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Names of Baxter Springs shooting victims released

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. – Authorities have released the names of three people shot in Baxter Springs on Monday.

Jeremy Murphy, 47, of Anderson and Craig Guinn, 59, of Pineville died at the Baxter Springs residence by gunshot wounds, the Cherokee County Kan. Sheriff’s office said.

Kyle Butts, 41, of Independence is in custody in connection to the fatal shootings.

A third victim, Seth Guinn, 27, of Pineville was taken to Freeman Hospital where he is listed in critical condition, the sheriff’s office confirmed.

Murphy and Guinn’s bodies were released to the Cherokee County Coroner pending autopsies which should be this week.

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Big increase in DUI arrests in Kansas over the Thanksgiving holiday

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) — Figures from the special traffic enforcement conducted by the Kansas Highway Patrol over the Thanksgiving holiday show a nearly double increase in the number of arrests for DUI.

In 2020, 17 people were arrested for DUI. In 2021, that number dropped to 15. This year, 29 people were arrested for allegedly driving under the influence in Kansas.

The KHP says it investigated one fatal crash that appears to be DUI-related. Troopers say they also investigated two separate crashes that killed four people.

The KHP issued 1,087 speeding tickets over the holiday, which is 343 fewer than last year. In addition, there were 88 citations for adult seatbelt violations, compared to 103 in 2021. Twelve citations were issued for teenage seatbelt violations compared to eight in 2021, and 13 were given for unrestrained children, compared to 15 in 2021.

The enforcement ran from 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23, through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 27.

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BREAKING: Sheriff confirms shooting in Baxter Springs

BAXTER SPRINGS, Kans. — A shooting is under investigation in Baxter Springs, Kansas.

Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves has confirmed a shooting has occurred.

Baxter Springs Police Department is handling the investigation.

Quapaw Nation Marshal’s Office has been called to assist the scene.

FOUR STATES CRIME…

We have a crew on scene.

This is a developing story and more information will be updated as it becomes available.

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Decorating for Christmas early is a passion for this Kansas family

GALENA, Kan. — This weekend marks the time when a majority of people will start decorating for Christmas.

Not the case for a Galena woman. She started weeks ago, and, by no means, is it the first time.

“It kind of started way back when we were little and it just has lived through ever since,” said Ashley Groves.

Ashley Groves is talking about her passion for Christmas decorating, something that is a big deal in the Qualls and Hall families.

She’s one of the grandchildren of the late Bill Hall, an icon in the Galena community.

She’s made it a big deal in the Groves family.

The mayor of Galena and business teacher at Galena High School, married to Cherokee County Sheriff, David Groves.

“I’ve, I’ve always enjoyed Christmas. It’s a special time of year,” said David Groves.

And the Christmas season for the Groves starts early, just after Halloween.

“I post my tree every year on Facebook, and now I do it with the preface that I don’t care about all the naysayers and all the haters that are gonna say something, because this is what I want to do and it’s my house and I’m gonna do it anyway,” said Ashley.

“Since I’ve known Ashley, I’ve never known her not to have a Christmas tree up, regardless of the time of year. She’s always got one up,” said David.

“I think it brings so much joy. I know everybody can’t say that about the holidays. There’s a lot of sadness and hard times, too, but there’s just something about lights on and Christmas music and the cooler weather that makes people happy,” said Ashley.

And, for the first time this year, the Groves will see Christmas through their son’s eyes.

They are parents for the first time.

“This year has been quite an experience. You know, this time last year, we didn’t expect to be new parents, but we’ve got a little one in the house this year, and we’re excited for Christmas and start making memories with him,” said David.

“Whether it’s my husband or my sisters or my parents, they could get through life without me. It’d be sad and it’d be hard, but they could get through life without me, but that little boy needs me. So, I think that’s been the biggest thing is there’s somebody in the world now that actually needs me and would be lost without me,” said Ashley.

Those decorations go up early, but when do they come down?

“She likes the tree up as long as possible. We usually go all the way through January, sometimes into February and, again, I just learn to embrace it and if it makes her happy, then I’m good with it, but, yeah, after Christmas, I’m ready to take it down,” said David.

