Caney Valley, Indy, Field Kindley track athletes post strong showing at state

In a rewarding weekend at the Kansas State High School Activities Association’s state track and field championships in Wichita, Montgomery County track athletes brought home medals and several state titles.

Here is a brief rundown of the medalists from Montgomery County high schools. Complete details will be printed in the June 5th issue of the Montgomery County Chronicle.

• The Caney Valley High School boys’ track team had its best-ever performance at a state meet, securing 49 team points to finish in fourth place in the class 3A division.

• Two Caney Valley boys took the top two medals in the discus and shot put events. Kenny Brown won the state title in the shot put (56 feet, 3.5 inches) while Levi Wyrick was the silver medalist at 54 feet, 6 inches.

Wyrick would win the discus throw (172 feet, 5 inches) while Brown would be less than two feet behind (170 feet, 7 inches) to claim second place overall. Wyrick’s gold medal marks the second one he has earned in the discus event in his high school career.

• Nic Camper, a Caney Valley senior, moved into the status of legend when he won his third state championship in the boys’ high jump. Camper won the event with a mark of 6 feet, 6 inches — the same height he attained at the state championships in 2012 and 2013.

• Camper also placed in the triple jump with a distance of 42 feet, 8 1/4 inches.

• The Field Kindley High School girls’ track team placed third in the class 4A division with 42 team points. Meanwhile, Independence girls were a few paces behind with 32 team points — good enough for fifth place overall.

• The Field Kindley High School boys’ track team placed fourth in the class 4A division with 33 team points.

• The girls’ 4×100 meter relay teams at Field Kindley and Independence have been rivals throughout the season. However, Independence got the faster step when it finished the 4×100 meter relay in second place at 50.01 seconds (trailing Kansas City-Piper, which finished with 49.70 seconds). Just a mere half step behind Independence was Field Kindley, which finished in third place. IHS team members are Tyra Welch, Shalei Matthews, Shania Vannoster and Kalei Vannoster. FKHS relay team members are Randee Johnson, Andrea Newton, Amunique Downing, and Devin Cosper.

• The Independence girls’ 4×400 meter relay team placed second overall with a time of 4:04.24.

• Independence’s Shalei Matthews, a junior, placed third in the class 4A girls’ triple jump (36 feet, 2 3/4 inches).

• Field Kindley’s Andrea Newton, a sophomore, won first place in the class 4A 200 meter run with a gold-medal time of 25.16 seconds. In that same race, Independence’s Kalie Matthews, a junior, placed fourth (26.30 seconds).

• Newton also won second place in the class 4A girls’ long jump (16 feet, 4 inches).

• Devin Cosper, Field Kindley senior, won first place in the class 4A girls’ 100 meter run with a time of 12.34 seconds. Andrea Newton placed second in 12.41 seconds.

• Also in the class 4A girls’ 100 meter run, Kalei Matthews of Independence placed seventh (12.78 seconds).

• Independence sophomore Danielle Berry won eighth place in the class 4A girls’ javelin with a throw of 117 feet, 10 inches.

• Elijah Jones, a Field Kindley senior, settled for fourth place in the class 4A 200 meter run (22.47 seconds). He also placed sixth in the 400 meter run (51.41 seconds).

• Justus Towery, a Field Kindley senior, placed fourth in the class 4A boys’ 300 meter hurdles (40.48 seconds).

• Field Kindley’s James Newton, a senior, placed fifth in the class 4A boys’ 100 meter run (11.28 seconds).

• Field Kindley’s Destin Downing, a junior, placed second in the class 4A boys’ long jump (21 feet, 8 3/4 inches) and also was a silver medalist in the triple jump (44 feet, 8 inches).

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Independence teenager runs into traffic, hit by motorist

INDEPENDENCE — An Independence teenager suffered severe injuries when struck by a vehicle near 14th and Main streets on Tuesday afternoon.

The Kansas Highway Patrol said Jewel Houk, age 14, of Independence was crossing Main Street from the south side of the road when she as struck by a 1992 Corolla driven by Rakesha R. Rowe, age 36, of Independence. A witness to the mishap told the Montgomery County Chronicle that Houk ran into the street, allowing no time for the motorist to stop.

