OP firefighter cooks up a Thanksgiving surprise for his wife who is battling breast cancer

By Cynthia Newsome
KSHB – November 25, 2015

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Overland Park firefighter Brian Minick is smiling because he pulled off a Thanksgiving surprise for his wife Nikki on Wednesday at Overland Park Mazda.

Nikki is battling breast cancer. She had a double mastectomy and suffered an infection that put her in the hospital. Nikki was recently released from the hospital and came to work to tell her coworkers happy Thanksgiving, but she had no idea the real Thanksgiving surprise was for her.

When Nikki walked into the service area her old beat-up ‘67 Chevy Impala had a brand new look.

Ussery Auto Body mechanics have been working on it since June, and for the past two weeks they put in extra hours at night and on weekends to get it ready by Thanksgiving.

“We’ve all (our mechanics) had someone we know – a friend or relative – who has had cancer, and so we wanted to make sure we did something that helped her have some joy while she’s struggling with breast cancer,” said Ghafari Naraghi, the owner of Ussery Auto Body.

The remodeled car has power steering, air conditioning, tinted windows, new tires and a jet black sleek paint job.

“It’s wonderful,” Nikki said. “Words cannot express how beautiful it is.”

Nikki thanked the Ussery Auto Body mechanics who were there for the big reveal. She also hugged her coworkers and family who were there to see her smile.

Brian Minick said his wife is a good mother, the love of his life and his rock.

“She’s been there for me, and now I’m going to be there for her,” Brian said.

Castaneda shows thanks with food

By Derrick Mead
Wellington Daily News – November 25, 2015

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Mike Castaneda (in truck) shakes hands with a police officer. Photo by Derrick Mead.

With Veterans Day and Thanksgiving both in November, local chef Mike Castaneda wanted to do something to show his thanks and give back.

He did just that last week, as the expert in ‘extreme sandwiches’ was able to sandwich his appreciation in between the two holidays.

Castaneda, a veteran himself, who also spent some time with the sheriff’s department, wanted to show his thanks for local public safety workers.

Using his talents as a chef and resources with his new food truck, Castaneda set up his Bade Truck outside the public safety building in Wellington.

For a change, Castaneda was not selling food, but giving it away to public service members as a thank you for the work they do.

“I worked for the sheriff’s department for a little bit, and being a soldier, you hear a lot of negativity,” Castaneda said. “People just don’t care about a lot of the stuff you go through.”

The event went over extremely well, as Castaneda and his food truck continue to gain popularity.

Police Chief Tracy Heath was very appreciative.

“Mike actually approached us as a ‘thank you’ standpoint for all public safety,” Heath said. “The food was awesome.

What did Heath eat?

“I had the Smokehouse. It was delicious,” he said. “My guys talked about it for hours. All were very appreciative. … That was a huge gesture as a sign of support.”

Fire Chief Tim Hay was unable to get to Bade Truck for a meal, but said his guys loved it.

“I did not personally eat from the truck, but the on duty shift did and they said the food was good,” Hay said. “The police chief and sheriff also commented that what they ate was very good. We are very appreciative of what he (Castaneda) did and took the time and at his own expense to provide lunch.”

Castaneda says he just wanted to do some good in light of so many bad things going on lately in the world.

“I just want people to be happy. I’m tired of seeing all the negative,” Castaneda said. “I’m hoping this will make people want to do something their own way. Like, if I could do something food related, maybe someone else can use what they do to help others, too.”

He even said he wants others, especially people in Wellington, to flourish.

“Why not support each other? Even if these local places (restaurants) are competition, I still want them to succeed.”

Following his goodwill efforts in Wellington on Wednesday, Castaneda took his truck to South Haven Thursday evening before returning to Smoker’s Choice in Wellington Friday evening and heading to Hopping Gnome Brewing Company in Wichita on Saturday.

Castaneda, who always seems to sell out, said he took extra stuff to South Haven (population 357) and still sold out.

“In towns like that, people tell their friends and those friends tell their friends — word spreads quickly,” Castaneda said on Friday.

He added he plans to be in Caldwell for the Christmas Bazaar this weekend.

For updates on where Bade Truck will be next, be sure to “like” Bade Truck on Facebook and follow along on Twitter and Instagram.

Longtime volunteer firefighter celebrates 90th birthday

By Scott Elpers
Derby Informer – October 28, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 25, 2015


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Just the mention of car keys, and Chuck Fields starts to laugh.

“Lose my keys once and I haven’t lived it down since,” Fields said surrounded by family and friends at his 90th birthday celebration on Sunday at Derby Masonic Lodge No. 365, where he’s been a member since the day it opened in 1956.

It seems like everyone in Derby has a story about Fields. That’ll happen when you’ve been involved in the community as long as he has.

“The story that comes around the most was the time he lost his keys,” said Peter Herring, master mason of lodge No. 365. “To this day, everyone still asks him if he has his keys when he’s leaving.”

