Budget and Fake Patty’s Day examined by Riley County Law Board

Brian Johnson with FOP addressing Riley County Law Board-photos by Cathy Dawes

Riley County Law Board members began budget discussion at their Monday meeting with much talk about personnel–but prior to that discussion Brian Johnson with the Local Fraternal Order of Police reminded the board of the difficult cases police deal with daily such as infant autopsies, suicide calls, rape victims they try to console. Johnson encouraged the board to carefully consider adequate pay and consideration of shift differential and educational pay when dealing with the personnel aspect of this next year’s budget.
Riley County Police Asst. Director John Doehling told the board four options are recommended for personnel, with an increase for part time and overtime pay, a .8 percent cost of living adjustment, expanded differential pay, and education pay of 250 dollars per month for 95 personnel compared to the 58 now. That would mean an overall increase to last year’s budget of 1.724 percent for personnel only.
Riley County Police Director Brad Schoen also talked to law board members Monday about next year’s budget, which is complicated even further by uncertainty of funding for new co-responder mental health positions. While grants and other methods have the positions funded for now, the next year might prove to be more difficult, especially with the different budget times for RCPD and the city of Manhattan. Schoen described the timing as “exquisitely bad.”
Asst. Director Doehling also went over detailed numbers on step increases, cost of living adjustments, and proposed changes in shift differential pay and education pay. Full time, part time, overtime salaries as well as KPERS, health insurance, and workmen’s and unemployment compensation were other factors to consider.
Board Chair Craig Beardsley seemed supportive at this point of the budget discussions, saying he liked the direction they were going and like the education pay. Beardsley also talked about the importance of putting some money behind the mental health co-responders.
Next month non-personnel items will be the focus of discussion.
While Fake Patty’;s Day was more than two weeks ago, Riley County Law Board members finally had a chance for an after action briefing presented by Riley County Police Captain Josh Kyle. Captain Kyle told the group many types of reports and arrests were down at this year’s event centered in Aggieville including DUI’s disorderly conducts, and noise complaints.
And while the turn out is dependent on a number of factors including weather, how the department deploys, other events going on, and as Captain Kyle says even the “luck of the draw”–he recommends the current deployment levels for Fake Patty’s Day 2018.
While law board members had some questions and comments, most seemed to feel positively about how the event was handled, including Board Member Usha Reddi who commented earlier in the meeting “It’s an outstanding job that you do.”.
A few comments were made about ways to keep the event more confined to Aggieville.
Law board members Monday also recognized Dispatcher Mary Gorman with a lifesaving award involving a golf cart accident in May of 2016 and Officer Garrett Lloyd was presented with a Commendation award in a January case involving a distraught person who finally surrendered due to rapport with Lloyd. A proclamation recognizing National Public Safety Telecommunications week was also read and presented.

RCPD Director Brad Schoen with Dispatcher Mary Gorman

Director Brad Schoen with Officer Garrett Lloyd

Law Board Chair Craig Beardsley reading National Public Safety Telecommunications Week Proclamation

The post Budget and Fake Patty’s Day examined by Riley County Law Board appeared first on News Radio KMAN.

Junction City woman dies in I-70 crash

A Junction City woman died in a two vehicle crash in Wabaunsee County Sunday night that closed a stretch of eastbound lanes of I-70 near the Paxico Rest Area for two hours.  Tammy Patterson, 41, died in the accident, reported shortly after 7:30 p.m.
According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, the vehicle Patterson was in had run out of fuel and was stopped partially in the left lane of eastbound I-70, two miles east of Paxico.  Another occupant in that vehicle was attempting to push it out of the roadway, when a 2013 Toyota Prius driven by Madison Connally, 23, of Ellsworth struck the vehicle from behind.
Michael Smothers, 40, of Junction City, who was pushing the vehicle, and other occupants and driver including Virgil Koppenheffer, 36, of Alabama, and Keturah Anderson, 32, of Alabama were all taken to Stormont Vail Healthcare in Topeka. The driver of the Toyota was also taken to Stormont Vail.

The post Junction City woman dies in I-70 crash appeared first on News Radio KMAN.

