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Headlines for Friday, September 15, 2017

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

Brief Fight Reported at Lansing Prison; No Injuries Reported 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas corrections officials say Lansing Correctional Facility is on lockdown after a fight between inmates. The Department of Corrections said in a news release that two groups fought for about 30 minutes Friday in the maximum security dining room. Officials say prison staff was able to quickly control the altercation. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Corrections spokesman Samir Arif said no injuries were reported to inmates or staff. He didn't know how many inmates were involved in the fight but said it was "dramatically smaller" than some previous disturbances at the state's prisons. He said the prison wasn't damaged and inmates will have normal visitation hours this weekend. Inmate disturbances have been reported this summer at Norton Correctional Facility and at the state's maximum-security prison in El Dorado.

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Former Kansas Commerce Secretary Soave Announces Run for Congress

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — Former Kansas Secretary of Commerce Antonio Soave says he is running for Congress next year. The Kansas City Star reports Soave announced Thursday that he would seek the Republican nomination in the 2nd Congressional District of eastern Kansas. Republican Lynn Jenkins is not seeking re-election. Soave was Governor Sam Brownback's commerce secretary from December 2015 until June. He currently is executive director of a nonprofit youth mentoring initiative. State Senators Steve Fitzgerald of Leavenworth and Caryn Tyson of Parker, State Representative Kevin Jones of Wellsville and Basehor City Council member Vernon Fields are also running for the Republican nomination.  Former Kansas House minority leader and 2014 candidate for governor Paul Davis is running for the Democratic nomination. Soave lives in Olathe, which is not in the district. He has said he is considering buying a home in the district.

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Kansas Unemployment Increases in August 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate rose to 3.9 percent in August, an increase of two-tenths of a percent from July. The unemployment rate in August 2016 was 4.3 percent. The department said Friday the increased unemployment was related mostly to manufacturing layoffs and revised government job estimates. Economist Emilie Doerksen said nonfarm employment grew by 800 jobs last month and the service-providing sector added nearly 2,000 jobs. But that was offset by temporary layoffs in manufacturing and decreased government job estimates. Officials say Kansas has lost 9,000 seasonally adjusted nonfarm jobs, including 6,300 private-sector jobs.

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Kansas Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Reverse State Immigrant Rulings 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse rulings by the state's highest court that they say prevent the state from prosecuting immigrants in the U.S. illegally for identity theft. Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a news release three rulings last week by the Kansas Supreme Court said federal immigration law superseded Kansas law in those types of cases. Schmidt said the Kansas court ruled the state can't prosecute a defendant for falsifying state or private legal documents if that person put the same false information on federal forms for employment verification. A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on whether to consider the Kansas appeal isn't expected until later this year or early next year.

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Army Identifies Kansas Soldier Killed During Training Exercise in Texas

KILLEEN, Texas (AP) — Army officials have identified the soldier who was been killed while participating in medical helicopter evacuation training at a U.S. Army post in Texas. A statement released Thursday identified the soldier as 28-year-old Staff Sergeant Sean Devoy. Fort Hood officials say the crew was doing hoist training when the soldier was killed Tuesday night on a range near the post in Killeen. Officials say the HH-60M aircraft and crew were from the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley in Kansas.

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Kansas Leaders Concerned About New Drivers' License System

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers and auditors worry about potential technical problems with the planned launch of a multimillion-dollar computer system for issuing and tracking 2 million driver's license records that's five years behind schedule. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the Kansas Department of Revenue plans to launch the computer system in January. The department's previous vehicle registration system introduced in 2012 had performance problems. Issues included computer malfunctions and long lines for customers getting license tags. Officials say avoiding similar problems with the new computer system is going to be a challenge. A spokeswoman for the secretary of the revenue department says the agency's current leadership will make sure the project is managed "so that key milestones are met."

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K-State Students Rally Against White Nationalism 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State University students rallied against white nationalism after racist posters were plastered around campus. The Kansas City Star reports that participants in the Thursday night solidarity rally also decried President Donald Trump's decision to phase out the Deferred Action for Children Program, which allows some immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay. About 800,000 people are affected by Trump's decision to give Congress six months to end their limbo status. The rally was organized after posters appeared on campus Wednesday. The school described the fliers as "unwelcome" in a statement. The university also found several racist messages on campus during the spring semester, including a noose hanging in a tree. Kansas State created two new diversity and inclusion administrative positions over the summer.

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Family of Girl Who Died After Being Shocked Settles Lawsuit 

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Salina has settled a lawsuit with a family whose 12-year-old daughter died several months after being shocked while playing in a rainstorm. The Salina Journal reports that the civil suit filed by Jaymie Hicks and Jonni Cullison was settled for an undisclosed amount. The couple's daughter, Jayden, was 11 in May 2013 when she slipped in a puddle and fell onto an in-ground junction box at the entrance to a plaza in downtown Salina. The box had been installed without a grounding wire and contained damaged wires. Jayden underwent months of hospitalization and rehabilitation before she died in December of that year. Her parents previously reached undisclosed settlements with the manufacturer of the junction box and company that installed it. Court records say the city never inspected the wiring.

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Police Chase in Kansas Ends After Stolen Box Truck Crashes 

TECUMSEH, Kan. (AP) — A police chase in northeast Kansas has come to an end after a stolen box truck full of mattresses crashed into a guardrail on the highway. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Lawrence police chased the truck Wednesday after a delivery driver reported it was stolen. The pursuit went west on U.S. Route 40. The Kansas Highway Patrol, the Topeka Police Department and the Shawnee County Sheriff's Office responded to the chase. Authorities say stop-sticks were used and at least one tire on the vehicle was shredded. The truck crashed into a guard rail just east of Topeka about a half-hour after the pursuit began. The person suspected of stealing the truck was taken to a Topeka hospital to be treated for injuries.