Houk was immediately taken to Mercy Hospital and later flown to a Wichita medical center for treatment of injuries.

Rowe was not injured in the collision.

Traffic on Main Street was temporarily blocked while law enforcement investigated the collision.

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The story of Lt. Lester J. Pearsall Jr.

(Originally published for Memorial Day 2005)


For weeks upon weeks, Lester Pearsall Sr., would buy a daily newspaper and sit in a booth of a downtown Caney, Kan., coffee shop, reading every name of U.S. servicemen and servicewomen who died in recent battles in World War II.

He was searching for the name of his son.

Yet, deep down in his gut, even further than where his coffee settled, the elder Pearsall hoped that the name of Lt. Lester J. Pearsall Jr., would never appear in print.

The reality of war in 1944 was as sharp and biting as the piping-hot coffee that the senior Pearsall was sipping: his son, a promising young officer in the U.S. Army, was a captive in one of Japan’s horrific prisoner of war camps, where the chances of survival was as remote as a snowy day in the South Pacific.

It had been months since Lester Pearsall and his wife, Beatrice, had received any word of their son’s condition. The seven telegrams the Pearsalls received didn’t provide any details, other than he was alive . . . somewhere in a prison camp . . . and far away from his hometown of Caney.

News of those prison camp atrocities were slowly coming back to the United States, and the Pearsalls realized that their son’s chances of survival were scant. Only the hope and faith that the U.S. military would liberate the Philippines kept their hopes alive.

Yet, the daily call of the war dead beckoned Lester Pearsall every morning. And, he continued to scan the names and headlines, sipped coffee, and searched for the name that he knew so well.

* * * *

He was simply known as Junior.

That’s because he was the junior version of his dad.

Lester “Junior” Pearsall spent his entire youth growing up in Caney, a town on the border of Oklahoma, where he played high school football with his younger brother, M.L., and did all of the things that teenagers of the mid-1930s enjoyed.

When the school year ended in late May, summer vacation meant work . . . usually helping at the grain elevator that his father owned on the far end of Caney’s main avenue. Wheat harvest in mid-June meant long hours of sweat and thirst in the stifling bins that stored the golden grain.

And, when not working at the elevator,
he and his brother tinkered with machinery and gadgets of all kinds.
Perhaps that penchant for working with mechanics is what led “Junior” Pearsall to enroll Park College in Parkville, Mo., following his graduation from Caney High School in 1937.

Although he was destined to pursue some kind of mechanical trade as a profession, he knew that his nation would need his talents and labor. The whispers of war were blowing across the continent when “Junior” Pearsall and his brother decided to enlist in the Kansas Army National Guard in 1939. They attended the weekend training and meetings in nearby Coffeyville, however the Pearsall brothers knew that the impending war would require more of their time and attention.

And, just one year before graduation from Park College, “Junior” Pearsall and his younger sibling returned home to Caney to inform their parents of their intent to enlist as full-time soldiers in the U.S. military.

There ensued several nights of family discussions where the two Pearsall boys-turned-men would agree — with their parents’ blessings — to follow their desire to aide their nation should war come to America.

Junior enlisted in the U.S. Air Corps and graduated from the Air Corps’ technical school in Denver, Colo., in June 1941. It was the first class of laboratory commanders to graduate in the United States, and “Junior” Pearsall was ranked second among 52 graduating officers.

Shortly after graduating from the Air Corps school, Pearsall made his last trip to Caney before departing for the Philippines — a chain of islands that was another galaxy away from the scrubby oaks and cattails surrounding the rural Caney haunts that the Pearsall boys would visit as ornery boys.

He arrived at Nichols Field in Manila in late August 1941 and began to instruct a group of Filipino military scouts in the art and strategy of photo reconnaissance. He later hand picked his own group of photographers and set up a photography detachment based at Clark Field in the Philippines.

