Newton County authorities say endangered missing person has been found

UPDATE — As of 10:58pm Tuesday, Silva is no longer missing. The Newton County Sheriff’s Office says he was found safe.

Original story:

GRANBY, Mo. (KSNF/KODE) — The Newton County Sheriff is looking for an endangered missing person.

Ryan Silva was last seen in the Granby area near Fortune Teller Road and Hebron Road.

He is a person with autism. Authorities say he also has a nervous twitch and snaps his fingers.

The clothing he is wearing is unknown at this time.

Anyone with information should contact the Newton County dispatch center immediately at 417-451-8333.


Boil order lifted in Carterville

CARTERVILLE, Mo. — After more than a week of water issues the boil order is lifted for the city of Carterville.

The city issued a boil order after residents were without water for eight days in February. City leaders say on February 15 they had several main breaks and the cold temperatures caused residents to run faucets, which then caused the well to break.

Carterville installed a new well pump to fix the issue February 23.


Better Business Bureau seeing rise in scams

MISSOURI — The Better Business Bureau is reporting a rise in online scams.

The BBB says those 18 to 24 years old are seeing the highest jump in online scams. One Missouri victim I spoke to says there were red flags when she was trying to buy a puppy online.

Alyssa Hertel, Puppy Scam Victim, said, “We came across this website where of course its such beautiful German Shepard puppies so I signed up.”

Alyssa Hertel was searching the internet for a new addition to her family. She found a website selling puppies for $599 in Pennsylvania. They told her for an extra $120 they would have a nanny bring the puppy to her home.

“That’s where I kind of questioned everything and by this point I wasn’t for sure if it was a scam or if it was real because I never heard of a nanny puppy service. So I looked up online and I found a couple things that were alarming and then I started asking more questions.”

She says that’s when she reported it to the Better Business Bureau.

“Look up the website you’re using and a lot of times people have already reported that so that’s a good telling factor and then just ask a lot of questions.”

The BBB analyzed 46,000 reports and found younger Americans aged 18 to 24 years old were losing the most money from online purchase scams. The BBB says victims lost on average $750 from pet scams. They say younger consumers are falling for fake check scams because they don’t know what a real check looks like.

Stephanie Garland, BBB Regional Director, said, “There’s a lack of awareness on how to recognize what a real check is. So whenever they get a check in the mail they think its legitimate and they’re going to follow through with whatever the instructions are. Whether it’s a car wrap scam, whether its an employment job, and whether they’re going to work for free.”

The BBB says if you get a check in the mail and suspect its fake look for spelling, punctuation and other errors.


KDOT to replace 6 bridges in SEK

KANSAS — Traffic along a Southeast Kansas highway will be disrupted over the next several months.

KDOT crews will soon begin a project that will include replacing 6 bridges along US-166. The plan is replace 3 at a time. It’ll start a 4th of a mile east of the Labette-Cherokee county line – and will continue east for more than 2 miles.

Work on the first 3 bridges should be finished sometime in November. Work on the last 3 should be finished by December of next year.


Parsons Police Department gains K-9 officer

PARSONS, Ks. — The Parsons Police Department is going to the dogs, but in this case – that saying is a good thing.

Robert Spinks, Parsons Police Chief, said, “That’s the key thing in rural Kansas, we have to work together or we just are not effective.”

And to do this, the Parsons Police Department has been working on a very special project for over 20 years. On Monday night, it finally came together.

“This is exciting for our department, we received approval last night from our city commission to purchase our first canine.”

This specific K-9 is named Karim, and thanks to the community, he will soon be the newest member of the department.

“This is really a community supported endeavor, we’ve been able to raise $14,500 so far, and another $10,000 in pledges.”

Up to this point, the department has depended on K-9 units in other cities.

Darren Eichinger, Labette County Sheriff, said, “Even if they do have K-9’s, we still go out and help them, a lot of times if there are K-9 officers, one of ours can come on out and help them.”

Now Karim will join those other dogs in the county to help those in need.

“It benefits everybody because a lot of times if we don’t have our K-9s out or they’re down, they can call one of the other cities that may have one and they would respond to help them.”

Speeding up investigations, and helping make parsons, as well as departments across the county, more effective.

“We don’t have to wait around, if we make a traffic stop we can deploy the dog instantaneously, if we have to go do a search of a building or its part of a search warrant process, we instantaneously have that extra cool, very sensitive nose that will point us in the right direction,” said Spinks.


Vernon County looking to solve internet issue for residents

VERNON COUNTY, Mo. — Strong bandwidth and high speed internet is crucial for many people, but one Southwest Missouri county is having a hard time achieving this.

Ben Vickers – Vernon County Director of Economic Development, said, “In the city it does tend to get a little bit better and a little bit cheaper.”

But this isn’t the case for all of Vernon County.

“As you get farther out away from Nevada Missouri, you kind of lose signal, you lose access to that internet, and the companies just wont get out that far and serve you.”

Real Estate Broker J.J. Curtis has experienced this first-hand.

J.J. Curtis – Curtis and Sons Inc. Real Estate Broker, said, “We were not able to access from our home locations our phone server to conduct the video conferencing we needed to conduct. It was just, broadband was limited on the systems we’re using.”

J.J. adds that the poor internet has not just caused problems for him, but for his clients as well.

