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Kansas Klips

Tue, 08/25/2020 - 20:11
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Great Plains Manufacturing expanding

SALINA — Great Plains Manufacturing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kubota North America, announced a $53 million expansion project last Thursday that includes buying a 750,000-square-foot building, according to president Linda Salem. The company is under contract to buy the Signify building on S. Ninth Street in Salina for about $23 million. Salina Mayor Mike Hoppock said, “The stars do not align like this very often.” Hoppock said he is sad to be losing Signify, still often referred to as Philips Lighting, which has been in Salina for more than 50 years, but that this would be a good move for the city and for Great Plains. The new Salina facility will hire about 130 new employees. Great Plains overall has about 1,500 employees, and Salem credits them with the company’s success. “This week has been amazing for the city of Salina and Saline County,” Hoppock said. “With the expansion of Schwan’s, and now Great Plains, 2020 sure seems a lot brighter than it did several weeks ago.” (Salina Journal)

Sheriff’s office stops man with drugs and guns

OBERLIN — The Decatur County Sheriff’s Deputies intercepted a suspected drug trafficker on U.S. 83 in Oberlin after getting a tip on his arrival. Undersheriff David Obermeyer had received intelligence from a confidential informant that Brandon Witthuhn, 40, of Great Bend, was going to be bringing large quantities of methamphetamine into Decatur County. When an officer stopped the vehicle for failure to stop at a stop sign at the U.S. 36 and U.S. 83 intersection, a dog team from the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office assisted officers on scene, and large quantities of what they believed was methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, marijuana and cash, plus three firearms, were seized. Witthuhn was arrested on numerous drug charges and criminal use of a weapon, with bond set at $250,000. (The Oberlin Herald)

Sunflowers bloom and boom in Kansas

HUTCHINSON — Sunflower fields increased this year in Kansas, pushing the Sunflower State to third in the nation—behind the Dakotas. Last year, Kansas was sixth. Although North and South Dakota produce more than 1 million acres annually, Kansas leads the other six sunflower producers with more than 70,000 planted acres, according to the USDA acreage report. This is up by 156% from last year. Other sunflower-producing states include California, Colorado, Minnesota, Nebraska and Texas. According to the USDA, more than 1.5 million acres of sunflowers were planted in the U.S. last year, increasing growth by 114%. Along wityh having between 1,000 to 2,000 seeds, each sunflower is a useful pollinator for bees, birds and butterflies. (The Hutchinson News)

COVID-19 cluster identified at Bethel College

NORTH NEWTON — The Harvey County Health Department, in conjunction with Bethel College in North Newton, has confirmed a cluster of COVID-19 cases on the Bethel campus. The cluster includes 46 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There had been 482 individuals tested, with some test results still unknown. Bethel College requires all students, faculty, staff and administrators to be tested for COVID-19. The school also requires daily temperature checks, health status monitoring through a self-screening app, and indivuals to wear face masks indoors and outodoors on the campus. (Salina Journal)

Missing woman’s SUV found with body inside

OVERLAND PARK — A woman’s body was discovered inside a vehicle belonging to an Overland Park woman reported missing earlier this month, but no foul play is suspected, authorities in Arkansas announced last Tuesday. The Crittenden County Sheriff’s Office said the body had not yet been positively identified, but authorities believe it is Marilane Carter, who had been missing since Aug. 3. The body was in found in the driver’s seat of Carter’s vehicle, which was located inside a large shipping container on private property in West Memphis, Arkansas. Carter, a 36-year-old mother of three, was traveling to Birmingham, Ala., to be near her family and seek mental health treatment. Her husband said he purchased a Southwest Airlines plane ticket, but Carter abruptly decided to drive herself, taking their car and leaving Overland Park on the night of Aug. 1st. (KAKE-TV)

Over 500 inmates test positive for virus at Sedgwick Co. jail

WICHITA — After an inmate working in the kitchen at the Sedgwick County jail tested positive for coronavirus this month, the jail started mass COVID-19 testing of the inmate population of over 1500 inmates. This testing was based on the recommendation of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). Tests were collected over a 5 day period, according to Sgt. Tim Myers. During this 5 day period, approximately 60 inmates per day were being booked into or released from the detention facility. Some of the inmates tested were released from the facility prior to receiving the results of their submitted tests. As of August 20, 523 inmates tested positive for COVID-19, while 747 inmates have tested negative. As results were received, inmates were separated and housed based on the results of their tests to minimize the spreading of COVID-19. (HutchPost.com)

Edwards County woman ordered to repay $30,000 for Medicaid fraud

KINSLEY — An Edwards County woman has been ordered to repay $30,000 to the Kansas Medicaid Program after pleading guilty to Medicaid fraud-related charges, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said last week. Candy R. German, 48, of Kinsley, pleaded guilty last Wednesday in Edwards County District Court to 24 separate counts of making false claims to the Medicaid program. Chief Judge Bruce Gatterman accepted the pleas, ordering German to repay the Medicaid program and to serve 24 months of probation. An investigation determined that between March and May 2014, German submitted multiple claims for payment to KDHE. German was a service provider to Medicaid beneficiaries from her business in Kinsley. Special agents from the Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division investigated and determined that records that would support German’s claims for payment, which are required to be maintained, had been destroyed by German. (Attorney General Press Release)