RCPD Report 10/22/15


A drug-related arrest is listed in a separate news release and report on this website.


A report for theft of a motor vehicle was filed in the 3700 block of Pillsbury Drive in Manhattan Wednesday at approximately 2:10 PM by officers with the Riley County Police Department. Police found that a Dodge 2500 truck and craftsman tools belonging to Jonathan Hochreiter, 34, of Farley, Missouri was removed from the area of Scenic Overlook without permission.

The vehicle was locked and did not contain keys at the time of this crime. Anyone with information on this theft is encouraged to contact the Riley County Police Department or the Manhattan Riley County Crime Stoppers.


Riley County Police are investigating a report of rape which occurred in the month of April this year. Police were told of an incident that involved a 22-year-old female victim and a suspect who is known to her.

The suspect, identified as a 31-year-old male, reportedly engaged in unwanted sexually contact. Officers filed this report Wednesday afternoon at about 3:20. Due to the nature of this investigation not further information was released.

Fire causes $25,000 damage in Manhattan

Manhattan Fire Department

At approximately 3 a.m. Thursday, the Manhattan Fire Departmentwas dispatched to 608 Fremont Street for a report of a structure fire.

Upon arrival, crews found a three story residential structure with light smoke showing from the roof and a fire located in a second floor bathroom. The fire reached a second alarm before it was contained within 20 minutes.

A total of 24 firefighters responded on 8 fire apparatus.

There were four occupants in the single family structure at the time of the fire and they were able to exit the
structure along with their three dogs without injury prior to the fire department’s arrival. Loss is estimated at
$5,000 to contents and $20,000 to the structure. The owner is listed as Thelma Vess at 608 Fremont Street. The
fire cause is under investigation at this time.

Nickel to step down as Riley County Health Department director

Riley County Commissioners Ron Wells, left, Robert Boyd and Ben Wilson.

Riley County Commissioners Ron Wells, left, Robert Boyd and Ben Wilson.

Riley County Health Department Director Brenda Nickel will be stepping down in December.

County commissioner approved the paper work during Thursday morning’s meeting.

Nickel, who has 40 acres of land with her husband near the Emporia area, will move back there and take a newly-created risk management director position with the Flint Hills Community Health Center  in Emporia, which is a federally-qualified health center.



Commissioner Robert Boyd said Nickel, who took over the lead at RCHD in 2013, will be missed.

“I can’t stress how much she’s made a significant improvement in that health department and what kind of problems she came into,” Boyd said. “We had a lot of different factions up there, she got them all together on the same page and she got it organized and the systems in place.

“She’s really done a bang-up job.”

Nickel said the combination of the new position at Flint Hills Community Health Center and being 86 miles closer to home was too inviting to pass up.

“It’s incredibly bittersweet,” she said from her office later Thursday afternoon. “I’ve felt so privileged to work (in Riley County) and its been a professional dream of mine.”

Nickel said she’s confident the department is in a good place for her eventual replacement.

“We are in an amazing forward trajectory,” she said. “And this team is well-positioned to continue that work.”

Her last day will be Dec. 11.

In other items, Riley County Parks Manager Greg Lund and representatives from the Randolph City Council informed commissioners that plans are moving forward to replace an aging restroom facility in Randolph City Park.

“We have several daycares in the community that use that restroom daily,” Randolph City Councilman Mitch Innes said. “It’s been shut down since August because of water leaks, costs to repair and everything else.”

Councilwoman Janie Dunstan said efforts to find grants for the $60,000 project have been challenging.

“We’ve looked into multiple grants and have either been turned down or don’t even qualify,” she said.

Commissioners agreed to earmark $12,000 already allocated to the project for future use until the rest of the funding for it is found.

Both Innes and Dunstan said Randolph is looking into fundraising efforts as well to fund the new restroom and have even considered online fundraising websites such as gofundme.com.


Drug-related Arrest by RCPD

Handcuffs and Key

Detectives with the Riley County Police Department Special Investigations Unit made an arrest related to the possession and distribution of illegal narcotics on October 21, 2015 at approximately 2:40 PM. This arrest stemmed from an investigation that led to a search warrant which was executed at 10919 Lakeside Drive in Riley County.

