Archives for November 2011

Cleaver Manhunt Continues

Authorities now say it was a routine seatbelt enforcement stop that led to the manhunt for 26-year-old Garrett Cleaver of rural Colony that’s now in its second week. It was during that seatbelt stop in Humboldt that Cleaver fled with an assault-type rifle. He led officers on a high-speed chase that ended in a crash in rural Allen County. Now, the Kansas Attorney General is joining Allen County authorities in the hunt for Cleaver, who’s described as armed and dangerous. Also new today: We now know that the manhunt for Cleaver is not the first one he’s been through. Authorities now say that Cleaver was also the subject of a manhunt in April, 2010, after he allegedly led Jasper County, Missouri authorities on a chase. Cleaver wanted then on a probation violation but had failed to appear for trial. Cleaver had been out on bail from Neosho County, where he had been charged with vehicular manslaughter in 2009. In addition to the involuntary manslaughter and skipping trial counts, charges against Cleaver now include criminal possession of a firearm, driving under the influence, fleeing and eluding police officers as well as a probation warrant from Missouri. If you know anything about Garrett Cleaver’s where abouts, call the Allen County Sheriff at 365-1400. That’s 365-1400.

Cleaver Originally Stopped In Seatbelt Violation

Authorities now say it was a routine seatbelt enforcement stop that led to the manhunt for 26-year-old Garrett Cleaver of rural Colony that’s now in its second week. It was during that seatbelt stop in Humboldt that Cleaver fled on foot with an assault-type rifle. Later, he returned to the car, which had been driven by Melissa Elder, and led officers on a high-speed chase that ended in a crash in rural Allen County. The hunt for Cleaver, who’s wanted for a number of crimes including vehicular homicide in an earlier incident for which he skipped a trial date, has been on since then. Now, the Kansas Attorney General is joining Allen County authorities in the hunt for Cleaver, who’s described as armed and dangerous. His photo and description are on the attorney general’s website today. In addition to the involuntary manslaughter and skipping trial counts, charges against Cleaver now include criminal possession of a firearm, driving under the influence, fleeing and eluding police officers as well as a probation warrant from Missouri. If you know anything about Garrett Cleaver’s where abouts, call the Allen County Sheriff at 365-1400. That’s 365-1400.

Education Forum (Debate?) Tomorrow Night

State Rep. Bill Otto and Kansas Policy Institute’s Dave Trabert will discuss Kansas education during an open forum tomorrow night. The Register reports the forum will be from 6 to 8 p.m. tomorrow in the Humboldt High School auditorium. The pair will discuss a plan to revise the education finance formula, the existing public vouchers and charter schools systems and Kansas student achievement data. Otto, a retired teacher, and the KPI are most frequently on the opposite side of education issues; Otto tells the Register he expects the forum to be more like a debate.

Cleaver Search Now Statewide

The search for fugitive Garrett Cleaver is now statewide. Yesterday, the Kansas Attorney General’s Office and the Allen County Sheriff’s Office jointly asked for public help in locating Cleaver, who is wanted for his role in a DUI fatality and nearly a dozen other crimes. According to the agencies, the fatality drunken-driving crash happened in Missouri in 2009. After the crash, he led authorities on a manhunt similar to the one that had people near Humboldt behind locked doors last week. And just like last week, Cleaver disappeared into the woods. He hasn’t been seen since crashing as he was fleeing an officer November 22nd. Two years ago he was caught, but skipped showing up for his trial.

Saturday Crash Injures Teen

Highway Patrol troopers say a crash south of Mapleton on Saturday afternoon injured a teen-aged driver. 18-year old Jessica Lynn Belshe of Ft. Scott was taken to Mercy Hospital with moderate injuries. She was alone in a 2005 Chevy Cobalt, northbound on 125th Street about 3pm Saturday when the crash happened. Troopers say Belshe let one tire drop off the road and then over corrected. That sent her sliding into the oncoming lane. There was no other traffic, so she slid across the road and came to rest in the southbound ditch, striking the passenger side of the car on a tree.

Adopt-A-Child Needs You

There’s still time to help a child for Christmas, but not much of it. The annual Adopt-A-Child deadline is December 5th, a week from Monday. More than 110 children still need to be adopted.To “adopt” a child, buy a few gifts, such as clothing, a “need,” such as a jacket or gloves and a wished-for item or two. Then take the unwrapped items to Iola’s First Baptist Church.

Ideally, organizers would like to have all of the children adopted by Thanksgiving so that donors can have wish lists in hand for special “Black Friday” sales when the Christmas shopping season hits high gear. Organizers say there are more children from 7 to 10 years old, still to be adopted this year than in previous years. There are also more kids in the overall program. Cash donations also are welcome. Money can be taken to Emprise Bank in Iola.

State Says Allen County Drought is Worse

State officials said yesterday Allen and most surrounding counties drought status remains serious. In an executive order, Governor Brownback moved Allen, Neosho, Coffey, Wilson and Woodson counties from the second-most severe drought status to the most-severe. Anderson county remained in drought warning status, the second-level, while conditions improved in Miami county prompting its move from the worst category to the second tier. Small communities and individuals within the emergency counties can now pump water form some state fishing lakes, subject to approval form Wildlife and Parks and proving they are in dire need.

Manhunt Closes County Road for Hours Monday

A manhunt yesterday closed a two-mile stretch of county road for several hours. The Allen County Sheriff’s Department closed 2000 Road between Maryland and Idaho roads in the late afternoon and early evening hours as they searched for a person they believed may have been armed. About 7:15 last night, we were told by Allen County Dispatch that the search had ended without the person being found. According to multiple people urged to stay inside during the search, the incident is apparently related to a chase that ended in Humboldt with the driver bolting away on foot. That information is, so far, unconfirmed by law enforcement.

Grants Have Already Improved Iola Schools

When he came to Iola last summer, one of the first things everyone heard about USD 257 Superintendent Brian Pekarek was about all the grants he’d helped his former district in central Kansas win. Efforts started by Pekarek in his first months here are proving fruitful. Twice a month area professionals attend seminars where they learn about nontraditional funding obtained primarily through grants. So far, the Iola district has received $35-thousand dollars in new grant money this year, and Pekarek tells the Register many of the grant winners aren’t announced until spring. The district is pursuing larger grants that could result in $1.5 million for USD 257 schools – $600,000 for SAFE BASE operations, $500,000 for early childhood development, $200,000 for at-risk youth education and $200,000 to retrofit all district school buses.

OffenderWatch Debuts in Allen County

Allen County Law Enforcement is offering a new service for the citizens of Allen County KS. Sheriff Tom WIlliams says OffenderWatch is a program that allows citizens to take an active role in monitoring their families and friends safety. OffenderWatch is an online service that will let you know not only the offenders in your area but also inform you if other offenders move in or if there is a change in their status. It’s at http://www.sheriffalerts.com/cap_main.php?office=54577