Woman accused of killing Wichita mother, kidnapping baby competent for trial

Yesenia Sesmas (left) and Laura Abarca-Nogueda with Baby Sophia


A judge has ruled that a 35-year-old woman accused of killing a Wichita mother and kidnapping her newborn child is competent to stand trial.

Trial for Yesenia Sesmas is scheduled to begin on March 26. She’s charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, aggravated interference with parental custody and other counts.

The Texas woman allegedly drove from Dallas to Wichita in November of 2016 to meet 27-year-old Laura Abarca, a friend she had met years ago working at a local restaurant.

Abarca had her baby just five days before she was shot in her west Wichita apartment and her newborn taken across state lines. Abarca’s boyfriend discovered the new mother dead on a couch and their newborn baby missing.

The break in case happened when authorities were able to track Sesmas as a potential suspect through a chatting app on Abarca phone. Baby Sophia was found two days later in the Dallas home where Sesmas lived.

During a previous interview with detectives, Sesmas admitted to shooting Abarca after Abarca allegedly went back on a deal to give Sesmas her baby.

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If downtown Wichita ever does get a grocery store, would Trader Joe’s fit the bill? – Wichita Business Journal

At a recent WBJ Emerging Leaders forum, the topic of a downtown grocery store was brought up.

It’s not a new topic, of course, but as apartment dwellings in Wichita’s core continue to be erected and renovated, it’s likely that more people will be living downtown.

With more people living downtown, more people will likely join the chorus of downtown residents that would like to see a grocery store. According to the Downtown Development Corp., somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,100 people currently live in downtown Wichita.

As developers have pointed out in the past, that number would probably have to grow substantially for the area to be able to support a full-service grocery store. One concept that was brought up at the recent forum was that of Trader Joe’s, a popular niche grocery chain with smaller stores.

Right now, Trader Joe’s has the Wichita market surrounded — literally — with stores in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Okla., the Denver area and the Kansas City area. Not to mention the cities of Lincoln and Omaha in Nebraska.

I thought I’d reach out to the Trader Joe’s folks to see if the Wichita market might be in their future plans. Here’s the response I got from company spokeswoman Kenya Friend-Daniel last week:

“I have no knowledge of a Trader Joe’s store coming to Wichita in the next two years,” she told me in an email. “As for would a (Trader Joe’s) location ever come to the area — yes, it is possible. We are always exploring new locations that we feel could/would be a great fit, so there’s always a possibility.”

There you have it — it’s a possibility. Of course, it’s also possible that Wichita State brings back football and Amazon decides out of the blue that Wichita is a fine place for its coveted second headquarters.

Like everything else, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

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Wichita rescue on proposed pet bill: ‘Do I want to afford state fees or do I want to save more animals?’

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A proposed bill relating to the Kansas pet animal act has some people and numerous organizations concerned.

House Bill 2477 would amend the pet animal act by updating license and permit fee amounts. It would also change the annual expiration dates for pet animal act licenses and permits.

One of the proposed fee increases would be for licensed fosters. Right now a foster must pay $10 annually to be licensed. Under the proposed bill, a foster would have to pay $30 annually to obtain a license.

Wichita Animal Action League (WAAL), a Wichita animal rescue, would be directly affected by the price change if the bill passes.

“WAAL rescues actually pays the licensing fees for all of our fosters,” said WAAL President Sarah Coffman. “So in September we re-licensed 49 foster homes for the amount of $490. If it was to go up to $30, now we are paying almost $1,500 to re-license somebody for a year.”

WAAL, like many rescues, spend a large amount of money to keep animals off the streets and adopt them from local animal shelters. Coffman said a big chunk of her nonprofit’s money goes toward vet bills for many of the animals they save. She said the proposed fee increase could negatively impact the group’s save rate.

“Animal control will get an animal in that’s injured and they can’t afford those vet bills so WAAL will step in and pay those vet bills. I might be left with a decision, do I want to pay a vet bill for an injured animal or do I want to pay a licensing fee for 49 fosters? If i can’t pay both of those then an animal may get euthanized because now I can’t afford it,” Coffman said.

According to the Kansas Department of Agriculture, enactment of HB 2477 would result in additional revenues of $167,585 and additional expenditures of $77,868, for a net increase to agency fee fund revenues of $89,717.

A spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Agriculture said the additional money would go toward oversight, licensing expenses, among other things.

“It’s important for us that the state is protecting both the animals that are living within these facilities and the people who are working with the programs so that everyone is held to an appropriate standard of cleanliness, safety and being able to keep that process going protects all of the businesses as well as all of the people and the animals,” said Department of Agriculture Communications Director Heather Lansdowne.

