Officials warn of a new gift card scam targeting Kansans…and other headlines from the Today in Kansas Report: August 28, 2019

Sacha SanguinettiAugust 28, 2019

Officials are warning of a new angle on an old scam. According to the Kansas Attorney General’s Office, a new version on a gift card scam they’ve seen pop up is the scammers posing as a religious leader in the community asking for contributions to their charitable efforts in the form of a gift card. Typically, these requests come in the form of an email that may appear to be legitimate on its face. However, be on alert for the usual warning signs for these types of phishing scams. Some of the telltale signs include the email domain being different than the one typically used by the church, spelling or grammatical mistakes in the body of the email – or even the minister’s name being spelled slightly wrong. Because it allows the scammer to more easily send the email to many recipients, the email will often simply contain a “hello” or “hi” rather than a more personal greeting that includes your name. All of these discrepancies should raise alarm bells inside your head when you receive an email asking for money or personal information. Perhaps the biggest red flag, however, is the request to make a donation via gift card.

A teenager is taken to custody for an alleged school threat.  The Harvey County Sheriff’s Office and Sedgwick Police investigated a threat of potential violence against Sedgwick schools on Monday evening.  The 14-year-old suspect was identified and taken into custody on suspicion of criminal threat.  Officials say the incident was isolated, and there is currently no active threat.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office is calling for a park to be named after a fallen deputy.  Sheriff’s office officials suggested naming the former Judge Riddel Boys Ranch space at Lake Afton Park the Robert Kunze Memorial Activity Park.  Kunze was killed in the line of duty last year.  People can visit Sedgwick County’s Facebook page to vote on names for the recently refurbished park.

The Kansas Department of Revenue’s Division of Vehicles is working to make a trip to its offices easier. According to the state, the agency is piloting a scheduling platform at its Topeka office so visitors can create an appointment and know exactly when they will be able to be helped. Walk-in visitors will still be allowed on a first-come-first-served basis. This service is part of the agency’s current line-queuing service through Q-Flow. While they are piloting the system in the Topeka office, the plan is to expand it to other offices soon.

Another Kansas Community is adopting legal protections for LGBTQ people.  The Shawnee City Council voted this week to approve a nondiscrimination ordinance.  The measure extends gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination protections to public accommodations and services, the sale or lease of property and public and private employment.  The new ordinance will take effect September 3rd.

The hospital system in Abilene has received a Pathways to Healthy Kansas Implementation Grant in the amount of $10,000.00 to purchase water bottle filling stations in each of their facilities. They will install water bottle filling stations at Memorial Hospital, and at five other locations across Abilene. MHS has implemented policies to enhance employee health and fitness and to discourage tobacco use, and would like to encourage employees and visitors to make the healthy choice of drinking more water.

A very unique gallery exhibit is now open at a Central Kansas college. The unique exhibit spans several academic disciplines, including history, English, communication, philosophy, psychology, sociology, auto restoration, and art and design, and will have appeal to a wide audience. Among other things are sculptures based on cold war area civil defense items. From the early 1940s through the late 1970s, the United States government made various efforts through offices of civil defense to educate and warn citizens about the threat of attack from hostile nations. Also on display is the art of William Counter. Counter is a regional artist whose studio is located on a family farm outside of Chapman. The exhibit will be on display through October 13 and can be viewed during regular business hours.

 

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