Crews Assess Damage After Kansas Tornadoes
SALINA, Kan. (AP) - Emergency officials are evaluating damage after multiple tornadoes touched down in rural areas of central Kansas. The National Weather Service says twisters were spotted in Saline, Dickinson, Clay, Cowley, Labette and Allen counties. No injuries were reported in the storm that started Thursday afternoon. But in Saline County, at least one home was destroyed and two other properties were damaged. There also were reports of damaged sheds and downed power lines. Crews began working early this (FRI) morning to determine the number and strength of the tornadoes. The line of storms that swept through the area also generated wind gusts of up to 65 mph and dumped hail as large as 2 inches. The Woodson County Sheriff's Department said there was considerable flash flooding throughout the county closing highways and forcing a few people from their homes in southeast Kansas.
Kansas Legislative Candidates Urge Reform of Medicaid Limits
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Several Republicans and Democrats running for the Kansas Legislature have urged changing the state's policy to allow people with disabilities to earn higher incomes without sacrificing their Medicaid benefits. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that seven candidates for state office and two candidates for federal office participated in a forum in Topeka on Wednesday. Several candidates agreed that the state shouldn't decrease aid when a person with disabilities has an income that exceeds $725 per month, and some urged the expansion of Medicaid. Democrats included state Representative Jim Gartner, House candidate Chris Huntsman, Senate candidate Candace Ayars, Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley and U.S. House candidate Britani Potter participated in the forum. Republican state Senator Vicki Schmidt was also in attendance.
Report: Non-Farm Kansas Jobs to Increase in 2017
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A recent Wichita State University report says Kansas could see more than 12,000 new non-farm jobs in the coming year. The Hutchinson News reports that there are over 1.4 million non-farm jobs in the state this year. The report from the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at the university's business school forecasts that most of new jobs are expected to be in the service sector. Financial, education and health services, as well as leisure and hospitality sectors are also expected to grow. Growth in trade, transportation, manufacturing and utilities jobs are predicted as well, but only by a little more than half of a percent. The report says there will be a slight decline in federal and state government employment.
Ex-Banker to Change Plea in Kansas Drug Cartel Money Case
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A former bank president accused of conspiring to launder drug money for a Mexican cartel plans enter a new plea. A notice filed Thursday says former Plains State Bank President James Kirk Friend notified the court of his intention to change his plea. A hearing is scheduled October 17 in U.S. District Court in Wichita. Federal prosecutors say that Friend helped George and Agatha Enns of Meade launder more than $6.8 million between 2011 and 2014. An affidavit outlines a federal investigation into drug trafficking and money laundering activities in the U.S. by the Juarez Cartel/La Linea. The Mexican cartel is suspected of laundering drug proceeds through the small southwest Kansas bank to avoid tighter restrictions on U.S. currency in its home country.
Couple Buys Former Kansas Plantation
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A couple has bought a former central Kansas plantation that was once a large shipping point for fruit between the Missouri River and California. The 1,260-acre Yaggy Plantation near Nickerson was auctioned off this week. Auction participants told The Hutchinson News the land sold for more than $5 million. The buyers were Craig and Lucinda Piligian, who have homes in Reno County. Descendants of the plantation's founder, Levi Walter Yaggy, sold the acreage. The property, which has been in the same family for 130 years, at one time had as many as 50,000 apple trees and a million catalpa trees. Lucinda Piligian says the land's history was part of the attraction. She says they plan to continue the land's current farming operation, which includes irrigated and dryland acreage.
Man Charged in Second Slaying in Shawnee County
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A man already charged with killing a man connected to the shooting death of a Kansas bride has been charged in another killing. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that 27-year-old Cortez Tyrell Timley was served Thursday with a warrant charging him with the second slaying. No details were provided. In July, Timley was charged with first-degree murder in the June 2014 shooting death of 26-year-old Jermel Robbins Sr. Three weeks before Robbins's death, 42-year-old Tiffany Davenport-Ray was killed when shots were fired from a sport utility vehicle in which three men were riding. Two men were convicted previously, and Robbins's name surfaced as the third SUV occupant during their trials. Attorney Matt Works is representing Timley in the Robbins homicide but said he had no information about the latest case.
Former Missouri Man Admits to $2.25M Internet Steroid Distribution
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former Missouri man has pleaded guilty in a $2.25 million conspiracy to make anabolic steroids and sell them online. The U.S. attorney's office says 28-year-old Michael Peters, of Pelham, New Hampshire, also pleaded guilty Thursday to a conspiracy to commit money laundering. He admitted through his plea that he and other conspirators operated an online company that sold steroids to customers throughout the U.S. They also sent about $200,000 in drug proceeds to China to purchase additional raw materials to manufacture steroids. Peters' role included collecting money from customers, purchasing supplies, assisting in the steroid manufacturing process, handling online orders and shipping steroids to customers. He faces a sentence of up to 30 years in prison without parole. No sentencing date has been set.
Plant in Kansas Evacuated After Chemical Spill
HESSTON, Kan. (AP) — A chemical spill at a plant in south-central Kansas sent about a half dozen people to the hospital. The Hutchinson News reports that the spill occurred Thursday morning at the GVL Poly Plant in Hesston. Gary Denny, director of emergency management for Harvey County, says a building at the plant was evacuated after a breach of a container with a chemical used in manufacturing plastic coolers. He says the chemical — polymethylene polyphenyl isocyanate — can be hazardous if it's inhaled. Denny says six people were taken to the hospital. One person was admitted for observation, and the others were treated and released.