It was on Dec. 8, 1941 — the day after Japan’s ambush on Pearl Harbor — that Lt. Pearsall got his first taste of war. Japanese forces bombed Clark Field, forcing U.S. and Philippine forces to retreat to a peninsula called Bataan. However, all supply lines leading to the peninsula were cut off by the Japanese navy.

Although the U.S. tried with all of its might to hold Bataan, it finally fell to the hands of Japan. Pearsall and thousands of others were now considered prisoners of the Japanese.

And, thus began the agonizing demise of the once-proud officer from Montgomery County, whose term of service in active duty lasted a little more than three months.

* * * *

The U.S. and Filipino prisoners of war at Bataan were forced to make the long trek to a prison camp at Cabanatuan in early 1942. Already faced with lack of food supplies, the prisoners were nearly famished when they arrived at Cabanatuan. Many concocted slings in which to carry their fellow wounded prisoners. Many who tried to escape the clutches of the unforgiving Japanese either were tortured . . . or killed.

The heat and humidity were as barbaric as the mosquitoes that drained their blood, which led to the spread of malaria.

And, once they arrived at Cabanatuan at the end of the infamous Bataan Death March, their private holocaust began.

Conditions at the camp were beyond horrid: they were hellish. Food wasn’t given in regular rations; it often was not given at all. Dysentery and malaria killed off hundreds of prisoners while starvation finished off many others.

For Lt. Pearsall, two and a half years at Cabanatuan was an eternity in hell. He was nearly starved because of the lack of food. Malnutrition led to beriberi, a tropical disease that can rack the human body with anguishing cramps before leaving the limbs totally worthless.

He also was nearly blind, saved only by the generosity and quick action of a fellow prisoner who also was a medical doctor.

But, during those two and a half years at Cabanatuan, the war’s tide had shifted. The United States methodically gained the strength of the Pacific by hopping from island to island, taking away the once-firm Japanese strongholds.

As Japan noticed the approaching U.S. forces, Hirohito’s government began moving prisoners to the Japanese mainland.

That desperation for food — something that can almost make the most-sane man turn into a rabid animal — led Pearsall to beg prison guards to take him to the Japanese mainland, where a prisoner labor camp would, the prisoners were promised, provide ample food in exchange for hard labor.

In October 1944, Pearsall and more than 2,000 other prisoners were marched to Bilibid Prison in Manila to await eventual transport to Japan.

However, Bilibid was worse than Cabanatuan. The food ration at Bilibid consisted of two canteen cups of watery lugao and one-half cup of miso soup per man per day.

The prisoners’ weakness was more than some could handle, and many prisoners didn’t have enough stamina to fight off the mosquitoes and flies that hovered around the prisoners’ sweaty bodies.

On Dec. 13, 1944, 1,619 emaciated prisoners — many too weak to walk — were forced to walk three hours through the streets of Manila. Their destination: the naval piers in Manila Bay, where tied to Pier 7 was the Oryoku Maru.

Lt. Lester J. Pearsall Jr., was taking his final march.

* * * *

They were nicknamed “hellships” . . . and for good reason.

Conditions on these former luxury liners were far from luxurious. They were pure hell, far worse than the cramped conditions at Cabanatuan and Bilibid.

The Oryoku Maru was intended to only hold several hundred passengers. But stripped of its luxury to expose only bare-metal hulls in several cavernous holds, the boat could hold about 1,500 people.

It was somewhat like the grain elevator bins that Junior Pearsall worked in during those hot summers of the mid-1930s in Kansas. He was used to the conditions, tempered by his able-bodied youth in pouring freshly-harvested wheat kernels into hot bins.

However, this was war, not peaceful Kansas. And, any thought of returning home was quickly dashed by the pain that was unleashed by the Oryoko Maru’s crew.

The Japanese military used bayonets to push and prod the dying and weak prisoners into the large holds. One hold held about 600 men, all of whom had to stand because of no room to sit. Another hold held 250 prisoners. A third hold — hold #5 — held 860 prisoners.

Lack of ventilation made some of the prisoners go crazy, and there were reports of prisoners reacting with sheer terror. Some resorted to biting fellow prisoners, not just in a show of insanity but to gain a few drops of liquid blood to quench their unyielding thirst.

