Fatality in Pottawatomie County

A fatal motorcycle accident was reported in Pottawatomie County Sunday evening. A 42-year-old Centralia man died in the accident. The Kansas Highway Patrol reports Justin Smith was driving a Harley-Davidson motorcycle northbound on Carnahan Road about 1.3 miles south of Greene Road and south of Olsburg. The cycle driven by Smith  failed to negotiate a curve, crossed the center line, went left off the roadway and struck a ditch, causing Smith to go airborne.

Smith was wearing a helmet. The accident was reported shortly after 5:30 p.m.

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Sunday shooting leaves one dead, another critical; suspect still at large

Riley County Police Department officers tend to the scene Sunday night in Manhattan near the intersection of Marlatt Avenue and Nelson’s Landing. Two men were shot Sunday evening in the 2800 block of Nelson’s Landing. One was found dead at the scene, the other is expected to survive. (Staff photo by Brady Bauman)

A man was found dead at the scene after a shooting in Manhattan early Sunday evening.

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The shooting happened in the 2800 block of Nelson’s Landing north of Manhattan. A second man who was also shot was transported in critical condition to Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka and is expected to survive.

Law enforcement officials told KMAN they first received 911 calls at 5:59 p.m. The relationship of the victims is not yet known.

RCPD says the suspect fled the scene immediately, is unknown and still at large. The RCPD released a vehicle description but pulled that information back in hopes to gather more accurate details.

The RCPD insists that citizens lock their doors and be mindful of their surroundings.

KMAN will have more information as it becomes available.

A press briefing with RCPD Public Information Officer Alex Robinson that was streamed live from our Facebook page Sunday night just after 8:30 p.m. can be viewed below:

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MFD crews battle blazes on Sunday morning

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A duplex fire early on Sunday morning kept Manhattan Fire Department crews busy for several hours. Shortly after 1 a.m., the Manhattan Fire Department was dispatched to 1533 Williamsburg Drive for a report of a structure fire. Crews arrived on scene of the two-story duplex and found smoke showing on one side of the structure. Crews made entry and quickly knocked down the fire. Two occupants of 1533 Williamsburg were home at the time of the fire and were able to exit prior to arrival of fire crews. Riley County Emergency Medical Service transferred one occupant was transported to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. The connecting residence, 1546 Williamsburg Court, was occupied by six occupants at the time of the fire and they were able to exit without injury. A total of 15 firefighters responded on 5 fire apparatus.

Crews were dispatched to the same residence again at 8:10 a.m.  after receiving a report of smoke coming out a second story window.

Crews attempted to extinguish the fire from the interior but were unsuccessful due to the structure being compromised from the earlier fire.  After about one hour on scene crews were able to contain the fire from a defensive position. The fire remains under investigation at this time.

The residence of 1533 Williamsburg Drive was unoccupied at the time of this fire.  The residence received a total estimated loss of $100,000 to the contents and $309,000 to the structure. The occupants of this address are displaced and being assisted by Red Cross.  The owner is listed as John and Jolene Cameron of Manhattan.

The connecting residence of 1546 Williamsburg Court was occupied at the time of the second fire and the occupants were able to exit without injury.  Damage estimates to this structure are listed $25,000 to contents and $50,000 to the structure.  The owner is listed as David J. Carpenter of Manhattan.

The cause of the fire is under investigation at this time.

At 10:59 a.m., while still on scene of the Williamsburg Drive fire, crews were paged for a structure fire at 5406 Holden Court.  Crews arrived on scene of a single story wood frame structure with nothing showing.  Upon gaining entry crews found smoke throughout the structure from a basement fire that had been extinguished.

The structure was unoccupied at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.  The owner is listed as Jacinta Hoyt of the same address.  The residences received an estimated $25,000 to the contents and $75,000 to the structure.  The cause of this fire is also under investigation at this time.

 

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MHS graduates 376 seniors at cermony

Friends and family of Manhattan High School seniors bid farewell to a talented senior class at commencement ceremonies on Sunday afternoon in Bramlage Coliseum. The 376-member class of 2017 excelled in academics, arts, and athletics. This marks the one-hundred and third year MHS has held graduation.

The ceremony began after the First Infantry Division Sustainment Brigade presented the colors, and members of the MHS choir sang the school song.

“Your entire life is in front of you, and I hope we have prepared you for it,” said Principal Greg Hoyt.

Hoyt said it was an honor to serve as the building administrator for a group of students that included four semifinalists in the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program, and had also earned more than two-million dollars in renewable scholarships. Fifty-eight students graduated with a 4.0 grade point average. According to Hoyt, this year’s senior class played a role in helping MHS once again be named one of America’s most difficult high schools by The Washington Post.

Hoyt issued a challenge to his students, encouraging them to enjoy their accomplishment and then give back to their community.

Rami Khamis,senior, spent time joking about his career at MHS before encouraging his classmates to step into the future with optimism. (Staff photo by Andrew Shores)

“Today is about you, but tomorrow is about us.”

The seniors listened to speeches from two of their classmates before receiving their diplomas.

