Update: Authorities identify solider found dead near Milford Lake

An undated photo of the area of Ava Road and Rebecca Road on the west side of Milford Lake, where authorities found a deceased Fort Riley soldier Sunday. (Photo courtesy Google Maps)

Updated: Tuesday, 7:22 a.m.

A Fort Riley soldier was found dead inside a vehicle Sunday with a gunshot wound to the head, according to the Geary County Sheriff’s Office.

Church, Jr.

According to an email sent to KMAN just before the noon hour Monday, authorities responded to the area of Ava Road and Rebecca Road on the west side of Milford Lake Sunday at 11 a.m. for a report of an unresponsive subject. Upon arrival, Geary County Sheriff’s deputies located a deceased male inside a vehicle with an apparent gunshot wound to the head.

Later in the day Monday, the Geary County Sheriff’s Office identified the man as 23-year-old Ronald Church, Jr., of Fort Riley.

Police say autopsy results are still pending to determine the manner and cause of death.

According to Fort Riley, Church was a specialist and Bradley fighting vehicle system maintainer with the 541st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. He joined the army in November 2015 and arrived at Fort Riley in February 2017. He had yet to deploy.

His home of record is Forest Park, Georgia. His awards and decorations include the Army Service Ribbon and the National Defense Service Ribbon.

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RCPD Daily Activity

Officers filed a report for sexual battery in Manhattan on March 15, 2018. Officers listed a 22 year old female as the victim and an unknown male as the suspect. Due to the nature of the crime reported, no additional information will be released.
Marina Marroquin, 27, of Manhattan, was arrested while in the 100 block of E. Bluemont Ave. in Manhattan on March 15, 2018 at approximately 4:20 PM. Marroquin was arrested on a Manhattan Municipal Court warrant for probation violation. Marroquin was issued no bond, causing her to remain confined at the time of this report.
Officers filed a report for aggravated domestic battery, aggravated endangering a child, domestic battery and interference with LEO in Manhattan on March 15, 2018. Officers listed a 21 year old female, and a juvenile as the victims and a known male as the suspect. Due to the nature of the crime reported (domestic) no additional information will be released.
Jacob Kratzberg, 25, of Manhattan was arrested while in the 400 block of N 11th St. in Manhattan on March 15, 2018 at approximately 7:50 PM. Kratzberg was arrested on charges of aggravated domestic battery, aggravated endangering a child, domestic battery and interference with LEO. Kratzberg was issued a total bond of $18,000.00 causing him to remain confined at the time of this report.
Officers filed a report for aggravated domestic battery, domestic battery, aggravated assault, aggravated intimidation of a witness, theft and criminal threat in Manhattan at approximately 7:20 AM. Officers listed a 32 year old female and a 39 year old male as the victims and suspects. Keith Ryan, 39, of Mannhattan, was arrested in connection on charges of aggravated domestic battery, domestic battery, aggravated intimidation of a witness. Ryan was issued a total bond of $50,000.00. Ryan was not confined at the time of this report.

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Former USD 383 School Board member eyes county commission seat

Former USD 383 School Board member Aaron Estabrook accepts a parting gift from board president Darell Edie after fulfilling his term in January. Estabrook now has his sights set on a Riley County Commission seat. (Courtesy photo)

Former USD 383 School Board Member Aaron Estabrook has announced his intention to seek the office of Riley County Commissioner as an Independent candidate.

“Riley County is going through a transformative period of growth. We face new challenges and have yet to solve old problems,” he said in a press release. “I’m a listener and a problem solver. As an Independent, I’ll work for everyone to find the best solutions.”

Estabrook is the Executive Director of the Save Kansas Coalition, a non-partisan group dedicated to fostering “civil discourse and civic engagement” in Kansas government.

As a former case-manager for homeless veterans and former Chairman of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Veterans and Military Council, Estabrook said improving access to mental health services in Riley County will be a top priority as a County Commissioner.

“We believe in family and taking care of our neighbors. Area suicide rates are high and nearly everyone knows someone that will suffer from a mental health crisis in their lifetime. We must reform the way we address mental health regionally and become leaders locally,” he said. “The current system is both inefficient with tax dollars and ineffective at providing adequate crisis stabilization.”

