Wamego Commission approves bond sale

The Wamego City Commission approved all the documents for a Bond sale.  At Tuesday’s meeting, City Manager Merl Page reviewed the transaction that began 7 months ago, with the resolution of intent to issue infrastructure and improvement financing for the West Highway 24, Unit 3 property.  The City issued temporary notes, and it’s now time to convert those notes to permanent financing.  By a vote of 3 to 0, they approved an ordinance to authorize the sale of bonds and received 5 bids.  The lowest bid came from Commerce Bank in association with Bennington State Bank for a rate of 3.21%. 

In addition, the Commission approved a resolution for the same Bond issue, which further authorized and directed the sale of the bonds.  Page said the documents were extensive,  and define the bond rating, call provisions and other covenants of the bond issue.

In other business, a one-year extension of the current Audit Service proposal was approved with Reese and Novelly, with an increase of $400.  Page noted the 2015 audit cost $13,600, which increases the 2016 audit cost to an even $14.000.

Wamego gets a good grade on annual audit.

At Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, City Manager Merl Page introduced Reese and Novelly’s  Michelle Morton, the prime auditor for the City of Wamego.  Morton went over the 2014 audit financial notes and reported no problems.  She noted no significant deficiencies, but did make recommendations for the Police Department and the Library.  A motion was made to approve the audit as presented and passed by a vote of 3 to 0.  Both Commissioner’s Bill Ditto and Robert Morse were absent.

In other business, the Commission approved a 1 foot partial utility easement of property owned by Richie Chrest and located at 1411 Poplar.  After study of the request, Page said there were no impediments to existing utilities and recommended approval. The vote was 3 to 0. 

The Commission also approved exercising the rollover option through KanEquip for the Skid Steer at a cost of $5,850. 

Manhattan City Commission Reviews Audit, Learns of Economic Impact

city of Manhattan-2014Following a week’s break, the Manhattan City Commission was back in session on Tuesday night.

Mayor Karen McCulloh opened the meeting with proclamations, declaring October 4th – 10th both Fire Prevention and 4-H week. In addition, the mayor also named October National Arts and Humanities Month.

As commissioners work to ensure a bright future for residents, the group considered the first reading of an ordinance that would amend the city’s urban area comprehensive plan, during the meeting.

Assistant Director of Planning for the city, Eric Cattell presented the first reading to commissioners.

The reading details The Hartford Hill Comprehensive plan, which the city is eyeing for adoption.

The plan provides more focused land use designations for development of and addresses development phasing, access and traffic improvements and storm drainage and utility services.

In addition to these focuses, the plan also includes an office and research park, green/bike trail space, and a school site in the Colbert Hills area near Grand Mere.

Following Cattell’s presentation, commissioners moved to approve the reading.

Sticking with the theme of city wellness, commissioners took a look at its financial health.

Manhattan’s Assistant Director of Finance, Hilary Badger was among presenters who spoke to commissioners about the city’s 2014 audit.

Commissioners received and accepted the auditor’s report – which will be submitted for award consideration to the Government Finance Officers Association later this year.

The city’s annual report has received the certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting, every year since 1996.

As the meeting drew to a close, commissioners were given a look at city tourism, with the presentation of a third quarter report.

Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Director, Karen Hibbard presented the third quarter report to the commission.

Highlights of the report included the economic impact that 11 amateur sporting groups and 36 conferences have had on the area.

Moving into the fourth quarter, the bureau hopes to attract more conventions and sporting events to the area, while expanding tourism through a broader understanding and appreciation for its economic impact.

Conferences in the area brought in estimated economic impact of over $1,000,000.00 for the city, in the third quarter.

As always, KMAN’s Austin Barnes will have more from the City Commission next week.

For live updates from city meetings, you can follow Austin on Twitter @ABarnesKMAN

Former Manhattan city attorney indicted on child porn charges

Handcuffs and KeyKANSAS CITY, KAN. — A press release from the office of United States District Attorney Barry Grissom says former city attorney of Manhattan Bill Raymond is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., today on charges of distributing child pornography.