Rami Khamis said being raised by immigrant parents altered his experience as a student, and noted his parents’ diligence to his grades led to him pursuing his degree in biology at Kansas State University this fall. Khamis paid tribute to teachers and friends.

“As we look back on the memories from high school, we are left will all the great times with great people,” Khamis said.

Senior Mikela Robinson, who will be attending Coffeyville Community College on a dance scholarship, told her classmates they are capable of anything as long as they avoid negativity and focus on what is important.

 

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Thursday’s storms as told by social media

Residents of Manhattan, Junction City, and a large portion of Kansas were on edge during Thursday evening’s severe thunderstorms which prompted many tornado warnings and caused some damage throughout the state. People in Junction City and Manhattan took shelter around 7 p.m. as sirens went off throughout Riley and Geary counties. With new technological innovations and social media, just about anyone can become a storm spotter from the field.

 

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Life sentence in Pottawatomie County rape case

Pottawatomie County Justice Center

An Onaga man has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 25 years, in connection with an aggravated indecent liberties case reported last summer.  Mikel Babcock, 20, was sentenced Thursday in Pottawatomie County District court under Jessica’s Law in connection with the case, which was reported by Onaga Police Chief Daniel Costlow last July.
Four charges were involved in the case, with the arrest coming after an 11 month investigation. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Topeka Police Department assisted with the case.
Pottawatomie County Attorney Sherri Schuck tells KMAN the victim was was 10 years old at the time of the incident and was known to the defendant. Babcock was convicted of Rape and Sexual Exploitation of a child. Since the victim was under the age of 14 and he was 18 or older at the time of the offense, it fell under Jessica’s Law.

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Riley County Police Department Daily Activity Report 5/19/2017

Douglas Green Jr. was arrested in the 800 block of Elm St. in Ogden, Kansas on May 18, 2017 at approximately 5:15 PM. Green Jr. was arrested for driving while suspended and driving while a habitual violator. Green Jr.’s bond was set at $5,000.

Officers filed a report for rape, aggravated battery, and aggravated burglary in northeast Manhattan on May 18, 2017. Officers listed a 16 year old female as the victim when she reported that a suspect known to her forced his way into her residence and raped her. Due to the nature of the crimes reported, no additional information will be released.

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Rough weather for the Manhattan/Junction City area Thursday evening

While no damage reports have come in yet from Thursday evening’s storm which included a tornado warning, KMAN had a chance to have an early Friday morning visit with Meteorologist Bill Gargan with the National Weather Service in Topeka:

      billgargan-nwsForweb

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Riley County commissioners keep salaries flat for second straight year

Riley County Commissioners Ron Wells, left, Marvin Rodriguez and Ben Wilson. (Staff photo by Brady Bauman)

Riley County commissioners voted Thursday to keep their salaries flat for the second budget year in a row.

Commissioners continued 2018 budget work and agreed to keep their salaries at $43,403.62. The board also agreed to forgo a step increase, as it did last year.

Commissioner Ben Wilson made a motion to exclude the board from a Cost Of Living Adjustment — otherwise known as a COLA increase — but his motion failed due to a lack of second. The commission did not give itself a COLA increase last year.

For 2018, commissioners will receive a .8 percent COLA increase.

There was a brief adjustment of salaries on Nov. 21, 2016, when the commission set incoming-commissioner Marvin Rodriguez’s salary at $39,643.78.

On Jan. 26, with Rodriguez in office, the commission voted to return to equal salaries for all three commissioners, as has traditionally been the norm for the board.

Budget work will continue into June and a public hearing on it will be held on July 10. The adoption of the budget is due to the county clerk on Aug. 25.

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Marshall changes tone on Trump-Russia investigation

U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall issued a statement Thursday that differs with comments he made last week at a town hall in Wamego about an independent investigation into President Donald Trump’s alleged ties with Russia.

During a town hall on May 10, U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall said he supported an independent investigation into President Trump’s alleged ties with Russia. Later, Marshall said he did not believe former FBI director James Comey’s firing had anything to do with the investigation. (Staff photo by Andrew Shores)

At the town hall, Marshall said he was supportive of an independent investigation if it would be the fastest way to put the issue at bay.

“What I hate is all this distracts Congress from doing what we need to be doing. I want to get to the truth as efficiently as possible,” Marshall said during the hour-plus long meeting at the Ironclad.

During the town hall, Marshall said he was concerned about the ongoing investigation, but indicated congress had other matters to attend to.

In a press release sent from his office to KMAN Thursday, Marshall issued stronger language on an independent investigation. His statement comes after the Department of Justice appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel of the investigation.

“Long before this witch hunt, there’s been a clear slant that has permeated our national political coverage,” Marshall said in a statement Thursday. “Half-truths and innuendo have defined the conversation. Having said that, if a special counsel is what it will take for Washington to move on to do the people’s work — so be it.

I wish the national media would balance their focus on the many good things this President and Congress are doing, such as last week’s report that after 13 long years, China has agreed to restart imports of US beef. This accomplishment from President Trump matters to Kansas – not empty accusations and absurd conjecture that have flooded the airwaves.”

China first agreed to again import U.S. beef during the end of President Obama’s second term.

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