Kansas to enact DUI enforcement campaign

PARSONS, Kans. – The Parsons Police Department and other Four State law enforcement agencies will implement a week-long DUI traffic enforcement campaign.

The campaign is from Monday through January 2.

“Keep in mind that if you are going to be using any impairing substance- don’t even consider driving,” said Kyle Wiford, Patrol Lieutenant.

Line up a ride with a sober acquaintance or other safe transportation before you go out, he said.

The New Year’s Holiday period outranks most of the other holidays in the number of crashes in which at least one of the drivers is impaired by alcohol and or other drugs.

Parsons Land Bank receiving apps for properties below appraisal price

PARSONS, Kans. — You now have a chance to enhance your property ownership in southeast Kansas.

Applications are now available for two properties in Parsons — containing structures — owned by the Parsons Land Bank. Both are located at 1621 Chess Avenue and 2504 Stevens Avenue, respectively. They are originally priced at 75% of the appraisal price and can be negotiable. Land Bank officials will meet in January to set a deadline for receiving those applications.

If you’re not familiar with the Parsons Land Bank, they obtain forgotten properties and provide a new life for them. A building inspector will assess the structure and determine whether a remodel or a complete demolition could take place.

They’re also currently taking submissions for future property listings.

Land Bank Manager, Joan Vitt, says this endeavor provides many benefits for land owners.

“You might have a piece of property that’s been out for a while and now there’s back taxes on it — and it’s just part of life. So, what we want to do is say to those people — ‘you know what, if you have these properties available — give me a call — we’ll see if it’s something that fits into the Land Bank program’. We will wipe those back taxes out if we take those in. They won’t have that problem — and they’ll get a piece of paper that’s gonna say ‘here’s the donation that I gave to the city of Parsons — for the Land Bank — and it will potentially help them on their future taxes,” said Vitt.

You can contact the Parsons Land Bank for questions regarding the application process — or to obtain one by calling 620-421-7030 or by email at parsonslandbank@parsonsks.com.

Parsons man sentenced to life for child sex offenses

PARSONS, Kan. (KSNW) — A Parsons man has been sentenced to life in prison after being convicted on two child sex offenses under the Kansas Jessica’s Law statute.

According to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, 38-year-old Jered W. Bybee of Parsons was sentenced Tuesday in Labette County District Court on two counts of aggravated criminal sodomy. Judge Steve Stockard sentenced Bybee to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years on each of the charges. The sentences are to be served concurrently in a Kansas Department of Corrections facility.

Bybee pleaded no contest to the charges in April.

The crimes occurred between 2013 and 2016, involving two different victims under the age of 10. The case was investigated by the Parsons Police Department, Kansas Department for Children and Families and the Heart of America Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Michael Gayoso and former Assistant Attorney General Amy Norton of Schmidt’s office.

Parsons police arrest Kansas man wanted on outstanding federal charges

PARSONS, Kan. – Parsons Police arrested a Kansas man wanted on multiple felony warrants Tuesday night.

Tremayne Darkis, 43, of Columbus, had outstanding warrants out of Labette County for aggravated kidnapping, and domestic battery.  He also had a probation and parole warrant out of Missouri and a federal arrest warrant for possession of a weapon by a felon.

“I am glad to hear that this habitual felon, who is wanted for possessing a firearm, was taken into custody with no harm done to himself, our officers, or any community members,” said Robert Spinks, Parsons Police Chief. “ I am hopeful that our local and Federal courts will now hold Mr. Darkis accountable to the fullest extent possible.”

Police spotted Darkis coming out of a building at the 100 block of South 32nd Street around 10:30 p.m. Sergeant Tony Adamson and Officer Devin Wisdom confronted Darkis as he was getting into his vehicle.  That’s when police say Darkis ran from them. After a short foot pursuit officers arrested Darkis in the area of 32nd St. and Corning Ave.

“This is a great example of your proactive officers gathering the information needed and keeping a vigilant eye out for a known, wanted, and violent felon, locating him, and working together to get him off the street and back into custody,” said Kyle Wiford, Parsons Patrol Lieutenant. “This was truly a group effort by the arresting officers and other shifts to obtain the information.” said

Police say they located drugs and drug paraphernalia in Darkis’ vehicle and are now asking for additional charges of felony interference with law enforcement, unlawful possession of controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

If anyone has any further information on this incident or any other criminal activity, please contact the Parsons Police Department at 620-421-7060 or call the Tip Line at 620-421-7057 or email at tips@parsonspd.com.

Kansas officials investigate death of foster child who fled

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas officials are investigating the death of a foster child who left a residential treatment facility, stole a truck and crashed into a semitruck in Oklahoma last month.

The state Department of Children and Families confirmed it is investigating what happened to determine if there were any regulatory violations at the facility the 13-year-old walked away from on Oct. 27, according to the Kansas City Star.

The teen had gone to a Halloween party in Independence, Kansas, on the day of the crash that was sponsored by the residential treatment program where he was living. After returning from the party, the teen left the residential facility in Parsons, Kansas, and went to a car dealership and stole the truck, child welfare officials and police said.

