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Headlines for Friday, April 15, 2016

Kansas news headlines from the Associated Press

Judge Considers ACLU Challenge to Voting Documentation Rule 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge is considering whether to temporarily block Kansas from enforcing its proof of citizenship requirement for people who register to vote at state motor vehicle offices. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson on Thursday took the case under advisement after hearing four hours of arguments in Kansas City, Kansas. The American Civil Liberties Union says the state's proof-of-citizenship law violates the National Voter Registration Act. The federal law, also known as the "motor-voter law," is aimed at increasing voter participation by requiring states to allow voters to register when they get a driver's license. Secretary of State Kris Kobach argued Thursday that the NVRA applies only to federal elections, and a temporary injunction would force the state to create a separate voting tier for those registering at the DMV.


Ex-Joint Chiefs Chairman Named Interim Kansas State University President 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The state Board of Regents has named former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers as interim president at Kansas State University. The regents announced the appointment Thursday. Myers served as the joint chiefs chairman in 2001-05, making him the chief military adviser to President George W. Bush and then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. He is a 1965 graduate of Kansas State, and since his retirement from the military, he's had a part-time position there as a professor of military history and leadership. The military science building on campus is named for him. Myers will replace former President Kirk Schulz, who stepped down in March to become president of Washington State University. The regents anticipate naming a permanent replacement for Schulz by the end of this year.


Justice's Fundraising Arm: 'Politicized' Bid to Purge Court

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas Supreme Court justice's fundraising arm is pursuing donations by arguing an "unprecedented politicized effort" is underway to deny justices retention over school finance rulings. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Justice Carol A. Beier 2016 Inc. says the state's high court has been fair and impartial in directing the governor and Legislature to fund schools as required under Kansas' constitution. Beier told the newspaper she didn't write the fundraising letter, and that she has recused herself from hearing the school finance case. The high court early next month is to review the Legislature's response to its February ruling that school funding is inequitable between districts. Five justices are up for retention in the November election.


Kansas City Law Firm Hires Former U.S. Attorney Grissom 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Kansas City, Missouri, law firm says the Kansas U.S. attorney, who is stepping down today (FRI), will join its national team specializing in government investigations and compliance. The Polsinelli Law Firm announced its addition of Barry Grissom on Friday, Grissom's last day as Kansas's top federal prosecutor. Grissom announced his resignation from the federal post Monday. Sixty-two-year-old Grissom says in a statement that he's "particularly excited by Polsinelli's national footprint, which will enable me to deploy my skillset nationwide." First Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Beall will serve as acting U.S. attorney for Kansas. Grissom was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2010 and made civil rights enforcement and community outreach top priorities during his tenure


Kansas Governor Has New Plan to End KC-Area Business Raiding 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has a new proposal designed to end his state's ongoing battle with Missouri to lure businesses across the border in the Kansas City area. But the proposal Brownback outlined Friday would require Missouri to weaken a 2014 law that it enacted in hopes of ending the border war. And Missouri lawmakers are scheduled to end their annual session in mid-May. Brownback's plan was outlined in a directive to his commerce secretary. It would stop using a Kansas tax incentive program to lure existing jobs from the Missouri side of the metro area unless a company plans to invest at least $10 million in a new building. The program still could be used to lure new jobs. But it wouldn't take effect until Missouri changes its law.


KBI: Person Fatally Shot During Fight with Deputies 

MCPHERSON, Kan. (AP) — One man is dead after being shot during a physical altercation with two Kansas sheriff's deputies who were trying to serve an arrest warrant. Kansas Bureau of Investigation spokesman Mark Malik says the man, whose name was not released, physically resisted being arrested at 3 pm Thursday before being shot with a Taser without success. Malik says the man repeatedly struck one of the deputies, attacked a second deputy who ordered him to stop, and then resumed striking the first deputy. The second deputy shot the man, who was pronounced dead at McPherson Memorial Hospital. Malik says the incident was captured on video and is being reviewed by KBI investigators. He says no additional information will be available until the investigation is complete.


Fort Riley Identifies Chaplain Who Died Last Week

FORT RILEY, Kan. (AP) - Officials at Fort Riley are publicly identifying a soldier chaplain they say died suddenly last week in Manhattan. The Topeka Capital-Journal  reports that the cause of 45-year-old Captain Yohan Lee's death April 9 remains undetermined. Lee was a chaplain assigned to the Third Assault Helicopter Battalion, First Aviation Regiment, First Combat Aviation Brigade, First Infantry Division. He arrived at Fort Riley in January 2014 from Virginia. Colonel John Cyrulik says Lee "gave so much of himself to the Soldiers and families of this brigade," and that "Our hearts are heavy" because of his death.


Kansas-Based Career College Announces Closure

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) - Kansas-based Wright Career College says it has closed its campuses in Overland Park and Wichita. The college said in an email to students Thursday night that "with our deepest regret" it no longer is able to continue operations, and that other schools will accept credits accumulated. The college based in Overland Park had roughly 3,000 students enrolled during the 2014-2015 fiscal year and in recent weeks had stopped accepting new students. Wright Career College largely trains students for jobs as medical assistants, accountants and other business occupations. Founded in 1921 to train typists, it originally was known as Dickinson Business School.


