Fires contained, at least 100 residents evacuated north of Manhattan

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Fire crews survey the damage of Tuesday’s fires. (Photos courtesy of the Manhattan Fire Department)

Riley County officials report that the wildfires burning in the county have been contained. Fire crews are beginning to return to their stations. Officials estimate 400-500 acres burned Tuesday afternoon and into the evening.

Approximately 100-150 residents were evacuated from a mobile home park near Marlatt and U.S. 24. A shelter has been opened in Cico Park in Manhattan.

MFD 1Geary County officials report numerous fires, including at least one in the area of the 8100 block of south K-57 Highway. Eight homes in that area were evacuated.

Voluntary evacuations were reported underway in Alma in Wabaunsee County. A wildfire was threatening the southern edge of the town.

In Morton County, fire was threatening the town of Wilburton. Twelve structures were reported threatened by the fire.

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management has requested and been granted verbal approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a Fire Management Assistance Grant for the Wabaunsee County fire. The FMAG is available for the mitigation, management and control of fires which threaten such destruction as would constitute a major disaster.

MFD 5The state Emergency Operations Center in Topeka has been activated and is coordinating the response to the fires. The EOC is also monitoring another fire in northern Oklahoma, just south of Comanche and Barber Counties.

MFD 4

MFD 2

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Wamego man who threatened coworkers on social media in court

A Caterpillar Work Tools employee in Wamego who was arrested on a criminal threat charge in March will have a preliminary hearing on April 18 at 3:30 p.m.

Erik Billis was taken into custody after making a threat against co-workers on social media. Reports indicate Billis made a threatening post on Facebook, saying he had officially snapped and mentioned going on a shooting spree at his place work.

Pottawtomie County Attorney Sherri Schuck told KMAN his bond was modified over the state’s objections to $20,000 during a status hearing Tuesday afternoon. It was previously set at $25,000.  If Billis is able to make bond, Schuck said he is to be on bond supervision and check-in daily, have no contact with his former place of employment and have no possession of firearms.

It is unknown if he will make bond.

Billis was taken into custody without incident when the Facebook post was first observed. He was not armed and cooperated with the investigation.

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Second Lady Jill Biden makes visit to Fort Riley

Dr. Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, shakes hands with U.S. 7th Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy upon her arrival for a two-day visit, at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, July 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Dr. Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, shakes hands with U.S. 7th Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy upon her arrival for a two-day visit, at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, south of Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, July 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Dr. Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Second Lady of the United States, is in Fort Riley Tuesday and will be available to media Wednesday, according to a press release from post.

As a part of the Month of the Military Child and as part of her Joining Forces initiative, Biden, a lifelong educator and military mom, will participate in several events in support of military children’s education.

Biden is visiting Fort Riley to meet with active duty service members, military spouses and military-connected students and their teachers. During the visit, Biden will highlight the educational partnership between Fort Riley and Kansas State University as part of Operation Educate the Educators—an effort she launched through her Joining Forces initiative to train teachers to recognize the unique needs of military-connected students in their classrooms.

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RCPD Report 4/5/16

RCPDInvestigationMANHATTAN, KAN. – On April 4, 2016 at approximately 5:30 PM officers with the Riley County Police Department responded to the intersection of Marlatt Ave. and Seth Child Road in Manhattan for a report of an injury vehicle collision. Police found that prior to their arrival a 2008 Toyota Prius driven by Brian Coles, 56, of Manhattan traveling west through the intersection with Seth Child Road collided with a 2003 Chevy 2-door vehicle driven by Shane Rengstorf, 25, of Riley, Kansas. This collision caused both drivers as well as a 14-year-old passenger in the Toyota Prius to be transported to Via Christi for complaint of pain. At the time of this report no citations had been issued and this collision was still under investigation.

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Director of Veterans Affairs issues comment following death of KSU student

Art DeGroat
Art DeGroat

K-State’s Executive Director of Military and Veterans Affairs, Arthur DeGroat has issued comment following the death of a veteran student.

As previously reported by KMAN, Jacob Horton was found dead in a parking lot on the university’s main campus Saturday, after sustaining a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

DeGroat issued the following statement to KMAN.