Estabrook said improving government transparency and long-term regional planning especially around NBAF are also his priorities for the County Commission.

To be placed on the ballot, Estabrook said he will need to collect over 500 signatures of registered voters in the 1st Commission District.

That seat is currently held by Republican Ben Wilson.

Estabrook is a Post 9/11 Combat Veteran of Afghanistan. A native of Dodge City and 2008 K-State alumni, he finished his enlistment in the Army in 2012 and returned to Riley County. He served on the USD 383 School Board from 2013-2018.

Estabrook lives in Manhattan with his two daughters, Sophia and Kennedy.

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JCPD makes arrest in connection to March 12 robberies

The Junction City Police Department announced an arrest Monday of a man believed to be connected to robberies first reported March 12.

The JCPD said Monday it arrested James Tyshawn Carwell on March 14 on two counts of aggravated robbery. Carwell was arrested at his home on 8th Street in Junction City and is being held at the Geary County Detention Center on a $100,000 bond.

On March 12, the JCPD said it was looking for two people who may have been held at gunpoint by the same suspects that Monday night.

Police say the first subject reported being approached by two black males in alley behind the restaurant located at 300 West 6th St. The victim told authorities one of the males had a gun and demanded money. The victim ran several blocks to his home after giving the suspects his cell phone.

At approximately the same time, dispatch received a 911 call from a second victim that had been walking in the same area being approached by two black males, one with a gun and both wearing dark clothing. The subjects demanded money and took the second victim’s wallet and cell phone. The suspects ran west through the alley after the incident. One suspect was described as about 6’0” with light skin and the other about 5’9” with darker skin. It is believed these incident happened within several minutes of each other.

Detectives have been actively working this case to identify the other subject(s) involved. It is asking if anyone has any information to contact the police department TIPS line at 785-762- 8477 or leave a webtip at Gearycrimestoppers.com. Tips can remain anonymous and may qualify for a cash reward.

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Superheros, fantasy take over KSU Union for Little Apple Comic Expo

Attendees of Saturday’s Little Apple Comic Expo look at video games at a vendor booth inside the K-State Student Union. (Staff photo by Brady Bauman)

The Little Apple Comic Expo brought 55 vendors from all over the state and country Saturday inside the K-State Student Union. The vendors represented the diversity of the comic book convention’s attendees mirroring interests in superheros, sci-fi, fantasy, music and writing.

Saturday was the third year for the convention, also simply known as LACE.

The afternoon included multiple demonstrations, an adult and children’s costume contest, gaming tournaments and many attendees dressed as their favorite characters — some in handmade costumes. Throughout LACE there were mini-events like; “What would the Hulk read?,” “Creating Comics”, “So you want to build a cosplay?,” and “Fan activism: Turning fans into heroes.”

The Broken Arm Academy of Swordsmanship — an organization focused on the study and teaching of Armizare as taught by medieval masters of combat —  demonstrated its practice. Roberto Trigueros, senior instructor and founder of the organization, was there with other members presenting the demonstrations. He has been studying the art for 12 years and has taught the skill for the past four years.

“We have been doing demos here since the first one,” Trigueros said. “They have been very gracious in inviting and allowing us to have this space and doing our demonstrations, since the inception of LACE.”

Click to view slideshow.

(Photos by Hailey McClellan)

One of the main events of LACE was held in the Union Ballroom where cosplayers, families and visitors explored  vendors selling vintage comic books, new reads, toys and crafts.

But another draw of conventions like LACE is the opportunity for fans to meet artists and writers in the industry.

Illustrator Candice Dailey was one of the many artists at the event. Dailey said this was her second LACE.

Manhattan-based music store Sisters of Sound was also at LACE and brought records featuring music from various superhero and comic book-inspired films.

“It’s fun seeing all the kids with their parents,” Sisters of Sound’s Michael Darling said. “It’s really family friendly.”

It was the music store’s first year being a part of LACE and co-owner Sarah Cunnick said they were excited to have an alternative to being open in AggieVille on Fake Patty’s Day.

“This is so much better, I’ve seen a ton of our customers in here,” Cunnick said. “Some of them followed us here, and some were already coming.”

