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Inmate accused of setting fire also accused of leading April riot at Ottawa County Jail

MIAMI, OK – An Ottawa County Jail inmate accused of leading an April riot at the jail, is now accused of setting a fire in a holding cell.

In a FaceBook post, the Sheriff’s office said investigators determined the fire on May 10th was intentionally set due to the fact that there are no wires near the area where the fire happened.

Authorities say the suspect, Tristen Tiffany, is facing charges of first-degree arson, destruction of property, and endangering the lives of first responders.

Tiffany, is also facing charges connected to a disturbance at the jail in April, 2021.

 

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News to Know (5/11/21)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The FDA has authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 12 to 15. Tomorrow, a CDC advisory committee will vote on whether to approve the authorization. If it does, roughly 17-million children and teenagers will be eligible to receive their first shots.

WOODBRIDGE, N.J. – A pipeline stretching from Texas to New Jersey remains offline following a cyberattack. Normally, nearly half the east coast’s fuel supply runs through the Colonial Pipeline. It was shut down Friday after hackers targeted its computer systems. Colonial hopes to reopen the pipeline by the end of this week.

MIAMI, Okla. – Oklahoma authorities release the identity of a man whose body was found in Tar Creek. Police with the Grand River Dam Authority identified the man as 24-year-old Casey Hampton of Miami. A resident on Saturday found Hampton’s body in
Tar Creek just north of the Neosho River in Miami on Saturday. The GRDA recovered his body and took it to a medical examiner. The investigation continues.

JOPLIN, Mo. – Joplin Police have identified a Joplin man who died in a crash on Saturday. He was 26-year-old Chanz Olson. Authorities say Olson was riding his motorcycle going west on 32nd street when he hit an SUV that was going east, and making a turn onto Connecticut. Olson was taken to the hospital where he died.

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Kansas hit hard by identity theft during COVID-19 pandemic

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Identity theft rose sharply last year during the COVID-19 pandemic, and no place was hit harder than Kansas.

The Wichita Eagle reports that 43,211 Kansans alerted the Federal Trade Commission in 2020 that someone had stolen or tried to steal their identity. That was 2,272 more cases than in 2019.

Kansas’ 1,802% year-over-year increase was the highest among the states and more than three times the national average. Rhode Island was next, with an increase of 1,002%.

Of all the 2020 identity theft reports in Kansas, 88% were classified as government documents or benefits fraud. The Kansas Department of Labor has cited a barrage of fraudulent unemployment claims since the coronavirus pandemic began.

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News to Know (5/10/21)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Just over a third of the U.S. population is now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. But 14 states have less than 40 percent of their populations **partially** vaccinated, with Mississippi at the bottom. This comes as more states turn down doses, with Wisconsin asking for just eight percent of its Federal allocation, Illinois nine percent and Kansas under nine percent.

JOPLIN, Mo. – We’ve got something exciting coming up this week on KOAM and FOX 14. On Thursday, we’ll be hosting “Vaccine Day”. Experts from Mercy Hospital Joplin will be taking your calls and answering your questions regarding the covid-19 vaccine. Be sure to tune in to each newscast starting with the KOAM Morning News for our “Vaccine Day” special.

MIAMI, Okla. – Officials with the Grand River Dam Authority police say a person contacted them regarding a body in Tar Creek just north of the Neosho River in Miami. Officials with the GRDA police say the body was recovered and taken by the medical examiner. The victim is described as a male with reddish brown hair, facial hair, a thin build, around five foot eight to five foot ten inches tall with no tattoos. Anyone with information is asked to contact the GRDA police. The investigation is ongoing.

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Route 66 Auto Center in Joplin caught fire Sunday. Fire officials on the scene say a car caught fire inside the auto shop. They also say due to it being a body shop, the chemicals within the shop may have played a part in the blaze. Joplin, Diamond, Carthage, and Webb City’s fire departments were called in to fight the fire. The fire did not spread outside of the building. As of now, a cause has not been determined, but officials have ruled the fire an accident.

