SE Kansas Mansion available for rent on Airbnb and VRBO

PITTSBURG, Kans. — One of the oldest houses in southeast Kansas is now back open for business. The Miller Mansion in Pittsburg dates back to 1909 and was the first home in Pittsburg to have electricity as well as phone service.

Katie Gilkey with TK Rentals says the structure was in disrepair when the company purchased it a few years ago. But after four years of restoration work, she says people can now stay there.

“We had to do the windows and we had to re-rope the windows and had to put the weights on so we literally took it apart to establish what it used to look like a long time ago the because it had been so many years that the Millers had lived here and it has gone through so many different hands and families,” said Katie Gilkey, Operations Manager, TK Rentals.

Gilkey says there is still some more work to be done on the inside as well as outside of the structure which is located at 401 West Jefferson in Pittsburg.

The home is available to rent through Airbnb and VRBO.

Kansas legislators touch base on what they want to see in 2023

PITTSBURG, Kans. — Lawmakers in the Sunflower State head back to Topeka on Monday for the start of the 2023 legislative season. A couple of them spoke to business leaders and educators Friday in Pittsburg.

For more than two decades the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce has hosted a legislative send off event giving business leaders the chance to find out what their lawmakers are pushing for. They also have the chance to tell them what they’d like to see come from the session.

Chamber President, Blake Benson, says there’s one issue he’d like to see lawmakers take care of once and for all — Medicare expansion. He says failure to do so to this point, is costing the region millions of dollars and can be a deterrent to economic development.

“Healthcare is a big growth sector for for our economy here in Pittsburg. I know that our healthcare providers, Via Christi Hospital, Community Health Center would benefit tremendously from expanded Medicaid Program, so we’d like the legislature to continue to see if there’s a solution we can find that would accomplish that,” he said.

Kansas remains the only Four State not to have expanded Medicare, and is the only one that hasn’t approved medical marijuana, which Ken Collins would like to see change.

“Medical Marijuana which when previously when it passed in the House, I did vote for it and depending upon what might come up later I would likely vote for it again because I think it’s something that can be beneficial to some people with certain medical issues,” said Collins, KS. House 2nd District (R).

Chuck Smith also has his priorities too.

“I think you’re gonna see a parent’s Bill of Rights as far as kids going to school, you know, I’d like to see a KPERS 3 looked at a little bit to see if we could improve that a little bit for beginning teachers, not teachers that are older but beginning teachers,” said Smith, KS. House 3rd District (R).

But this won’t be the only time this year business leaders and educators get face to face with their elected officials, there will be legislative briefings taking place each month until the end of session in may.

Pittsburg crash damages signal – drivers beware

PITTSBURG, Kans.— A traffic crash today (1/04) at the intersection of East Cleveland Ave and South Broadway Street damaged a traffic signal.

The intersection has been converted to a three-way stop in all directions while crews work to restore the signal lights.

The City of Pittsburg released a statement urging motorists to be aware of crosswalks, yield to all pedestrians and workers in the area, and use caution when traveling in that vicinity.

If you have any questions you can contact the Public Works & Utilities Department by phone at (620)240-5126.

Construction zones could delay travel for southeast Kansas drivers

PITTSBURG, Kans. — Lane conversions on South Rouse will begin in the construction zone on Friday (1/06) around 12 p.m.

The City of Pittsburg said traffic will be converted from the west side of South Rouse Street to the east side of South Rouse Street. North and south-bound traffic will still be limited to two lanes through the construction zone.

Traffic will be able to use East Quincy Street at the Rouse intersection. Motorists traveling westbound on East Quincy will be required to stop at the Rouse Street intersection, before proceeding to turn north or south.

Motorists need to pay attention to changes in lane markings and traffic control devices as they approach the construction zone.

The north and south flow of traffic on South Rouse Street will not be stopped.

Motorists are encouraged to seek alternate routes when possible, to slow down, to use caution when traveling in the area of construction, and be aware of workers in the work zone.

If you happen to have any questions you can call the Public Works & Utilities Department at (620)240-5126.

Pittsburg theatre fundraising effort falling short as year ends

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Time is running short on a matching fundraising effort. A nonprofit group planning to re-open the Colonial Fox Theatre in Pittsburg is in the midst of its annual year-end fundraising effort.

They had a donor come forward a couple of months ago announcing they would match any amount of contribution up to $30,000.

The group now needs only $8,000 to reach that goal, the end of the year is just two days away.

If you’d like to make a tax-deductible contribution to that effort, follow this link here.

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.

The greatest gift: Bundles of joy

PITTSBURG, Kan. — What better way to spread cheer than capturing pictures of sweet sleeping newborns? Babies born a few days before Christmas at the Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg were dressed up and photographed.

Volunteers at the hospital hand-made themed outfits for the newest arrivals at the Labor and Delivery Unit. The outfits were themed as Santa, a snowman, and a reindeer.

Rachel Johnson, a registered nurse in the Labor and Delivery unit, photographed the bundles of joy. The photos were given to the parents as gifts.

Pittsburg man jailed for alleged burglary

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Kans. — An alleged break-in in Weir landed a Pittsburg man in jail on Monday.

Cherokee County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to a Weir home that afternoon for a report of an unknown person inside. When they arrived, they encountered a reportedly intoxicated 30-year-old Aaron Don Span.

Deputies arrested Span and, during a search of his vehicle, found electronics supposedly stolen from a local health organization.

Span remains in Cherokee County Jail on allegations of Aggravated Burglary, Aggravated Assault, Criminal Possession of a Firearm, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Driving Under the Influence.

20-year Centennial Bell ringing continues for PSU graduates

PITTSBURG, Kan. — A tradition that began at PSU more than 20 years ago also continued. Since 2000, Pittsburg State grads, faculty, and alumni ring in some of their most important days with the University’s “Centennial Bell.”

“They actually receive a commemorative bell when they do it, so that they have that as a memento in memory of that, and of course we want their parents to take their picture or their families and take a video and tag us when they post it to their social media because we love seeing that and we hear the bell and we know it means new students are here,” said Heather Eckstein, Asst. Vice President, Student Success.

It’s all thanks to the classes of 1993 through 1996 who fundraised to put the tower in place – right between the Axe Library and the Carnie Smith Stadium. And each year, it symbolizes success for those reaching important milestones.

“It’s a recognition of an accomplishment. Students have access to come over here and ring it, but that’s actually what I think a really cool thing that we put in place in 2019 is that when our Freshman classes come in the summer to enroll, what we do is they get to ring it for the first time. So at the end of what we call our Cares Session, in June, they’ll come over here and ring it and then they’ll know when they, it’ll be the other bookend, they’ll come back when they graduate and get to ring it again,” said Dr. Howard Smith, Vice President, Academic Affairs.

Friday is graduation day for hundreds of PSU students who rang the bell, marking the special occasion.

“It was really cool to do because you know, I said I was a COVID grad so I didn’t get to do that in 2020. I remember doing it my Freshman year, we did it in the Freshmen Orientation Class. You know, they marched everyone around. So, getting to finally do it after 6 years later is like, ‘Woo hoo, I finally got to ring the bell at Pitt State!,” said Hanna Tasin, PSU Graduate ’22.

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.