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RCPD IDs victim of fatal shooting

Riley County police have identified the man who was shot in west Manhattan Friday night and later died from his wounds.

Tanner Zamecnik, 24, of Manhattan, was one of two people injured after a shooting incident at Park Place Apartments in the 1400 block of Cambridge Place around 10 p.m. Emergency responders took Zamecnik and a second person who was injured but not shot to Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan for treatment.

Officials said Zamecnik later died at the hospital from his wounds. They said Saturday that the second victim, whom RCPD did not identify, is expected to recover.

Officers arrested Richard Goens, 29, of Manhattan, on Saturday just before 5 a.m. in the 900 block of Moro Street in connection with the shooting. Goens is charged with first-degree murder, three counts of aggravated assault and aggravated robbery. He is confined at the Riley County Jail on a $1 million bond.

Advance voting up 30% in Riley County

The Riley County election office has seen a 41% increase in advance voting this election compared to the last municipal election in 2017.

As of noon Monday, when advance voting ended, the election office had seen 1,890 in-person voters and sent out 878 ballots during the advance voting period, said Rich Vargo, county clerk. That is a total of 2,768 advance voters.

In 2017, 1,952 people voted in advance. The total number of voters in that election was 8,083. Advance voters comprised 24% of that. Advance voting ended at noon Monday, with the general election voting period being 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Vargo encourages people to review their sample ballot before heading to the polls.

“There’s a lot to get familiar with on this ballot,” he said.

People can check out their sample ballot on the Riley County website.

In other action Monday, commissioners:

  • Heard an update from the Riley County Police Department. RCPD is finishing improvements this week at its substation in Riley.

“This is going to be a real nice space,” said Capt. Rich Fink.

The police department is installing high-speed internet at the substation, which gives officers the ability to upload body camera footage there.

Previously, officers had to travel back to Manhattan to complete those tasks; now, officers can do that at the Riley substation.

“It’s going to make a difference there,” said vice-chairman Marvin Rodriguez.

  • Discussed the Fancy Creek Road bridge replacement project with Leon Hobson, director of public works. The project began Monday and Hobson expects it to end, weather permitting, in May 2020. The project is near Winkler Mills Road. Fancy Creek Road will be closed from Ober Road west to May Day Road, Hobson said.
  • Approved a certification of unpaid fees at 11307 Briar Lane The landowners of the property failed to pay sewer utility charges from August to October 2019. The total amount due is $344, which includes the charges and non-payment fees. The commission approved putting this amount on the 2020 tax roll instead of sending it to collections. Hobson said, to his knowledge, that the landowners are not living at the property.

I WONDER | Was rumor about KU athletics director true?

Q: I saw a tweet after the KU game from a person who works for Rivals.com. He said this: “Funny story: KU athletic director Jeff Long called K-State athletic director Gene Taylor on Thursday, asking about the location of the Governor’s Cup Trophy because they were planning their victory celebration for after the game on the field. Oops.”

Is that true?

A: No.

Think about it. Why on earth would the KU athletic director do that? Why would he provide bulletin-board material to his rival? Do you think a person capable and experienced enough to run a Power 5 conference athletic department would make that sort of rookie goof?

OK, OK, so maybe Les Miles did exactly that with the whole “Who is K-State?” rant, but we’re talking about Miles’ boss, and we’re talking about a premeditated phone call, not some sort of locker room heat-of-the-moment blather.

What happened, according to Taylor, is that some KU athletics staffers called K-State athletics staffers during the week to work out some of the logistics about the handling of the traveling trophy. Long asked his staff to find out if the two teams wanted to agree to displaying the Governor’s Cup on the field. The cup is awarded to the team that wins the annual K-State-KU football game.

“We said we keep the trophy in our locker room and we would bring it to the game and keep it in our locker room,” Taylor told The Mercury. “If we won we would do the presentation from the Governor in our locker room and if they were to win we would get them the trophy and they could do the presentation however they wanted with the Governor.”

As you know, K-State pounded KU, 38-10. The trophy? Back in Manhattan now.

We don’t know who the source of the information was for the reporter from Rivals.com, since he didn’t cite a source. That’s another tipoff to be a little skeptical.

You can submit a question to this column by e-mail to questions@themercury.com, or by regular mail to Questions, P.O. Box 787, Manhattan, KS 66505.

KSU seeks input in curating collection as it returns materials to Hale Library

K-State Libraries is seeking input from the university community as it looks to begin returning its collections to Hale, university officials said Monday.

