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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Kansas Supreme Court comes to Parsons

PARSONS, Kans. — The Kansas Supreme Court took its show on the road.

Travel dockets have been part of the court since 2011, and it involved a stop in Pittsburg in 2013.

Tonight, a return trip to Southeast Kansas, Parsons.

As a part of an on-going outreach project to familiarize Kansans with the higher judiciary system, the Kansas Supreme Court is holding court in various small communities across the state.

Giving community members an opportunity to learn more about how it all works.

“I really want to learn. I want to learn about the judicial system and my real motivation is in my life I have never been so dissatisfied with politics. Politicians, the parties, the issues, a lot of things don’t make sense to me and I don’t feel like sometimes that the politicians are on our side,” said Claire Johnson, community member.

Supreme Court Justices are spending two days in Parsons, engaging with its community.

Justices say within the two days, they’ll reach nearly 3,000 students during visits to schools and universities in the area.

“Well, I think it’s just an honorable thing for the community. I think we’re very proud to have them here visiting us. I know they’re visiting other communities and we’re very happy they selected Parsons,” said Richard Tucker, Kansas Supreme Court Bailiff.

Following two court cases proceedings, there was even a meet and great session with the Kansas Supreme Court Justices and community members.

“Well, most of us are small town Kansans we understand that. I came from a small town as did several of the other justices, but we just want Kansans all other the state to see their court in action without having to come to Topeka and take time off work and do that. And we do it at night to make it easier for the people even in their own communities to learn more about the court and to see us in action,” said Chief Justice Marla Luckert, Kansas Supreme Court.

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Local internet service provider named "Top 10 fastest"

KSNF/KODE — Sparklight (formally CableOne) was recently named to PC Magazine’s list of the top 10 Fastest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the nation for the second consecutive year.

The leader for rigorous, labs-based comparative reviews of internet products, PC Magazine tested ISPs across the country based on upload and download speeds via PCMag Speedtest from June 1, 2021, to June 7, 2022.

“We’re incredibly honored to once again be ranked by PC Magazine as one of the top 10 Fastest ISPs in U.S. We continue to invest in our infrastructure to ensure our customers have access to a state-of-the-art network designed to support the high-speed internet needs of our customers and communities – today and in the future. Whether they are working, learning, gaming or streaming from home, we are pleased to provide our customers with a seamless, best in class experience,” said Julie Laulis, President and CEO of Sparklight.

Sparklight currently offers speeds up to 1 Gigabit for residential customers and up to 5 Gigabits for business customers over its fiber-powered network.

With investments of nearly $950 million over the past three years, the company is laying the groundwork to launch speeds as fast as 10 Gigabits (10G) and beyond.

Delivering speed 10 times faster than today’s networks, 10G will transform the customer experience, creating new possibilities for smart cities, connected homes, virtual and augmented reality and business, Sparklight claims.

Earlier this year, the ISP was named among the top 10 on PC Magazine’s Best Gaming ISPs list for 2022.

In the Four State area, Sparklight is available in Joplin, Missouri, Parsons, Kansas and several other Southeast Kansas towns.

Sparklight is also available in two Northeast Oklahoma cities: Bartlesville and Ponca City.

You can view PC Magazine’s 2022 list of the Fastest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the nation, HERE.

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94-year-old Kansas man dies in OK crash

MIAMI, Okla. – A Kansas man died Saturday from injuries he sustained in a two-vehicle collision, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.

Fred Wettstein, 94, of Pittsburg, Kansas died at 8:25 p.m. at Freeman Hospital, the patrol said.

The collision occurred around 1:30 p.m. on county road 580 and east 640 road, approximately one mile east of Miami. Wettstein was pinned for 10 minutes and extricated by Quapaw Fire Department, according to the patrol.

Joy Dawn Jones, 54, of Miami, was treated at Miami Integris Hospital and released.  Laquitha Taylor, 55, of Okmulgee, a passenger, was treated at Mercy Hospital and released.

Wettstein was traveling southbound on south 580 road when for an unknown reason he made a left turn onto county road east 640 and was struck by Jones’ vehicle, the patrol said.

The cause of the collision is failure to yield to oncoming traffic and the condition of both drivers are under investigation, the patrol said.

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Parsons Police Dept. release 2021 crime report

PARSONS, Kans. — The latest numbers show the crime rate in Parsons is the lowest its been since 2003. That’s according to the 2021 annual report from the Parsons Police Department.

The department responded to 95 fewer calls in 2021 and saw all aspects of crime go down except car thefts. Despite the staff shortage the police department faces, officers, have been able to partner with the community to lower the crime rate. With their “See it, Hear it, Report it” campaign, overall calls have gone up by nearly 7,000.

Chief of Police Robert Spinks said, “Community involvement has been critical, and it’s truly a partnership between the department and residents.”

“Hat really goes off to our staff. Yeah, unfortunately, the past several months we’ve had officers working six days a week, with one day off, 12-hour shifts, using all our resources. While at the same time we’ve been actively engaged in recruiting and getting people through a hiring process,” said Spinks.

Spinks says the hiring process for officers is not a quick turnaround. It takes about a year between police training, to field training before they can start.