“I had a time sensitive contract that needed to be signed. I attempted to send it out for digital signature. I was South of Moundville Missouri, I was unable to get that contract out and I had to redispatch that task to another individual, another associate in my office to get it addressed.”

County officials have tried to solve this problem, but private companies have made it harder than they’ve liked.

“One of the things they tell us is that there is, there’s already really good coverage here, when here on the ground we know that there’s not. And we know it’s way too expensive for what we can afford,” said Vickers.

Vickers says they hope to fix the issue with a short test.

“You enter in your access that way we have an idea of the area, the general area that you’re in, then it automatically tracks your speed for us. This will help us map out where the geographical shortages are throughout the county.”


Missouri sees over 5,400 anglers for opening day of 2021 trout season

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri saw over 5,400 anglers at Bennett Spring, Montauk and Roaring River state parks for the opening day of trout season, March 1, 2021, according to Missouri State Parks.

“Opening day of Missouri trout season is always exciting,” said Mike Sutherland, director of Missouri State Parks. “When so many families, friends and fellow anglers gather at our parks to share their passion for trout fishing, it creates unique energy, unlike any other season or event. I absolutely love getting to watch lifelong memories being created and our state parks are privileged to host this very special annual event.”

Though the state parks saw over 5,400 fishermen this year’s total is lower than 2020 by almost 2,000.

Based on trout tag sales, Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon saw 1,709 anglers, 1,793 anglers visited Montauk State Park near Salem and Roaring River State Park near Cassville saw 1,956.

“People travel from near and far to our three trout fishing parks to enjoy some of the best trout fishing in the region,” said Dru Buntin, deputy director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. “For folks who just want to enjoy the outdoors, these parks also offer great camping, beautiful trails and a host of other fun things to see and do.”

Catch-and-keep trout season continues through Oct. 31, 2021.


Woman involved in death of Benton County four-year-old girl denied bond

BENTON COUNTY, Mo. – Kourtney Aumen, one of two suspects charged in the murder of a four-year-old girl in December, appeared in court Tuesday in Benton County.

Aumen, who is being held without bond, was asking the judge to set bond, but the judge refused, citing concerns that Aumen might pose a flight risk. He also said he was concerned for the safety of the co-defendants, witnesses, and the public, according to online court records.

Her next court appearance is set for April 21. She will not be set for a preliminary hearing until an autopsy report on the child’s death is received, the records show.

Aumen, along with Ethan Mast, is charged with second-degree murder, three counts of first-degree assault, and first-degree sexual abuse. Aumen and Mast are accused of abusing their neighbors, the Mast family, telling them they were beating the “demons” out of the family. The 4-year-old girl died, the mother and her two-year-old son were taken to a hospital with severe bruising.

The parents of the girl, James and Mary Mast (no relation to Ethan) are charged with two counts of first-degree child endangerment leading to the death of a child.

Aumen’s co-defendants are all set to appear in court in April.


Mr. Food: Italian Hoagie Stromboli

What You’ll Need

  • 1 (13.8-ounce) package refrigerated pizza crust
  • 6 slices deli-style ham
  • 12 thin slices deli-style pepperoni
  • 8 slices provolone cheese
  • 1 cup roasted red pepper strips, patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

What to Do

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Unroll pizza crust dough onto a work surface. Layer evenly with ham, pepperoni, provolone cheese, and roasted red peppers. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
  3. Starting at the long end of the dough, roll up jelly roll-style and place on baking sheet seam-side down. Lightly spray dough with cooking spray then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until golden. Let sit 3 to 4 minutes before cutting into 8 slices.

Check This Out!


Heartland Rural Electric hosts Virtual Town Hall

Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative, serving rural southeast Kansas, is about to host a virtual town hall discussing the impacts on customers’ March bill. Due to recent extreme weather, many residents have seen an increase on their electric bill.

You can watch the Town Hall above, or, click here to watch the Facebook Live.

It starts at 11:30 a.m., March, 3, 2021.

The following is a release from Heartland on March 1, 2021:

Due to the extreme cold weather in the middle of February, Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative will be delaying cycle 1 billing by up to 10 days. This is only impacting the consumer-members that normally would have their bills issued on March 1st, they will instead be sent no later than March 10th.

Heartland is working hard to minimize any surprises in the electric bills due to the increased fuel costs associated with the extreme weather, even though the impacts are not fully understood yet. Rest assured, Heartland is not including any portion of higher fuel costs in the bills issued in March of 2021.

The Heartland Board of Directors took swift action to help protect the members during their February 26th Board meeting. They voted to cap the Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) portion of the electric bill at $0.00 for the bills being issued in March of 2021. This will allow more time to determine what the actual costs will be from this unprecedented weather event and spread them out over a few months instead of being billed all at once. We will continue to communicate the plan to address this as we learn more.

Additional items to note for the electric bills:

  • The average Heartland consumer-member used more energy this February due to the extreme cold than a normal February.
  • Higher energy consumption will lead to higher electric bills, but the cost per kilowatt-hour will not be impacted by the PCA for February 2021 usage.
  • Electric bills will have the same number of days included on it as if it were sent on the 1st (roughly 28 days).
  • The bills will be due 14 days after they are sent, the same as always.
  • If you need assistance with your bill from Heartland, please call our dedicated and friendly staff at 1-800-835-9586, Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm.

Thanks for your patience as we work through this extreme weather event.