Raymond, 53, now of Andover, is charged with three counts of distributing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in November 2014, February 2015 and May 2015 in Butler and Riley counties.

A federal grand jury indicted Raymond on Sept. 30.

If convicted, he faces a penalty of not less than five years and not more than 20 years on each distribution count, and a maximum penalty of 10 years and a fine up to $250,000 on the possession charge. The FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart is prosecuting.

Raymond become the city attorney for Manhattan in 2012 but was let go on Aug. 4, according to a report by the Manhattan Mercury.

Deputy City Manager Jason Hilgers told the Mercury on Aug. 6 that Raymond’s employment with the city ended and he declined additional comment because it was a personnel matter.

Raymond’s name was then quickly erased from the city’s website, and Katie Jackson became the interim city attorney. Raymond had originally replaced Jackson, who resigned in 2012 after accepting a teaching position at K-State.

Raymond was previously the chief assistant county counselor for Sedgwick County.

JCPD Drug Arrests

Junction City Geary County Drug Task Force

On 10/05/2015, the Junction City/Geary County Drug Operations Group, assisted by the Junction City/Geary County SWAT team executed a search warrant at 527 W. Pine St. after a two month long investigation into the cultivation of marijuana occurring at the residence.


The following were arrested:


Lawrence Daniel Nielson II, age 46 of Junction City. He was charged with Sale/Cultivation of Marijuana, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana with intent to sell within 1000’ of a school zone, No Kansas Drug Tax Stamp, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.


Mandy Elizabeth Coffey, age 34 of Junction City. She was charged with Sale/Cultivation of Marijuana, Possession of Methamphetamine, Posession of Marijuana with intent to sell within 1000’ of a school zone, No Kansas Drug Tax Stamp, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.


Richard Bruce Payne Jr., age 44 of Kansas City. He was charged with Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.


Bond was set at $2,500.00 for Payne.  Lawrence Nielson II and Mandy Coffey were confined without bond at the Geary County Detention Center pending their first appearance in Geary County District Court.


The Drug Operations Group seized an active indoor marijuana grow consisting of 15 marijuana plants, marijuana, methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, ammunition, two rifles, and one handgun.


The Junction City/Geary County Drug Operations Group is a joint task force composed of members of the Junction City Police Department, Geary County Sheriff’s Department, and Grandview Plaza Police Department.

Information on stolen pickup sought

Pott Co Sheriff PatchThe Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office has asked for information regarding a stolen truck.

On Sept. 28, the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office received a report from the Nemaha County Coop that a 1993 Chevrolet C3500 pickup had been stolen. At the time of the theft, the truck was located at the Belvue facility.

The truck had a black flat-bed with a white 100-gallon diesel tank mounted in the bed. Both the driver’s side and passengers side doors have Nemaha County Coop decals on them. The keys were believed to be in the vehicle when it was taken, and it was estimated to have a half tank of fuel.

The vehicle is valued at over $1,000 dollars.

Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call the Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office at 785-457-3353.

RCPD Report 10/6/15

RCPD vehicles (better) 6-15
(A separate news story is listed from fatal accident Monday night handled by RCPD)
Officers in Riley County responded to a single vehicle collision Monday  night at 7:05 which involved a road sign and private residence. Police on the scene found that a 1992 Lincoln Town Car driven Shelby Whitaker, 18, of Clay Center went out of control in the 2300 block of Anderson Ave. causing it to leave the roadway and collide with a road sign and the garage of a privately owned residence at 544 Oakdale Street.
A passenger in the vehicle was transported to Via Christi Hospital for complaint of back pain. Whitaker was issued a citation for the violation of traveling too fast for conditions and texting while driving.
Police in Riley County arrested a Missouri man on a Florida warrant for failure to appear.  Scott Durocher, 35, of Belton was taken into custody Monday afternoon at approximately 4:05 PM while at the Riley County Police Department.
Durocher was arrested on the no bond warrant from Pinellas County, Florida, with an original offense listed as theft.