Happy wife, happy life.

“That’s the way to go,” added David.

And there’s this, according to research listed in the “Journal of Environmental Psychology”, people who put up decorations early tend to be happier and friendlier.

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Galena SRO officer arrested for shoplifting

MIAMI, Okla. – A school resource officer with a history of theft was given a city citation for allegedly shoplifting a sports bra and melatonin at the Miami Wal-Mart.

Christopher Bailey Corbit,  44, of Commerce, was issued two citations on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18  by the Miami Police Department for larceny and shoplifting and theft by shoplifting.

The total loss was less than $30, according to the Nov. 17 Miami Police report. Corbit was banned from all Wal-Mart properties.

The Miami Wal-Mart store has “five open cases against Corbit at this time,” the report states. 

Corbit is accused of placing items on top of each other and scanning one item and bagging two items through the self-checkout machines, the report states.

When confronted with the alleged theft Corbit offered to pay for the merchandise, the report states. Corbit then identified himself as a police officer, the report states.

Corbit is accused of stealing the following items according to the Nov. 18 report.

September 10, 2022

  • Mezzetta Super Colossal Queen Olive, $11.88
  • Lysol Power & Free, $3.52
  • Mr. Clean Liquid Febreze Meadows & Rain, $3.24
  • SB Toilet Gel Rainshower, $4.67
  • Capaction Flea Medicine, $25.98
  • Hartz 2 in 1 flea & tick dog collar, $7.16
  • Prebal chicken & rice Sib dog food, $13.68
  • Natural Sleep Support $13.97
  • -Total $84.10

September 18, 2022

  • Mezzettta Super Colossal Queen Olives, $11.88
  • Sar NS Chdshp SH, $3.18
  • Sharp Cheddar Chunk, $4.00
  • Deluxe Whole Cashews, $9.98
  • Mixed Berry Fruit Snacks, $7.24
  • Sara Lee Bread, $3.28
  • Toilet Paper, $6.36
  • Old Spice Deodorant, $10.97,
  • Chicken Tenders,$8.35
  • Charcoal,$15.76
  • -Total 81.00

September 27, 2022

  • Fischer& Wieser – Preserves tiple berry, $5.08
  • Charmin Flushable Wipes, $4.47
  • Footlong Sub, $6.00
  • -Total 15.55

Galena, Kan. schools are out for Thanksgiving break, a message was left for school administrators.

Corbit is a veteran law enforcement officer with more than two decades of service.

His background includes stints with the Ottawa County Oklahoma District Attorney’s Office, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, Baxter Springs, Kan. Police Department, Cherokee County Kansas Sheriffs’ Office, District Court of Cherokee County Kansas bailiff, Galena Kansas Police Department.

As a Galena police officer, Corbit was involved in a fatal shooting incident after the suspect lunged at Corbit with a knife.

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Vintage WWII planes fly over funeral of 106-year-old Kans. WWII vet

COLUMBUS, Kans. — Something special happened in Columbus in honor of a special man. Longtime Columbus resident — and World War II veteran Murl Robison was laid to rest. He passed away on November 8th at the age of 106.

During his funeral Friday (11/18), 4 World War II vintage planes out of Tulsa flew over the cemetery in honor of Mr. Robison’s service.

He was a proud member of “The Greatest Generation” — and was one of the last surviving World War II veterans.

“4 brothers that joined him in the service, large family and the Army came and grabbed 5 of ’em, and they all came back safely, and that was the important thing,” said Rob Robison, Son of Murl Robinson.

“I think this has the greatest impact on the family than anything else that happens. And I’m sure from the experience that I’ve had that they all really appreciate it. We just do this so many times and the families all just really appreciate it,” said Larry Hill, Skiatook VFW.

“The man was a wheat farmer. Other people may have said the Iowa cornfield was heaven, but to him, it was a Kansas wheat field,” added Rob.

Mr. Robison is survived by his 3 sons, 1 daughter, 8 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, 2 great-great-grandchildren — and a sister.

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Kansas man accused of using 10 year old girl to produce child porn

COLUMBUS, Kans. – As part of a seven month investigation, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Detectives arrested a Columbus man on Friday on federal charges involving the production of child pornography.

