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Headlines for Friday, September, 19, 2014

Kansas Supreme Court: Remove Democrat from Senate Ballot

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The Kansas Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the name of the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate be removed from the ballot, and the state's top elections official says Democrats must name a new candidate. This adds more uncertainty to a race that could affect Republican hopes to win a Senate majority. Speaking minutes after the state high court decision, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said he is giving Democrats until noon next Friday to pick a new candidate. The U.S. Justice Department has agreed to allow Kansas a week's delay in mailing ballots to military personnel overseas. Some Democrats had nudged party nominee Chad Taylor to withdraw from the race in the hope that independent Greg Orman would have a better chance to defeat three-term Republican Senator Pat Roberts.


New Lawsuit Filed in Kansas Senate Race Dispute

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A registered Democratic voter has filed a new petition with the Kansas Supreme Court asking it to force the party to name a new nominee for the U.S. Senate. David Orel of Kansas City, Kansas, filed the petition Thursday after the court ruled that Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach had to honor Democrat Chad Taylor's wishes to remove his name from the November 4 ballot. Orel says the decision would represent a violation of his right to vote for the Democrat of his choice. Orel's son is a Republican field representaive for Republican Governor Sam Brownback’s re-election campaign.


Kansas Senate Candidates Differ on Court Ruling

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Republican Senator Pat Roberts' campaign manager is calling the Kansas Supreme Court's decision to remove his Democratic opponent from the ballot a travesty. But independent candidate Greg Orman's campaign manager said Thursday that Orman would run against a broken political system no matter how many candidates were on the ballot. The court ruled that Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach was legally obligated to honor Democrat Chad Taylor's request to remove his name from the November 4 ballot. Taylor's withdrawal is seen as helping Orman against Roberts. Roberts campaign manager Corry Bliss criticized what he called a liberal ruling that disenfranchises Democratic primary voters. Orman campaign manager Jim Jonas said Kansans are fed up with Washington and Orman is appealing to voters across the political spectrum.


Orman Launches New Ad in Senate Race

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Independent candidate Greg Orman is launching a new statewide television ad in the U.S. Senate race in Kansas to counter criticism from Republican Senator Pat Roberts. The ad began running Thursday in the Kansas City, Topeka and Wichita markets. In it, Orman says Washington politicians would rather attack opponents than solve problems. The spot does not mention specific criticisms of Orman. Roberts campaign manager Corry Bliss said the ad "literally says nothing." Orman says in the ad that as he faces attacks, the nation's problems only get worse. Orman is a 45-year-old Olathe businessman running as a centrist. Roberts paints Orman as a liberal Democrat, saying Orman refuses to call for repealing the federal health care overhaul. Orman says the overhaul was flawed and he wouldn't have supported it.


Democrat Davis Promises Economic Summits

LENEXA, Kan. (AP) - Democratic nominee Paul Davis has named a dozen new economic advisers for his campaignfor governor and is promising to hold summits across Kansas if he's elected. Davis held a news conference Thursday in Lenexa to announce the appointments of what he's calling "economic sector champions" to advise him. Davis says they'll hold summits during his first six months in office to discuss economic challenges and opportunitiesif he unseats Republican Governor Sam Brownback in the November 4 election. Brownback spokesman John Milburn said Davis is handing out a list of committee assignments instead of giving voters specific plans for boosting the economy. Davis' new advisers include former Westar Energy CEO Jim Haines, former Cessna Aircraft Co. CEO Charlie Johnson and former Kansas Agriculture Secretary Adrian Po


KS Commission to Consider More School Efficiency Proposals

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A new commission looking for efficiencies within Kansas' public school system has school consolidation and teacher pay proposals on the agenda as its two-day meeting continues. The K-12 Student Performance and Efficiency Commission was scheduled to hear a report Friday on why districts carry over unspent money for use in future years. Commissioner member Mike O'Neal says he wants to know why districts' unspent balances are climbing. Commissioners also are considering a host of cost-saving proposals. One calls for offering incentives for district to merge or cooperate. Another proposal would change the traditional teacher salary schedule, which ties pay to education and years of experience, to a salary range that takes into account experience and area of expertise.