Geary County Conviction in Sex Crimes Case

James Henning

James Henning

A Fort Riley soldier has been convicted in sex crimes which involved an eight-year-old girl. KMAN has been following the case of James Henning since last November. Henning had been serving as a military police officer at Fort Riley.
Henning’s conviction on 10 counts came Monday during a bench trial in Geary County Court, including 2 counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child under 13, 3 counts of aggravated criminal sodomy with a child under 13, 4 counts of manufacturing child pornography or sexual exploitation of a child, and one count of rape of a child under the age of 13.
Sentencing is set for January seventh of next year.

Space Needs Evaluated in Pottawatomie County

The good news is there are plenty of viable options but the bad news is it’s a tough decision. That was the verdict of BG Consultant experts, who presented their initial findings on space needs for Pottawatomie County Monday.
Project Manager/Architect Clint Hibbs shared that and other findings with County Commissioners in Westmoreland Monday, adding an estimated 4.4 million dollars would be needed both for renovations of current county buildings or if they want to replace older buildings with a new one. In fact Hibbs mentioned two options for two-story new facilities, two options for single-story facilities, and wall-to-wall options for renovations and improvements.
The old courthouse, health department, and existing County office buildings were all examined.
Commission Chair Pat Weixelman told BG there was pretty good information and he appreciated their efforts, describing them as a great help.
Zoning was another matter of interest during Monday morning’s Pottawatomie County Commission Meeting. Weixelman said the commission received another request for an issue involving second entrances into a lot on a subdivision. The commission ended up denying this request, but might consider special circumstances for another one, with that one tabled for now.

Weixelman noted Zoning Administrator Gregg Webster announced his office had  received twenty building permit applications last month.

And cooler temperatures don’t necessarily mean less work for Pottawatomie County’s Noxious Weed department. The county commission had a few requests for the noxious weed crew in order to make recent construction areas look cleaner. Also discussed were repairs on some bridges before the weather becomes too cold. And Public Works crews are evaluating progress on the Belvue Bridge.
Gravel roads became a topic of discussion at Monday morning’s Pottawatomie County Commission meeting. After considerable discussion, commissioners agreed that a new dust control treatment will be tried in the Green Valley area. The magnesium chloride would provide a six-to-eight inch base.
And a community in Pottawatomie County may soon have a new fire station, giving Administrator Robert Reece the go-ahead to pursue a building located in Olsburg for a possible fire station.

BREAKING: Child dies after accident on Tuttle Creek Boulevard

Ambulance at Emergency EntranceUPDATE, 9:42 a.m.: A 6-year-old girl is dead after injuries suffered in an accident on Tuttle Creek Boulevard Monday night.

Officers with the Riley County Police Department as well as area emergency responders were called to a serious and fatal vehicle collision in the 2400 block of Tuttle Creek Blvd. Monday night at approximately 7:20 p.m. This collision occurred north of the intersection of Tuttle Creek Boulevard and Northfield Road in Manhattan and involved a 2001 Ford Ranger containing two occupants.

Officers arriving on scene were able to determine that the Ford Ranger had lost control and collided with a 2013 Chevy Cruze which was traveling in the same direction. The driver of the Chevy Cruze was uninjured and the damage to this vehicle was minor. Immediately following this initial impact the Ford Ranger left the roadway and collided with a tree.

Joshua Mall, 39, of Riley, was transported to Via Christi Hospital and then to a medical care facility in Topeka. His current medical status at the time of this release was unknown.

The passenger, Madilyn Mall, 6, also of Riley was also transported to Via Christi Hospital, however, she succumbed to the injuries she sustained during the collision and was pronounced deceased.

Due to the ongoing nature of this collision investigation, at the time of this release, no further information was available to report.

UPDATE, 11:40 p.m.: The Northbound lanes of Tuttle Creek Boulevard re-opened late Monday night after being closed for more than four hours as the result of a multple-vehicle accident.

Some reports indicate a semi struck multiple vehicles but no information was available from the Riley County Police Department which was on scene investigating the accident which was reported at approximately 7:30 p.m.

One vehicle appeared to have crashed into a tree off the side of the road. Via Christi Hospital confirmed to KMAN shortly before 11 p.m. that individuals involved in the accident had been transported there but they could not release any further information.

Check back here for updates on this story as they become available.