Wyandotte County students earn concrete certification at K-State

Two students from Wyandotte County at Kansas State University have earned concrete technician certification following completion of coursework and successfully passing an exam.

Christopher Betzen, senior in construction science and management, Bonner Springs; and Alexis Susunaga, senior in construction science and management, Kansas City, Kansas, received tilt-up concrete technician certification following completion of coursework and passing an exam administered by the American Concrete Institute, according to a K-State news release.

The two students are from the G.E. Johnson Department of Architectural Engineering and Construction Science at K-State’s Carl R. Ice College of Engineering.

Students earned the certification by demonstrating an understanding of safety, plan reading, scheduling, site preparation and foundations, slabs on grade, layout, forming, concrete properties and placement, erection and structural systems for producing tilt-up projects.

Tilt-up is a construction technique for casting concrete elements in a horizontal position at the job site and then tilting them to their final position in a structure.

The group of students completing the exam took the course Tilt-up Concrete Construction, which was developed and taught by Kimberly Waggle Kramer, professor and G.E. Johnson construction science chair in architectural engineering and construction science.

“Construction companies performing this type of construction are required to have a certified technician on the job,” Kramer said. “K-State has helped to triple the number of technicians in Kansas throughout the last several years, as well as helped to certify the first two female tilt-up concrete technicians in the nation. This year, 18% of the students are female, while according to the National Association of Women in Construction, women working in the construction industry numbered 1.5% of the entire U.S. workforce.”

In 17 years, more than 450 students have taken Kramer’s course and nearly all of them have become certified as tilt-up technicians with a 99.8% pass rate.

BPU to meet Wednesday

The Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Public Utilities will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19.

The BPU Finance Committee meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m.

On the agenda for the regular meeting at 6 p.m. is a public comment time, election of officers, general manager and staff reports, COVID updates, November financial report, utility cost of service study, miscellaneous comments and board comments, followed by an executive session.

The BPU board meetings are open to the public, usually held at 6 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of each month.

The virtual board meeting on Jan. 19 is accessible through the telephone and also on Zoom on the internet.

To join the Zoom meeting, visit https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84523139724.

To join by phone, call toll-free 1-888-475-4499.

The meeting ID number is 845 2313 9724.

The board meeting information packet is available at https://www.bpu.com/Portals/0/pdf/board-information-packet-1-19-22.pdf.

Federal probe into Kansas City, Kansas, police is looking at officer misconduct, decades of homicides

by Peggy Lowe and Steve Vockrodt, KCUR and Kansas News Service

Federal subpoenas reveal a sweeping investigation into the KCKPD during the time former detective Roger Golubski worked on the force, including demands ranging for more than two decades of homicide cases to a single rape kit.

A federal grand jury has demanded that the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department hand over records covering two decades of homicide cases, internal affairs reports and informant files as part of what appears to be a wide-ranging investigation.

The nine subpoenas obtained by KCUR through a Kansas Open Records request reveal a search for information on homicide cases that cover the years Roger Golubski worked as a KCKPD detective, through 2010, the year he retired from the department.

KCKPD and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, confirmed in October that since 2019 they were cooperating with a federal grand jury looking into allegations against Golubski.

Golubski is accused in a civil lawsuit of routinely exploiting Black women in Kansas City, Kansas, with sex and drugs, both for his own gratification and to pressure victims into fabricating testimony to clear homicide cases he investigated. In court filings, he has denied those claims.

But the subpoenas, issued between June 2019 through November 2021, indicate that the Justice Department may be casting a wider net than just Golubski. One subpoena seeks records related to five different officers.

Although the records are heavily redacted, they provide the best public window yet into the federal investigation of a police department that many in the Kansas City, Kansas, community say has been corrupt and not held accountable for decades.

Golubski’s name came to prominence during an exoneration hearing for Lamonte McIntyre, a Kansas City, Kansas, man who was convicted of a 1994 double murder after allegedly being framed by Golubski and a Wyandotte County prosecutor. McIntyre was exonerated and released from prison in 2017 after serving more than 23 years. Golubski has denied the allegations and in a November 2020 deposition in a civil lawsuit brought by McIntyre and his mother, he asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 555 times.

Laurie Levenson, a law professor at Loyola Marymount University who was not involved in the case, said the first batch of subpoenas appeared to seek broad swaths of information, including 22 years of homicide cases and internal affairs reports on several officers. Levenson, a former federal prosecutor, said federal authorities could be focused on a particular case to see the larger picture.

