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Tabatha Mills

Tabatha Mills

Tabatha Mills, Anchor/Reporter

Tabatha Mills is a Bakersfield, California native. She spent most of her childhood on a farm, in a ballet studio or on the basketball court. All three still hold a very special place in her heart. Given her basketball background she's very excited to now live in Lawrence, the home of the University of Kansas Jayhawks.

Tabatha attended college at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. She majored in agribusiness and minored in agricultural communications, journalism, marketing, and theatre. After graduating she worked in the California rodeo system as a marketing and public relations manager. She then interned with the Tampa Bay Rays in Florida as an on-field in-game coordinator. After that, she found herself in front of the camera working as an anchor and reporter in east Tennessee. That was until that fateful day that she applied at 6News and knew from the first email she received from News Director Lindsey Slater that she wanted to join the 6News team!

Outside of work, Tabatha enjoys volunteering for various organizations whenever she can. She loves working with children and given her chipper attitude, they love working with her. She also enjoys the arts and all they encompass. From music, to movies, to art exhibits. There's a good chance you can find her enjoying something arts related.

Tabatha said it is her goal every day to bring a smile to someone's face. If you've ever spent 20 minutes with her, you'll probably leave with one.

In ending her bio, she had a few things to say. The first, something her father says to her nearly every day: "Gabba Gabba Hey."

The second, her favorite: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. You're playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Marianne Williamson

You can find Tabatha on Facebook here and follow her on Twitter here.

It isn’t the 4th of July without fireworks.  As much fun as it is to watch firecrackers light up the night sky, it can also be a scary night for pets. 

According to Kate Meghji, Executive Director at the Lawrence Humane Society, pets can become frantic and will run away, trying to find a safe haven.  More pets go missing around the 4th of July than any other time of year, and noisy fireworks are to blame.   July 5, is one of the busiest days of the year for shelters across the country. 

“The 4th of July weekend is the number one weekend for pets to get lost.  Animal shelters across the county see a 30 percent increase in lost pets,” said Kate Meghji, Executive Director at the Lawrence Humane Society.

Meghji said 1 in 3 pets will be lost during their lifetime, and only 1 in 10 lost pets will ever make it home.  In an effort to prevent your pet from getting lost this weekend and not making it home, the Lawrence Humane Society is holding a microchipping clinic.

“Since we know fireworks are going to be shot off and they often frighten animals, we want to make sure that if your pet does get lost that they get back to you as quickly as possible and the best way to do that is to make sure they're microchipped,” Meghji said.

Until 6:00 p.m. on Friday July, 3, for a fee of $10.00 each, humane society officials will implant a microchip into your pet.  The chip includes national registration with the Save This Life recovery system.  Meghji said the Save This Life system is simply amazing and allows finders of lost pets to immediately Google their microchip numbers and in that process send text and email alerts to the pet owners that their pet has been found.

A few more good Independence Day tips from Meghji:

  • Leave pets in a cool place indoors
  • If noise is an issue, leave the TV or radio on
  • Try not to feed pets human food while at a 4th of July cookout
  • Make sure pets have access to fresh water
  • Be aware of how pets are acting, if something seems off seek help from a veterinarian

 

 

Federal, state and local authorities are investigating the manufacture of illegal explosives in the Topeka area.

The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is working with Topeka authorities and the Office of the Kansas Fire Marshal in the investigation into homemade explosive devices and equipment to make illegal explosives.

Kevin Doel, a spokesman for the fire marshal's office, said in a release Thursday that criminal charges for the use of explosives are being forwarded to district courts, and the investigation is ongoing.

The ATF says illegal explosive devices are often made and lit around the Independence Day holiday, putting people at risk of injury. Doel says it's illegal to make, sell or distribute explosives without a license in Kansas

Conceptual agreement has been reached on a new four-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between representatives of the City of Lawrence and Lawrence Professional Firefighters, IAFF Local 1596.  The MOU lays out the agreed-upon wages and working conditions for the 104 Firefighters, Engineers, and Lieutenants employed by the Lawrence Douglas County Fire Medical Department. 

The conceptual agreement will be presented to the Lawrence City Commission for consideration at the July 14 City Commission meeting, and to the members of the IAFF on July 8.   The four-year agreement attempts to address firefighter pay structure in the first two years of the agreement and then make market adjustments in the last two years of the agreement.  This combination of pay structure changes and general wage adjustments is expected to bring Lawrence firefighter salaries closer in line to those of comparable departments in our market cities.

In addition to wages, the MOU addresses many issues regarding working conditions.  While the majority of the MOU remains unchanged from previous years, there were several changes made to subjects including skill incentives, differential pay for Rescue and HAZMAT Technicians, shift trades, union time, and voting time.  There were also several issues such as voluntary demotions, wellness leave, and annual physicals that were identified for continued discussion and development during the term of the MOU, via the established Labor-Management meeting process.

The proposed MOU will be in effect from January 1, 2016, until December 31, 2019.  However it includes language that allows either the city or the IAFF to re-open discussions over the general wage adjustment in 2018 and 2019, in the event conditions change substantially over duration of the MOU.

Preliminary meetings, including a comprehensive pay study, began in January 2015, and formal MOU discussions began in April 2015.  Representatives from City Hall, LDCFM administration, Douglas County representatives, and IAFF Local 1596 have held over a dozen meetings during this time to achieve an agreement that is acceptable to all sides prior to the impasse date of July 1.

Casey Toomay, Assistant City Manager and lead negotiator for the city said, “We are pleased to recommend this agreement to the City Commission, which achieves our goal of providing fair compensation to our firefighters. We’d also like to thank the members of IAFF Local 1596 for their dedication and service to the community.”