During a hearing on Tuesday, several proponents and opponents of the proposed bill gave testimonials.

The Kansas Pet Professionals wrote in its testimonial in part, “We know firsthand the importance of an inspection program. It keeps the breeders, pet stores, shelters and fosters in compliance with state laws…”

HB 2477 is currently in a house committee.

View full testimonials here:

Justin Brokar, Director of Community Engagement and Development Helping Hands humane Society, Inc.

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Wichita seller’s market expected to continue well into 2018 – Wichita Business Journal

Not skipping a beat, the robust Wichita housing market finished 2017 with a bang.

Released Monday, South Central Kansas Multiple Listing Service data showed that home sales last month jumped by 3.6 percent when compared to December 2016.

While the weather has continued to cool, the market remains red-hot, says Wichita Realtor Kirk Short.

"Housing values continue to improve and options are getting thinner," Short says. "Buyers are having to settle on homes that have more work to do after they purchase them. This means homes that buyers may do construction loans with or remodel loans like the "FHA 203K" loan."

A total of 812 units sold last month, compared with 784 the previous December.

Among existing homes in the five-county area (Butler, Sedgwick, Cowley, Sumner and Harvey counties) that makes up the MLS south central Kansas region, 751 sold in December, representing an increase of more than 4 percent from the December 2016 total of 721. In November of last year, 752 existing homes sold.

The average sale price for an existing home in December was just over $139,200, a decrease of more than 4 percent from the December 2016 average. New construction lagged slightly in December as 61 sales took place compared with 63 in December 2016.

"Now is the time to buy, however buyers need to be more creative as the move-in home is getting harder to find," Short says. "When it is there, we’re seeing multi-offer situations. I’m having an extremely strong January and February is looking the same.

A total of 580 contracts for sale were written last month. That number reflects a slight decrease from the 583 written in December 2016. Short says he expects interest rates to climb as 2018 moves along.

"I’m curious to see the impact or pressure on housing the increased hiring will have at Spirit and other places as our workforce gets stronger," Short added. "I’m really excited for Wichita and the state of real estate sales in and around Wichita. I’m also excited to see more out-of-state investors coming into Wichita buying up properties."

The MLS reported 2,214 active listings at the end of last month, which represents a slight dip from the 2,278 active listings on the market at the end of December 2016. That means about a 2.7-month supply of homes are on the market.

A figure representing less than five months of supply is generally thought of as a seller’s market.

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AVANA Capital Arranges $17.2 M Loan for Skilled Nursing and Assisted Living Facility in Wichita, KS

GLENDALE, Ariz., Jan. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — AVANA Capital has provided $17.2 million through a conventional bridge loan to Mainstreet Property Group LLC, a private real estate development company specializing in healthcare. The loan was used to acquire the Healthcare Resort of Wichita, a 94-bed facility located 12 miles from downtown Wichita, Kansas.

AVANA Capital (PRNewsfoto/AVANA Capital)

Construction of the Healthcare Resort of Wichita was completed in 2016; the resort has 70 skilled nursing and 24 assisted living beds. Because the facility did not yet have its operating license, a process that was in progress, and there was a tight closing timeline, Mainstreet needed a lender able to navigate the complexity of the deal and still close quickly.

In looking for alternative and responsive financing sources, Mainstreet discovered AVANA Capital and closed on the acquisition within 35 days. Furthermore, AVANA was able to mitigate the lack of an operating license and allow the borrower the additional time (six (6) months) to secure the license.

"Financing this property presented certain challenges," explained Zeke Turner, founder and CEO of Mainstreet. "Fortunately, we found AVANA Capital. They overcame every hurdle and moved quickly to do the loan over the Thanksgiving weekend. Every interaction with the AVANA team has been positive, and we look forward to continuing to grow the relationship."

Mainstreet has developed more than 50 assisted living and senior care facilities under the guidance of Turner, who won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2015.

"We have a goal to transform the way healthcare is delivered nationwide. The Healthcare Resort of Wichita is designed to give aging Americans what they want – more services, more amenities and more attention," Turner said.

The facility offers private skilled nursing rooms and assisted living units, a large therapy area where extensive rehabilitation services will be offered, and spacious common areas for socializing.

Matt Hunt, Chief Credit Officer at AVANA Capital said, "We are delighted that we were able to provide financing for Mainstreet on this facility in such a short amount of time."

"Mainstreet’s extensive experience in developing and operating high-quality, post-acute healthcare properties allowed us to feel confident in backing the Healthcare Resort of Wichita," explained Hunt.

