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Topeka

Man Suspected of Killing Cop Calls WIBW During Manhunt


A man suspected of shooting and killing a Topeka police officer Sunday night, called into CBS affiliate WIBW about an hour into the police manhunt saying he wanted to surrender.

During the call, Ross Lane, told reporter Melissa Brunner he didn’t mean for the shooting to happen and said he was on foot after a car he stole during his escape broke down.

According to the station, “He added that he was now unarmed, and did not want to be a Tiscareño, referring to the man who shot and killed two Topeka Police Officers in 2012, then was killed following a standoff with authorities.”

“What can I do to help you turn yourself in unhurt, is that what you want to do?,” asked Melissa.

As we spoke, news director Jon Janes got a Topeka Police detective on the line to relay information.

“He wants you to know he is unarmed and wants to surrender,” said Melissa to police, talking into the phone one her left ear, while the caller was on the phone on her right ear.

“Ross, what are you wearing,” she said to the caller, juggling conversations.

Investigators came in to review the call and take a copy.

About an hour later, we were informed he was taken into custody without incident in Lawrence.

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Meteorologist Drew Switzer Leaving Topeka’s WIBW

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Meteorologist Drew Switzer will be leaving Topeka CBS affiliate WIBW, the station announced Thursday.

Switzer, who has been at WIBW since 2007, announced he will be leaving to pursue a new career in the financial industry. His last day will be Friday, August 29th.

He explained his decision in a personal letter posted to the station’s website. Read it, after the jump.
Read more

What Are Local Stations Covering?

This time we’re looking at Topeka, KS, where LIN Broadcasting owns and operates three of the four stations in the market.

After the infographic you can see what can happen when one company owns three stations in a market.

Normally, we’d talk about the story mix between the three. But this time, while researching we saw a symptom of what happens when one company owns three stations. We caught a spelling error on a graphic that appeared on all the LIN owned stations. “Rollover” was spelled “Rollver.” Three times. In three different shows. Check out the screen grabs after the Read more

Escaped Inmate Calls Topeka’s WIBW Before Surrendering to Authorities

An escaped Kansas convict is back in custody, but not before calling Topeka CBS affiliate WIBW and telling staffers there he was going to surrender.

Mark Lucas escaped from the Hutchinson Correctional Facility on Saturday afternoon. The station said a man who identified himself as Lucas called WIBW at 6:00 a.m. this morning and said he planned to surrender peacefully at the Shawnee Count Department of Corrections between 8:00 and 8:20 a.m. He told the station he is “not the monster” he has been made out to be.

According to the Topeka Capital-Journal, Lucas was serving time for serial shoplifting and his earliest release date was still ten years away.

Veteran WIBW Broadcast Engineer Dies

The longest-tenured employee of WIBW has died. Elmer Gunderson, a broadcast engineer at the Topeka CBS affiliate for almost 58 years, lost his battle with cancer Sunday. He was 81.

Gunderson joined the station in 1955, just two years after the station went on the air. He was just out of the Navy and looking for a radio engineering job to pay for his education. WIBW radio had no openings, but the television station did.

“He asked if I had any experience in television,” Gunderson said in a 2005 interview. “I said no. He said do you want to learn? And I said that would be all right.”

Gunderson continued to work at WIBW until his health declined in April.

Ray Anthony Miles Found Guilty in WIBW Attack Trial

Ray Anthony Miles was convicted Thursday on charges of breaking into the WIBW newsroom and assaulting four station employees, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal.

Miles was found guilty on three counts of aggravated battery and one count of making a criminal threat, all felonies. He was also found guilty of misdemeanor counts of battery and criminal damage to the property at WIBW, Topeka’s CBS affiliate.

During court proceedings Thursday, Miles attempted to exit the courtroom. The Capital-Journal has more details:

As the verdicts were read, Miles sat on the bar in front of the gallery while four officers were within 10 feet of him. He didn’t show any reaction to the verdicts.

In an incident Thursday before closing statements, Miles tried to exit the court after he became disgruntled with the proceedings. Corrections officers immediately cuffed his hands behind his back, then led Miles to the judge’s conference room so jurors waiting in the hallway wouldn’t see him led away in handcuffs. Read more

WIBW ND, GSM Testify in Trial of Man Accused of Breaking Into Station and Attacking Employees

The trial of Ray Anthony Miles, a man accused of breaking into WIBW and attacking newsroom employees, began this week in Topeka. News director Jon Janes and general sales manager Roger Brokke both testified Tuesday, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal:

Brokke and several other employees were taking a cardiopulmonary resuscitation class inside WIBW-TV at 631 S.W. Commerce on May 23 when they heard someone had broken through a locked door and was rushing into the station.

News director Jon Janes testified Miles had come to the station to ask him to do a story about a problem he said he was having with the Department of Veterans Affairs. “I told him I didn’t think we could help him,” Janes said of Miles, who was impatient, fidgeting, very angry and agitated. Read more

WIBW’s Suzie Gilbert Leaves TV for City Job

Suzie Gilbert, reporter and anchor for WIBW, the Topeka, KS, CBS affiliate will leave the bright lights for the big city job.

At the end of October, Gilbert will transition into the communications director position serving as the primary media contact for the city of Topeka.

According to the Topeka Capital-Journal, city manager Jim Colson said, “She will be primarily responsible for directing and enhancing the city’s communication program, including internal and external communications, media relations and public information, social media, Web presence and City4 operations.”

Gilbert started at WIBW in 2010.  She previously worked in radio at KXCV/KRNW, the NPR affiliate in northwest Missouri.

Ray Miles, Accused of Breaking Into WIBW and Stabbing Two Employees, to Stand Trial

Ray Miles, the man accused of breaking into WIBW and stabbing two employees, will stand trial on seven charges this fall, the Topeka CBS-affiliate says.

Miles, who was charged with two counts of battery, criminal threat, criminal damage and aggrevated burglary in the May 23 break-in, participated in a preliminary hearing yesterday. WIBW chief engineer Cary Lahnum, general sales manager Roger Brokke and advertising representative Greg Palmer, who all sustained injuries during the incident, testified.

Miles was reportedly disgruntled that news director Jon Janes had declined to do a story about his issues with the VA. Miles was eventually subdued by station employees, who held him until the police arrived and arrested him. His trial is scheduled to start on September 12.

WIBW’s Facebook Page ‘Hacked’ by GM

For a moment over the weekend, it appeared as though the Facebook page of WIBW in Topeka, KS had been hacked.  Out of nowhere, a series of messages were posted on the CBS-affiliate’s page that criticized Topeka and praised the city’s interstate rival, Manhattan.

“We’re pretty sure our Facebook pages have been hacked,” WIBW reporter Suzie Gilbert announced in a post on Saturday.  “We’re working on it!”

And then the station quickly discovered the person behind the “hack”: general manager Jim Ogle. Read more

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