After the May 2018 fire at Hale Library, workers moved all collection materials — many of which had smoke and water damage — from the building. Now, as the renovation and restoration of Hale Library continues, K-State must organize more than 1.5 million items in the collection and return the materials to the library.

To create the most useful and relevant circulating collection for K-State, the libraries need information from the campus community. K-State students and faculty members are encouraged to complete a brief survey by Nov. 22 to provide details about their research and teaching activities.

Academic services librarians also will reach out to departments, though departments are encouraged to contact their librarian at their earliest convenience.

Information from these conversations and survey results will provide needed qualitative information in addition to a quantitative analysis of the print collection.

“One of our roles as librarians is the ongoing evaluation and management of our print collections,” said Joelle Pitts, head of content development.

“Since we have to go through our entire physical collection anyway, we can make use of this rare opportunity to perform a comprehensive curation of our print holdings.”

In a recent analysis of more than 1 million items in the circulating collection, data showed that one-third of the materials have not been checked out since 1995.

Electronic data is not available before that date. Results also indicated that the print collection is older than that of most academic research libraries. Ninety-six percent of the items analyzed are more than 10 years old.

“This is a strong indication that there is room for improvement. Intentional and thoughtful curation can improve the quality of the collection by removing materials that are dated or in poor condition. It will also make the print collection easier to browse,” Pitts said. “We want our collection to align with our university’s current and future needs, but to be successful, it’s essential that we gather feedback from the campus community through conversations and survey responses.”

For additional information and updates on the curation project, please visit the libraries website. The campus community can complete the survey online.

OUR NEIGHBORS | Award-winning bartender says family at heart of work, personal life

Beatriz Lopez has many titles, including mother of four, and now she can add award-winning bartender to that list.

Lopez has worked as a bartender at Longhorn Steakhouse in Manhattan for three years and bartended at the restaurant for two.

Lopez recently came out on top in the Bar Stars Series, a regional competition Longhorn Steakhouse hosted across the country to test their employees’ skill and knowledge behind the bar. Lopez moved on to the regional contest, which took place in Olathe, after she scored well in a test at the Manhattan location. She said she had modest expectations for the contest at first. She was one of 58 employees out of more than 515 Longhorn locations in the country to take home the title.

“Before the test I was super nervous,” she said. “I thought I couldn’t do this, but when I’m actually behind the bar, I can get it done easy, fast, right. It went really well and I was confident back there.”

Lopez was tested on things like pouring technique, drink knowledge, ingredient compatibility and more. As the top finishers were announced, Lopez said she never expected to take first place.

“I went in there with the mindset of ‘Just do your best,’” Lopez said. “Then they said my name and I was like what? It was nuts, like are you serious? I got really teary-eyed and super emotional because I didn’t think I was going to win.”

Lopez said she walked away with a trophy, gift basket and cash reward from the competition.

“I like how fast paced (bartending) is,” Lopez said.

“There are days where you’re just kind of everywhere with tables and guests at the bar making drinks. I also like when someone orders something I don’t usually make and I get to look it up and do something new with it. I like trying new things behind the bar.”

Katrina Marshall, managing partner at the Manhattan Longhorn Steakhouse, said Lopez has been a valuable asset to the staff at the restaurant since she started working there.

“Beatriz has been a phenomenal team player for us,” Marshall said. “She was last quarter’s team member of the quarter. She’s a team player in everything she does, but the loyalty she brings to this restaurant and the commitment that she makes to making every guest a loyal guest in our restaurant is top notch.”

Lopez said she hopes her children, 8-year-old Ava, 4-year-old Bria and 9-month-old twins Amaya and Dominic, can take lessons from her work ethic in the future.

“I want them to know that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.” Lopez said. “It might be scary, and you might think you’re going to fail, but it’s OK if you fail. At least you tried. I want them to be able to be strong and go for it.”

Though her own family is large, Lopez said she has found family within her team at Longhorn as well. She and her husband, Jason, moved from Texas to Manhattan about six or seven years ago after Jason was stationed at Fort Riley. Lopez said they fell in love with the area and decided to stay after his service ended.

“Family is so important to me,” Lopez said. “All our family is in Texas — my brother, my sisters, nieces, nephews — so we don’t have anyone here.

“When I started working here, I got really close with a lot of my coworkers and there’s just so much support. From the managing staff, they’re always there for us, like with the twins and the girls. My coworkers rally behind us every time.

“With the competition, they were like, ‘Good luck, you’re going to do great.’ And they always offer to take care of the kids. It’s just a really great place to be.”