KS School Taskforce Studies 'At-Risk' Funding

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The K-12 Student Performance and Efficiency Commission is raising questions about how the state provides extra money to help districts educate their poorest students. The commission began a two-day meeting Thursday with a discussion of so-called "at-risk funding." Legislative post auditor Scott Frank said school districts receive about $1,750 in extra funding for each student who is poor enough to qualify for free lunches. Statewide, that amounts to $347 million. An earlier audit found that as many as 23,000 students receiving the free meals weren't eligible. Frank says another 6,900 students may be eligible but don't apply. Commission members asked whether using census poverty data or student achievement results would be a better way to distribute the money


Wichita State Plans Economic Outlook Conference

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - The annual forecast of the region's economic future will highlight next month's Wichita Area Economic Outlook Conference. Wichita State University's Barton School of Business and Center for Economic Development and Business Research also plans to offer its insight into local and national economies at the October 9 event at the Century II Convention Hall. Nationally known speakers and local experts are expected to provide perspectives on issues affecting business, industry, education and government.


Wichita Man Gets Life for Drug Deal Murder

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A 20-year-old Wichita man has been sentenced to life in prison for the shooting death of another man during a drug transaction. District Attorney Marc Bennett's office says Dennis Haynes must serve at least 20 years before he is eligible for parole under the sentence he received Thursday. Haynes pleaded guilty to first-degree felony murder for killing 34-year-old Ronald Betts at a Wichita house in April 2013. Haynes also pleaded guilty last month to two counts of attempted first-degree murder, attempted aggravated robbery and attempted possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.


Salina Woman Gets Prison in Battery Case

SALINA, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas woman who struck a man with her car during an argument over money has been sentenced to prison and ordered to pay for his medical bills. 34-year-old Arasely Duron was sentenced Thursday to three years and seven months for aggravated battery and robbery. She pleaded no contest in June. Duron has been ordered to pay more than $27,000 for Joseph Smith's medical bills and will have to register as a violent offender upon release. Her attorney argues Smith instigated the incident by stealing $900 from Duron and arming himself with a samurai sword.


Postal Service Fined in Missouri Carrier's Death

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) - An administrative law judge has upheld a citation issued to the U.S. Postal Service after a carrier in Missouri died of excessive heat. The Postal Service had contested the citation when it was issued in 2012 after 57-year-old John Watzlawick of Blue Springs collapsed on his route in Independence. Watzlawick had asked to be relieved from his duties because of the heat the day before he died. The high temperature the day he collapsed was 104 degrees. The Postal Service also will pay a penalty of $70,000 in Watzlawick's death. An OSHA investigation found that the postal service did not have procedures to address worker concerns during times of excessive heat.


Suspects Identified in Vandalism at Lawrence High

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - Lawrence police say they have identified several suspects in vandalism that included a racial slur at Lawrence High School's football stadium. Police say the vandalism, which was found Thursday, included a racial epithet written with shaving cream. Bleachers were egged and other damage was done at the stadium the day before a rivalry game between Lawrence High School and Lawrence Free State. Lawrence Superintendent of Schools Rick Doll said no permanent damage was done to the stadium. He says the school is "disgusted" by the racial epithet included in the vandalism. Lawrence Police Sgt. Trent McKinley says no arrests have been made.


Wichita Restricts Responses to False Alarms

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Wichita authorities are preparing to implement a new ordinance so that firefighters and police don't have to respond to people who make multiple false alarm calls. Wichita Fire Marshal Brad Crisp tells KAKE-TV that emergency crews may not respond to certain calls from home alarm systems starting in October. He says officers may not respond to houses that have more than six false alarm alerts in a year or where people owe fees from false alarms. Wichita Police say 93 percent of all home alarm calls made to 911 are false. The city approved the new rules in July. The city attorney previously said Wichita won't be liable if emergency crews don't respond to an alarm they believe to be false.


