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Headlines for Monday, August 15, 2016

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

Manhattan Residents Urged to Boil Water After Power Outage

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Health officials are urging Manhattan residents to boil their water after a power outage created the potential for bacterial contamination. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced the boil advisory today (MON) for Manhattan's public water supply. The agency said in a news release that the power outage led to a loss of pressure. The release says water should be boiled for one minute before it's used for drinking or food preparation. Manhattan residents also are urged to dispose of ice cubes and to avoid using ice from automatic household ice-makers. The KDHE says water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled, although children should be supervised to ensure they don't drink the water.


Jenkins, Pompeo Warn of 'Attack' on Fossil Fuel Industry 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas oil and gas producers listened to dire warnings about their industry's future from two House members during their convention in Wichita. U.S. Representative Lynn Jenkins told the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association on Monday that it is still an assault on the industry by President Barack Obama's administration from a regulatory environment to tax proposals. She claims the administration wants to put them out of business. U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo recounted the coal industry's problems, and told oil and gas producers they should know they are next. He called it a "full-scale assault" by the environmental left on the fossil fuel industry. The Kansas delegation has been a staple fixture at the industry's annual meeting in Wichita, but only Pompeo and Jenkins attended for the panel this year.


More Teachers Seeking State Offices in Kansas 

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Amid school funding woes, more teachers are seeking state office in Kansas. The Kansas Association of School Boards earlier this summer estimated that maybe 50 current or former members of local boards, school administrators and teachers from across the state were candidates in legislative elections. The Kansas City Star reports that teacher groups say they feel momentum building this year for heavier public-school representation in Topeka.


Kansas Regents May Seek More Control over Campus Projects

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Board of Regents may consider changing some of its policies so the board can have more oversight and control over new building projects on university campuses. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the issue that's led to the consideration involves projects called public-private partnerships in which a private, outside entity gives money for construction and then leases the building to a university until it's paid off. The University of Kansas used the partnership to finance a $350 million Central District project, currently under construction on the Lawrence campus. Several lawmakers said the university used the process to bypass the Legislature, which would have had to approve the project first if the school used the state's own bonding agency. Lawmakers are concerned that if something goes wrong with the project, taxpayers will be responsible for the project.


Defense Seeks Special Master to Investigate Jail Recordings 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge is considering whether to appoint an independent third party to look into prison recordings of confidential conversations between inmates and their attorneys at the Leavenworth Detention Center. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson has scheduled a hearing Tuesday to determine the appointment and scope of a special master in the case. The practice surfaced in a case over distribution of contraband at the prison in which video recordings were subpoenaed by a grand jury. But the defense outcry is now rippling across cases. The federal public defender's office filed a motion Monday seeking a special master's inquiry. Robinson last week ordered all jails housing federal detainees in Kansas and Missouri to stop any recordings. The U.S. Attorney's office says it would not knowingly seek privileged attorney-client communications.


Police: Weights in Water Park Death Within Limits 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Police say combined weights for a 10-year-old boy and two other people riding a raft with him at a water park when he was killed were within the ride's limits. Caleb Schwab died August 7 while riding the 168-foot "Verruckt" at Schlitterbahn WaterPark in Kansas City, Kansas. Riders are weighed to ensure each raft carries between 400 pounds and 550 pounds. Police Monday released a report showing one rider at 140 pounds, another at 170, and an unclear weight for Caleb. He would have to weigh 90 pounds to make the trio's weight reach 400 pounds. But police said weights taken at a hospital after the accident show one person weighed 275 pounds, another weighed 197 pounds and a third weighed 73 pounds, putting the combined weight at 545 pounds.


Woman Killed in Early Morning Topeka House Fire

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a woman has been killed in a Topeka house fire. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that city workers noticed smoke coming from the home early this (MON) morning while passing by the area. Firefighters found an unresponsive woman inside the house. She was rushed to a Topeka hospital, where she died. Her name has not yet been released.  


2 Children, Ages 8 and 9, Killed in Kansas City Shooting
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police are investigating the shooting deaths of two children. Officers responded early Saturday to a shooting at a home where they found three juvenile victims. The children were taken to a hospital, where one was declared dead. A second child suffered critical injuries and died at the hospital. The third victim, who is 16 years old, had non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to recover. One of the deceased victims was 8 years old... the other was 9.  


Four Children Killed by Gunfire in Kansas City in Past Six Months

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Four children have been killed by gunfire in Kansas City in the past six months, including two boys who were gunned down over the weekend. The Kansas City Star reports that the deaths of the boys, ages 8 and 9, raised the city's homicide total to 67 so far.


Missouri Man Electrocuted in South-Central Kansas

ANDOVER, Kan. (AP) — A construction worker has died after being electrocuted at a Kansas work site. Authorities say 38-year-old Darrell Harden of Kansas City, Missouri, died Friday when he was working at a site in Andover. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration says he suffered fatal injuries when the lift truck he was operating came into contact with overhead power lines. OSHA says it's investigating.


University of Kansas Hires New Director of Office Probing Discrimination

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas has hired a new director for its office that investigates complaints of discrimination and harassment. Michael "Shane'' McCreery will begin his new role as head of the office of Institutional Opportunity and Access. He will start his new role on September 1. The university is facing three lawsuits stemming from claims by two members of the women's rowing team that they were sexually assaulted by the same former football player. In addition to suits by each woman, the parents of one of the women also sued the school for falsely advertising its campus as safe.


