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Local News

Why KS Children Are Removed From Homes


Reports from the Kansas Department for Children and Families show that more children in the state are removed from their homes and placed in foster care because of concerns about parents' drug and alcohol abuse than for any other primary reason including physical abuse, neglect and sexual abuse.

The agency says mental illness often plays a parallel role in those cases as people with mood or anxiety disorders are more likely to self-medicate.

Nearly 750 Kansas children were removed from their homes because of concerns about their parents' substance abuse in fiscal year 2014, which ended June 30. Of those, 93 were from Sedgwick County.
 

Jasper County Deputy's Car Involved In I-44 Wreck


A car that was changing lanes on I-44 led to two other vehicles getting into a crash that sent two people to the hospital. It happened shortly before 11am Monday on eastbound I-44 near mile marker 19. A car driven by 33 year old Timothy Jones of Liberal swerved, lost control and went into the left-hand lane in front of a Jasper County Sheriff's Department car driven by 53-year-old Brady Stuart of Carthage. Both cars collided and skidded into the median, with Jones' car overturning. Stuart wasn't hurt. Jones and a passenger, 39-year-old Crystal Bethel of Liberal, were both taken to a Joplin hospital with injuries.

Pittsburg PD Still Looking For Prowler


Pittsburg Police are still looking for a prowler and they hope you can help identify him.  Pittsburg Police Major Brent Narges tells News Talk KZRG about the case.

"Last spring, we had an individual that was peeping into windows on the south portion of Pittsburg.  At this time,  we are releasing that photo in hopes that a community member will identify this individual."

You can see a photo of the suspect through this link: http://www.pittks.org/DocumentCenter/View/1416  If you have any information, call Pittsburg Police at 620-231-1700.
 

Rams Cut Michael Sam


St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher says he was in Michael Sam's corner from the start and that having the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team was no distraction at all in training camp.

Fisher says that releasing Sam was purely a football decision.

Fisher believes too much was made of Sam's orientation and that wherever he lands, it should not be an issue. He had high praise for Sam's non-stop energy and effort but said there were a lot of tough decisions that made to be made to reach the 53-man roster limit.

Fisher fended off a question about re-signing Sam to the practice squad, saying any roster adjustments would depend on other players now on the market.

The coach personally delivered the news to all of the cuts, except for Sam, who attended Missouri's opening game and was informed on the phone. Fisher planned to meet with Sam on Sunday.

 

Chiefs Final Cuts


The Chiefs have waived veteran kicker Ryan Succop and placed quarterback Tyler Bray and wide receiver Kyle Williams on injured reserve as they trimmed to the 53-man roster limit.

Succop was engaged in a heated competition for the kicking job with undrafted free agent Cairo Santos.

Ultimately, Succop's contract may have played a big part in the decision. He was due $2 million this season while Santos will make just $422,000 with the Chiefs.

Bray and Williams were hurt in the Chiefs' preseason finale against Green Bay.

Other players cut Saturday were defensive backs Malcolm Bronson, Jonathon Amaya, DeMarcus Van Dyke and Justin Rogers; linebackers Alonzo Highsmith, Devan Walker and Nico Johnson; defensive linemen Kyle Love, Kona Schwenke and Dominique Hamilton; offensive linemen Ricky Henry and J'Marcus Webb; wide receivers Mark Harrison and Fred Williams; fullback Jordan Campbell; and running back Charcandrick West.

 

31 People In ALS Ice Bucket Challenge


You've heard of group hugs. This afternoon in Joplin there was a group ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. 31 employees and staff of the Independent Living Center took the Ice Bucket Challenge. Stephanie Brady, the Center's assistant executive director, tells News Talk KZRG why they did the challenge as a group.

"We have a lot of our staff who have been challenged individually and we have had several of our consumers who have been affected by ALS, as well as past board members and we thought it would be a great idea to do this as a joint effort.  What we really like about this challenge is it raises a lot of awareness.  A lot of people don't really know what this disease is.  But it also raises a lot of funds for other people in the community."