He died two days after the crash in a Tulsa hospital.

Republican state Sen. Molly Baumgardner of Louisberg called for Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly to dismiss the head of the state child welfare agency. Baumgardner said this is the second time this year that a teen in foster care ran away and wound up dead.

“There have been ongoing concerns about the lack of transparency and accountability for the safety of our foster children,” Baumgardner said in a statement.

New type of film could rejuvenate film photography

PARSONS, Kans. — Film photographers now have a new and exciting option when it comes to shooting and developing still photos. Los Angeles based, CineStill Film recently released their new 400D color negative film. The 400D film is a little different compared to other films sold by CineStill. According to the company’s website, this new film is based on advanced technology found in motion picture emulsions, and at the same time delivers features exclusive to still photography materials in both unexposed and processed states. The 400D joins CineStill’s popular 800T and 50D films.

One company specializing in film sales and processing is Dwayne’s Photo located in Parsons, Kansas. Co-owner, Derek Carter said the 400D film is now available for sale on their website and expects it to quickly become a popular choice among film photographers. “We’ve really been seeing a resurgence in film shooting for the last several years now and we’ve been incredibly excited about it. With the announcement of the new CineStill 400D, it’s kind of a big indicator that the industry is coming out with new film stocks now. This is one of the first big, new ones that’s recently been released,” said Carter.

The new CineStill 400D film and its versatility is well-described by PopPhoto, a photography and photo gear news and reviews website:

“As the name suggests, 400D is a 400-speed, daylight-balanced film, which makes it CineStill’s most versatile stock so far. The 800T’s color balance makes it neutral under tungsten lighting, when means it’s difficult to get neutral colors under typical daylight’s conditions. The 50D has a finer grain, but it’s three full stops slower, which can be impractical in all but the brightest working conditions.”

Stan Horaczek – Writer for PopPhoto

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“Now there’s more options for film shooters. The industry was declining for a very long time and a lot of film stock got cancelled and they weren’t making it anymore. Now, companies are starting to release new film and new film stocks and it’s another option for film shooters to keep expanding,” said Derek Carter with Dwayne’s Photo.

Carter said the announcement of this new option for film photographers is welcoming news, especially for those who are returning to their film roots from digital, but also for those who have found their way to film photography for the first time. “The percentage of first-time film shooters that we get as customers is growing dramatically. Probably 20% or 30% of our new customers are all first time film shooters. It’s also a lot of young folks too. 18-to-30 year olds are picking up film for the first time and finding cameras from their parents or grandparents, and are really getting into the the hobby for the first time.”

You can find CineStill 400D film on the Dwayne’s Photo website, HERE.

More information about CineStill 400D film can be found, HERE.

Special guests were in attendance at Great Plains Industrial Park's 10th anniversary

PARSONS, Kans. — A fixture of the Parsons business community celebrates its past while looking ahead to the future. Today marked 10 years for Great Plains Industrial Park.

The anniversary attracted some big names, including Kansas Lieutenant Governor David Toland and Senator Jerry Moran.

The site announced a major partnership with “ParkMyFleet” and “Solar Earth Technologies” to build the country’s first carbon-neutral industrial park.

“We see Great Plains Industrial Park as a groundbreaking project. There’s so many aspects about it in terms of sustainability and decarbonization that I thought as a perfect match for what ParkMyFleet core values and visions is,” said Paras Sethi, ParkMyFleet Director of Energy and Strategy.

“ParkMyFleet” is a nationwide mobility company that offers end-to-end fleet services at its hubs across the country.

Parsons Police Department adopts the Pink Patch Project

PARSONS, Kans. — For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Parsons Police Department will be honoring those affected.

Officers will have pink mourning bands over their badges.

Agencies adopted the Pink Patch Project in 2013, from the Seal Beach Police Department.

“During the pandemic it’s estimated that 10,000,000 did not go and get their mammograms. And so now in our case, having that extra little pink ribbon on our badge it is also a conversation starter. And so we hope to get folks out to get those mammograms and hopefully be a lifesaver for everybody,” said Robert Spinks, Parsons Police Chief.

The Parsons Police Department has staff members who have been affected by this deadly disease, and they are actively raising awareness for its cure.

Congressman Jake LaTurner visits Southeast Kansas

PARSONS, Kans. — A Kansas congressman makes a trip home this weekend.

Jake LaTurner joined other Kansas Republican lawmakers on a bus tour around the state, stopping in various small communities.

The tour started last Wednesday and before wrapping up on Monday, will make 27 stops across the state.

Today’s stops included “Pete’s Travel Plaza” in Parsons to prepare communities for the upcoming November election.

LaTurner is originally from Galena and he says Southeast Kansas will always hold a special place in his heart.

“And the folks down here are fantastic, they’ve been so good to me and my family. We’ve been here for six generations, and so the opportunity to come down here, talk to voters about energy, about the economy, about our border, is a tremendous honor,” said Congressman Jake LaTurner, Kansas 2nd Congressional District.

LaTurner is currently finishing up his first term as a Republican in the 2nd Congressional District.

He is running for re-election in November, facing Democrats Patrick Schmidt and Michael Soetaert.