Latrine facilities were nothing more than five-gallon buckets, which overflowed quickly. And, the only way to remove the contents was for the prisoners to pass the sloshing buckets above their heads and drain them through a small porthole.

Suffocation killed 50 prisoners in the first hours of the trip from Manila to Japan.

And, to make matters worse, the Oryoko Maru’s crew were as crazed as some of the food-deprived prisoners. The crew used the butts of their guns to hit prisoners in the head or the testicles. Fresh water was never given to the prisoners, and the crew flaunted food — a crisp apple or a loaf of bread — in front of the prisoners, only to cruelly eat the food and throw the scraps overboard as a show of humiliation and cruelty.

As the Oryoku Maru left Manila and entered Subic Bay, U.S. aircraft carriers were seen on the horizon.

Among them was the USS Hornet.

* * * *

The Hornet spotted the Oryoku Maru as it entered international waters. However, the Oryoku Maru wasn’t marked to indicate it was a prisoner ship. To the U.S. Navy, the Oryoku Maru was no different than the many other former Asian luxury liners: converted into freighters to transport the ammunition and supplies for wartime battle.

So, when the U.S. Navy dive bombers took off from the U.S.S. Hornet with torpedoes firmly affixed and plenty of large-caliber rounds in the airplane’s gunnery system, the Oryoku Maru became nothing more than a sitting duck.

Attacks on the ship occurred throughout the day on Dec. 14, 1944, and the prisoners in the crowded hulls were deafened by the sound of the Oryoku Maru’s gunners, who tried to fend off the American planes.

Finally, one of the dive bombers dropped a torpedo into Subic Bay. The torpedo was aiming right toward hold #5 of the Oryoko Maru, where 860 prisoners were stacked like logs.

When the torpedo exploded into the boat, more than half of the boat’s total prisoners died immediately . . . or eventually drowned in the Subic Bay waters.

The boat began to take on water, and the Oryoku Maru captain ordered all prisoners and ship crew to abandon the ship.

However, the prisoners were so desperate for food and water, that they stormed the ship’s crew deck in search of food. What they found were stolen Red Cross rations intended for the prisoners. The prisoners used whatever strength they could muster to pry open the sacks of crackers and canned milk.

In the cacophony of mayhem that ensued, the Oryoku Maru captain ordered the ship crew to use their rifles to kill any prisoner who was not abandoning the ship.

One crewmen opened the hatch that led to the hold that contained 260 prisoners. The rifle was pointed into the hold, and several dozen rounds were fired at random.

After the smoke cleared, the scene in that ship’s belly proved horrible. Mangled bodies and dead prisoners lined the deck. Only 10 of the 260 prisoners in that ship’s hold survived.

Other prisoners jumped ship, revived not by a sense of freedom but by the refreshing warm water of Subic Bay. Ironically, a strong current in Subic Bay pulled many of the prisoners away from the nearby shore. The ship captain, believing that the fleeing prisoners were bound for oceanic freedom, ordered guns to fire on the prisoners, who were pulled away solely by the tide.

The U.S.S. Hornet’s dive bombers made one final pass over the Oryoku Maru to unleash its lethal blow. However, when the pilot noticed the prisoners bobbing up and down in the waves of Subic Bay, he knew that the Oryoku Maru was a lie. It wasn’t a freighter, except to haul death and despair.

The pilot waved his wings overhead and then headed back to the Hornet.

Of the 1,619 prisoners on the Oryoku Maru, only 300 survived. All of them were captured by the Japanese and placed in another prison camp.

Lt. Lester J. Pearsall was among the 1,300 who perished in the waters of Subic Bay.

News of battle casualties took weeks, sometimes months, to reach home. And, it was not until early spring 1945 that the Pearsall family in Caney was made aware of the death of their son.

It came in the standard form of communication of that era: a Western Union telegram.

It read, “The Secretary of War deeply regrets to inform you that your son, Second Lt. Lester J. Pearsall Jr., was killed in action in the Pacific area 15 December 1944 while being transferred aboard a Japanese vessel. Confirming letter follows.”