There were also many authors at the event. Nicholas Forristal came to LACE from Kansas City. She wrote the Chronicles of M series and many others.

“I like the size of this event, the spacing,” Forristal said. “There is a good crowd here — really friendly.”

LACE co-founders Ali and Josh smith said Saturday’s attendance was strong — and perhaps their best since the first one.

“Someone on the radio asked if this Saturday was your last day alive, what would you do?” Ali said. “A little kid texted in, ‘I want to go to the comic con with my dad.’

“And I was like, yes! That’s why I do this.”

The Smiths say LACE will be held at the Manhattan Conference Center next year for two days.

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Searchers recover body of drowned fisherman

Recovery teams found the body of a Stilwell man who drowned March 3 while fishing alone in a one-person kayak at Tuttle Creek lake.

The Manhattan Mercury reports that searchers used boats with sonar to locate on Thursday the body of 21-year-old Anthony Berg.

Kansas Wildlife and Parks Game Warden Jesse Gehrt says that while they don’t know all the details, it was windy on the day Berg drowned and they believe that’s what led to the accident.

The recovery teams were unable to locate his body over the March 3 weekend, and windy conditions earlier that following week had postponed the search.

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RCPD Report 3/12/18

Officers filed a report for criminal damage to property in the 1100 block of Westloop Pl. in Manhattan on March 9, 2018 at approximately 7:00 AM. Officers listed Dillons as the victim when it was reported an unknown suspect damaged a window at the business. The total loss associated with this case is approximately $500.00. 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 $1,000.00.

Officers filed a report for theft in the 1100 block of Westloop Pl. in Manhattan on March 9, 2018 at approximately 12:00 PM. Officers listed Tiffany Cull Huttis, 18, of Manhattan as the victim when she reported an unknown suspect took her iPhone 6s Plus. The total loss associated with this case is approximately $649.00. 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 $1,000.00.

Officers filed a report for theft in the 1000 block of Sunset Ave. in Manhattan on March 9, 2018 at approximately 12:40 PM. Officer listed Ricardo Feliciano-Morales, 22, of Manhattan as the victim when he reported an unknown suspect took his specialized crosstrail sport bike. The total loss associated with this case is approximately $710.00. 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 $1,000.00.

Officers filed a report for criminal damage to property in the 1800 block of Laramie St. in Manhattan on March 9, 2018 at approximately 12:55 PM. Officers listed Mario Garcia Jr., 47, of Shawnee, Kansas as the victim when it was reported an unknown suspect damaged their vehicle. The total loss associated with this case is approximately $500.00. 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 $1,000.00.

Officers filed a report for theft in the 1000 block of Sunset Ave. in Manhattan on March 10, 2018 at approximately 7:10 PM. Officers listed Hannah Koenig, 19, of Manhattan as the victim when she reported an unknown suspect took her iPhone. The total loss associated with this case is approximately $600.00. 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 $1,000.00.

Officers filed a report for rape in Manhattan on March 11, 2018. Officers listed a 33 year old female as the victim and an unknown male as the suspect. Due to the nature of the crime reported, no additional information will be released.

Officers filed a report for aggravated battery in the 700 block of Thurston St. in Manhattan on March 11, 2018 at approximately 3:00 PM. Officers listed Sheldon Rogge, 22, of Manhattan as the victim when he reported he was struck in the face by a known male suspect.

Officers filed a report for theft in the 1100 block of Moro St. in Manhattan on March 11, 2018 at approximately 12:30 AM. Officers listed Telitha Fosselman, 19, of Manhattan as the victim when she reported an unknown suspect took her iPhone. The total loss associated with this case is approximately $500.00. 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 $1,000.00.

Officers filed a report for theft in the 1200 block of Moro St. in Manhattan on on March 11, 2018 at approximately 6:20 PM. Officers listed Natalie Hahn, 22, of Manhattan as the victim when she reported an unknown suspect took her iPhone. The total loss assocaited with this case is approximately $600.00. 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 $1,000.00.