Jason Ludecke, 37, of Manhattan was arrested for the offenses of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of amphetamine/dextroamphetamine, possession of diazepam, possession of alprazolam, possession of acetaminophen propoxyphene, possession of vyvanse, possession of lorazepam, possession of carisoprodol, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia (felony), and possession of drug paraphernalia (misdemeanor). Ludecke was also arrested on the offenses of criminal possession of a firearm and defacing a firearm. He was given a bond of $60,000.00 and at the time of this press release he was confined at the Riley County Jail.

Investigations into the illegal distribution of narcotics in Riley County are ongoing and police ask that anyone with information or tips on area drug related crime contact the Manhattan Riley County Crime Stoppers. Crime Stoppers can be reached at 785-539-7777 or via the free iOS and Android “TipSubmit” mobile app. Use of the crime stoppers service allows tipsters to remain completely anonymous and potentially qualify for a cash reward of up to $1,000.00.


Huelskamp Comments on Ryan as Speaker



TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) Kansas congressman Tim Huelskamp is resisting Paul Ryan’s appeals for GOP lawmakers to rally behind him as House speaker and questions the Wisconsin Republican’s interest in the job.

Huelskamp, who continues to comment on national news including KMAN’s own CBS news, said Wednesday that conditions Ryan has outlined for taking the job leaves the impression with him that Ryan doesn’t really want to be speaker.

Huelskamp, who just last week visited Leonardville in a Town Hall meeting covered by KMAN, is a tea party favorite who represents the 1st District of western and central Kansas, including Manhattan and Riley County.

He is among the hard-line GOP conservatives who forced House Speaker John Boehner to announce plans to retire at the end of the month. Boehner stripped Huelskamp of plum committee assignments late in 2012.

Ryan is insisting on Republican unity and rules changes before he formally seeks the speaker’s job.

Huelskamp said, “I don’t think they are all reasonable demands.”

Online Registration, Retirements Announced at Manhattan/Ogden Board Meeting

USD 383 LogoAt the opening of their regular meeting Wednesday night, board members held a moment of silence for the district’s late Director of Maintenance, Keith Noll. Noll passed away unexpectedly last week, and board members spoke of the loss and of their thoughts for his family before moving on to regular business.

District Superintendent Bob Shannon announced his retirement during the meeting, set later in July. Shannon took a moment to tell other board members of his experiences working for the district.

“The professional, talented and caring staff members of Manhattan/Ogden USD 383,” said Shannon, “Have been a pleasure to work with as we move the district forward for the betterment of our students.”

Shannon has served in the district for 11 years.

Later on, the board approved a district-wide online registration system that will cost over $21,000. This system, according to Director of Technology Mike Ribble, will reduce and simplify a process making parents fill out at least 23 pages of paperwork per academic year. The system is also intended to be used as a data tool for other administrators by simplifying the bookkeeping of the transportation department, recording health and safety information and other areas the district uses registration for.

The next school board meeting for USD 383 is scheduled for November 4th at 6:30 P.M. Listen to 1350 KMAN for further board meeting coverage.

Local Students Among Summer Grads at K-State

K-state sealLocal students were among more than 540 students from 60 Kansas counties, 37 states and 28 countries earned a degree from Kansas State University over the summer. A complete list of graduates was published by the university on October 21st. Local graduates are listed below.



Olsburg: Joshua Wilcox, Master of Landscape Architecture

St. George: Daina Iman, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine; Bachelor of Science; Hayley Cady, Bachelor of Science in Education; Zachary Dodd, Master of Science in Geology

St. Marys: Nicholas Bomberger, Bachelor of Science; Sarah Mathe, Bachelor of Science in Feed Science and Management

Wamego: Katherine Burke, Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Design and Planning; Nathan Craft, Master of Music

Westmoreland: Amanda Johnson, Master of Science in Counseling and Student Development