Junior Pearsall’s dad would no longer have to buy a morning paper each day to scan the names of the war dead.

The elder Pearsall finally knew that his brave son had paid the ultimate sacrifice.

And, the pain was doubled for the Pearsalls as their other son, Lt. M.L. Pearsall, was recovering from wounds he received in battle in Europe.

With one son dead in the Pacific and another son critically wounded in Europe, the Pearsall family was beset with grief.

Caney resident Polly Pearsall, wife of the late M.L. Pearsall, remembers the somber tone that hung over the Caney community when news of Junior Pearsall’s death reached his hometown.

“It was extremely sad for everyone in the family,” she said. “For the many years after the war, M.L. wouldn’t talk much about Junior, knowing that his death was just so sad.”

Junior Pearsall’s body was never recovered, and Polly Pearsall said she cannot recall any type of memorial service in his honor.

The anguish of waiting on news from overseas was painful enough, she said.

“The information that Junior’s parents got about his condition in prison camp was pretty scarce,” she said. “They knew he had contracted beriberi. And, only after the war were they able to talk to a soldier from Coffeyville who was in the same prison. That soldier said that Junior’s condition was so terrible that he likely would not have lived had he reached Japan.”

Ironically, had Lt. Pearsall not taken that fateful trip from Cabanatuan to Bilibid and eventually to Manila to board the Oryoku Maru, he and many others could have been among the thousands of prisoners who were liberated from Cabanatuan in January 1945.

However, the tragic end to the life Lt. Lester J. Pearsall Jr., is like so many of his fellow soldiers and sailors — thousands upon thousands who gave their life, either in battle or through brutal imprisonment, in defense of their nation.

Today, Lt. Lester J. Pearsall’s name is permanently etched into history as he is among the honored dead at a memorial in Caney’s Veterans Memorial Park. The names of other Caney-area servicemen who died during World War II also are etched into that stone.

However, that stone doesn’t weep, nor does it show a face of war.

Those things can only be seen and felt by the people who were there . . . and the memories they share some 60 years later.

Perhaps the sorrow of the Pearsall family on Memorial Day 1945 was best told in a poem that Beatrice Pearsall wrote for her son. Simply titled “Son,” the poem was printed in the Caney Daily Chronicle when news was reported of Pearsall’s death.

The poem read:

“Son of my heart, the days seem long
since you packed your gun and started on
that journey that led you into woe,
But your spirit was light and you wanted to go.
You seemed such a youth, to march away
to defend your country in such a day
Just yesterday you were in our room,
modeling airplanes and bombs that boomed.
Never dreaming a war so near
that would kill and shatter all that was dear.

“But things have changed, you have gone away,
You slipped from childhood to a man in a day,
You took your place with those Heroes brave,
who fought on Bataan, democracy to save.

“Oh, Men of Bataan, we humbly bow
In silent reverence to you right now.
You gave your youth, your life, your all,
That democracy might rein, not fall.
We pray that all this was not in vain,
that men might see their sin and shame,
And God shall be enthroned at last,
And, His banner flown from every mast.’

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Leonard Kittle’s family reliving heartbreak once again


Family members of Pvt. Leonard Kittle hope to bring his remains back to Caney for a military service, as soon as DNA tests are finished.

DNA test kits have been sent to family members in hopes of identifying specific pieces of equipment such as dog tags or helmets, or possible bone fragments.

Kittle’s wife, Saundra Kozak of East Troy, Wis., said being brought back home to Caney is what the soldier would have wanted.

“Caney meant so much to him,” she said. “He grew up there, and I also lived there. We think he would have liked being buried beside his mother at Sunnyside Cemetery.”

She said Army officials are already talking about flying to Caney for a service, and it may take some time to get all the DNA testing completed.

Kozak said she was shocked to get the telephone call from an Army official last week, informing her of the news.

“We always knew about the crash, how many were killed and which mountain the airplane hit,” she said. “And, once we learned details, there was no doubt that everyone on board died.”