Junction City woman dies in I-70 crash

A Junction City woman died in a two vehicle crash in Wabaunsee County Sunday night that closed a stretch of eastbound lanes of I-70 near the Paxico Rest Area for two hours.  Tammy Patterson, 41, died in the accident, reported shortly after 7:30 p.m.
According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, the vehicle Patterson was in had run out of fuel and was stopped partially in the left lane of eastbound I-70, two miles east of Paxico.  Another occupant in that vehicle was attempting to push it out of the roadway, when a 2013 Toyota Prius driven by Madison Connally, 23, of Ellsworth struck the vehicle from behind.
Michael Smothers, 40, of Junction City, who was pushing the vehicle, and other occupants and driver including Virgil Koppenheffer, 36, of Alabama, and Keturah Anderson, 32, of Alabama were all taken to Stormont Vail Healthcare in Topeka. The driver of the Toyota was also taken to Stormont Vail.

The post Junction City woman dies in I-70 crash appeared first on News Radio KMAN.

Commuters walk away without injury after multi-vehicle accident Friday

Three damaged vehicles rest Friday at the intersection of Seth Child Road and Southwind Road in Manhattan. No injuries were reported. (Staff photos by Brady Bauman)

Commuters walked away without injury Friday afternoon following a three-vehicle accident at the intersection of Seth Child Road and Southwind Road in Manhattan.

One of the vehicles rested in a steep ditch.

Witnesses at the scene told KMAN no injuries were suffered and the Riley County Police Department later confirmed those claims.

KMAN will have more information as it becomes available.

One of the three damaged vehicles rests in a ditch Friday at the intersection of Seth Child Road and Southwind Road in Manhattan.

The post Commuters walk away without injury after multi-vehicle accident Friday appeared first on News Radio KMAN.

Area unemployment numbers released

Unemployment numbers just released by the Kansas Department of Labor indicate a 3.1 percent rate in the Manhattan metropolitan area for February, which includes Pottawatomie and Riley Counties. However Manhattan-Junction City combined statistical numbers are 3.5 percent. Junction City by itself has a 5.6 percent unemployment rate.
Area county numbers for February include 2.9 for Riley, 3.4 for Pottawatomie, 5.5 for Geary, and 5.2 percent in Clay County.

The post Area unemployment numbers released appeared first on News Radio KMAN.

Riley County officials hope radio system upgrade recieves federal help

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

Riley County commissioners approved the latest revision of a letter Thursday addressed to the state’s congressional delegation regarding the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility and the hefty price tag of emergency radio system upgrades for the county.

The county is hoping the federal government will chip in on the cost of a new radio system because NBAF, once completed, would benefit from the county’s emergency services.

The new radio system will cost the county anywhere from $6-9 million. County officials have said the current radio system has aged well past its use and continued narrowbanding regulations from the Federal Communications Commission has also been taxing on the system — so much so emergency crews and police officers are often victim to several dead spots in the county.

The letter is addressed to Sen. Pat Roberts, Sen. Jerry Moran, Rep. Roger Marshall, Rep. Lynn Jenkins and Rep. Kevin Yoder.

In the latest revision of the letter, references to the City of Manhattan have been removed. On March 16, the draft of the letter included language that said, “NBAF’s national mission cannot be carried out without significant costs to the local citizens of Riley County and the City of Manhattan.”

Later in the March 16 version, the City of Manhattan is mentioned again, where it states, “These local on-going expenditures for the benefit of NBAF will permanently increase operational costs for both the City of Manhattan and Riley County. Without federal participation in sharing some of those NBAF costs, our local taxpayers will bear alone a disproportionate share of the expenses necessary to operate a national facility which will be of significant benefit to the entire U.S.population.”

Clancy Holeman, the county counselor, told the commission the latest revision gets more to the point and focuses more on the county.

“(Manhattan) City Manager Ron Fehr, which I shared with you, had some concerns about the tenor of the letter — not just the tenor, but the details of it — and I tweaked it enough, I think, that it actually zeros in on what your primary concern is, anyway,” Holeman said.

