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Headlines for Friday, November 14, 2014

Season's First Snowstorm Expected Saturday in NE Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. — The first snowstorm of the season is on its way to northeast Kansas. The National Weather Service in Topeka has issued a winter weather advisory for northeast Kansas including Douglas, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Jefferson, Franklin, Osage, Geary and Riley Counties. Snow accumulations of 2-4 inches are expected with locally higher amounts possible. Meteorologist Jennifer Bowen of the National Weather Service in Topeka says snow is likely to start falling early Saturday morning. "We'll have some light to moderate snow developing as early as 4 am. in the Emporia and Abilene area and then quickly spreading eastward across much of northeast Kansas later Saturday morning and into the afternoon hours." Bowen says. The Weather Service warns that road conditions could become hazrdous during the morning hours with periods of limited visibility. Bowen says, after the snowstorm passes late tomorrow, it will still be very cold for at least a few more days. "Temperatures will be in the 20s for highs Sunday, Monday and possibly even Tuesday." Bowen says. "But it looks like it will finally start to warm up into the low 40s by Wednesday."


UPDATE: Kansas Gay Marriage Pleadings to Lay Out Arguments

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is urging the Kansas Supreme Court to not unnecessarily abandon the state's ban on same-sex marriages until a final constitutional decision on the issue is made by the nation's highest court. Schmidt contends in a court filing Friday that a federal judge's order allowing gay couples to marry applies only to the court officials in the two Kansas counties involved in the federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The state also wants a decision that a Johnson County judge acted prematurely when he issued an order allowing gay marriages. Johnson County is urging the court to lift its temporary order prohibiting it from issuing same-sex marriage licenses, but hold off on any further proceedings until the federal case is resolved.


Some Kansas Judges Issuing Gay Couples Licenses

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Judges in at least four Kansas counties were issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples a day after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling allowing them to wed. Clerks in other counties were giving applications to gay couples but requiring them to abide by the state's three-day waiting period before they can get a license. As of midmorning Thursday, Douglas County District Judge Robert Fairchild had waived the waiting period for three couples and said he would consider similar requests on a case-by-case basis. A different judge had agreed to preside over the wedding of one of the couples after the courthouse closes at 5 pm CST. Two couples received licenses in Sedgwick County, while judges in Cowley and Riley counties each had issued one marriage license to same-sex couples.


Kansas Superintendent Named Next Education Commissioner

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The superintendent of a rural central Kansas school district has been picked as the state's next education commissioner. The Kansas State Board of Education named Randy Watson to the post Thursday. Besides leading the McPherson school district, Watson is chairman of a new innovative districts program. Under a 2013 law, up to 29 of the state's 286 school districts can be designated as innovative. The McPherson district was one of the first two to receive the designation, which allows districts to be exempt from certain state public education regulations if they present plans to improve student achievement. Watson is taking over for Diane DeBacker, who left her position in May to become an adviser to the director general of the Abu Dhabi Education Council in the United Arab Emirates.


Kansas to Fund Seismic Monitoring System

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An earthquake that rattled parts of Kansas and Oklahoma is the 94th earthquake reported this year in Kansas. The 4.8-magnitude earthquake on Wednesday was the strongest in Kansas this year. The vibrations were felt across Kansas, northern and central Oklahoma and even a county in northwest Missouri. The Wichita Eagle reports the most severe damage appeared to be in Milan in Sumner County. The town's former post office, a community center and several homes suffered some structural damage. No injuries were reported. Argonia Fire Chief Scott Spinks says that Sumner County town also was shaken hard. Governor Sam Brownback announced Wednesday that the state will fund a six-station portable seismic network to monitor increased seismic activity in Harper, Sumner and Barber counties.


Man Pleads Not Guilty to March Death in Lawrence

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - A 29-year-old Topeka man pleaded not guilty to a homicide at a Lawrence apartment complex in March. Archie Lamont Robinson entered the plea Thursday to first-degree murder and aggravated battery in the death of 39-year-old Patrick Roberts of Lawrence. The Lawrence Journal-World reports Robinson's co-defendant, Dustin Walker, pleaded not guilty in June to the same charges. Prosecutors say Robinson and Walker kicked in the door to Roberts' duplex and shot him in the abdomen. At a preliminary hearing in October, two witnesses could not identify Robinson. Robinson and Walker remain in the Douglas County Jail on $1 million bond each. Their trials are scheduled for February.