Still, she said his parents never gave up.

“They always held out hope that he would be found alive,” she said.
Kozak said Pvt. Kittle had spent four weeks in Caney — just before the plane crash on Nov. 22, 1952.
“He got a 30-day leave so he could come home to see our little daughter who had just been born,” said Kozak. “We had a special time together, and it gave him a chance to get to know the baby, whom we named Linda.”

She said Kittle called her on the telephone when he arrived at McChord Air Field, Wash., before departing for Alaska.

“He was nervous about flying on to Alaska where he was stationed,” she said. “I gave him the assurance that everything would be OK, but he had a sense of foreboding — he seemed to know.”

His wife was a Caney girl, too (her father’s name was Earl Sanders).

“I loved dating, then marrying Leonard,” she said. “I can’t tell you how many miles I rode on the back of his motorcyle. He also loved fast cars. We had so much fun.”

She and her aunt Beatrice Crawford both spoke of Leonard’s zest for life, how popular he was among his friends, and how he enjoyed playing basketball and football for Caney High School.

He and his cousin, J.C. Young, were the best of friends, and he also was good friends with Don Whittington (both of whom are deceased), she said.

“He died way too young,” she said, “and getting this news about the plane on that mountain has reopened our grief. We’re all in shock, yet we’re so glad that we might be bringing him home soon.”
“It would make him very happy — I can tell you that for sure.”

Family members of Army Pvt. Leonard Kittle say their recent contacts by the U.S. Army has revived their grieving.

“It has always been sad, just because none of those men’s remains were ever found,” said Kittle’s sister, Beatrice Crawford of Bartlesville. “I must admit, I’ve shed some tears since getting that call last week.”

Crawford said she gladly sent her DNA sample kit back to the U.S. Army, hoping it will help identify any remains or property belonging to Kittle.

But after 60 years, there probably won’t be much to find, Army officials have told the family.
“Even if we only get his dog tags, it would give us some closure,” said Crawford who is the lone surviving sibling of the Caney soldier. Brothers James and Augusta Kittle did not live to receive last week’s news that the C-124 Globemaster had been located.

Crawford said her parents, Hazard and Betty Kittle, took the news of their son’s airplane crash in a hard way.

“My mother and dad would turn on the radio to see if the news had anything on survivors,” she said. “Then my dad would turn off the radio — wouldn’t listen to entertainment of any kind. We didn’t even have Christmas for several years after that.”

The elder Kittle bought a headstone for his son, and it still stands in the Caney Sunnyside Cemetery, in the space beside his mother.

That’s where family members hope to place any remains of Pvt. Kittle that might be found.

“All these years, nothing but a stone,” his sister said. “It’s so sad.”

The little baby who was born to Leonard and Saundra Kittle in 1952 now lives in the same town where her mother lives — East Troy, Wis.

Linda Erickson can’t remember her father, but she has become quite involved over the past week in trying to locate old photos and other personal items belong to her father.

“It is giving all of us some closure on a man who has always been my hero,” she said. “My mother talks about him sometimes, but here recently we’ve really talked a lot and I’ve learned so much about him.

“I wish I could remember him, but I’m glad that he got to know me, even if only for a few weeks.”

In November 1952, the Caney Daily Chronicle carried news stories of the disappearance of the airplane that carried Caney’s Leonard Kittle. In a story printed on Nov. 25, 1952, editor H.K. “Skeet” George penned these thoughts as he reported on the trauma and tragedy befalling the family of a fallen Caney soldier.

“The terrible moments of anxiety and heartache that drag into hours . . . and hours into days . . . are being experienced by members of the H.A. Kittle household, 519 N. Wood, where the youthful wife, the father, mother, brothers and sisters await word of the fate of a loved one, listed as missing in action in one of the armed forces’ largest transport planes . . .

“At such a time as this, the only thing possible to do is wait and pray. Friends of the family, sharing in the ordeal of grief and anxiety, can do little else.