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Man Convicted of Kidnapping State Judge Sentenced to Life 

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) — A man accused of holding a Kansas judge hostage for several hours has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 20 years. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a news release Friday that 34-year-old Jason Linn Nichols, of Garden City, was sentenced for terrorism and several other charges. Prosecutors say Nichols forced his way into the judge's Garden City home in May 2016. While holding the judge hostage, Nichols called the Kansas secretary of revenue and demanded that the department provide him with different kinds of information related to state taxes. Nichols was found guilty in July of terrorism, kidnapping, aggravated burglary, aggravated assault, criminal threat and criminal restraint. Kansas law says committing a felony to influence government policy or a unit constitutes terrorism.

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Pursuit Ends in Crash with Deputy's Cruiser, Dispatch Says 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a pursuit has ended with a fleeing driver ramming into the cruiser of a Sedgwick County sheriff's deputy. The Wichita Eagle reports that the crash happened just before 10:30 a.m. Friday near McConnell Air Force Base in southeast Wichita. A Sedgwick County dispatch supervisor says one person is in custody. Authorities are looking for one other person who was in the vehicle. No other details were immediately released.

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University of Kansas Hospital Sued for Neglecting Harassment

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas Hospital Authority is facing a lawsuit from a former cafeteria worker who says the hospital's human resources department neglected to stop sexual harassment by a co-worker. The Kansas City Star reports that the lawsuit alleges Demi Trimble began working as a hospital cook in May 2016 when another cook began sexually harassing her that same month. Trimble alleges she told human resources about the harassment, but the issues were never addressed and the harassment continued. She resigned a month after starting. The complaint is one of three employment-related lawsuits pending against the hospital in the wake of a high-profile whistleblower lawsuit by another employee that's since been dropped. The hospital denies the allegations in Trimble's lawsuit.

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Wichita Psychiatrist Stabbed to Death, Suspect Arrested

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A doctor has been stabbed to death at his holistic practice in Kansas and a suspect is in custody. Police say the doctor was stabbed multiple times shortly before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and left dying in behind the Holistic Psychiatry Services clinic in Wichita. Authorities on Thursday identified the doctor as 57-year-old Achutha Reddy. Police Lieutenant Todd Ojile says the suspect and Reddy were seen entering the clinic together. The suspect left and came back later. An office manager found him assaulting the doctor. The suspect then followed Reddy to the office's alley where the doctor was stabbed multiple times. The 21-year-old suspect was arrested when a security guard at the Wichita Country Club called police after seeing a bloodied man sitting in a car nearby.

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Kansas City Man Pleads Guilty to Passport Fraud 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City man pleaded guilty to passport fraud in a case that prompted an FBI terrorism investigation. Federal prosecutors say 22-year-old Isse Aweis Mohamud admitted Thursday that he lied about his travel plans last year when he applied for a passport. The Kansas City Star reports that Mohamud said on his application that he was traveling from Kansas City to Canada but he didn't intend to make the trip. Instead, he traveled several months later to Egypt. His family reported him missing and said they were worried he went overseas to "engage in jihadist activities." Mohamud was arrested in Egypt and voluntarily returned to the U.S. The agreement acknowledges that the government has no "direct evidence" he was involved in terrorism but it allows the government to continue investigating.

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Counterfeit Laundry Soap Case Dropped Against Kansas Man

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Prosecutors have dropped their case against a Kansas man accused of representing the bulk laundry detergent he was selling as Tide-brand detergent. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Brian Glenn had been scheduled to go on trial next week on a felony counterfeiting charge. But a deputy attorney general with the Kansas Attorney General's Fraud and Litigation Division said in a motion dated Thursday that more testing is needed. The case was dismissed in a way that allows it to be refiled later. Law enforcement agents and Proctor & Gamble representatives raided Glenn's home last year. Glenn's attorney, Cooper Overstreet, said his client "made no representations that he was selling Tide soap." Glenn told an agent that when he sold the soap, he described it as "Tide like" or "Tide type."

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Authorities: Butler County Home Explosion Caused by Propane

ROSE HILL, Kan. (AP) — Butler County authorities say an explosion that destroyed a rural home and critically injured a man was caused by a propane leak.  The home near Rose Hill exploded on Monday. KAKE-TV reports a 67-year-old man suffered severe burns.  Andover Deputy Fire Chief Mike Roosevelt said investigators are sure propane caused the explosion but are still investigating the exact ignition source.  Propane is a common home fuel source in rural Kansas.  A family member said the injured man remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition.

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Indians Beat Royals, 3-2 and Win League Record 22nd Straight Games

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians added a walk-off win to a streak that has had everything. Jay Bruce hit an RBI double in the 10th inning as the Indians rallied for their 22nd straight win to extend their AL record, beating the Kansas City Royals 3-2 on Thursday night to move within four wins of matching the 1916 New York Giants for the longest streak in major league history. After blowouts, shutouts and oh-so-easy wins, the Indians went into extras for the first time to keep the longest streak in 101 years intact. The Indians' Jose Ramirez led off the 10th with a hard hit into right-center off the Royals' Brandon Maurer (2-2) that he turned into a double with a head-first slide. After Edwin Encarnacion walked, Bruce, the recent arrival who hit a three-run homer in win No. 21 on Wednesday, ripped a 2-0 pitch into the right-field corner. The Indians were down to their last strike in the ninth before Francisco Lindor hit a tying double. 
 

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