Suspected tire thieves caught in Pittsburg burglary

PITTSBURG, Kans. — Police arrested two women in connection to a string of tire thefts from a home in Pittsburg Thursday morning.

Officers with the Pittsburg Police Department visited a home in the 1700 block of S. Walnut St. after a call for a burglary in progress. The caller said he spotted two thieves inside his carport stealing tires.

Surveillance footage from the property owner showed the crime he’d just reported, plus another theft from Wednesday night. The video showed two suspects arrive to the carport in a Buick and steal from the carport.

The duo’s Buick was a match to the one seen in the surveillance footage hours prior. They were also still wearing the same clothes, police said.

Shortly after the burglary report Thursday morning, police said they spotted a 2000 Buick Regal with two women inside. They were stopped and identified as 43-year-old Carrie Kay Devore and 41-year-old Kandice Jean Devore, both of Pittsburg.

Carrie and Kandice Devore were placed under arrest and taken to the Crawford County Jail. They were booked on one count of burglary of a non-dwelling and misdemeanor theft. Both are being held without bond.

Police say the victim’s stolen tires were found on a different property nearby and returned.

Kansas neighborhood continues unique light display

PITTSBURG, Kan. (KSNF/KODE) — The holiday season is always a special one for residents of at least one Southeast Kansas neighborhood.

For close to 30 years, now, residents of “Westward,” which sits off the Highway 69 bypass near Quincy Street, have continued the tradition of a “zig-zag” Christmas light display, which stretches from one house to the next, all throughout the neighborhood.

Homeowners say more than 80% of the neighborhood takes part, and have their lights put up just after Thanksgiving. The triangle shape display of lights are unique, and was actually started by just a couple of residents. The neighborhood lights now attract people from all across the Four States every year.

“Every night when I drive home and it’s dark, I just pinch myself because it’s just beyond special. I can’t even explain it, and I’m so thrilled that so many people do participate, and it wasn’t hard to get people to participate,” said Stephanie Watts, a participant in the Christmas light display.

| The Evolution of Christmas Trees And Ornaments >

The Christmas light display will remain illuminated each night through January 1st, 2023.

The "Kansas City Southern" Holiday Express made a stop in Pittsburg

PITTSBURG, Kan. — A holiday tradition is back on track, once again. The train tracks, that is.

The “Kansas City Southern” holiday express made a stop in Pittsburg this evening.

It’s a six-car passenger train, featuring holiday designs and lights on the outside of the cars — and unique model displays inside.

Santa and his elves also made an appearance.

It’s the first time the train has made its holiday trip up North, since 2019.

It left Shreveport, Louisiana on November 25th, and is traveling through eight states, visiting 20 communities.

The yearly trip is also for a good cause, too.

“I wanted to acknowledge the Salvation Army and our partnership with them. We have a fundraising campaign throughout the year, and then we take those funds on an annual basis and distribute them to each of the communities, so any family that’s in need, that is working with the Salvation Army this year, we’ll be able to help them out,” said Grant Elliott, Kansas City Southern Railroad.

The Holiday Express will make three more stops, before heading to “Union Station” in Kansas City later next week.

Judge tosses out sex offender's lawsuit against Kansas sheriff

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Kan. — A convicted sex offender’s lawsuit against a Kansas sheriff for ruining his “good reputation” was dismissed by a federal judge.  

Kirk William Owen, of Grove, Okla. filed the federal lawsuit against Danny Smith, Crawford County Sheriff, and Lisa Luskar, Crawford County Court Clerk, alleging that they caused false statements to be made on Facebook about him, harming his reputation and causing him emotional distress.

United States District Judge Julie A. Robinson dismissed Owen’s lawsuit without prejudice, meaning he can refile his lawsuit later. Her ruling centered on Owen’s failure to respond to Smith and Luskar’s motion to dismiss.

Owen filed a $1 million civil lawsuit after Smith’s office posted statements in August on a social media site. He was wanted for questioning by the Crawford County, Kansas Sheriff’s Office for enticing or luring children with candy.

Smith’s post referenced Owen, who was wearing only underwear and a shirt, and was observed driving a white convertible Corvette had contacted several male juveniles at a Cherokee, Kansas park allegedly offering them large bags of candy in exchange for the children telling him their home addresses. Owen allegedly drove by the address provided by one of the boys three days later in the same vehicle and was confronted by a neighbor, at which point he fled.

The social media post included Owen’s name, photograph and photograph of his car.

Owen alleged he received death threats after Smith’s post.  

In a related matter, a one-year protective order was issued against Owen prohibiting him from contacting or being near the children that were at the park.

Owen’s legal problems in Oklahoma surfaced after he was arrested following an Ottawa County District Court hearing where he sought to have a protective order dismissed allowing him to be around a teenage boy.