The Healthcare Resort of Wichita will employ at least 90 people on a permanent basis. "One of our corporate missions is to create jobs and fulfill entrepreneurial dreams. We found in Mainstreet a partner that shares not only our way of thinking but, more importantly, our values," said Sanat Patel, Chief Sales Officer at AVANA Capital.

About AVANA Capital:
With roots dating back to 2002, and more than $1 billion in loans nationwide, AVANA Capital is a commercial real estate debt fund that offers private commercial real estate loans nationwide by sourcing funds from an array of accredited global investors. We leverage our expertise by lending in niche industries such as hospitality, solar and assisted living facilities and are committed to protecting our investors’ capital by subjecting our investments to a meticulous review process. For our borrowers, once we commit our funds to a project we guarantee certainty of execution in closing and funding. Above all, we believe in strong values imbedded in the way we conduct our business as a team, through our employees and management. For more information visit www.avanacapital.com

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How To Find The Best Wichita Kansas Apartments

If you are looking to make a big change in your life, you may want to consider making a move to a new state. While there are many states that are available, you want to ensure that you choose the best for your needs and wants. Many people are wanting to get back to their roots and enjoy a country style of life. However, they do not want to give up all of the convenience of living in a city. One of the best options to get a little bit of both is to move to an area like Wichita Kansas.

However, while this area may have both factors which makes it very appealing to all people, it can still be difficult to find the right form of housing. If you have never lived in the Wichita area before, it would be wise to look at renting an apartment first. This will allow you the chance to get to know the city and see if it is going to be a good fit for you. With that in mind, we wanted to share some tools that will help you find the best Wichita Kansas apartments. If you follow these simple tips, you will have no problem getting the right apartment.

Wichita is a decent size city with just under 400,000 people. With so many people you know you are going to get good areas and bad areas. The key to finding the right area so you will be sure that you will not have to move in the near future. You can easily do this with the help of a Wichita Kansas city data website. These websites hold all of the key information about the area. These are the statistics that you need to know to find the right area to move to. Simply search out the things that are most important to you such as good schools, low crime, and average income.

When you have found several neighborhoods that meet these criteria, you will want to begin searching online for various apartments in that specific area. You can use an online apartment locator to ensure you have searched the area for an apartment that is going to be not only the right size but the right price as well.

If you follow these simple tips, you will have no issues getting the best Wichita Kansas apartments!

The Early History of Topeka, Kansas

Modern-day Topeka is the capital city of the state of Kansas. However, this city has a rich and full history that predates the statehood of Kansas and even the formation of the United States. Here is a brief overview of this state’s early history, up to the late 1800s.

Before the United States was even formed, the area we now call Kansas was the territory of the Plains Indians. After European colonization, this area was first claimed by the Kingdom of France. It was then ceded to Spain in 1762 after the French and Indian War, and then once again returned to France in 1802.

Kansas Territory became part of the United States in 1803, as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Topeka itself was founded in 1854 by anti-slavery pioneers from Lawrence, Kansas. These founders were considered part of the Free Soil Movement, which opposed extending slavery westward into the territory. Clashes between pro- and anti-slavery groups occurred before and during the American Civil War.

Kansas was admitted to the United States in 1861, becoming the 34th state. Topeka was officially named as the capital at that time. The state capitol building was begun in 1866. However, it would take an additional 37 years before it would be completed! In the interim, the seat of the state government was Constitution Hall, nicknamed the “Free State Capitol.”

Topeka’s anti-slavery roots continued to affect its population, as many former slaves traveled from the South to settle in Topeka in the 1870s. The first kindergarten for African-American children located west of the Mississippi was established in the African-American part of town in 1893.

A speculation boom in the 1880s nearly spelled disaster for the fledgling capital city. Property lots in the city were massively overvalued. When the bubble burst in 1890, many of the investors were ruined. However, thanks to a large increase in population during the boom, the city itself managed to weather the storm and remained prosperous.

From the Native Americans to the French to the early American settlers, the area which is now called Topeka, Kansas has passed through many hands and cultures. Topeka as we know it today was founded on abolitionist ideals, which at the time were controversial enough to cause problems for the city for years after its founding. The “Free State Capitol” has never forgotten its early ideals and continues to represent freedom and equality even today.

The Basics Of Moving To San Antonio

San Antonio is a great place to live. It is a big city, but it doesn’t feel like one. It has all the activities and excitement that you can find in a big city, but you don’t have to deal with all problems and hassles that you find in big city living, like parking and traffic. If you want to take advantage of everything that a big city has to offer, while enjoying a small town feel, then you will love living in San Antonio.