The Joplin Independent Living Center is also challenging the other 21 Independent Living Centers in Missouri to take the Ice Bucket Challenge. You can see photos from today's challenge in the photo gallery at News Talk KZRG.com.

A New Joplin Festival


About 50 people came to a public meeting in Joplin last night to discuss a community festival. Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Patrick Tuttle tells News Talk KZRG about the ideas that were suggested.

"It ranged from one big signature event down to maybe a weekend full of several smaller activities going on. Some folks that represent existing events in town were there and expressed interest in adding to or partnering to what they're doing.  Some things were normal, I mean the typical things you had at Boomtown like carnivals and entertainment and food.  All the way through some Route 66 ideas to enhancing the Wildcat Glades Water Fest."

Tuttle says the next step will be to take the ideas they collected and hold a brainstorming session on how to proceed.

Long On Obama's "No Strategy" Statement


President Obama's statement Thursday that the US doesn't have a strategy for dealing with the terrorist group ISIS in Syria caught many in Congress by surprise. Including Missouri Congressman Billy Long.

"We don't have a strategy?  Are you serious?  I mean, what you say, 'What's your plan? What's your strategy for ISIS?'  'We have a strategy for ISIS and I can tell you they are not going to like it.' I don't care if you're working on your strategy, if you don't have a strategy or what, but that's what you say.  You don't step up there and say 'We don't have a plan. We don't have a strategy.'"

Long also told the KZRG Morning Newswatch Friday he doesn't think Obama listens to the advice he gets from his foreign policy advisors.  "I don't think we know what his advisors tell him, because I truly honest to goodness do not think he listens to anyone. He won't talk to people.  I talked to some Democrats that endorsed him early on  before Hillary Clinton and they're sorry that they did. They say 'Billy, this guy doesn't even talk to us.'"

KS August Tax Revenue Below Projections


A new report says Kansas collected $4 million less in taxes than expected in August.

The Department of Revenue said Friday the state took in $421 million in taxes, about 1 percent below the official forecast of $425 million.

The department called revenues flat but said there are signs of economic growth in the figures. Corporate income tax collections exceeded expectations for the month.

The state saw a slight surplus in tax collections in July. Since the current fiscal year began July 1, the state has collected about $829 million in revenues, against projections of nearly $832 million. The difference is about $2.4 million, or 0.3 percent.

The numbers are likely to renew a political debate over massive income tax cuts enacted at Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's urging.

 

Stegall Appointed To KS Supreme Court


Governor Sam Brownback says Caleb Stegall is ``one of the most qualified people'' to ever be named to the Kansas Supreme Court.

Brownback named his former aide to the high court on Friday and called him ``brilliant.''

He put the 42-year-old on the Court of Appeals last year after he spent three years as the governor's chief counsel.

Stegall was one of 13 people who applied for the seat Justice Nancy Moritz gave up to take a seat on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The appointment does not require state Senate confirmation.

An online magazine Stegall edited in 2005 encouraged ``forcible resistance'' to state and federal court orders to save the life of a brain-damaged Florida woman, though he later said it only advocated civil disobedience.

In a 2008 online newspaper chat, he called the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 ruling legalizing abortion ``weak.''

 

Empire Requesting Rate Increase


Empire District Electric has asked the Missouri Public Service Commission to raise its rates for MIssouri electric customers. Empire spokesperson Julie Maus tells News Talk KZRG they're asking to raise revenues by about $24.3 million.

"So what that would mean for a typical residential customer using 1000 killowatt hours per month is an increase of about $9.87 per month."

Maus went on to explain that Empire is asking for the increase to pay for a project at its Asbury power plant. "And that project involves the construction of a new air quality control system.  And those updates are necessary to meet new air quality standards mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency."

Maus says it will take about eleven months for the Public Service Commission to review Empire's request.

Webb City House Fire


A Webb City home sustained heavy smoke damage after a fire Thursday evening. The Webb City Fire Department tells News Talk KZRG they were called to 737 West Wickersham around 6:30pm. The fire had started in the rear bedroom of the home and was ruled to be electrical in nature. No one was home when the fire started. The entire home had extensive smoke damage, while the south side of the home had fire and heat damage.
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