enforcement agencies say these new plates are easier to spot, even at night.

According to the State of Kansas, the design of the plate will remain the same, just the characters and the plate itself will change.

Heger also added that personal plate production will halt on April 27 and resume on August 1.

 

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RCPD Daily Activity 4/16/18

Officers filed a report for burglary in the 1400 block of Flint Hills Pl. in Manhattan on April 13, 2018 at approximately 6:50 PM. Officers listed Scotti Whitaker, 35, of Manhattan as the victim when she reported an unknown suspect took a safe from her residence. The estimated total loss associated with this case is approximately $743.
 Officers filed a report for burglary in the 1100 block of Collins Ln. in Manhattan on April 14, 2018 at approximately 4:45 PM. Officers listed Cynthia Reffitt, 43, of Manhattan and Robert Reffitt, 53, of Manhattan as the victims when it was reported an unknown suspect took miscellanous army and camping gear from the victims. The estimated total loss associated with this case is approximately $550

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USD 383 to start phone, online surveys this weekend

Beginning this weekend, phones will be ringing across the Manhattan-Ogden School District, as a comprehensive survey of patron opinion will begin.

According to a press release from the district Friday, USD 383 officials said the survey of 400 households will provide insight into what residents think about the district’s strengths, challenges, and priorities. The survey, which the district says will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes, will touch on a wide variety of topics, and will include “pick one”-type questions, along with opportunities for residents to share their comments.

“This survey will give us an outstanding opportunity to hear from a cross-section of our patrons, their opinions about our performance, and what our priorities should be for the future,” said Eric Reid, Assistant Superintendent. “We’ll hear from all geographic parts of the district, people of all different ages, and everyone from newcomers to long-term residents.”

The survey was designed by Patron Insight, Inc., a Kansas City-based market research organization that has worked with school districts across the Midwest on similar research since 1992. The calling will be done by Kansas City-based Market Research Associates, a firm that uses only locally based, professional researchers. Participants will be selected totally at random, and all responses will be kept completely confidential.

In general, calls will be placed between 7 and 9 p.m. on weekdays, and noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays. While there may be some variation on those times, no calls will take place during the traditional dinner hour. The caller ID may show “Market Research Associates” or it may simply show an 816 or 913 area code, because the company uses calling facilities in both Missouri and Kansas.

For those who are not contacted at random on the phone, an online version of the survey will be available on the district’s website during the week of April 16 .

The survey process will take about two weeks to complete, and the district is asking patrons to listen for their phones to ring.

“We really want to hear from you,” said Reid. “So, if you get a phone call on this survey, please participate, and please let us know what you think.”

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Junction City woman whose boyfriend overdosed sentenced

SALINA — A Junction City woman whose boyfriend died of a drug overdose has been sentenced for drug distribution.

The Salina Journal reports 27-year-old Racheal Moody was sentenced Monday to nearly two years in prison. Prosecutors say she supplied the methadone that her boyfriend, 27-year-old Christopher Allen, overdosed on in October 2015.

She was sentenced for interference with law enforcement and distribution of methadone.

Moody originally was charged with distribution of a controlled substance causing great bodily harm or death but pleaded to lesser charges in February.

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Ogden Elementary principal selected to Kansas Teachers’ Hall of Fame

Armendariz

The principal of Ogden Elementary School has been inducted in the the Kansas Teachers’ Hall of Fame, according to a press release from USD 383 Wednesday.

Jim Armendariz  will receive the honor in Dodge City on June 2. He is the 15th teacher from the district to be inducted.

Armendariz received his degree in elementary education from Kansas State University in 1988 and began his teaching career at Bluemont Elementary School in 1989, where he taught teaching 4th and 6th grade and serving as an assistant principal. He became the principal at Ogden Elementary School in 2002.

“It’s a special honor to be recognized for giving to something you love,” Armendariz said. “I’ve had the privilege of serving in a progressive district, in innovative schools, with a dedicated team, and awesome students. I am blessed to represent the education community.”

In 1977, the first state Teachers’ Hall of Fame was established in Dodge City. Kansas. Since its inception, 396 exemplary educators have been inducted.

Each year nominations are accepted from each of the twelve districts in Kansas. The state selection committee meets in March to review the candidates and complete the selection process.

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Tuesday morning blaze east of Riley results in $185k loss

Crews attend a blaze five miles east of Riley early Tuesday morning. (Photos courtesy Riley County Fire District No. 1)

A machine shed and outbuilding on property five miles east of Riley caught fire after midnight Monday and kept firefighters busy into Tuesday morning.

Riley County Emergency Management Director and County Fire Chief Pat Collins told KMAN the blaze resulted in damages of approximately $185,000.

“We got there and it was fully involved,” Collins said. “It appeared the fire started from a heat lamp that was keeping some chickens warm.”

Collins said property was at 787 Marie Lane and that Bart Anstaett is the owner.

Crews from five stations with 10 fire apparatus using 18,000 gallons of water fought the blaze.

“Most of us got home at 6 in the morning,” Collins said. “Long night for volunteers.”

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