Deputies arrested Joel Cypert, 35, on a federal arrest warrant from the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. Cypert is accused of using a 10 year old Columbus girl in the production of child pornography.

“In April our detectives started this investigation, at which time they seized potential forensic evidence for analysis,” said Cherokee County Sheriff, David Groves. “Our office coordinated investigative efforts with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Homeland Security Investigators.”

The federal criminal complaint charges Cypert with one count of sexual exploitation of a child in the production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

Deputies seized Cypert’s cell phone and following the completion of the forensic exam of the evidence, authorities issued the federal arrest warrant. 

“He will remain in our custody until he is transferred to the custody of the United States Marshal’s Service,” Groves said.

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Kansas man indicted after high-speed motorcycle chase in Newton County

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Galena, Kansas man was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of illegally possessing a firearm and leading police on a pursuit from Kansas and into Missouri.

Douglas Alexius, 47, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and transporting it across state lines; specifically as an armed, career criminal due to prior felony convictions, according to federal court documents.

On October 9th, 2022, Alexius is accused of running from Cherokee County officers in a high-speed chase on his Harley Davidson motorcycle along US Hwy 166. As a deputy attempted to stop Alexius, officers say he sped off into Newton County.

Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office mugshot of Alexius (2014)

After crossing into Missouri, officers say Alexius eventually lost control of his motorcycle and crashed at the intersection of Greenwood Dr. & Birch Dr. The Cherokee County officer who initiated the pursuit deployed her tazer, according to a probable cause statement filed in Newton County Court.

Newton County officers arrived on scene and assisted the Kansas deputy with the arrest. They say a search of the suspect after handcuffing him, turned up a 9mm Smith & Wesson pistol in his jacket pocket.

Alexius has at least 10 prior felony charges:

  • Four prior felony convictions for resisting arrest
  • Two prior felony convictions for possessing a controlled substance,
  • And additional felony convictions for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine,
    • possessing a firearm in relation to a drug offense
    • receiving stolen property
    • and unlawful use of a firearm.

In 2016, Alexius was arrested in Joplin after deputies received a tip and were able to stop him before he escaped prosecution. Joplin authorities were well aware of Alexius’ criminal history and considered him a dangerous man after attempts to catch him earlier that year.

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How to stay safe this winter

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Kan. — The sudden drop in temperatures this weekend has a local sheriff thinking proactively about your safety this upcoming winter.

Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves sent out a public reminder about preparing now instead of later, for snow this season.

Some helpful reminders include limiting time outside in the cold when the thermometer uncomfortably dips.

Wear plenty of layers if you are outdoors.

If you have to drive, keep your phone charged and let someone know the route you’ll be traveling… Plus, keep bottled water and a blanket in your vehicle if you stall or slide into a ditch.

Make sure car tires are properly inflated.

And, be prepared to be “self-sufficient” for at least 72 hours if the weather takes a turn, with proper prescriptions, food, and other necessities.

He also reminds us space heaters can be dangerous if not used properly.

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Southeast Kansas nonprofits celebrate grant funding

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Nonprofit organizations in Southeast Kansas gather to celebrate those who received some additional funding this year. The Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas held their annual grant celebration in Pittsburg tonight (11/2).

Throughout 2022, the SEK Community Foundation was able to give out 91 grants to more than fifty organizations and nonprofits. All of the grants combined totaled $288,854. That money is used locally and benefits various programs and projects in Southeast Kansas. Tonight, the Community Foundation hosted all of this year’s grant recipients at a celebration dinner and recognition ceremony.

“The goal of the Community Foundation with our endowments is to continue to grow those each year so each and every year we have more and more grant dollars to give out. We’re here forever, so as those funds continue to grow each year, it’s exciting to be able to celebrate that we’ve given out more and more money to non-profits in Southeast Kansas,” said Devin Gorman, the Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas.

| “Human Side Of The Badge” Shown By Local Police >

This year, the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas celebrates 21-years of service to the community. They encourage area organizations and non-profits to apply for grants that’ll be awarded next year. You can find more information on the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas, including how to apply for funding through one of their grants, HERE.