Lawsuit Alleges Sexual Assault at Kansas Military School 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Tennessee father has sued a Kansas military school alleging its failure to adequately supervise cadets led to the sexual assault of his 12-year-old son by another student. The lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Kansas against St. John's Military School, is the latest in a string of litigation that has dogged the Episcopalian boarding school in Salina. The lawsuit stems from an accusation that in spring 2014 a grade-school boy sexually assaulted a fellow student in a dorm room. The school says it did not learn of the accusation until a month ago, when child welfare officials, who are investigating, contacted them. The plaintiff's attorney says the boy did not tell anyone about the alleged assault until months later. No criminal charges have been filed.


Kansas Wesleyan Optimistic About Nursing Accreditation
SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Wesleyan University President Matt Thompson says he is optimistic the school's nursing program will regain accreditation this fall. Wesleyan withdrew its accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing in March 2015, days before the organization was likely to vote not to continue the nursing program's accreditation. The Salina Journal reports that Wesleyan had applied for accreditation to the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, which most nursing programs in Kansas use. Thompson says representatives of the CCNE and the Kansas State Board of Nursing visited the school in February. He says a preliminary report was positive, with only a few lingering issues. CCNE is scheduled to vote on Wesleyan's accreditation in November. Thompson says if it's approved, the accreditation will apply for this May's graduates.


Man Ordered to Stand Trial in Deadly Kansas Bar Fight

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A trial has been ordered for a 32-year-old man accused of recklessly killing a man by hitting him in the neck with a pool cue at a bar in Johnson County, Kansas. The Kansas City Star reports a judge on Thursday ordered the trial for Gregory B. David Cooper on charges of second-degree murder. He's also charged with attempted aggravated battery for allegedly trying to hit another man with the cue. Pleas of not guilty were entered on Cooper's behalf. Authorities allege Cooper killed 23-year-old Tyler Knudsen in December at the Boxcar Bar & Grill in Edgerton. Cooper's attorney argues his client was leaving the bar as another man was challenging him to fight when he felt someone "contact" his back. That's when he swung the cue, striking Knudsen.


Seaboard Delays Expansion of Greeley County Hog Farm 

TRIBUNE, Kan. (AP) — Seaboard Foods says it is holding off for now on construction plans for the expansion of its hog operations in Greeley County. Its spokesman, David Eaheart, said Thursday in an email that the delay is based on the company's short-term projected needs for barn space to finish fattening its pigs. Seaboard still has long-term plans to build more barns in in the county. He says the company plans to re-evaluate its projected space needs later this year to determine a start date for construction. The company already has 180 hog finishing barns operating at its hog farm in Greeley County, and has gotten a permit to build an additional 120 barns nine miles away from that site.


Topeka Officer Shoots Driver After Traffic Stop Altercation

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Topeka police say an officer who was assaulted by a driver during a traffic stop shot and wounded the motorist after that person tried to flee. Authorities say the shooting happened shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday. The driver fled the scene but was later arrested. Police Lieutenant Chris Heaven tells the Topeka Capital-Journal that the female officer may have been dragged as the driver attempted to flee. Police Lieutenant Colleen Stuart says the officer fired once, wounding the driver. The officer sustained injuries to a hand and arm. The officer and the driver were taken to hospitals for treatment of injuries police said were not life-threatening. 


Kansas Attorney Charged with Sexual Battery 

DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) — A western Kansas attorney has been charged with sexual battery against a client. The misdemeanor charge was filed this week in Ford County against Daniel Arkell-Roca. The Dodge City attorney said in an email to The Associated Press that he is "innocent" and that his wife and 10 children are "confident" that he will be vindicated. He blamed politics and said the alleged victim is a former client who was charged in a drive by gang-related shooting. The Ford County attorney's office said in a Facebook post that Arkell-Roca would appear in court on the charge later this month. A secretary in the prosecutor's office said there would be no further comment. The charge carries a possible penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500.


Man Ordered to Serve Life Plus Nearly 22 Years for Homicide

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A man who shot and killed one person and injured four others at an after-hours warehouse party in Wichita was sentenced to life plus 21 and a half years in prison.  Marquel Dean was sentenced Thursday in Sedgwick County for first-degree premeditated murder and five other counts for the shooting that killed James Gray in July 2013. Police say the shooting occurred after a long-running gang feud. The Wichita Eagle reports Dean cannot begin serving the 21 and a 1/2 year sentence until he is paroled on the life sentence. He'll serve at least 46 and a 1/2 years in prison. A co-defendant in the case, Shane Landrum, is awaiting trial for first-degree premeditated murder and eight other crimes. He is being held in Sedgwick County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond.  

