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Headlines for Friday, October 20, 2017

Here's a look at area headlines from the Associated Press

Feds Threaten Funds for Kansas Mental Hospital
 
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The federal government is threatening to cut off funding for patient care at the state mental hospital in western Kansas, saying the facility is not complying with federal rules. The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services said Friday that the federal government is giving the state a month to correct problems at a 104-bed unit of Larned State Hospital. The government is threatening to cut off the funding in January. Aging and Disability Services Secretary Timothy Keck told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview that the state agency expects to spend about $1 million making renovations designed to decrease the risks of patients hanging or strangling themselves. He said in addition to those risks, the hospital also was cited for one case each of verbal and minor physical abuse of a patient by staff. Keck said most problems have already been addressed.

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Suspect in Fatal Lawrence Shooting Extradited from Missouri 

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - Police in Lawrence say the third person arrested in the fatal shooting of three people early this month in Lawrence has been ordered extradited to Douglas County from Kansas City, Missouri. U.S. Marshals arrested 20-year-old Anthony Laron Roberts Jr. in Kansas City, Wednesday. He is charged with first degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Leah Elizabeth Brown, of Shawnee and two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of 24-year-old Tremel Dean and 20-year-old Colwin Henderson both of Topeka. The shooting happened October 1 as people were leaving bars, concerts and other events in the downtown Lawrence entertainment district. Roberts is also charged with attempted murder in the wounding of a man who was among the two shooting victims who survived. 

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4 Kansas Teens Running for Governor Discuss Issues at Forum

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Four teenagers who are running for governor of Kansas got a chance to discuss their policy positions at a forum in front of other high school students. The teen candidates appeared together Thursday at Lawrence Free State High School, where they discussed issues such as abortion, taxes, gun control and legalizing marijuana. The teens are able to run because Kansas doesn't set any age restrictions for gubernatorial candidates. Jack Bergeson, a 16-year-old Democrat from Wichita, was the first to file for the race, saying he wanted to get other young people involved in politics. He was quickly followed by three 17-year-old Republicans, Tyler Ruzich from Johnson County; Ethan Randleas from Wichita Heights High School; and Dominic Scavuzzo from Johnson County.

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Judge Refuses to Release Suspect in Kansas Bomb Plot Case

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge has refused to release pending trial a Kansas man accused of plotting to bomb a mosque and an apartment complex housing Somali refugees. U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren ruled Friday that Gavin Wright is a flight risk and a danger to the community. Wright and co-defendants Patrick Stein and Curtis Allen are charged with conspiring to detonate truck bombs at an apartment complex in the meatpacking town of Garden City in western Kansas. Wright also faces a separate count for allegedly lying to investigators. They've pleaded not guilty. Melgren says the evidence suggests Wright was deeply involved in planning these atrocities and intended to carry out the plan to fruition. He says few charges are more serious than that of planning to commit an act of terrorism.

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Kansas Restaurant Owner Pleads Guilty in Back Wages Case

MERRIAM, Kan. (AP) — The owner of a Kansas City-area restaurant has pleaded guilty to impeding an investigation into the withholding of employees' pay The U.S. Department of Labor says Yong Lin, president of China Garden Buffet in Merriam, Kansas, could face up to 20 years in prison and fines of $250,000. The department said in a news release Thursday that Lin twice supplied false records to investigators, who later determined the company owed 56 employees a total of $709,539 in back wages. Investigators say the employees earned the back wages but China Garden Buffet violated overtime, minimum wage and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. A 2011 investigation also found that China Garden Buffet owed back wages of $15,504 to 16 employees, citing similar violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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Kansas Ex-Police Officer Pleads in DUI Case

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A former Lawrence police officer has pleaded not guilty to a DUI charge filed against him after an off-duty wreck resulted in a motorcycle driver's death. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that 51-year-old Robert Heafey was charged in September with a misdemeanor DUI after a July wreck led to the death of 56-year-old Jesse del Campo Jr., a motorcycle driver involved in the crash. Heafey is accused of operating or attempting to operate a vehicle with a blood or breath alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. A police report shows Heafey had a blood alcohol content of 0.198 soon after the wreck. He has resigned from the Lawrence Police Department Heafey pleaded not guilty on Wednesday. His next court hearing is scheduled for December 5.

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Authorities Seek Forfeiture of Seized Camel Milk in Kansas 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have seized camel milk in Kansas that prosecutors allege falsely claim unproven health benefits. The Kansas City Star reports that legal action was filed Thursday in federal court seeking forfeiture of the seized products. Prosecutors allege the California company selling the products advertises them for treatment of autism, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer and other diseases. Investigators with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Kansas Department of Agriculture saw products in August at a distribution center in Kansas City, Kansas, that were labeled as raw camel milk, raw camel milk colostrum and kefir made from raw camel milk. The litigation involves more than 4,300 bottles worth an estimated $70,000. Federal regulators earlier this year warned that camel milk is an ineffective and potentially dangerous treatment for autism.