“You don’t know where you’re going to find that needle in the haystack,” she said.

Federal investigators could be focused on Golubski because they need to find red flags and patterns of conduct and to see how widespread potential problems could be, she said.

“They have to focus on this guy’s misconduct, but the feds care more about systematic problems,” Levenson said. “You bring in the feds when you have a problem that has metastasized.”

Nancy Chartrand, a KCKPD spokeswoman, said the department is complying with the subpoenas and has turned over all of the requested documents and evidence. KCKPD is not aware of any current employees who have been subpoenaed and the federal grand jury is not investigating current personnel or practices, she said.

“The KCKPD has received no communication from the FBI that indicates that their investigation extends to our current department,” Chartrand said.

The first subpoena, issued on June 7, 2019, asks the KCKPD to produce all records “related to the allegations made by (redacted) against former Officer (redacted) beginning in (redacted).” It also asks for 17 items that were part of an internal affairs investigation done in response to the allegations, but that list was also blacked out.

The same subpoena asks for all KCKPD or internal affairs records of investigations and complaints related to five other unnamed officers.

The FBI has offered a reward for information on Rhonda Tribue, a Black woman allegedly linked to Golubski and who was killed in 1998. Her case remains unsolved. In court papers, attorneys for McIntyre claim Golubski used Tribue as an informant. Last July, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation handed over to federal authorities information from its own probe into sexual assault allegations against Golubski.

McIntyre’s lawyers are also seeking records associated with several unsolved homicides in their civil lawsuit against Golubski, the Unified Government and others.

Last April, McIntyre’s lawyers demanded the defendants turn over, among other things, photographs and investigative files of up to 19 women who were associated with Golubski. Some of the women, it was said, were murdered and had their cases investigated by Golubski, which McIntyre’s attorneys said amounted to “a clear conflict of interest.”

Activists have also called for a larger investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice’s civil rights division.

In November, KCUR reported on two FBI investigations into the KCKPD in the 1990s that showed police beat Black people routinely, were said to be involved in the drug trade and ignored the city’s crack cocaine problem.

In all, the subpoenas, with dates issued, seek:

June 7, 2019
• Allegations made by an unidentified person against a former unnamed officer, with a redacted date.
• All evidence collected and tested as part of an Internal Affairs investigation into those allegations, with 17 redacted items.
• All records, including internal affairs, relating to complaints against or investigations conducted on five unidentified officers.

June 19, 2019
• An unnamed case file, including notes, documents, evidence, records, recordings, reports or correspondence from a redacted date to the present.

September 6, 2019
• Three unidentified homicide investigations, including lab reports or evidence test results.
• All KCKPD homicides listings from 1988 through 2010.

August 14, 2020
• Six homicide files of unidentified people, including dispatch reports, witness statements, crime scene photos and reports, audio or video recordings, evidence list, bullets, bullet fragments and bullet casings, lab reports on evidence and autopsy reports.
• Drug, gang, violent crime, prostitution or homicide investigative files on four unidentified witnesses and victims of the homicide cases.
• Files on 36 unidentified informants and “all informant files or databases registered to, completed by, or handled by an unidentified person.

October 19, 2020
• Two homicide cases of unidentified people with case numbers redacted.

March 30, 2021
• Three homicide cases of unidentified people, including dispatch reports, witness statements, crime scene photos and reports, evidence list, autopsy reports and investigator notes.
• Photographs of several unidentified uniformed or plain-clothes KCKPD officers.

April 20, 2021
• An unidentified homicide case, including dispatch reports, witness statements, crime scene photos and reports, evidence list, autopsy reports, investigator notes and electronic or written correspondence.
• Records related to an unidentified person, who may have been a subject, witness or victim of any violent crime, prostitution, drug trafficking, weapons trafficking or gang crime.
• Informant files on an unidentified person.

October 26, 2021
• A homicide case file with three separate locations.

November 10, 2021
• A rape kit, including records associated with it, on an unnamed person.

The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio focused on health, the social determinants of health and their connection to public policy.

Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished by news media at no cost with proper attribution and a link to ksnewsservice.org.

See more at https://www.kcur.org/news/2022-01-18/federal-probe-into-kansas-city-kansas-police-is-looking-at-officer-misconduct-decades-of-homicides