This is a most tragic event for our K-State family–especially our student-veteran community.

Jake, like all veterans on our campus are very special people who have voluntarily served their country during war and chose Kansas State University to further their education and begin new lives.

Too many of these veterans go through this transition with lingering and devastating moral injuries faced in war. Many face them alone with overwhelming effects.

The K-State student-veterans community will honor Jake’s legacy and sacrifices with a campus vigil at an appropriate time within the grieving process.

Moreover, the K-State Student Veterans Organization (SVO) wishes to honor Jake’s sacrifice by increase awareness of services available to our students-veterans and promoting the value of more veterans joining the student veteran peer network offered by membership in the SVO.

The K-State Family will miss this fallen comrade.

Horton’s death is the second involving a veteran in the last week.

Sgt. Laird Camron Landis, an infantryman with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 34th
Armor Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Inf. Div., was found
dead in his home April 1.

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Local News – 1350 KMAN 2016-04-04 20:15:43

In 2015 Riley county was able to proudly hold the title of “healthiest county in Kansas,” unfortunately, that is no longer the case. A March study by the Kansas Health Institute ranked the county 14th in overall health. Jenna Fiscus, Health Educator with the Riley County Health Department, shared the numbers at Monday’s Riley County Commission Meeting. Fiscus said the county may have not deteriorated in actual health, but other counties may have gotten better.
Riley county has some positive statistics to note, such as falling below the state average on obesity rates and infant mortality. Unfortunately, Riley county also climbs above the average on issues such as alcohol abuse and impoverished and overcrowded housing. Fiscus said these issues may be connected with the college population.
The commission also heard reports from RCPD Captain Josh Kyle, who reported positive numbers about decreasing crime rates, and Gina Scroggs with Downtown Manhattan.

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Local student winds State Science Fair

Cameron Marshall
Cameron Marshall

Cameron Marshall, an eighth grader at Anthony Middle School, won first place overall for Division II (4th to 8th grade) out of roughly 120 projects at the Kansas State Science and Engineering Fair that was held in El Dorado on April 1 & 2.  This top State prize came with $300 and $100 in gift certificates for his science teacher to buy supplies from PITSCO education.

 

Marshall’s project, entitled “Blurry photos aren’t always bad: a new method to calculate the distance between you and a light source,” also won first place in the Physics and Astronomy category of Division II, as well as a prestigious Broadcom MASTERS nomination. This nomination recognizes the top 10 percent of middle school science fair participants and allows Marshall to compete for a spot in the Broadcom MASTERS’ national science competition in Washington, D.C.

 

Marshall qualified for the State science fair by winning the Wamego Regional Science Fair in the Junior Physics Division held this past March.

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K-State Police identify student in campus death

KSPDActivityK-State Police identified a student found dead on campus Saturday.

Police have identified the victim as Jacob Horton, freshman in education.

The campus police department was notified of a possible deceased person in a parking lot on the Manhattan campus, Saturday morning.

Upon arrival, officers found Horton in a vehicle deceased of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The Office of Student Life and Counseling Services are offering counseling and assistance to students and employees affected by the student’s death.

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1st Infantry Division Soldier found dead in Junction City

Sgt. LandisFORT RILEY, Kan. – A Soldier assigned to the 1st Infantry Division died in
Junction City, Kansas.

Sgt. Laird Camron Landis, an infantryman with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 34th
Armor Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Inf. Div., was found
dead in his home April 1.

Landis deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and to Kuwait in 2014. His home of
record is Redmond, Kansas. He joined the Army in February 2010 and arrived
at Fort Riley in 2014. Landis was 29 years old.

“Soldiers of the ‘Dreadnaught’ battalion are saddened by the loss of Sgt.
Landis,” said Lt. Col. Bryan Harris, commander of 2nd Bn., 34th Armor Regt.,
1st ABCT, 1st Inf. Div. “The battalion will support Laird’s family and
friends during this time of passing.”

The cause of Landis’ death remains undetermined. Local law enforcement
agencies are investigating.

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