Purchase photos

Regional briefs (July 29)

7/28/2012

Midwest Energy warns about recent scam

Midwest Energy is advising residents of central and western Kansas to be aware of a nationwide scam, where households are contacted and told they're eligible for an energy credit offered by President Barack Obama, provided the resident divulges personal information.

The scam began in April targeting utility customers in South Carolina and Florida but since has spread nationwide.

The scam typically involves receiving a recorded or in-person phone call, and the scammer saying you're eligible for an "Obama energy credit." Scam techniques vary, but residents then are milked for personal information, including bank account numbers and occasionally Social Security numbers. Once the information is passed, a bogus routing number is provided to pay bills.

Another version of the scam has the caller posing as a representative of your utility, threatening to shut off electricity unless you provide your banking information.

"We would never call a customer and demand bank information," said Michael Sadeghi, director of customer service at Midwest Energy. "If anyone calls you or shows up at your door and claims to represent Midwest Energy and you have doubts, we encourage you to call us at 800-222-3121 to verify that person's identity."

Great Bend man killed in motorcycle accident

A Great Bend man was killed Friday when the motorcyle he was riding crashed while fleeing from Hays Police, according to a Kansas Highway Patrol report.

Ryan McGinness, 32, was driving a 2012 Suzuki when he failed to negotiate a curve and hit an embankment at 6:44 p.m. The report said the driver, who was not wearing a helmet, flipped several times and ended up in a field. The accident occurred at U.S. Highway 183 Bypass and Golf Course Road, or 1.5 miles west of U.S. 183 and 183 Alternate.

A spokesperson for the Hays Police Department on Saturday could not provide additional information.

Rural crews fight grass fire Friday

Four companies from the Ellis County Rural Fire Department responded to a grass fire Friday afternoon on Hadley Range Road.

Ellis County Rural Fire Chief Dick Klaus said the fire started approximately 2 miles in on the south end of the road. He said the fire, which started at approximately 4 p.m., burned nearly 55 acres before it was extinguished five hours later.

Klaus said the fire started when an oilfield tank a truck was hauling hit a high wire, tore at least one wire down and arced.