“They can reflect, however, that as a Caney High School athlete from 1945 to 1949, Leonard Kittle was a wiry, capable, resourceful boy with a lot of initiative and a lot of determination. If that plane landed with the Caney soldier still having a fighting chance for survival, the Caney boy is the type who would come through.

“Leonard Kittle was that kind of boy. As the emotions of the community run the full scale from despair to hope — and always to prayer — the people who watched this boy perform in athletics cling to the memories of this ability in that phase of life as a hope that he will come safely home.”

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Two arrested following drug search in Dearing

One Dearing man was arrested and a Coffeyville man with a previous arrest on narcotics charges was subsequently detained following a search of a home in Dearing on May 1.

Detective Chris Williams said the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department and the Coffeyville Police Department issued a search warrant for 103 Lemon in Dearing, where law enforcement found methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and cash in a motor home.

Arrested at the scene was Robert Joseph Mikel, who was transported to the Montgomery County Jail to await charges of possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

While conducting the search warrant at 103 Lemon, a sheriff’s deputy spotted a passing motorist who was later identified as Patrick Robinson of Coffeyville. Robinson was bond from a previous narcotic arrest. The deputy attempted to stop Robinson in his vehicle; however, Robinson failed to comply with the deputy’s request, Williams said.

“Robinson was ordered out of the vehicle and was taken into custody after a short struggle with officers,” said Williams, adding that Robinson was taken to the Montgomery County Jail in Independence without further incident.

Robinson will be charged with obstruction of the an official law enforcement duty and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Citizens with information about this case or any other criminal case can call the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at (620) 330-1000 or 1-800-498-1019.

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Casey’s General Store robbed in Coffeyville


The Coffeyville Police Department is seeking two black males who robbed the Casey’s General Store at gunpoint tonight (April 29) at 102 N. Cline in Coffeyville. According to a text message from the police department, one of the men wore a red hoodie while the other wore a blue hoodie. Both had long-barrel guns and left in a two-door red car. If seen, call 911 immediately.

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Contractor inadvertently severs Coffeyville school’s power line

COFFEYVILLE — A contractor on Monday inadvertently struck a power line serving Roosevelt Middle School, causing smoke to fill the middle school building.


No injuries were reported, and all RMS teachers and staff were led out of the building to Ise Athletic Field while members of the Coffeyville Fire Department cleared the building of smoke.


Bob Roesky, fire captain, said a contractor with Cox Communication was boring a hole to install fiber optic cable when he hit the power line. That caused the power to go out in the building and the smoke to billow from the hole.


Most of the students were at lunch at the time of the incident.


Because of the damage to the power line, RMS classes were canceled on Tuesday. Students were expected to return to their regular class schedule on Wednesday; however, middle school classes are scheduled to be moved to Field Kindley High School.

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Former Havana city clerk receives supervised released

WICHITA, KAN. – A former city clerk for the city of Havana, Kan., was sentenced Wednesday to two years supervised release, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said. She also was ordered to pay a total of more than $59,000 in restitution to the City of Havana, Cross Point Baptist Church and an insurance company


Diana L. Cox, age 67, of Havana pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of wire fraud. In her plea, she admitted embezzling $14,658 from the city of Havana while she was working as city clerk. On Aug. 18, 2011, she presented documents to the Arvest Bank in Caney, Kan., falsely stating that the Havana City Council had voted to change its policy to require only one signature on checks written for city business.

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Whooping cough case reported in Montgomery County

The Montgomery County Health Department is reporting a case of pertussis (whooping cough) in the county.


“It is critical that children, as well as their parents, get vaccinated for pertussis to prevent this difficult and highly contagious illness, which can be easily spread to other family members and community members,” said Montgomery County Health Department director Carolyn Muller. “This should help reduce the number of cases in children who are too young to be fully vaccinated.”

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Cherryvale man charged in federal court on child porn

WICHITA, KAN. – A Cherryvale has been charged in federal court in Wichita on two charges dealing with child pornography.


U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today (Friday) that Daniel Hosier, age 34, of Cherryvale is charged with one count of distributing child pornography and one count of possessing child pornography. The crimes are alleged to have occurred in March and July 2013 in Montgomery County.

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