Manhattan: Joshua Allen, Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management and a Secondary Major; Antonio Asebedo, Doctor of Philosophy Agronomy; Molly Bernstein, Master of Fine Arts; Labrina Blagg, Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction; Daniel Blevins, Bachelor of Science; Stephanie Bowles, Bachelor of Science in Family Studies and Human Services; Stacey Bowman, Master of Science in Special Education; Tess Burrow, Master of Science in Family Studies and Human Services; Ryan Butler, Bachelor of Arts and a Secondary Major; Margaret Canfield, Master of Arts in Theatre; Alyssa Casanova, Bachelor of Science; Krystal Cooper, Master of Arts in Sociology; Kristin Copeland, Bachelor of Science; Eric Coulter, Bachelor of Science; Holly Craig, Bachelor of Science; Spencer Cure, Bachelor of Science; Mandy Ebert, Bachelor of Science; Glenn Eisch, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration;


Edward Evans, Bachelor of Arts; Andrew Fraser, Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology; Daniel Frese, Doctor of Philosophy in Pathobiology; Edelmiro Gonzalez, Bachelor of Arts; Kelby Green, Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition; Ian Harrington, Bachelor of Fine Arts; Cade Hewitt, Master of Science in Agronomy; Brock Ingmire, Master of Arts in Communication Studies; Alexandria Kieffaber, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture; Jung Kim, Master of Music; Hannah Kleopfer, Bachelor of Arts; Janel Koons, Master of Science in Adult, Occupational and Continuing Education; Sarah Kuborn, Master of Science in Family Studies and Human Services; Brittany Lambert, Bachelor of Science in Family Studies and Human Services; Landon Leiker, Bachelor of Science; Cortney Ley, Bachelor of Science; Tyler Link, Master of Arts in Geography; Lorenza Lockett, Doctor of Philosophy; Qilin Lu, Bachelor of Arts; Melissa Lynes, Doctor of Philosophy in Economics; Zachery McFall,Bachelor of Science;


Robert McKendree, Master of Science in Agricultural Education and Communication; Kierstin Middleton, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration; Benjamin Montag, Doctor of Philosophy iin Nuclear Engineering; Tynisha Moore, Bachelor of Science in Family Studies and Human Services; Denise Morris, Bachelor of Science in Family Studies and Human Services; Michael Mpokota, Bachelor of Science; Jessica Munoz, Master of Arts in Theatre; Stevie Nitschke, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture; Michael Oakley, Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management; Jorge Ochoa, Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering; Tammi Paolilli, Master of Science in Kinesiology; Jaime Parker, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration; Jennifer Peelen, Bachelor of Science in Family Studies and Human Services and a Secondary Major ; Mercedes Perry, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration;

Jesse Piper, Bachelor of Science; Joey Platt, Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition; Edward Raynor, Doctor of Philosophy in Biology; Elizabeth Reichenberger, Bachelor of Science; Emily Reinhardt, Master of Science in Psychology; Katelyn Roush, Bachelor of Arts; Jessica Rupp, Doctor of Philosophy; Robin Schneider, Master of Science Gerontology; Kathryn Sigman, Master of Science Gerontology; Henrietta Slaffey, Bachelor of Science; Jillian Stauffer, Bachelor of Science in Family Studies and Human Services; Joshua Stumma, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration; Kali Summers, Master of Science in Family Studies and Human Services; Ian Thompson, Bachelor of Science; Nicholas Timmons, Master of Arts in Theatre; Alexa Ukena, Master of Science in Biomedical Science; Tyler Vela, Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction; Stephanie Wacker, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration; Kristina Wagner, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Bachelor of Science; Corin White, Doctor of Philosophy in Biology; Bryon Williams, Master of Science in Counseling and Student Development; Jonathan Wilson, Doctor of Philosophy in Grain Science; Sharyn Worcester, Master of Music