“I’m fine, since we don’t have the City involved, in going ahead with this,” Commission chairman Ron Wells said. “It can’t hurt anything.”

Commissioners Marvin Rodriguez and Ben Wilson agreed.

Wells said he expects pushback on the letter and that some officials suggest the potential revenue windfall of NBAF will offset costs such a facility brings to the region.

But Wells expressed doubt it will translate into lower taxes for Riley County residents.

“I’ve been here 72 years, tomorrow, and I haven’t seen anything that’s come in — and we’ve spent hundreds of millions — and I haven’t seen my taxes go down one penny, because of something coming in,” he said.

Holeman agreed with Wells that some may disagree with the county’s approach.

“You’re absolutely right,” Holeman answered. “You’ll get pushback from various quarters that this is a bad idea, but that’s up to you. If you want to make the point (that federal aid is needed) this is the way to do it.”

The commission’s approved letter reads as follows:

March 23, 2017

Senator Pat Roberts
Senator Jerry Moran
Representative Roger Marshall
Representative Lynn Jenkins
Representative Kevin Yoder

Re: Federal Assistance with Federally Mandated Local Emergency Communications Upgrade Costs
Dear Members of the Kansas Congressional Delegation:

Riley County is proud to be home to the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (“NBAF”).
Scheduled to open in 2022, NBAF construction is well underway. This facility is essential to the
national security of America. NBAF’s primary mission is national in scope: to protect America’s
food supply and ensure our country’s entire population is safe from zoonotic diseases which could
be dispersed nationwide as a weapon of terror.

NBAF’s national mission cannot be carried out without significant costs to the local constituents of
the Riley County Commission. Riley County is currently working to comply with the Federal
Communications Commission’s nationwide “narrow-banding mandate.” Estimates are the required
upgrades to Riley County’s emergency communications radio system will cost local taxpayers
between $7 and $9 million dollars. After those radio system upgrades are complete, a key benefit to
both local taxpayers and to NBAF will be the resulting interoperability of radio communications
between law enforcement and emergency responders. NBAF will justifiably depend, in significant
part, upon the services of local emergency responders in the event of a catastrophic event, whether
natural or man-made. Interoperable communication between those local emergency responders is
obviously of significant benefit to NBAF.

Unfortunately, the federal “narrow-banding mandate” was generated without any accompanying
financial assistance program for local governments.

These local “narrow-banding mandate” expenditures will permanently increase operational costs for
Riley County. Without federal participation in sharing some of those “narrow-banding” costs, Riley
County taxpayers will bear a disproportionate share of expenses necessary to operate a national
facility which will be of significant benefit to the entire U.S. population.

This letter is to ask you to help us obtain federal funding to help defray the foregoing “narrowbanding mandate” costs which will be incurred by Riley County.

Sincerely,

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
OF RILEY COUNTY, KANSAS

______________________________
Ronald E. Wells, Chairman

______________________________
Marvin Rodriguez, Vice Chair

______________________________
Ben Wilson, Member

The post Riley County officials hope radio system upgrade recieves federal help appeared first on News Radio KMAN.

Injury accident reported by Riley County Police

Riley County Police officers responded to a report of an injury accident at Tuttle Creek Blvd. and North Seth Child Road Wednesday at approximately 4:15 PM. When officers arrived on scene, they found a Lincoln MKZ, driven by Max McAdams, 84, of Clay Center had collided with a GMC Yukon, driven by Daniel Mathies, 52, of Manhattan.
McAdams was transported to Via Christi for treatment. No citations were issued at the scene of the accident.

The post Injury accident reported by Riley County Police appeared first on News Radio KMAN.

Comprehensive plan and pool survey considered by Wamego City Commission

Wamego City Commissioners Tuesday night unanimously approved the city’s annual comprehensive plan update. The matter had been tabled at the last meeting, but passed on a vote of 5-0 Tuesday night.
The commission also renewed its property/casualty insurance with Copeland Insurance. This is the end of a third year contract with Copeland.
 