Oklhoma Grand Jury Indicts 4 in Narcotics Distribution Case

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ An Oklahoma grand jury has indicted four people on allegations they illegally distributed narcotics to patients at an eastern Oklahoma clinic, including one who died.  Oklahoma's multicounty grand jury handed down the indictment Thursday against Bernard Tougas of Fort Smith, Arkansas, Dr. Ronald Myers of Belzoni, Mississippi, Dr. John Friedl of Jenks, Oklahoma, and Dr. George Howell of Wichita, Kansas. The indictment charges all four men with racketeering in connection with the operation of the Wellness Clinic of Roland in Sequoyah County. In addition, Howell is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the 2012 death of a patient from drug toxicity. Myers and Friedl are charged with two counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, and Tougas is charged with maintaining a building where drugs are sold. 


Kansas City Police: Human Remains Found at Dump Site ID'd 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City, Missouri, police say human remains found last week at a dump site have been identified. Authorities say 24-year-old Ezekiel Willie of Kansas City went missing in August 2014 and is believed to have been killed about that time. Workers found Willie's remains April 6 during a city cleanup effort. Willie's death brings the city's homicide count for 2014 to 82.


Kansas City School District Cancels Games with Lone Jack over Slurs 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City School District has canceled all remaining sporting events in 2016 with a nearby school district after students from one of the district's schools reported being taunted with racial slurs. The school district announced Thursday that Lincoln College Preparatory Academy reported fans from Lone Jack yelled inappropriate and racial slurs during a girls soccer game last week. Lone Jack officials said an investigation that included interviewing coaches, students, fans and game supervisors found no evidence of anyone using racial slurs at the game. The district, about 25 miles southeast of Kansas City, said it was saddened that someone felt uncomfortable at an event it hosted. In response, Kansas City decided to cancel all sporting events with Lone Jack through this calendar year.


Kansas Family's Plane Crash in Tennessee Caused by Loss of Engine, Airspeed 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A small plane crash that killed four members of a Kansas family while narrowly missing a Nashville, Tennessee, YMCA during peak afternoon hours was caused by the pilot's failure to maintain airspeed after an engine lost power. An investigation of the February 3, 2014, crash by the National Transportation Safety Board says ice accumulation on the airframe also contributed to the accident. Killed in the crash were Glenn and Elaine Mull, their daughter Amy Harter, and their granddaughter Samantha Harter. Glenn Mull, the pilot, was the owner of Mull Farms and Feeding in Pawnee Rock. The family was traveling from the Great Bend Municipal Airport to attend the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Trade Show. Their Gulfstream 690C was too damaged for investigators to determine why one of the engines lost power.


Hackers Hit 1,300 Rockhurst University Employees 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Rockhurst University officials say hackers stole personal information from the IRS W-2 forms of 1,300 employees. The private university in Kansas City said Wednesday that the thefts were discovered April 6. The stolen information included Social Security numbers but school officials said no employees had reported any losses from the thefts. The theft affected all employees who worked at Rockhurst during 2015. Rockhurst officials say the thefts occurred when someone impersonating a university administrator requested W-2 information and provided a bogus email address. University President Thomas Curran says employees will be trained to recognize such fraud schemes. It also will arrange identity theft and credit monitoring protection at no cost for two years to the employees.


Kansas City Police Warn of Speeding Ticket Scam 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police are warning people to ignore emails that claim the motorists were ticketed after being caught speeding by a red light camera. Police say it's likely the emails are part of a scam targeting motorists whose GPS information has been leaked. The department no longer issues tickets from red light cameras. The city suspended its red light camera program in November 2013 after several court cases against them were filed. The department also notes the city's Municipal Court doesn't send emails about citations or court dates. The court responds to emails only if they are initiated by citizens. The Missouri Supreme Court issued new guidelines to re-establish the red-light camera programs but Kansas City has not yet done so.


US Rig Count Drops 3 This Week to 440, Another All-Time Low 

HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. dropped by three this week to 440, again reaching an-time low amid depressed energy industry prices. A year ago, 954 rigs were active. Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday 351 rigs sought oil and 89 explored for natural gas. Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas lost three rigs and Alaska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wyoming each dropped one. New Mexico gained two rigs while Kansas and Louisiana gained one apiece. Arkansas, California, Colorado, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah and West Virginia were unchanged. The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. The previous low of 488 set in 1999 was eclipsed March 11, and has continued to dip.


Royals Beat Astros 6-2, Take Series 3 Games to 1

HOUSTON (AP) — Ian Kennedy threw seven strong innings, Eric Hosmer hit a two-run double during a five-run sixth and the Kansas City Royals beat the Houston Astros 6-2 on Thursday night. Kennedy (2-0) started with five hitless innings and retired 14 straight before Carlos Gomez's leadoff single to center in the sixth. Kennedy struck out seven and allowed a run on two hits and two walks. Mike Moustakas hit a solo homer in the first and went 2 for 4 with a walk. Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon and Omar Infante each had two hits and the Royals set a season high with 13 hits. The defending World Series champs are 7-2 after winning the final three games of the four-game set with the Astros. Hosuton's Doug Fister (1-1) pitched well until the sixth. He allowed six runs over 5 2/3 innings.


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