Motivational Speaker in Manhattan

Photos by Cathy Dawes

Photos by Cathy Dawes


An internationally recognized motivational keynote speaker and author gave a smaller group of Manhattan business men and women a sneak preview at a Wednesday luncheon, prior to two seminars planned for Thursday. David Aaker has also been named as “Among America’s Best Speakers” by Sky Radio on American Airlines, and it was evident why during the Wednesday talk.
Aaker told the group we all have a choice when someone is within our sphere of influence of communicating and smiling, and if we don’t take that golden opportunity when the “ship is in the harbor,” it’s a lost moment.
Aaker tells KMAN there are advantages to having a positive attitude, saying everybody benefits–as the speaker, listener, and the company.
Aaker recounted just that day of helping hold the door for a handicapped gentleman at a restaurant while travelling to Manhattan both when he entered and exited the restaurant, with the man telling him how much he appreciated his actions.
Some of his suggestions are to “say it now”–whatever that may mean to an individual, to say yes to more opportunities, and that happiness is a choice, and time spent worrying is wasted.
Aaker is in Manhattan at the invitation of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, and addressed a small group of business leaders at noon Wednesday—with plans for two large interactive seminars Thursday.
Central National Bank sponsored the luncheon, and President Doug Haverkamp says Aaker shares in a very personal way and tells KMAN Aaker’s an excellent resource for his business’ mission of dedication to dealing with service to the community.
Richard Shermoen of Midwest Concrete adds we just have to remember that everywhere we turn there’s always someone who needs help.
Aaker also signed copies of he book he’s involved with, “Success Simplified.”

1350 KMAN » » Local News 2015-10-21 13:39:06

The below article was written by Beth Howell Day, and originally posted in the Wamego Smoke Signal on October 21st 2015.

city of wamego

What’s good for Wamego? More educational and recreational opportunities.

Two groups approached the Wamego City Commission at Tuesday night’s meeting to discuss improvements to the public library and the pool facility.

These potentially million or more dollar projects could have great benefits to the city and the surrounding area.

The city has already been working with the Library Board on the potential for expanding the facility. According to Peter Vopata, head librarian, the plan is to add on to the back of the library and turn that into the children’s section. More space could be made in the current facility by removing the walk-in safe. That project would be about $1 million.

“We met several times with the board and consultant to evaluate process and potential expansion, remodel or a combination to accommodate future growth,” said City Manager Merl Page.

“I was not able to attend the last work session,” said Eric Benson, head of the library board. “My understanding is that the plans were reviewed and we’re here tonight to discuss the possible funding.”

Page suggested a possible public-private funding possibility, which the commission favored.

“As you gentlemen know, we’ve expressed at certain times, with projects like this, we are faced with a number of needs, not just the library,” said Commissioner Bill Ditto. “One thing we probably would favor would be a public-private partnership. Funds are limited as far as taking on that project alone by the city.”

Ditto also noted that the county sales tax has an upcoming sunset clause.

“And the other issue is we are adverse to raising the ad valorem property taxes to any great extent,” Ditto continued. “We want to hold the line as close as we can on that. What would be the possibility of private donations toward funding part of the project?”

“Peter and I have talked about a fundraising campaign,” Benson responded. “That’s part of Peter’s education, how to start a fundraising campaign, how to get people in alignment, etc. But what balance are we shooting for between the city and us?”

Benson added the library also has some money saved for capital improvement and that a partnership is fair. “In addition to the board, we have Friends of the Library,” he said. “We can work together and we have some options in place to help us.”

After the library presentation, the commission also heard from a committee interested in expanding the current swimming pool into an “Aquatic Complex”.

“We were approached about a month-and-a-half ago about this,” said Page. “It’s been a discussion for about seven to 10 years. Where are we in relation to facilities improvement to the pool. Believe it or not, it was built in 1985, it’s been 30 years.”

The committee, led by Jeff Wick, also consists of Jan Eichman, Rachel Fath, Steve Land and Theresa Pettay.

“We came together to look at and research other communities,” Wick told the commission. “Also to see what the needs are. If it is possible to upgrade the pool. Is the shell in good enough shape to continue to use that facility as well as the water park facility.”

The concept is a water park “constructed with zero entry access, slides and a lazy river located to the south of the existing swimming pool complex.” It would include upgrades to the existing pool; a remodel or replacement of the existing bathhouse/concession area; an indoor aquatic center with a pool for exercise, therapy and water aerobics.

Wick outlined some of the benefits to the community: top on the list was to enhance the quality of life. But economics are also involved.

“These types of complexes are able to attract and draw larger crowds and people tend to come from a further distance and entice them to stay longer,” he said. “It also keeps local dollars local. Keeping people in town will benefit our community.” He noted that now people travel to Manhattan or Rossville to take advantage of their water complexes.