That arrest put Owen in an Oklahoma jail for the past three months on an application to revoke a suspended sentence involving a 2000 Beaver County lewd molestation case. He was charged with seven counts of lewd molestation. After pleading no contest to two charges he received a 20-year suspended sentence and was fined $2,500, according to online records.

The Beaver County District Attorney’s office said Owen’s file is restricted and sealed per a judge’s court order and no information about the 2000 case could be released.

A federal search warrant was served on Owens’ house in September and further criminal charges are anticipated upon the completion of the investigation, according to a Miami, Oklahoma Police Department press release.

Owen was previously convicted on January 5, 1987, in Sedgwick County, Kansas of lewd behavior.  

Flags are to fly at half-staff Wednesday and Thursday

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Flags will be flying at half-staff Wednesday through Thursday.

Wednesday is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. It was 81 years ago when a sneak attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy struck America’s naval base of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

The attack killed over 2,400 American service members and civilians and wounded over 1,000. In addition, the bombing raid destroyed nearly 20 American naval vessels and over 300 aircraft.

It was the final catalyst that brought the United States into World War II. The following day, Dec. 8, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Imperial Japan.

Governor Laura Kelly has ordered flags be flown at half-staff starting at sunrise Wednesday through sundown Thursday.

“I encourage all Kansans to join me in remembering those killed on December 7, 1941, and in honoring all veterans and service members who have given the ultimate sacrifice while defending our country,” says Kelly in a news release.

"Home for the Holidays" festival in Galena

GALENA, Kan. — A Southeast community hopes the holiday spirit will pay off big come summertime.

The Galena Parks and Rec department hosted its second annual “Home for the Holidays” festival.

Proceeds from this year’s event will go towards a splash pad for the community.

Today’s festivities included a little something for everyone with local vendors, food trucks, photo booths, and a live auction.

“There’s a lot of people who need somewhere to go and something to do for the kids, I think it also shows them that our community no matter how little, that we can come together and enjoy the holidays together,” said Nancy Flint, Galena Parks, and Rec Committee.

Flint says the city has held a Christmas parade for several years and they wanted to provide people with other activities to do while at the parade.

43rd Annual Pittsburg Christmas Parade

It was a beautiful night for a parade.

Pittsburg kicked off this year’s Christmas parade season, Monday.

It’s put on every year by the city’s “Parks and Rec Department.”

This was the 43rd year for the event.

A bevy of floats and other entries featured organizations, marching bands, and dance groups.

Santa also made his annual appearance.

A number of parades are scheduled to take place over the next few weeks, including Joplin’s a week from tomorrow.

Donation matching for the historic "Colonial Fox Theatre"

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Between now and the end of the year, every donation made to the “Colonial Fox theatre”, up to $30,000, will be doubled by an anonymous donor.

Work continues on the historic facility. More than $2,000,000 has already been spent saving and refurbishing it.

“So it’s not going anywhere, it’s not going to deteriorate, it is off the most endangered list, so now we can concentrate on and have been concentrating on developing a plan to move forward with the final restoration,” said Vonnie Corsini, Ex. Dir., Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation.

Recent work has included a new roof, the installation of an HVAC system, and sealing the theatre’s basement to keep it from flooding.

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.

Holiday Art Market in Pittsburg

PITTSBURG, Kan. — An inaugural event kept shoppers busy in Pittsburg this morning.

The “Pittsburg Artwalk” hosted their first-ever holiday art walk event.

It was held at two locations, the “Frisco Event Center”, and the “Eclectic Soul Studio”.

Over 20 local vendors were on hand, showcasing homemade artwork, jewelry, and bakery items for purchase.

Chelsea Glynn is the owner of “Bumble Stained Glass”, a new business that specializes in stained glass artwork.

They’ve been based in Pittsburg for about a year now.

Glynn, along with event organizers, say this gathering provides a chance to celebrate the work of local artists.

“This event is amazing, because without Pittsburg ArtWalk, allowing me to come in and do this, I don’t have a small business shop. I work out of my home, and so to have a place where I could show my work to others and also, just to rally around other artists, who we share that community together,” said Chelsea Glynn, Owner, Bumble Stained Glass.

“What really matters is the local people that are trying to make a living off of their ‘mom and pop’ shops in town and so if there’s any way that we can shine more light to Small Business Saturday — to help some of these smaller businesses sell and get some exposure out there, that’s what we’re here for,” said Crista Cunningham, President, Pittsburg ArtWalk Association.

Organizers say they are making plans to bring this holiday event back next year.

Meanwhile, the next event is their Spring Artwalk, which is scheduled for April 21st.

If you’re a vendor that’s interested in attending future artwalks, check out our website for more information.

You can also go to their Facebook page, here.