Missouri Man Sentenced for Pipe Bomb Case in Kansas
LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — A 32-year-old Missouri man faces more than two years in prison after being convicted of charges stemming from a pipe bomb explosion in Leavenworth. Simon Nigel Pohl of St. Joseph was sentenced Friday in Leavenworth County court to two years and eight months in prison on charges of criminal use of explosives and possession of methamphetamine. The Kansas City Star reports that Pohl was arrested in April, along with two other people who were charged after explosive devices damaged two vehicles in Leavenworth on April 18 and May 3. No one was injured. Joseph Lee Dickey was sentenced to nearly four years, and Amber M. Wood was sentenced to three years in prison.
Kansas State University Business School Opens New Building
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — The $60 million College of Business Administration building at Kansas State University, which opened for use this semester, is the result of more than five years of planning, fundraising and collaboration. The college's senior director of development Darin Russell says officials wanted the building to have a corporate feel, but blend in with the campus. According to Stacy Kovar, associate dean for academic administration, more space for classrooms was the number one priority. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that students quickly began using the many collaborative areas incorporated into the new building. The building has such an abundance of meeting space that other departments on campus are using the business colleges for some of their needs.
Woman Pleads Guilty to Murder of 7-Year-Old Kansas Boy
KANSAS CITY, Kansas (AP) _ A 30-year-old Kansas woman has pleaded guilty to charges in the death of her 7-year-old stepson whose remains were found in the family's yard. Heather Jones pleaded guilty Thursday in Wyandotte County court to first-degree murder in the death of the child, whom authorities referred to as A.J. Chief Deputy District Attorney Sheryl Lidtke says the first-degree murder charge carries a sentence of life without a chance for parole for at least 25 years. Jones was charged along with her husband, Michael Jones, in the death of his son after authorities found the child's remains when they were called to investigate a domestic disturbance at the family's home last November. Lidtke says the cause of death was ``chronic abuse.'' Heather Jones' sentencing is November 14. Michael Jones is scheduled for a jury trial in February 2017.
Discrimination Lawsuit Against Emporia State Dismissed
EMPORIA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that alleged Emporia State University discriminated against a black assistant professor after he complained about a racial incident. The lawsuit filed by Melvin Hale in October 2015 was dismissed last week without prejudice, meaning it could be refiled. Hale claimed the school and some top administrators discriminated against him and his wife, Angelica, after they said in April 2015 they found a note with a racial slur near her office in the School of Library and Information Management. The Hales said school administrators at first did nothing, then conducted a biased investigation and retaliated against the couple for pushing the issue. The university said its investigation found no evidence of a hate crime or racial discrimination. University officials were not available Thursday to comment.
Jury Convicts Second Man in Kansas City Killing
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a second Kansas City man has been convicted in a 2014 killing. The Jackson County prosecutor's office says 22-year-old Antonio Golston was found guilty Thursday of voluntary manslaughter, first-degree robbery and two counts of armed criminal action. Prosecutors say 24-year-old Dionte Greene was fatally shot after contacting people on Facebook about meeting. His body was found in the early morning hours of Halloween in the driver's seat of a running vehicle. Court records say he had exchange messages with co-defendant Travone Shaw, who has been sentenced to 17 years in prison in the killing. Sentencing for Golston is set for November 18.
Body of U.S. Navy Sailor Killed in Pearl Harbor Attack Returns to Kansas
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Navy seaman's remains are returning to Kansas, 75 years after he was killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Lewis Lowell Wagoner was 20 when he was declared missing after the December 7, 1941, attack that propelled the United States into World War II. Wagoner was aboard the USS Oklahoma when it and other U.S. warships were hit by torpedoes. The battleship Oklahoma capsized quickly. Thirty-two men were rescued, but 14 Marines and 415 sailors were killed and largely were buried as "unknowns" in a Hawaiian cemetery. Many of those remains were disinterred for modern DNA testing that only recently identified Wagoner and 30 others. Wagoner's remains are to be flown today (FRI) to Wichita, with a memorial and interment ceremonies scheduled for Saturday in Harvey County.
TCU Hopes for Easier Win Versus Kansas Jayhawks
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — TCU coach Gary Patterson has never lost to Kansas in four Big 12 meetings but none of the games have been easy wins. There was the 20-6 victory on the road in 2012, the Horned Frogs' first year in the league, and a 27-17 win the following year. In 2015, when TCU was in the midst of a 12-1 season and headed for a No. 3 ranking in the final AP poll, it was a 34-30 squeaker at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence. Even last year, it took everything TCU could muster in a 23-17 win over the Jayhawks. "Any time we play Kansas, they always give us a good game," TCU defensive end James McFarland said. "We know what to expect. We've got to be ready for it." TCU won 34 games over a four-year period, going to three bowls, while the Jayhawks won only seven games during the same period and are now on their third head coach. The TCU Horned Frogs will face off against the KU Jayhawks tomorrow (SAT) in Lawrence.