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K-State’s Black Student Union again receives title of best in Big 12

KSU BSU President Darrell Reese speaks during the KSUnite rally held in front of Anderson Hall Nov. 14, 2017. (File photo)

Kansas State University’s Black Student Union is again the best in the Big 12 Conference, according to a press release from KSU Friday.

For the 10th time in 12 years, the university’s Black Student Union won the Clarence Wine Award for Outstanding Big 12 Council of the Year at the 41st annual Big 12 Conference on Black Student Government, March 1-3, at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

“The K-State BSU represents what is great about Kansas State University,” said Adrian Rodriguez, associate vice president for student life for diversity and multicultural student affairs. “They demonstrate every day that by unifying our voice and striving for what is right and just, monumental things can be accomplished.”

A K-State student consoles Monica White by Chalmers Hall on the K-State campus on Aug. 25, 2015. The KSU Black Student Union orchestrated a memorial for White’s daughter, Briona, who was fatally shot in Chicago earlier that month. (Staff photo by Brady Bauman)

Rodriguez said the Black Student Union is a model student organization for all other Big 12 and university Black Student Unions as well as other multicultural student organizations. Through leadership, active membership and collective voice, the Black Student Union continues to further the agenda for equity and justice at Kansas State University, he said.

“It is an amazing honor being named the most outstanding Black Student Union in the Big 12,” said Darrell Reese, president of the Kansas State University Black Student Union and junior in mechanical engineering, Plano, Texas. “It shows how hard we work as a Black Student Union advocating for the needs of our multicultural students, but it also shows how much we care about each other within our BSU because we are so much of a family.”

In addition to the Clarence Wine Award, two Black Student Union members were recognized at the conference.

Bryan Davis, senior in management information systems, Topeka, and 2017-2018 chair of the Big 12 Council on Black Student Government, was awarded the Mordean Taylor Archer Most Outstanding Executive Board Member award.

Jeffrey Matthews Jr., freshman in open option, Kansas City, Missouri, also was elected as 2018-2019 assistant treasurer for the Big 12 Council on Black Student Government. He will automatically become treasurer for the council for 2019-2020.

“It is an honor to serve as the advisor to our K-State Black Student Union,” said Brandon L. Clark, program coordinator for diversity and multicultural student affairs. “Their hard work and passion for social justice continue to be rewarded by the Big 12 Council and celebrated by our university.”

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No charges expected against MHS football players

Manhattan High School football players scrimmage on Aug. 27, 2015. (Staff photo by Tyler Dreiling)

There will be no charges against members of the Manhattan High School football team for their part in the reported “birthday beatdowns” that made headlines last fall.

According to media reports Thursday, a letter sent to the Riley County Attorney’s Office from Lyon County Attorney Marc Goodman said there was not enough admissible evidence to gain a conviction.

Goodman was appointed as a special prosecutor in the case after the Riley County Attourney’s Office recused itself. Riley County Attorney Barry Wilkerson said in December that his office has two employees who have a child or relative who are members of the football team.

The matter stems from investigations into hazing and the football program that first came to light in October when the RCPD was called to Bishop Stadium for a report of battery.

The incident put head coach Joe Schartz’s job security in question until superintendent Marvin Wade said in January he’d remain a coach and teacher. On Dec. 22 Wilkerson announced there would be no charges against Schartz for child endangerment.

Goodman said the students actions did not violate the law against hazing, which requires an act that could result in death or great bodily harm that must be done to join a social or fraternal organization. He said their actions were not necessary to join the team or any other organization.

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Police seek suspect in armed robbery

(Courtesy RCPD)

Police are looking for a man suspected in an armed robbery Wednesday.

At approximately 12:01 p.m., officers with the Riley County Police Department responded to Advance America Cash Exchange located at 610 Fort Riley Blvd. in Manhattan for the report of a business alarm. Prior to officers’ arrival, an employee alerted police that an armed robbery had taken place at the business and the suspect had since fled the area with an undisclosed amount of money. No one was injured during the incident.

Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the suspect in the armed robbery. Anyone who may information is asked to contact the Riley County Police Department at (785) 537-2112 or Crime Stoppers at (785) 539-7777. Using the Crime Stoppers service allows you to remain anonymous and could qualify you for a cash reward of up to $1,000.00.

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