Commissioners also heard about a pool survey that is recommended by the City Recreation Board. The recommendation comes from a pool consultant and the pool ad hoc committee. The paper form of the survey is active now the website for pool information and the survey is supposed to go live Friday (March 24th).
In other action, Wamego commissioners said yes to closing a block near Central Elementary school on April seventh for the school’s spring festival. And a Fair Housing month proclamation was signed by the Mayor.
And Wamego has qualified as a Tree City USA city again… 2016 is the 25th time Wamego’s been recognized as a Tree City USA.
April fourth has been set as the next work session for the commission.

The post Comprehensive plan and pool survey considered by Wamego City Commission appeared first on News Radio KMAN.

RCPD Activity Report 3/22/17

Riley County Police arrested two individuals early yesterday morning. Justin Minor, 18, and Cherokee Hardemon, 19, of East Liverpool, Ohio, were arrested in the 2800 block of Pillsbury Drive. Both were taken into custody for distribution of marijuana, possession of marijuana, felony possession of drug paraphernalia, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Both of their bonds were set at $14,000.00, causing them to remain confined at the time of this report.

Officers filed a report for criminal damage to property in the 1100 block of Garden Way yesterday at approximately 6:10 AM. CSL Plasma was the victim when a suspect destroyed two glass windows. The total loss associated with this case is approximately $2,000.00. Johnathan Crowder, 20, of Manhattan, was arrested for criminal damage to property in the 1100 block of Garden Way. Crowder’s bond was set at $2,000.00, causing him to remain confined at the time of this report.

Officers filed a report for attempted rape, attempted indecent liberties with a child, and promote obscenity to minors in the northeast section of Manhattan yesterday. Officers listed a 15 year old female as the victim when her mother reported that a 33 year old male known to them had attempted to rape the 15 year old multiple times over the previous 2 years. The mother also reported that the male had sent inappropriate pictures to the 15 year old victim as well. Due to the nature of the offenses, no additional information was released.

Wendell Parrish, 34, of Manhattan, was arrested while at the Riley County Police Department yesterday afternoon. Parrish was arrested on a Riley County District Court warrant for violation of the Kansas Offender Registration Act and perjury. Parrish’s bond was set at $5,000.00, causing him to remain confined at the time of this report.

Officers filed a report for criminal damage to property in the 3000 block of Tuttle Creek Blvd. yesterday at approximately 4:40 PM. Officers listed Richard Messerly, 38, of Manhattan, as the victim when he reported that an unknown suspect scratched, dented, and attempted to force open his 2009 Chevrolet pickup truck. The total loss associated with this case is approximately $2,000.00. 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.

The post RCPD Activity Report 3/22/17 appeared first on News Radio KMAN.

Manhattan commission approves loan for K-State Foundation

The city of Manhattan will be loaning the K-State Foundation $800,000 in economic development funds for a new building being constructed on Kimball Avenue. At Tuesday night’s city commission meeting, commissioners authorized the city to enter into an agreement with the K-State Foundation that would loan the entity money with one recently added stipulation — tenants of the proposed office space must maintain a minimum wage of $16.50 per hour. The loan consists of a $500,000 conventional loan and a $300,000 forgivable loan.

Commissioners heard the first reading of the agreement earlier in the month, and deputy city manager Jason Hilgers used their input from the March 7th meeting to produce the final agreement.
The 60,000-square-foot building is being built to the tune of $16 million. Hilgers said roughly 100 private sector jobs will be housed inside the building which the Foundation plans to lease to various partners. Hilgers said if the Foundation were to not hold its tenants accountable to the wage structure, it would be responsible for paying back the loan in full along with an additional $100,000 penalty. The city would give incentive to the Foundation to ensure its tenants are paying the agreed upon wages by forgiving $60,000 yearly starting in year eight of the twelve year loan period.
In other business, commissioners approved an ordinance to amend the planned unit development for the Stone Creek Business Development in west Manhattan. The commission also approved the first reading of an ordinance which would modify a planned unit development to allow a commercial daycare to move into the building which formerly housed Ramblers Steakhouse.

The post Manhattan commission approves loan for K-State Foundation appeared first on News Radio KMAN.