Fields’ biggest contribution to Derby was the 56 years he served on Derby’s volunteer fire department. He joined shortly after he moved to Derby in 1955, and didn’t retire until 2011.

The department was only three years old when Fields moved to Derby following a stint in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1951. He joined to serve as a volunteer while working at Boeing in industrial engineering and electronics.

Fields also served as the city’s civil defense director, was on the city council, a municipal judge for a number of years and worked as a fire inspector and secretary to the department.

His passion for firefighting can be seen in Hose No. 1, a fully restored 1916 Seagrave Fire Truck purchased for $1. Fields was among a group of firefighters that was instrumental in acquiring the antique engine, which he also drove during Derby parades.

The fire truck made its way from the old Wichita Historical Museum to Cow Town, where it sat outside and rusted. The Derby Volunteer Fire Department, with the help of Wichita firefighter Tom McGauhey, bought the truck from Cow Town for $1 and restored it in 1966.

In 1968, McGauhey and three other firefighters were killed in the Yingling Chevrolet fire. Derby had eight men assisting on that fire, including Fields.

The dates are blurry in Fields’ mind, but the evnts were not. He remembers the Udall tornado in 1955 and the fire at Yingling Chevrolet that claimed the life of McGauhey.

“We spent three days carrying bodies out of Udall,” Fields said. “Then there was Yingling Chevrolet fire. I helped uncover four of my friends out of there when the roof caved in.”

It’s stories like the Yingling fire that mean more to some than just a pair of lost car keys.

“He’s always been someone who’s been there for me and looked after me. In fire service you meet guys like Chuck that have an impact on your life and mean a lot to you,” said Ted Austin, who’s known Fields through the fire department for the past 40 years. “He was always a driving force at the department for getting stuff done and getting everyone to work together. He was the first one there and the last one to leave type of guy.”

Smoking blamed for mobile home fire

KAKE – November 25, 2015

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Fire broke out Tuesday night at a mobile home park in southwest Wichita. Investigators think careless smoking was the cause.

Crews were able to keep the flames from spreading beyond one unit on West Carey Lane, not far from Interstate 235 and Seneca. A family inside was able to get out safely.

Crews were called to the fire around 11:00 p.m. They found flames coming from a back bedroom at the mobile home. Things were brought under control quickly, but damage is estimated at $9,000.

Despite the damage, the three people who live there apparently decided to stay overnight. Neighbors told KAKE News they provided jackets and water to help them cope.

Mother accused of starting apartment fire with daughter possibly inside

By Emily Rittman
KCTV 5 – November 25, 2015

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Neighbors said a woman hoping to cash in on renter’s insurance put her own daughter and an apartment complex full of families in danger.

Angel Walker is in jail, charged with aggravated arson and endangering a child.

The River By the Woods apartment near North 27th Street and Sewell Avenue in Kansas City, KS, is boarded up. Burned clothing, speckled with soggy drywall, is on the ground.

“I saw a whole bunch of firemen,” neighbor Heri Williams said.

Firefighters put out flames at the apartment Friday. Investigators said Walker started the fire on purpose despite the fact that her little girl lived in the apartment with her.

“She just lit it up on purpose trying to get insurance, but it didn’t work,” Williams said.

Neighbors said the timing is suspicious because the fire started right after Walker got renter’s insurance. Investigators believe her child may have been inside when the fire started.

Neighbors said the little girl, who is old enough to walk, could have been seriously hurt.

“That’s what the whole building was worried about. The girl, the baby and not the mother. The mom was not taking care of the baby whatsoever,” Williams said.

People who live at the apartment said Walker’s daughter would often rely on them for help.

“Everybody gathered around the child trying to be there for the child,” Williams said.

Neighbors said Walker’s daughter is staying with a family member.

The mother is held in the Wyandotte County jail on a $40,000 bond.

Electrical issue to blame for S. Wichita fire

KWCH – November 25, 2015

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Two residents were able to safely escape, but more than $20,000 in damage was estimated in a Tuesday evening fire to a home in south Wichita.

The fire was reported in the 3900 block of East Cessna. When crews arrived on the scene, they found fire coming out of the attic of the home.

Investigators say the fire was caused by an electrical issue.

Mutual aid dispatched to river fire on Monday

Great Bend Tribune – November 25, 2015

Great Bend Fire Department dispatched units to the west of Radium Road in the area of the Arkansas River (SW 60 Ave. and West Barton County Road) at 12:06 p.m. Monday for the report of hay bales on fire. They arrived on scene and found several large hay bales as well as grass and trees on fire.
Another fire was located down in the river about one mile from this fire (SW 70 Ave. and SW 60 Road) at 4:31 p.m. Crews found more grass and trees burning down in the river at that location. Mutual aid crews from Pawnee Rock and Stafford County were called to assist.
Crews remained on scene for several hours. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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