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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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"Camp Now and Then" helping watch Pittsburg area children

PITTSBURG, Kan. — The biggest problem facing parents when their kids are out of school is who is going to watch them.

Thanks to the Pittsburg Parks and Rec department, parents have a solution.

The department hosts a program called “Camp Now and Then” at the Lincoln Center.

Here, parents can drop their kids off on days they don’t have school.

At the camp, kids play games, exercise, and are able to socialize with kids their own age.

“It gives the opportunity for parents to have a spot that’s affordable for child care. And it also gives the kids an opportunity to see their friends from school and meet new kids and socialize and be creative at the same time,” said Josie Maples, Recreation Programs Manager.

“I like school but I like this place better… Because you don’t have to do any actual math or anything. You can just, I like playing with balls here. And school you can’t play with balls until recess or in P.E.,” said Jordan Langford, Camp Participant.

Now there’s only one more day for the camp this week and that’s tomorrow.

The camp is open anytime the Pittsburg School District is out, including the last two weeks of December.

The cost of the camp is $16 a day, and they can only accept 50 campers per day.

It runs from 7:30 a.m. in the morning until 5:30 p.m. in the evening.

To sign up you can call Pittsburg Parks and Rec at 620-231-8310

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32nd Annual Southeast Kansas Farm Toy Show

GIRARD, Kan. — The 32nd annual “Southeast Kansas Farm Toy Show” took place today.

Many gathered at the “Saint Michael Hall” in Girard this morning for a chance to buy and sell some collectible farm toys.

There were 45 tables full of toys, and a total of 15 different vendors.

It happens every year as a way to fundraise and give back to the community.

“We’ve had a good turnout. We started back 32 years ago for a fundraiser for the Knights of Columbus one of our fundraisers for our different benefits. And we got anywhere from 50 cent toy, $1 toy to $11, $1,200 toys,” said Dave Garrett, Manager SEK Farm Toy Show.

The money raised will be distributed to different organizations and events, like the Southeast Kansas Special Olympics, and a summer camp for kids.

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Pittsburg man charged in this week's shooting near Sonic drive-in

PITTSBURG, Kans. – Early Saturday morning Pittsburg Police arrested Spencer Presley, 47, on pending charges of criminal possession of a weapon and aggravated battery. Presley is accused of shooting a man earlier this week.

Pittsburg officers responded to a call in the 100 block of West 23rd Street near Sonic, Thursday night around 9:40, of a man suffering a gunshot wound. They say the 32-year-old victim was uncooperative with police. He was transported to a local hospital with a non-life threatening gunshot wound.

Officers developed a person of interest early in the case. After locating Presley early this morning, police say he admitted his involvement in the shooting when questioned. Official charges and a bond amount are pending.

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"Marshalls" opens in Pittsburg

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Pittsburg shoppers have a brand new department store to browse.

“Marshalls” is now officially open in the city, celebrated with Sunday’s grand opening.

City leaders even joined the crowds to show their support for the new retail option.

The building sat empty for several years, so they’re excited to see it brought back to life.

“We’re very pleased to have Marshalls here. As you can see the parking lots are full here. People were standing in line and it’s a great day for Pittsburg,” said Cheryl Brooks, Mayor.

Marshalls is located at 2905 North Broadway in Pittsburg, next to Home Depot.

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Teaching STEM skills with robots

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Two Pitt State professors take their show on the road.

Over the past 10 years professors, Norman Philipps and Randy Winzer have taught a two-week summer camp on robotics.

Today was the first time they got the opportunity to teach the class outside of Pitt State.

The class was open to grades 4th through 9th, and cost $10 per student.

Their objective was to promote STEM education.

“This is our first foray into taking our adventures in robotics summer camp into a roadshow workshop that we’re able to take out to areas beyond the Pittsburg State University campus. So we’re working for ways that we can help encourage and develop STEM activities for younger students to help encourage them towards looking for that as a possible future or towards a possible college career,” said Norman Philipps, Pitt State Professor.

“I’ve been having a lot of fun making a robot with them and we’ve already made a lot of progress so far,” said Landon Reed.

The summer camp starts on July 10.

For more information on the camp, visit the Pittsburg State University website, here.

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Salvaging the past in Pittsburg

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Some of the oldest buildings in a Southeast Kansas community have been given a new lease on life, thanks largely to the efforts of one man, and he’s up to it again, to the benefit of area families.

The phrase “they don’t make them like they used to” describes many of the old brick buildings in Pittsburg.

And Larry Fields has made it his mission to not only keep them upright but make sure they continue to serve their community.

He’s done so with two structures in the downtown area already and has set his sights and expertise on a third, the old Washington school, which will become a community daycare facility.

“And so many times they just get tore down, if you tear them down you’ll never replace anything like them, if you build the steel frames and set up the concrete panels and you build them quick and easy and they’re efficient, I understand that, but if we lose our history, we lose we lose the memories of a lot of these things,” said Larry Fields, Salvages Historic Building.

Fields is a member of both nonprofits getting ready to restore and then operate the future facility, but he did the other two repo projects himself.

The Frisco event center on Fourth Street is now an entertainment venue for celebrations and wedding receptions to name a few, and if you look closely, you’ll see the outline of an actual caboose that’s been built into the facility.

Just a few blocks away is the Pitt Craft building now known as the “Fun Zone Depot”, complete with a rock wall, bounce houses, and kiddy rides.

Both were constructed by the same railroad company.

An industry he’s retired from but has never really left.

“And I was in the rail industry about over 40 years and I’ve been honestly hundreds and hundreds and probably a thousand old depots, and old warehouses, they have a uniqueness of their own, a beauty of their own and they’ll last, this building down here is a 140 years old and it will last another100 years,” said Fields.