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Rural Survey: Farm Foreclosures over Next 5 Years a Concern

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new report is highlighting growing concerns that farm foreclosures will be the greatest challenge to rural banks in parts of 10 Plains and Midwestern states over the next five years. The Rural Mainstreet Index for the region rose slightly to 45.3 in October from 39.6 in September. The index released Thursday ranges between 0 and 100, with any number under 50 indicating a shrinking economy. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey of bankers, says about 10 percent of bank CEOs surveyed expect their operations to be hit hard by farm foreclosures in the next five years. Goss blamed the concern on weak farm income and low commodity prices. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

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Whooping Cranes Spotted in Kansas Wildlife Refuge

STAFFORD, Kan. (AP) — Two adult whooping cranes have been spotted at a south central Kansas wildlife refuge. The Wichita Eagle reports that the cranes' Thursday appearance in Quivira National Wildlife Refuge near Stafford marks the beginning of their fall migration through the state. Nearly 60 birds pass through the area each fall. The 5-foot-tall birds feed and rest in the open salt flats and wetlands before continuing migration. The birds don't appear every day, but sightings are scattered throughout the end of October and November. Barry Jones is a visitor services specialist at the refuge. He says visitors shouldn't go near the birds if they see them. Adult whooping cranes are white with dark legs, bills and a dark red cap. The younger birds are rusty-brown in color.

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University of Nebraska to Offer In-State Tuition to Kansas Students

KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) — The University of Nebraska at Kearney is offering in-state tuition rates to Colorado and Kansas residents who are accepted as regular on-campus undergraduate students. The university said Thursday it will offer a new Advantage Scholarship that effectively decreases the tuition rate for those students to $198 per credit hour, beginning in fall 2018. Kansas students currently pay $288, which is 150 percent of resident tuition under an agreement among 10 Midwestern states. Colorado is not part of that group, and students from there currently pay $418 per credit hour to attend the university. The university says it will extend the new rate to current undergraduate students from Colorado and Kansas who are in good academic standing. Officials say qualifying students could save an average of nearly $28,000 over four years.

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Boyfriend Pleads Not Guilty in Alleged Wichita Attack

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The boyfriend of a Wichita woman whose 3-year-old son was found encased in concrete has pleaded not guilty to charges involving the child's father. Forty-year-old Stephen Bodine is charged with aggravated assault and criminal damage to property. The Wichita Eagle reports Bodine allegedly threatened Carlo Brewer with a hatchet and slashed his vehicle's tires on August 11. Brewer is the father of Evan Brewer, whose body was found in concrete at the same home where the attack against his father allegedly occurred. Evan Brewer was looking for his son when the alleged attack occurred. It is not clear how or when the child died. No one has been charged in his death. His mother, Miranda Miller, waived a preliminary hearing Thursday on charges of aggravated interference with parental custody.

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Lawsuit: Prison Did Nothing as Fungus Ruined Inmate's Brain

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An inmate at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility died in April after a brain fungus gave him a form of meningitis that left him weak and so disoriented that he drank his own urine while prison health care staff ignored his pleas for help, according to a lawsuit filed on behalf of his mother and daughter. Marques Davis complained for months about symptoms at the Hutchinson prison, his attorney, Leland Dempsey, said in the lawsuit filed this week in federal court, The Kansas City Star reported. "It feels like something is eating my brain," Davis told Corizon Health employees who staffed the prison infirmary in December 2016, according to the lawsuit. It names as defendants Corizon, a private prison health care company contracted to provide health care at the state's prisons, as well as 14 Corizon employees, three doctors and 11 nurses. "No amount of money in the world could ever replace my child, but somebody needs to be held accountable and this (needs to not) happen to anybody else," said Davis's mother, Shermaine Walker, of Wichita. Corizon spokeswoman Martha Harbin said privacy laws prohibit the company from discussing details of Davis's care but "we expect any legal proceedings to reveal Mr. Davis's care was appropriate." At the time of his death, Davis had spent eight years in prison for several crimes, including attempted murder, his mother said. The lawsuit alleges that Corizon didn't help Davis until April 12, when he was taken to Hutchinson Regional Medical Center after he suffered a heart attack. He was declared brain dead and taken off life support the next day. An autopsy found the cause of death was advanced granulomatous meningoencephalitis, a form of meningitis that Dempsey said was caused by the Candida albicans fungus. Walker said she visited her son regularly at prison and tried unsuccessfully several times to get Corizon to help him. "This was an everyday thing for me, calling over there telling them about things he's complaining to me about but also the things I'm seeing," Walker said. "He's losing weight tremendously, he's sweating, his skin color is changing." The lawsuit alleges that Corizon staff reported several times they thought Davis was faking his illness. A Kansas Department of Corrections website lists more than 40 disciplinary infractions for Davis while he was in prison, most of them before he got sick. An infirmary report from the week before Davis's death faults him for refusing food and failing to get out of bed to use the toilet. Instead, he urinated in his water pitcher, which he then drank out of "time and again."

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Oakland Raiders Score on Final Play to Beat Kansas City Chiefs, 31-30 

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Oakland's Derek Carr threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree on the final play after the game was extended by two straight defensive holding calls and the Oakland Raiders snapped a four-game losing streak with a 31-30 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night. With their season on the line following the recent slump, Carr led an 85-yard touchdown drive in the final 2:25 to give the Raiders (3-4) the thrilling comeback win in a game they trailed by nine points heading into the fourth quarter. Carr finished 29 for 52 for 417 yards and three touchdowns. Kansas City's Alex Smith threw for 342 yards and three touchdowns but it wasn't enough for the Chiefs (5-2) as they lost consecutive games for the first time since October, 2015.

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