San Antonio has a great food scene. You can find some of the best food in the country in San Antonio and they have amazing coffee. You can find some amazing Mexican food and the craft beer scene is really strong. If you love food, you are going to love living in San Antonio because there are a ton of different food choices there.

San Antonio also has a lot of history. There is the Alamo of course, where the Texas soldiers stood against the Mexican troops. It is a huge tourist attraction and people are always coming from around the world to visit it. San Antonio has a lot of interesting architecture to visit and there lots of attractions and things to visit.

San Antonio is a city that loves festivals and you can choose from a wide choice of festivals. It seems like there a different festivals going on every weekend and you can also visit the river walk which is a pedestrian only street that lines the river and is full of stores, restaurants and other things to do.

If you love to walk or ride a bike you are going to love living in San Antonio because it is a pedestrian friendly city and there are lots of places to walk and ride bikes there. If you like to be active, you can find lots of things to do that will keep you active. There are lots of parks and trails all over the city that will help get you in shape and keep you full of energy.

San Antonio is a great place to live and there are lots of things you can do that are keep you active and having fun. The city is affordable and there are lots of apartments that you can find for an affordable price. The cost of living is low there as well.

Tips For Staying At A Bed-And-Breakfast In San Antonio, Texas

Today’s travelers have a lot of different choices in terms of where to stay. Although you could stay in a traditional hotel, you may want to go for a more unconventional option such as staying at a bed-and-breakfast instead.

Every bed-and-breakfast is unique, meaning that you can experience something besides a cookie-cutter hotel room that looks like any other hotel in the world when you stay at one. Additionally, you get the benefit of having a delicious home-cooked breakfast to start your day when you stay at a B&B.

San Antonio has some fantastic bed-and-breakfasts available. If you have never stayed at one of these places before, you may not be sure what to expect. Brushing up on some etiquette beforehand can help ensure that you have a great time during your stay.

Most innkeepers or B&B owners like to interact with their guests. They usually will greet you when you arrive and will try to make sure that your every need is met while you are staying with them. You can make their job easier by letting them know about any special accommodations that you require beforehand.

For instance, if you have a disability that requires you to stay on the first floor, be sure to mention that when you make your reservation so that you can get the room that you need. Likewise, if you have any food allergies or other considerations that need to be taken into account, you should bring them up when you are reserving your room. Most innkeepers are happy to accommodate as long as you give them plenty of lead time.

Even though you are staying at a bed-and-breakfast, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to eat breakfast there. If you would prefer to eat at a local restaurant or simply to skip breakfast and sleep in, that is perfectly acceptable. Just be sure to let the innkeeper know that you aren’t going to be around for breakfast so that they know how much food to prepare.

You should also keep in mind that not every B&B caters to children. Some are geared more toward adults. If you are traveling with your family, check ahead of time to make sure that the place you are planning on staying is family-friendly.

Staying at a bed-and-breakfast in San Antonio, Texas can be a wonderful way to experience the area. It gives you a sense of what it would be like to live there and is much more personal than staying at a traditional hotel.

Two Fun Activities You Can Do In San Antonio Texas

If you are going to go on a trip to San Antonio this year, you need to plan for a few fun filled activities. The best thing about San Antonio is that there are so many that you can do, you will probably not be able to get to all of them. Unless you are staying for a few weeks, you will have to pick and choose from some of the best ones that are currently available. Here is how you can quickly find a couple of the best things that you can do once you get to the city.

Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Probably the most fun filled activity that you can do if you are only there for a few days is to do the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour. It’s going to take you to some of the more prominent tourist locations all throughout the city, and they will explain everything along the way. You will get to see where the first people settle down, and all of this is going to happen on a double-decker bus. They will take you over to the Alamo, and they will explain to you what happened at the Battle of the Alamo, the famous battle of 1836. Finally, you’re going to head over to the San Antonio River where you can participate in the River Walk. It’s going to be an exciting time, and you will get to know more about the city that many people can figure out in a few weeks in the span of this all day tour.

San Antonio Aquarium

To do an indoor activity, it is highly recommended that you go to the San Antonio Aquarium. This is a place where family and friends will have fun with you, looking at the many different tropical fish. Additionally, there are sharks that you can see, an octopus, and toucans that are at the facility. It’s also very affordable, making this one of the more popular destinations for people that have a few hours to spare.

There are quite a few other places you can go that will also be just as much fun, but for those that are only there for two days, these two activities should be at the top of your list. You will get to learn a little bit more about the city, and also get to explore one of the best aquariums in the United States. If you are going to be traveling into San Antonio in the next few weeks, you can book these tickets in advance. It’s going to be a fun filled time, despite the fact you are only going to be there for a few days in this popular city in Texas.