Kansas Court: Woman's Parental Rights Should Be Terminated

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas court says parental rights should be terminated for a woman accused in 2012 of binding and blindfolding two of her children. The Kansas Court of Appeals agreed Friday that Deborah Gomez's parental rights should be terminated. Gomez, and her husband, Adolfo Gomez, were arrested after police found two of their children blindfolded and bound with duct tape in a Lawrence parking lot. The couple said they were traveling from Illinois because they believed the world was ending. The children were taken into state custody. Both parents later pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of endangering a child. Deborah Gomez served about six months in jail. The Lawrence Journal World reports  that the appeals court rejected her claim that she should have her parental rights restored.


Missouri Regulators Question Proposed Westar / KCP&L Merger

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The proposed $12.2 billion merger of Kansas-based Westar Energy with Missouri-based Kansas City Power & Light could be at the mercy of Missouri utility regulators whose staff has recommended the deal be rejected. Great Plains Energy, parent company of KCP&L, says it doesn't need Missouri's permission for the purchase, which would combine operations to serve 1.5 million customers on both sides of the state line. The Wichita Eagle reports that the Missouri Public Service Commission's staff is concerned that the merger would lead to layoffs and harm Great Plains' credit rating, leading to higher costs for customers. James Owen, acting director of Missouri's Office of Public Counsel, believes the commission staff will file a challenge against the deal. If not, his office will.


Kansas State Employee Health Insurance Costs Rising

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — State documents show that thousands of state government employees in Kansas will face rising health insurance premiums next year. The State Employee Health Plan applies to workers throughout state government and includes people employed at public universities and colleges. Rates for health insurance policies for state workers also increased this year. Under basic health policies available through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas and Aetna, monthly rates for individual policies with low- and high-deductible plans would rise 9 percent. The monthly cost of health insurance for state workers in the employee-and-children plans would also increase 9 percent.


Few Affected by Court Rulings Voted in Kansas Primary

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Few of the 17,600 Kansas voters at the center of legal fights over the state's proof of citizenship requirements actually cast ballots in the August 2 primary. Voting rights advocates won temporary court rulings in federal and state courts affirming the right to vote for people who registered at motor vehicle offices but never submitted citizenship documents. Overall, statewide turnout for the primary was 23.1 percent. Officials say 9,032 provisional ballots were cast, but don't yet have a number for how many of those were cast by voters affected by the court decisions. The Associated Press surveyed the state's five biggest counties, which accounted for 4,287 of provisional ballots. It found 37 affected voters who cast ballots.


Man Sentenced to Life for 2 Deaths at Lenexa Home 

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A 29-year-old man faces at least 50 years in prison for the stabbing deaths of two Lenexa men. Alex Brune pleaded guilty in February to two counts of first-degree murder in the July 2014 deaths of 47-year-old Brian Baskind and his stepfather, 79-year-old Clifford Preston at the men's home in Lenexa. Their bodies were found in the basement. The Kansas City Star reports that Brune was sentenced Monday in Johnson County court to life. He will have to serve 50 years in prison before being eligible for parole. Brune was shot by one of the men during the altercation and initially told officers that he was kidnapped from his home and taken to the house, where he found a knife and stabbed both men during an escape attempt.


Man Charged with Murder in Shawnee Woman's Death 

SHAWNEE, Kan. (AP) — A 54-year-old man has been charged in the May death of a Shawnee woman. Authorities have brought Gregory P. Wright back from Virginia to Johnson County, where is charged with first-degree murder in the May 9 death of 44-year-old Monica Lee. She was found dead in her apartment. The Kansas City Star reports that Wright was arrested in Virginia Beach, Virginia, in June and was being held on a fugitive warrant. He's being held in Johnson County on $1 million bond.


Topeka Mayor Encourages Monarch Butterfly Awareness

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Topeka mayor is joining an effort to raise awareness about the declining number of monarch butterflies. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Mayor Larry Wolgast has designated August as "Pledge to Help Save the Monarch Butterfly Month." Wolgast says the National Wildlife Federation contacted him last year as it organized mayors throughout the nation to take the "Mayors' Monarch Pledge" to aid the species. He's urging residents to learn more about the need to protect monarchs. The species passes through Kansas each year as it migrates north and then south through the U.S. Monarchs have been harmed because there is less of the milkweed they depend upon to nourish them and on which they lay their eggs. Efforts to help the butterflies include creating way stations planted with milkweed.


Folk Song 'Home on the Range' Now Being Made into Film

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Filming has begun on a made-for-television movie about the folk song "Home on the Range." The Wichita Eagle reports that the 50-minute movie is being filmed in Wichita at various places, including the Old Cowtown Museum, the old Sedgwick County courthouse and some private locations. Ken Spurgeon, the movie's producer and director, says the film will center on a lawsuit related to the song that was filed in 1934. Filming is expected to be completed this week, and will premiere in theaters in Wichita, Kansas City and Smith Center in November.


Body Found Near River in Wichita, but No Foul Play Suspected

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police are investigating the discovery of a body found near the Arkansas River but don't believe foul play was involved. The Wichita Eagle reports the body was lying on the ground next to a tree around 7:30 am Sunday when someone walking along the river found him. Police spokesman Sergeant Joe Kennedy says a 59-year-old white man was pronounced dead at the scene. The body was taken to the Sedgwick County Regional Forensics Science Center to determine cause of death. Kennedy says the person may have been homeless. No other details were being released.


Body Found on Top of Freight Elevator at Wichita Apartment 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita authorities are investigating the death of a man whose body was found on top of a freight elevator at a 10-story apartment building. Police reports show the man's body was found on top of the apartment's freight elevator Saturday. The man's identity hasn't been released. Police Sergeant Nikki Woodrow said Monday the death appears to be accidental, but the coroner's office is investigating. Woodrow also told The Wichita Eagle that she did not know how far the man had fallen down the elevator shaft.


Royals Beat Twins 11-4 Up North

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Kansas City Royals won their first road series since late June -- beating the Minnesota Twins 11-4 yesterday (SUN).  


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