Kansas Teen Convicted of Murder

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas City, Kansas teenager has been convicted of first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of another teen. A Wyandotte County jury found 17-year-old Deaarion Potts guilty on Thursday of murder, car burglary and the criminal discharge of a firearm. He was 15 years old at the time of the shooting but was tried as an adult. Authorities say Potts fatally shot 17-year-old Ramon Bradley in October 2012. They say both teens were in vehicles and Bradley was killed by shots fired from a car that Potts was driving. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month.


Parsons to Check for Alcohol at School Dances

PARSONS, Kan. (AP) - Students in a southeast Kansas district will soon be required to undergo alcohol breath tests before they're allowed into school dances. The Parsons Sun reports the tests will be administered to all students and their guests, even if they're not suspected of drinking. Anyone refusing the test will be barred from the dance. Parsons superintendent Shelly Martin said the district has received two handheld blood-alcohol breath wands that will be used at the high school. If an initial test registers alcohol on a student's breath, law enforcement officers will administer a second test with a device used by the police department. Martin said the district may extend the policy to other activities in the future.


Owners Donate Final Sandzen Painting to Lindsborg

LINDSBORG, Kan. (AP) - The final painting of renowned Kansas artist Birger Sandzen is coming home this weekend. The painting, "Smoky Hill River Scene," will be officially donated to the Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery in Lindsborg on Saturday. Sandzen was an early leader in Kansas art, creating mostly in impressionism and post-impressionism scenes of the prairie. The Lindsborg museum has about 250 of his nearly 2,800 oil paintings. The Hutchinson News reports the children of the painting's owner, Ralph Hale, are donating the picture to the gallery. Hale bought it in 1962 and it was hanging in the home of Hale's second wife in Hutchinson until her death in May. Sandzen, a native of Sweden, created most of his work while teaching at Bethany college in the 1900s.


Donor to Match Pledges to Wesleyan Sports Complex

SALINA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas Wesleyan University says an anonymous donor has agreed to match any commitments made the rest of this month toward the school's $7.5 million sports complex, up to $400,000. President and CEO Matt Thompson says the donation means the university needs less than $600,000 to reach its goal for the project. The Salina Journal reports the Mabee Foundation has pledged $750,000 if the universityraises $6.75 million by October 8. The school says in a news release that is has received more than $750,000 in the past 12 weeks. Phase I of the project includes two lighted turf fields, an eight-lane competitive track and resurfaced tennis courts. The second phase will include a grandstand, press box, concession stands and restrooms


K-State Loses to Auburn, 20-14

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) —Auburh QB Nick Marshall threw two touchdown passes, Auburn forced three turnovers and the fifth-ranked Tigers held on to beat No. 20 Kansas State 20-14 on Thursday night. Auburn, with the nation's sixth-ranked rushing attack, had only 130 yards on the ground, 200 less than its season average. Not that it mattered the way Kansas State squandered its chances. K-State QB Jake Waters threw for 245 yards, but he also tossed two interceptions — one in the Auburn end zone. The Wildcats also fumbled the ball away, and kicker Jack Cantele missed three field-goal attempts.


Chiefs' Hobbled by Injuries as KC Prepares for Dolphins

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles showed up for practice Thursday despite a high ankle sprain sustained last Sunday against Denver. There were fears that one of the game's dynamic playmakers could miss several weeks. Chiefs coach Andy Reid has not said whether Charles will be available for Sunday's game in Miami. Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry is also sidelined by a sprained ankle and remained out of Thursday's practice. Rookie wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas also did not practice after returning Wednesday from a hamstring injury that has caused him to miss the first two games. Linebacker Tamba Hali was limited in practice but he's expected to play against the Dolphins.



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