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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.
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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.
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
OF RILEY COUNTY, KANSAS
Ronald E. Wells, Chairman
Marvin Rodriguez, Vice Chair
Ben Wilson, Member
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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 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.
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