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The Hesston Record
347 B Old Hwy 81
Hesston, KS 67062
(620) 327-4831

Person Of Interest In Triple Homicide

Posted 11/2/2016

A person of interest has been named in the triple homicide west of Hesston.  Jereme Lee Nelson, 34, is being sought by the Harvey County Sheriff’s office and KBI.


Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said Nelson is to be considered armed and dangerous.     Walton said a gun was recovered at the crime scene, along with shell casings. However, the gun found at the scene was not the gun used in the murders of Travis Street, 33, Angela Graevs, 37 and Richard Prouty, 52. 


“He was actually on our radar at the first while w were there that evening and it just comes from numerous interviews we’ve been conducting,” said Walton. 


One of the challenges facing investigators is Nelson’s use of various vehicles. 


“He keeps moving from vehicle to vehicle. I think he’ll be in the area, but not necessarily Harvey County,” said Walton  


Nelson’s last registered address was in the 8500 block of SW115th Street in Augusta, as of June of this year.  


According to the KBI web page, Nelson was convicted on August 27, 2015 of felony distribution of heroine/certain stimulants of 1 to less than 3.5 grams in Wichita.  The offense date was listed as August 16, 2012. 


Any person with information on Nelson can contact the Harvey County Sheriffs Department at 316-284-6960 or the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME. 


“It is an active investigation. We have numerous agencies pursuing every lead coming out,” said Walton. 

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3 Dead In Shooting West Of Hesston

Posted 10/30/2016

Harvey County Sheriffs are treating a shooting Sunday on Spring Lake Road west of Hesston as a triple homicide. 

Two males and one female were found dead in a driveway in  the 8000 block of Spring Lake Road, south of Dutch Avenue west of Hesston on Sunday evening. 

The shooting was reported to 911 between 5 and 5:30 p.m.  However, Harvey County Sheriff T. Walton said he estimates the victims had been in the driveway “for a while” and the shooting most likely took place in the late morning hours, “around 11 o’clock.” 

None of the victims have been identified. However, the shooting ocurred at a home occupied by two of the victims, a male and female couple in their mid-30s. A 53 or 54-year-old male was also among the victims.  

An 18-month old toddler was found inside the house. Walton reported the toddler was checked out by emergency services and was unharmed. The child was released into the custody of a grandparent.  

According to Walton, the shooting was called in by a female around 5 p.m. 

“A lady was driving down the road and was stopped by a car. The driver of the car said, ‘There are two bodies in the drive.’ She made the call to 911 and didn’t know if that was the case.  When our deputy showed up, it was not two bodies but three,” said Walton.

Walton said the department is “very interested” in the individual who stopped the reporting party.  

According to Walton, the reporting party said the person who stopped her was a male driving a maroon vehicle but did not have information on make, model or a license plate number. 

Walton said there are currently no suspects in the shooting, but it was a “targeted event.”  

“We’re not aware of any wild person out just shooting people...We have an idea for some of the things behind this; it’s not in the local area,” he said. 

Walton said he anticipates officers to be on scene all night. 

“There’s a lot of things to go over and there’s a lot of evidence and things to collect,” he said. 

Walton added with officers working the scene through the night, he hopes to have more information made available on Monday morning. 

The Harvey County Sheriffs department will be leading the investigation. According to Hesston Police Chief Doug Schroeder, the Hesston Police Department “will be helping out as needed.”  Officers from Newton Police Department, Harvey County Sheriffs Department and State Troopers responded to the scene.  The Kansas Bureau of Investigations will also be arriving on Monday to assist with the investigation.  

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Gough Giving Away Art At Holiday Marketplace

Posted 10/27/2016

By Jacki Nelson

Vicki Gough spends hours in her basement, elbows propped up by beanbags, stairing intently into an oxy-propane torch, melting glass rods and creating works of art.

Gough, a lampworker, creates fingernail-size pieces of art - glass beads. 

“I had a love for them, and I didn’t have a natural talent for stringing them together. I had an epiphany - I could learn to make them,” she said. After her revelation three years ago, Gough set to work on her newfound hobby.

Gough turned to the internet and ordered a book on lampwork and began scouring Youtube for tutorials.

“I was possessed, or obsessed.  By the time I took a class in Wichita, I kind of had the idea and I started collecting equipment,” she said.

Today, Gough has a GTT Bobcat, bottles of propane and oxygen, a kiln, tools, molds and thousands of rods of glass.  Each piece serves a specific purpose, and puts Gough one step further in her quest to create perfect pieces of art.

“It’s the challenge of mastering the techniques. I want to become more technically excellent. The heat control is really crucial, and the placement.  There’s so much learning in what glasses go together and make beautiful colors,” she said.

Gough said even as each bead is completed by hand, they must carefully be hand-cleaned before being put to market. 

To read more see this weeks print edition

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Boxing Up Holiday Spirit

Posted 10/27/2016

By Jacki Nelson

Michelle Pfautz, along with dozens of volunteers, already have their eyes toward the Christmas season for soldiers stationed overseas this holiday season.

Operation Christmas Stocking, an annual event to collect and create care packages for soldiers stationed outside the United States, is well underway, requesting donations and setting a packing date. 

Pfautz, whose father is a Koran War veteran, a father-in-law who served during World War II and a son who served in Iraq, said she has heard, first hand, the joy of receiving a care package. 

“They are missing people from home, and they don’t get a lot of things,” she said.

Pfautz, along with donors and packagers, strive to supply deployed service people with a touch of home.

“Last year I met a woman, one of the gals in the VFW in Hill City, [boxes] went to her grandson.  She asked if I was one of the gals from Hesston.  She told me, ‘You were part of the group that sent boxes to Germany.  My grandson said they had mail at their place and they thought it was one box. They got 76boxes. They couldn’t believe what they got,’ That’s what our town does and brings to people,” she said.

Last year,Operation Christmas Stocking sent 76 boxes. This year, Pfautz said, she is aspiring to send 80.

“I’m trying to get in touch with Jill Toews. Her son is a Marine and we would like to send them to him - so they can get to someone from our home town and his unit,” said Pfautz. 

To read more see this weeks print edition

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Final Candidate Forum Gives Voters Another Look At Sheriff Candidates

Posted 10/27/2016

By Jacki Nelson

HALSTEAD – Last Thursday evening, the final Harvey County Sheriffs Candidate Forum was hosted by the Kansas Learning Center for Health. The Hesston Record and the Harvey County Independent held the forum.

Candidates Chad Gay and Bryan Hall opened the forum with remarks on their qualifications and candidacy. The majority of the forum was comprised of audience-generated questions for the candidates.

• The first question for each of the candidates was regarding the primary focus of each of their administrations.

Hall responded he wants the office modernized.

“Not just with technology, but base crime policy off things that work.”

Hall went on to say that law enforcement has been policing based on emotion, “it feels good; someone does something bad, you punish them.” 

Hall said his primary focus would be to help people and to bring new, evidence-based policy and policing to the department.

Candidate Chad Gay said, “The way I look at things is people first.”

Gay emphasized creating personal relationships with residents and deputies and encouraging officers to be engaged.

“I want our deputies to get to know everyone and guys to be involved in their communities. I would encourage department members to get out and get involved,” he said. 

To read more see this weeks print edition

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