Appeals Court Rules KU Did Not Discriminate

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that the University of Kansas School of Medicine did not discriminate against a disabled student when it rescinded her admission in 2011 because she could not physically meet its requirements. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals sided Friday with the university in the lawsuit brought by Emily McCulley, who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy. The disability requires her to use a wheelchair for mobility and limits her arm strength. It found that requested accommodations for her disability would fundamentally alter a medical education that trains her to care for patients in emergency situations where assistance is unavailable. The court said that providing a staff surrogate to lift patients, administer basic life support and perform other tasks for the student would make her an observer.


Man Sentenced to Life for Fatal Nicotine Poisoning

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A Kansas man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for fatally poisoning his wife with nicotine in 1994 and collecting on her life insurance policy. Paul Marshal Curry, of Salina, Kansas, was sentenced Friday for murder more than two decades after his wife, Linda Curry, died in bed. Curry was a suspect but the case went cold and he moved to Kansas after collecting more than $500,000 on his wife's life insurance policy. In 2007, new evidence arose and Curry was arrested in Kansas in 2010. During the trial in Orange County Superior Court, Curry's former wife testified that she was often ill while married to Curry, but after they divorced, her health improved.


Fort Hays State, Dodge City College Call Off Merger

DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) - A proposal to merge Dodge City Community College into Fort Hays State University apparently has collapsed. The merger had sparked controversy since it was first announced this spring. Supporters said it would help the Dodge City-area economy and provide more educational opportunities. Opponents were concerned the merger would hurt the community college's educational mission and its current faculty and staff. On Tuesday, the community college's Board of Trustees voted 3-3 on a proposal that recommended that Fort Hays become an upper division college and technical institute in Dodge City, with the Dodge City college remaining independent. The Dodge City Daily Globe reports the null vote essentially ends merger plans because the Kansas Board of Regents had sought a unified show of support from the college's board.


Report: Kansas Has 2.9 Million Irrigated Acres

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A new government report shows more Kansas farms put more acres under irrigation last year than in 2008, when the last survey was taken. The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Friday that its survey showed 5,243 Kansas farms were irrigating 2.85 million acres of crops last year. That compares with the 2008 survey when 4,508 farms were irrigating 2.57 million acres. The agency says Kansas farmers spent an average of $56.73 per acre last year to irrigate crops from wells. The average depth of wells in the state was 103 feet. Most acres were also irrigated with sprinkler systems in Kansas.


Trial Set in Fort Riley Soldier's Slaying

FORT CARSON, Colo. (AP) — A Fort Carson soldier faces a military trial on charges of murder and assault in the death of his soldier-girlfriend during a Valentine's Day quarrel in 2013. Sergeant Montrell Lamar Anderson Mayo's court-martial is scheduled to start Thursday at the post outside Colorado Springs. He is accused of killing 28-year-old Corporal Kimberly Walker of Cincinnati. Friends of Mayo said Walker was visiting Mayo at the time. She was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas. Her body was found in an off-post motel. The coroner said she had been strangled and struck. If convicted, Mayo faces up to life in prison without parole. The Army listed his hometown as Greenville, South Carolina. He was stationed at Fort Carson at the time of Walker's death.


Former Kansas Lawyer Ordered to Pay in Wrongful Death

LIBERTY, Mo. (AP) - A former Kansas attorney accused of covering up his role in a friend's death has been ordered to pay her family nearly $300,000. On Wednesday, a Clay County judge approved the resolution of the suit against former Overland Park, Kansas, lawyer Robert Mintz. Mintz was accused of leaving Jennifer Arnett alone and heavily intoxicated in her Kansas City apartment in January 2012. The suit says that after she fell and broke her neck, Mintz found her body but didn't immediately alert authorities. He also was accused of trying to cover up that they had been drinking together. Although Mintz did not face criminal charges, state supreme courts in Missouri and Kansas suspended Mintz's law license. Mintz has called his actions "a personal failure."


Judge Bars Garden City in Church Zoning Dispute

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge has issued an order barring Garden City from interfering with worship at a church property in the central business district. U.S. District Judge Carlos Murguia on Friday issued the preliminary injunction under a consent agreement with the parties. The order makes no final determination on still pending claims for damages, attorneys' fees and costs. Mount Zion Church of God in Christ sued Garden City last week alleging city officials had threatened to prosecute it for violating a zoning ordinance. At issue is a Main Street building that has allegedly been used as a church for more than 10 years. The church's lawsuit alleges the city is violating its First Amendment rights and contends the zoning restriction is unconstitutional.


