Theft crime reported significantly lower than previous year

COLUMBUS - The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners held their first meeting of 2018 on Jan. 8. As per the usual first meeting of any month, the board heard reports from the county office heads, who reflected upon the past year as well as gave outlooks for the coming year. The commissioners also reorganized themselves and approved appointments for the coming year.

Cory Moates was appointed Chairman of the Board for 2018, with Neal Anderson being appointed Vice-Chair.

Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves reported that over 300 families in Cherokee County benefited from the recent Toybox campaign. He also gave the board some statistics from the past year: His office saw a 15 percent decrease in thefts from 2016 to 2017, with a 35 percent decrease in vehicle thefts.

Sheriff Groves also reported a significant decrease in concealed carry permits. He attributed this to the "constitutional carry" law Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law in 2015. The law allows Kansans 21 and older to carry concealed firearms regardless of whether they have obtained a permit.

County Attorney Jacob Conard said the county had what he believed was possibly a record high number of homicides last year. He said that next year is looking to be a busy year, with 12 or 13 jury trials scheduled in just the first half of 2018.