John Darling, IAFF Local 1596 President and lead negotiator for the firefighters said, “We thank the City Commission for its substantial commitment to support public safety and ensure Lawrence continues to attract the best employees to protect our citizens.”
The Lawrence Police Officers’ Association (LPOA) and the City of Lawrence are pleased to announce that a tentative agreement has been reached regarding the “Memorandum of Understanding” that governs the wages, benefits, and working conditions of the Officers and Detectives of the Lawrence Police Department.

After beginning negotiations in early June, both sides worked continuously to find a fair and equitable meeting point on many mutual objectives, including, most importantly, working together to promote quality services to the community. This agreement allows both parties to avoid entering an impasse arbitration process for the first time in many years.

The negotiation process will now enter the ratification period, during which time the agreement will be voted on by the City Commission and the full membership of the Lawrence Police Officers’ Association. Once the necessary approvals have occurred, this agreement will be in place for three years beginning January 1, 2016 until December 31, 2018. The goals of the agreement were to address wages and compensation differences between the City of Lawrence and peer cities to allow for the further recruitment and retention of the high quality Officers and Detectives this community deserves.

Both the LPOA and the City feel that mutual cooperation between the City and the LPOA led to the ability to reach an agreement in the best interest of the community.

With the conclusion of negotiations, the Lawrence Police Officers’ Association wishes to express thanks for the tireless, good faith efforts of the City Management team- Casey Toomay, Assistant City Manager, Police Chief Tarik Khatib, Lori Carnahan, Human Resources Manager, and Captain Anthony Brixius. The LPOA also wishes to thank City Commissioner Matthew Herbert, whose presence at negotiations provided meaningful insight and perspective.

The City would like to thank the LPOA Executive Board: Chairman Mike McAtee, Vice-Chairman Bill Bradford, Secretary Ron Ivener, and Treasurer Andrew Fennelly for their commitment to the negotiation process and all members of the Lawrence Kansas Police Department for their dedication and service to the citizens of Lawrence.

Lawrence Police are asking the public's help in  locating Phillip Owen Morgan.  According to police, Morgan was reported missing on June 11th and was last seen on the evening of June 5th at his residence near Ninth Street and Emery Road.  

 

Police listed Morgan's discription as a 38 year old white male, with short brown hair, and brown eyes, standing about 5’10” tall, and weighing approximately 210 pounds.  He has a short-cropped beard and regularly wears bandanas, baseball caps, or stocking hats and sunglasses.  Morgan also has scars from burns on both forearms.

 

According to police, Morgan frequently uses city parks and regularly walks or rides a bus.  He does not own a vehicle or bicycle.

 

Police say they do not suspect foul play at this time but are concerned for Morgan’s welfare.

 

If you see Morgan, officials ask that you call 911 immediately and ask for an officer to respond.

Kansas might not issue $1 billion in bonds to boost the long-term health of its public pension system even though state officials have given the final go-ahead.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and top GOP legislators signed off Thursday. It was a formal step required by a law enacted in April authorizing the debt.

But officials with the state agency handling the transaction told Brownback and the lawmakers that market conditions might prevent it.

The law says the state can't issue the bonds if it would pay more than 5 percent interest to investors. State officials said they'd be able to obtain a rate of 4.95 percent now.

Backers of the move believe the pension system will earn far more on the new funds than it would pay on the bonds.

Wichita hospitals are reporting an increase in patients being treated after smoking synthetic marijuana, often called K2.

Wesley Medical Center said Wednesday it had treated 15 patients since Sunday with reactions to the drug.

The Wichita Eagle reports Via Christi also reported recent cases but did not have a specific number.

Ashley Lunkenheimer, emergency department manager at Wesley, says the patients this week ranged in age from 17 to 22.

She says the patients have been dropped off by frightened friends and police sometimes find them wandering the streets.

She says K2 patients are often combative and many can't remember taking the drugs. Some can't even remember their names.

Lunkenheimer says she suspects the patients might have used a dangerous batch of K2.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt plans to appeal a state district court judge's ruling blocking the state's first-in-the-nation ban on a common second trimester abortion procedure.

Attorneys representing Schmidt filed a notice Wednesday in Shawnee County District Court that they intend to ask the Kansas Court of Appeals to overturn the ruling last week from Judge Larry Hendricks.

The law was model legislation from the National Right to Life Committee and was to take effect Wednesday. It would have barred doctors from using forceps, clamps or similar instruments on a living fetus to remove it from the womb in pieces.

The Center for Reproductive Rights sued Schmidt on behalf of two Kansas abortion providers.

Hendricks ruled that the law placed too much of a burden on women seeking abortions.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a bill clarifying that a new law aimed at reducing local property taxes doesn't take effect until 2018.

Brownback's office announced Wednesday that he had signed the measure.

It resolves a conflict between two versions of the law contained in separate bills increasing sales and cigarette taxes to balance the state budget. One version said new limits on cities and counties in levying property taxes would take effect July 1 and the other, in 2018 as intended.

Cities and counties generally won't be allowed to spend an increase in property tax revenues above the rate of inflation as measured by the consumer price index without voters' approval. If cities and counties can't spend the extra revenues, they'll have to drop their property tax levies.




Republican Gov. Sam Brownback says he's considering proposing a new religious objections law for Kansas following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing gay marriage across the nation.

Brownback on Thursday also defended the state's refusal so far to allow gay and lesbian spouses to change their last names on driver's licenses or to file joint income tax returns. The governor said his administration wants to make sure such changes are handled correctly.

Brownback has been a strong supporter of the state's ban on same-sex marriage that was reinforced by a 2005 amendment to the Kansas Constitution.

The governor said religious liberties need to be protected. As for legislation next year, he said, "We're looking at that."

Gay-rights leader Tom Witt said Brownback is defying the high court ruling.

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