There is also a health benefit to the community including year-long exercise opportunities for all age groups along with physical therapy and rehab. This could interest the Wamego Health Center in becoming part of the project.

Wick showed several examples of facilities in other areas including Council Grove, Phillipsburg and Fort Scott. Those projects were all in the $2.5 to $2.8 million range.

As in the library expansion, the discussion quickly turned to funding, especially the concept of private-public opportunities.

“We would like some feedback from the city,” Wick said. “Do we need to look through the Community Foundation. Raise funds? Find grants? Our committee could research that.”

“Since there is not a plan out there, it’s pretty hard to estimate the cost,” Ditto noted. “Are you looking for a feasibility study?”

Wick said the group was looking for the city to authorize moving forward with hiring an engineering firm for a study and needs assessment.

As there was a “full house”, the discussion was opened to the attendees for input.

Vopata came up with combining the efforts.

“It sounds to me like we have two facilities focused on the same thing, quality of life,” he said. “We have the same struggles, the community is expanding but we’re standing still on what we’re providing. I don’t know if we can combine this? Abilene had the same issue in the past years, they combined. Our consultant who met was involved in that project. We can find out from him how they managed.”

“Representing the disability community, both facilities are extremely important to us,” said Audrey Schremmer, executive director, Three Rivers Independent Living. “The library is important to those who are home schooled and the pool is also a tremendous opportunity. I’m right with Peter, I don’t want a conflict between swimming and reading.”

“This was an exciting night to come,” noted Megan Umscheid, executive director of the Wamego Chamber of Commerce. “We have the library and swimming pool possibilities on the table. I reference the Vision Wamego study from a couple of years ago. Quality of life and education was cited several times. I’d like to see how we could further both along. The Chamber is excited to be involved in some way.”

“There are a couple of different issues,” Ditto said. “One is the public and private part of financing and fund raising. The other is a feasibility study to see what kind of financial responsibility we’d have in the pool project. The library project is further along. I think maybe we approve the concept of moving ahead tonight and get a study on the pool project, then agree to look at how do we support both – publically and privately.”

Page again brought up the sunset clause on the sales tax that, if it goes off, will be a “game changer.”

The commission agreed on a 4-0 vote to have the city develop the scope of the project and began looking for a consultant. Commissioner Bob Morse was absent.


Will chickens come home to roost in Wamego? Maybe.

“The city has been approached with a request to modify our animal regulations to allow laying hens in Wamego,” said Page. “Other communities have allowed it and it runs the gamut from wide open to limits of four.”

The commissioners initially came down on both sides.

Mayor Clifford Baughman was opposed.

“I don’t want to be a naysayer,” he said. “But there are several things livestock brings to the table with it and I don’t think your right to have a chicken should weigh any heavier than the right of your neighbor not to smell it. I don’t have a good feeling about it. One of the reasons eggs are high right now is bird flu took out all the chickens. We don’t need that. We don’t need other rodents that feast on chickens and eggs – snakes, rats, foxes. That’s just my two cents.”

Commissioner Tom Beem was on the other side.

“We have a sheet of Council Grove’s rules and they seem to be pretty good,” he said. “No more than four pet chickens. In my eyes, a person is allowed two rabbits in a cage, two dogs. This is more like a school project. Roosters aren’t allowed and we won’t have a chicken farm on Main Street.”

The commissioners decided to take it under advisement and tabled the issue until the next meeting when the staff will come up with an ordinance along the lines of Council Grove’s for them to consider.

RCPD Report 10/21/15

RCPD vehicles (better) 6-15
A Manhattan man faces a theft by deception charge following an arrest by Riley County Police Tuesday night.  Richard Jones Jr., 41, was taken into custody for the offense which was listed on a warrant from Wabaunsee County.
The arrest took place in the 300 block of Harvey Circle in Manhattan Jones’ bond was set at $10,000.
The Riley County Police Department filed a report and began an investigation into the offense of rape involving a child under the age of 10. This incident allegedly took place in Riley County approximately 2 years prior to the date it was reported.
Due to the nature of this crime no further information has been released. Police continue to investigate the crime and at the time of this report no arrests had been made.