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Street racing crackdown in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan.  – Wichita police are trying to crack down on street racing after several recent incidents involving injuries and deaths.

The exact number of racing incidents is hard to pinpoint because police don’t track them separately and often people caught racing are charged with other crimes, such as reckless driving, that carry tougher penalties. At least two people have been killed and two people injured in racing incidents over the past year.

Sedgwick County Assistant District Attorney Aaron Breitenbach said to The Wichita Eagle that street racing has been growing slowly over the past couple years.

Breitenbach said street racing can also be difficult to prosecute because often the only witnesses to the crime were participants in the races who aren’t likely to cooperate with investigators.

Wichita Police Department traffic division supervisor Sgt. Keith Fort said racing vehicles can hit speeds of 50 to 90 mph within seconds.

“At that type of speed, it puts everyone at risk, not just that particular driver,” Fort said.

The incidents in the past year include an August 2020 race between two pickup trucks that ended when the trucks smashed into a Lincoln Town Car, killing the 94-year-old driver and severely injuring a 15-year-old boy who was riding in the passenger seat.

In another race in March, Brennan Peshek, 18, died after his yellow Ford Mustang struck a curb and slammed into a tree and pole after the lane he was racing in ended.

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Jasper County Sheriff’s Office investigates ATM break in

 

VILLAGE OF AIRPORT DRIVE, Mo. – Customers of the Community Bank and Trust in the Village of Airport Drive will be visiting the teller for the foreseeable future following an early morning ATM break in.

“Upon our arrival, deputies noticed that the machine had been broken into. A short time later, we located the vehicle that was used in that. It was in the same area unoccupied,” said Deputy Chief Derek Walrod of the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office.

The vehicle is this Ford F-350 which was stolen from a nearby resident.

The deputy chief says the owner was not aware the truck had been stolen when contacted about its recovery.

Deputy Chief Walrod also says the truck wasn’t damaged when suspects hooked chains to its back and used the vehicle to rip the ATM’s front off.

“There was cash stolen. We don’t know the exact amount. We’re still investigating that. And we’re still looking for any evidence we can find and also asking for any assistance that may be out there from the public,” said Deputy Chief Walrod.

The deputy chief also says his team is still in the process of determining how much cash was stolen and looking into possible connections to similar nearby crimes involving ATMs.

“I believe there may have been one in Webb City within the last month and a half. And there’s been some, I’ve been told, around the Green County/Springfield area. So we’re looking into that,” said Deputy Chief Walrod.

If you have any information concerning this crime, you can submit at tip here.

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Afton man arrested for child porn, other charges

DELAWARE COUNTY, Okla. (Press Release) – Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Unit agents arrested a 38-year-old Afton man on charges related to child sex abuse. Glenn David Nickols was arrested on May 4, 2021 in Ottawa County for one count of Aggravated Possession of Child Pornography and one count of Distribution of Child Pornography; both are felony charges.

The investigation originated on March 24, 2021 when an internet service provider flagged an account that was disseminating images consistent with child sexual exploitation. The internet service provider reported the account to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) cybertip line. Based on the IP address being located in Oklahoma, NCMEC then forwarded the investigation to the OSBI.

A search warrant for the email account used by Nickols revealed more than 100 images and two videos containing child pornography. ICAC agents observed the images of a pre-pubescent female child in a series of sexually explicit photos and found them to be consistent with child exploitation material. Based on the evidence collected, an arrest warrant was issued on for Nickols. Nickols was arrested without incident and transported to the Delaware County jail for arraignment.

As the investigation continued, agents located and identified the pre-pubescent female child that was seen in the images. With the identification of the child, Nickols faces additional charges of Sesxual Abuse of a Child Under the Age of 12 and Production of Child Pornography. He is being held without bond on the new charges until a court appearance is held.

The OSBI ICAC Unit would like to thank the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tulsa for their assistance with this investigation.