KCMO to Gain Postal Jobs

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - The U.S. Postal Service says most of its mail processing functions in Springfield will move to Kansas City in July. Postal Service spokeswoman Stacy St. John said she didn't know how many jobs will be moved. A union representative estimated at least 200 employees will be affected. St. John says the move is part of changes the Postal Service is making nationwide to save $750 million. She says the mail processing center in Springfield is much larger than needed for operations there.


Solar Energy Company Sungevity Expands to Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Global solar energy company Sungevity is opening a new office in Kansas City that could bring almost 600 new jobs to Missouri. Governor Jay Nixon on Friday announced the Oakland, California-based company plans to make the state the home of a new sales and service center that could lead to 595 jobs in the next several years. The company provides solar energy for homeowners. The state is working to make millions of dollars in incentives available to the company. Department of Economic Development spokeswoman Amy Susan says the company could get more than $11.8 million from the state. Money from the Missouri Works program would be available if Sungevity meets job creation and investment criteria.


Hearing Delayed for Topeka Man Accused in Girlfriend's Death

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A man who police say fatally stabbed his girlfriend will not have a preliminary hearing until December. The hearing for 23-year-old Trevor William Adkins of Topeka was scheduled for Thursday but was postponed until December 22. Adkins is charged with the premeditated first-degree murder of 22-year-old Lacie L. Atchison in September. He remains jailed on $1 million bail. Investigators say Atchison's body was found on a wheelchair ramp outside the home. The couple's young child was at the home but not injured. Adkins was arrested after neighbors reported a naked man fighting with another man outside the house. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Adkins told police after his arrest that he was on a "bad trip" during the alleged crime after using methamphetamine and ecstasy.


Cardinal: Vatican Must Address Kansas City Bishop

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The leader of the Roman Catholic church's new commission to fight child sex abuse says the Vatican needs to address the position of Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn. Finn leads the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. He was convicted of a misdemeanor in 2012 for failing to report abuse suspicions. The charge stemmed from a case in which church officials knew about lewd photos of girls on a priest's computer but didn't tell police for six months. Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley leads the pope's global commission on the abuse problem. He tells CBS's "60 Minutes" in an interview airing Sunday that policies adopted in his archdiocese would bar Finn from teaching Sunday school. He says it's a question the "Holy See needs to address urgently." Finn's spokesman declined comment Friday.


Police: Manhattan Man Arrested in Stabbing

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - Riley County police have charged a man with attempted murder after a woman was stabbed and he then was in a standoff with police. The woman was found injured Thursday at the Manhattan Public Library, about four blocks from where police believe she was stabbed. Thirty-year-old Samuel Dartez of Manhattan was arrested after a four-hour standoff with police on Thursday. Police say he was pulled over in Morris County but they didn't provide details about the standoff. The 27-year-old victim was taken to an area hospital. Her relationship to Dartez is unclear. No other injuries were reported.


Food Prep Criticized at Kansas City Stadium Venues

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A food safety manager says dirty conditions and poor food handling endangered customers at Kauffman and Arrowhead stadiums in Kansas City. A city health inspection prompted by the allegations found dozens of critical health code violations at the stadiums. ESPN first reported the allegations from Jon Costa, the food safety manager for Aramark, which runs concessions at the two stadiums and at sports venues across the country. Costa said he found such things as cockroaches and mouse feces in food-service areas and foods kept at unsafe temperatures. The city health inspection on November 3 found mold in ice machines and dirty equipment. Aramark spokesman Tod MacKenzie said the claims come from a disgruntled employee, even though he was responsible for managing food safety at the stadiums.


2 Kansans Killed When Vehicle Hit by Loose Trailer

PLAINS, Kan. (AP) — Two people from Liberal died when the minivan they were riding in was hit by a trailer that came loose from a pickup truck. The Kansas Highway Patrol says 71-year-old Salvador Garcia and 68-year-old Consuelo Garcia died in the accident Thursday afternoon on a Meade County road about 12 miles north of Plains. The driver of the minivan was hospitalized but his condition was not available. The Wichita Eagle reports this was the second time in three months that a trailer came loose and caused a fatality in Kansas. A loose trailer killed a Hutchinson couple August 16 in Great Bend.


Kansas Couple Suspected in Cheer Squad Theft

VALLEY CENTER, Kan. (AP) — Valley Center police plan to present evidence in a case against a couple who they say stole thousands of dollars from a youth cheerleading squad. Chief Mark Hephner tells The Wichita Eagle that police have identified 66 people who say they entrusted money to the director of the privately run cheerleading team. He says about $8,000 to $16,000 of money is missing after parents gave the woman money for uniforms, shoes, backpacks and other supplies. Hephner says the missing money was kept in the woman's bank account and that it hasn't been recovered. He declined to comment on her boyfriend's involvement with the case. They haven't been charged. The couple was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on Wednesday and released on bond. The newspaper couldn't reach them for comment on Thursday.