If you know of a child that had inappropriate contact with Nickols, please contact the OSBI immediately at (800) 522-8017 or tips@osbi.ok.gov.

If you suspect a child is being sexually exploited, contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST or www.cybertipline.com.

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Carl Junction man sentenced for child sex crime

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Press Release from Department of Justice) – A Carl Junction, Missouri, man was sentenced in federal court today for transporting a Kansas minor across state lines to engage in criminal sexual activity.

Nathan Roger Belcher, 31, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to 12 years in federal prison without parole. The court also sentenced Belcher to serve 20 years on supervised release following incarceration.

On Oct. 2, 2019, Belcher pleaded guilty to one count of transporting a minor across state lines with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. Belcher admitted that he transported a child victim, identified in court documents as “Jane Doe 1” with a date of birth in 2003, from Kansas across the state line into Missouri. They engaged in criminal sexual activity on two occasions, once at a residence in Missouri and once near a creek outside Neosho, Missouri, in 2017.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the FBI, the Columbus, Kan., Police Department, and the Cherokee County, Kan., Sheriff’s Department.

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Parsons shooting victim hospitalized

PARSONS, Kan. – A shooting victim is hospitalized after a bullet goes through a window, hitting him in the chest.

On Wednesday evening, May 5, 2021, someone called Parsons police about a gunshot at 8:47 p.m. Officers responded to the 2300 block of Crawford Street and found a 23-year-old man who had been shot once in the chest.

They found the victim in the east-west alley between Washington and Crawford streets. Police administered first aid and called for EMS. First responders took the victim to Labette Health and later to Freeman Hospital in Joplin, Missouri.

According to police, the suspect(s) fired into the home and then fled the scene. At least one round went through a window of the home and hit the victim. The victim, who was standing inside, ran out after being shot. He then collapsed in the alley.

Officers and detectives canvased the neighborhood around 23rd and Crawford. They interviewed potential witnesses and processed the scene for forensic evidence.

According to the Parsons Police Department, the shooting shows signs that this was a targeted assault and not a random crime of violence. Detectives continue looking for potential persons of interest today.

“At this point the investigation is centering on confirming stories and eliminating individuals as we confirm alibies,” said Detective Lieutenant Sherri McGuire. “Like most shootings in Parsons, victims and suspects usually know each other and there is some triggering event that leads to violence.”

Deputy Chief Dennis Dodd said, “Much of the supposition and rumors on social media are as usual incorrect. We have to deal with facts. Suspicion and rumor are not probable cause for arrest.”

If you have any information to help police in their investigations, call the Parsons Police Department at 421-7060 or call the Tip Line at 421-7057 or email at tips@parsonspd.com.

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News to Know (5/6/21)

ATLANTA, Ga – The CDC predicts a sharp drop in COVID-19 cases and deaths by the end of July, if more people get vaccinated. The Biden administration announced support for a plan to temporarily suspend the vaccines’ patent protections, in order to allow other countries to produce their own.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Facebook extends its suspension of former President Trump, whose account was banned after the January 6th Capitol Hill riot. Facebook’s Oversight Board said comments by former President Trump made the situation more dangerous. The board also called the suspension “vague” and said it should be reconsidered within six months.

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Joplin Police department investigates a fire that happened early yesterday morning on South Florida Avenue. The fire department says when crews arrived they found the single-story house with fire and smoke showing. Crews put it out quickly. No one was hurt. Authorities say someone was inside but they escaped safely.

COLUMBUS, Kan. – Cherokee County’s K9 unit and deputies are little safer thanks to a donation from Spike’s K9 Fund. The fund donated an Ace K9 Hot and Pop Pro and Heat Alarm for Deputy Nate Jones and his K9 partner Bear. The equipment allows a deputy to monitor the temperature in his car and turn on the AC or roll down the windows if things get too hot. It also allows Deputy Jones to remotely open the back doors of his patrol unit if he needs to get Bear out quickly in an emergency situation. The equipment is valued at more than $1,300.

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