Decision on Kemper Arena's Future Delayed Again

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The future of Kemper Arena might not be decided for months, after Kansas City Council members agreed to seek alternatives to a plan by the American Royal to tear down the arena and replace it with a new building. The American Royal pitched its proposal again on Thursday to two council committees. But several critics told the council members the city has better ways to spend $20 million in taxpayer money that the Royal's plan would require. The Kansas City Star reports the council's decision to investigate other alternatives means a decision on the arena's future might be delayed for months. Noting the strong opposition at Thursday's meeting, Councilman Ed Ford said council members believe they legally should put out a notice seeking other proposals for the arena.


World War I Era Flour Sack Travels Back to Belgium

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - During World War I, Kansas sent flour to Belgium in cotton sacks to help the relief efforts during the war. Belgium women embroidered the sacks and sent them back to Kansas as a thank you gift. Now 100 years later, one of those embroidered flour sacks is returning to Belgium for an exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of the war. The Kansas Historical Society said Thursday an embroidered sack from its collection is now on display at the Het Stadsmus in Hasselt, Belgium, for an exhibit open through August 31. Hasselt is the town that originally received the sack, filled a century ago with flour from Kansas. This time, Kansas is sending it back without the flour


2 Share $1 Million Scratchers Ticket Win

ST. PETERS, Mo. (AP) _ When a Kansas man visited a family friend in suburban St. Louis, little did he know he'd return home with a $1 million lottery ticket. The Missouri Lottery said Thursday that 32-year-old Gilberto Andrade of Garden City, Kansas, was visiting friends October 30 when he and Christina Aguilar of O'Fallon decided to buy lottery tickets at a Schnucks store in St. Peters. A "$1,000,000 Platinum Payout'' scratchers ticket was the $1 million winner. Andrade went home that night but returned to the St. Louis area on November 5, and he and Aguilar each claimed half of the prize. Both received a $350,000 lump-sum payment before taxes. The "$1,000,000 Platinum Payout'' is a $10 game that began May 19. 


Cerner Breaks Ground on Planned Kansas City Site

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Construction has officially begun on Cerner Corp.'s planned campus in Kansas City. The Kansas City Star reports the $4.45 billion campus will have enough room to house 16,000 employees. The health information technology company is redeveloping the site of a now-demolished shopping center called Bannister Mall. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and Kansas City Mayor Sly James praised the project for its long-term economic impact at the company's Wednesday groundbreaking ceremony. The 10-year plan by Cerner includes about $1.75 billion in public tax subsidies. Cerner's president said the company's development is projected to spur about 370,000-square-feet of nearby retail and restaurant development.


Washburn Football Game at Arrowhead Moved to NW Missouri

Because of the winter weather advisories for tomorrow, Washburn University's scheduled football game at Arrowhead Stadium will be played on the campus of Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville. It's Washburn's final game of the season.


Missouri to Play BYU at Arrowhead Stadium in 2015

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri and BYU will play next season at Arrowhead Stadium. The game between the Tigers and Cougars will be the first between Football Bowl Subdivision teams at the Kansas City Chiefs' home since the Tigers played rival Kansas in 2011. Missouri left for the SEC the following year and their series has not been renewed. Still, school officials consider the Kansas City area to be home turf, and they've been trying to return to Arrowhead Stadium. It will finally happen against BYU. The game is scheduled for November 14, 2015. Arrowhead Stadium has hosted 36 college football games throughout its 43-year history, and at one time was home of the Big 12 title game. In recent years, it has hosted games between Division II and NAIA schools.


KU to Play at Pearl Harbor Tournament in 2016

BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Four powerhouse college basketball programs will play games at Pearl Harbor less than a month before the 75th anniversary of the attack that plunged America into World War II. Indiana will face the University of Kansas and Arizona will meet Michigan State at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu on Veterans Day on November 11, 2016. The surprise Japanese air attack occurred December 7, 1941. The Armed Forces Classic games played on U.S. military bases around the world debuted in 2012 inside an airplane hangar on Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Last year's matchup was at Army Garrison Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, South Korea. Louisville faces Minnesota on Friday at Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Puerto Rico. ESPN also announced Friday that next season's game will feature Pittsburgh and Gonzaga at Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler in Okinawa, Japan.



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