Osawatomie State Hospital Readies for Recertification Review
OSAWATOMIE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas officials say the conditions at Osawatomie State Hospital have improved since it lost its Medicare certification last year and that the psychiatric facility is ready for a federal inspection. The Wichita Eagle reports that the facility in Osawatomie lost certification in December after federal inspectors expressed safety concerns at the hospital after a patient was charged in the rape of a staff member in October and other safety issues. Inspectors had said the hospital had out-of-date facilities and was understaffed, which put staff and patients at risk. The facility has had several renovations, including the installation of new ceilings, which is meant to prevent suicide attempts. The facility says it now ensures patients receive 24-hour nursing care. The state has applied for recertification. The hospital is set to be ready for a review by inspectors on August 30.
Kansas Coalition Proposes Dental Therapists for Service Gap
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A coalition of more than 50 advocacy groups in Kansas has suggested educating dental therapists to work under the supervision of established dentists to help cover a service gap in the state. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that four out of five counties in Kansas don't have enough dentists to meet demand and 14 of the state's counties have no dentistry practitioners at all. The Kansas Board of Regents suggested in early August the possibility of starting the state's first school of dentistry at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The coalition is offering the education of dental therapists as an alternative. Graduates of the dental therapy programs would be eligible to perform routine or preventative care that includes extractions, fillings and cleanings. The coalition includes the Kansas Dental Hygienists' Association.
Two Killed in Kansas City; Cops Suspect Murder/Suicide
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City police say two people are dead after an apparent shooting and suicide at a business on the city's east side. Police Chief Darryl Forte says a person was shot inside 7th Heaven on Sunday afternoon... and the man suspected in that shooting killed himself inside the store.
1 Dead, 1 Injured in Shootout at Liberal; Suspect Arrested
LIBERAL, Kan. (AP) — Seward County authorities say one man died and another was injured after a shooting in Liberal. A suspect was arrested in rural Seward County several hours after a dispute among several people in a parking lot. Eaglecom.net reports investigators say a 24-year-old man died. An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death. And a 20-year-old man was treated and released for gunshot wounds. Police said a 23-year-old man was arrested Saturday evening. The names of the victims and suspect have not been released.
Man Sentenced to 8 Years in Kansas Homeless Shelter Stabbing
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas City, Missouri, man has been sentenced to eight years and four months in prison for trying to kill a Kansas homeless shelter employee by slashing his throat. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that 23-year-old Christopher McCay was sentenced in Douglas County after pleading guilty in January to attempted first-degree murder. He admitted that in March 2014 he used a steak knife from the Lawrence Community Shelter's kitchen and stabbed Robert Shaner. The 46-year-old underwent emergency surgery for injuries to his neck and left hand. McCay was working as a volunteer cook in the shelter's kitchen and also had been a guest there. Under the sentence, McCay also must register as a violent offender for 15 years after his eventual release and complete 36 months of post-release supervision.
Lawrence Man Sentenced for Aiming Shotgun at Officer
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Lawrence man was sentenced to nearly two years in prison for aiming a loaded shotgun at a police officer. Zachary James Ortiz was sentenced Friday for one felony count of aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer. He was arrested in June 2014 after he aimed the shotgun at officer Skyler Richardson. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Richardson was responding to a report of shots fired when he encountered Ortiz. He testified Friday that Lawrence should be sentenced to prison. Ortiz and his attorney asked that he receive probation so he could seek treatment for alcoholism. Douglas County District Court Judge Peggy Kittel rejected the request and sentenced Ortiz to 19 months in prison. He will register as a violent offender for 15 years after his release.
Dozens of Manhattan High School Students Become Ill
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - Riley County health officials are working to determine why more than a dozen Manhattan High School students became ill last week. Riley County health official Jennifer Green says the high school reported that the students had been sent home after reporting nausea and vomiting. Green says at least 16 students were sent home between Monday and Thursday, and the school reported 19 students were either sent home Friday or had parents report they were ill. The county health department did not find similar illnesses at other area schools.
Former Kansas State Quarterback Arrested in Home Invasion
LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — Authorities say a former quarterback for Kansas State and McNeese State has been arrested for his part in a fatal home invasion in Louisiana. Lake Charles police say 32-year-old Daniel Sams was arrested Saturday. Deputy Chief Mark Kraus tells local media outlets 23-year-old Aaron Sam, a former McNeese State defensive back, was fatally shot during the August 12 home invasion. Kraus says Sam was part of an armed group that had committed the home invasion. Sams faces charges of accessory after the fact to armed robbery, home invasion, attempted first degree murder and accessory after the fact to second degree murder. His bond was set at $200,000. Online jail records do not list an attorney for Sams.
Some Wealthy Kansans Object to Tax-Break; Don't Want to be "Freeloaders"
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Some well-off Kansans are openly objecting to the state's so-called "LLC loophole." The provision allows more than 300,000 independent business owners to pay no state tax on the bulk, if not all, of their income. It was passed by the Kansas Legislature in 2012 on the promise of creating jobs. Among the objectors is Kansas attorney James Zakoura, who benefits but feels the tax break is wrong. Other business owners feel the same way, with some saying they feel like "freeloaders" under the system. Read a lot more about this story, here.
Kansas State Cuts Library Hours, Staff and Subscriptions
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Routine all-night access to Kansas State University's Hale Library has ended, with the building closing at midnight most nights to save money. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Kansas State said in an email that its libraries lost nearly $1 million over the past two years from a drop in general funds and lower enrollment. The email says the funding reductions come at a time when costs are rising. Scaling back hours will save $110,000 annually, largely by paring back security and custodial needs. The library also is making staffing and subscription cuts. A notable exception to the new hours for Hale will be finals season. Round-the-clock hours are planned for the week of and the week before exams.
Body Found in Missouri River Identified
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a body found last week in the Missouri River was that of a 24-year-old St. Joseph man. The St. Joseph News-Press reports that officials have identified the man as James Ford. St. Joseph police say he went missing early Wednesday after going swimming with a woman. His body was found Thursday morning in the river near Atchison. A preliminary autopsy listed the cause of death as drowning.
Facebook Post from Michael Phelps Fan with Autism Inspires
BALTIMORE (AP) — A Michael Phelps fan who has autism has become an inspiration on his own after sharing his dream of competing in the Olympics one day on the swimmer's Facebook page. Austin Levingston's August 16 post has received more than 3,000 likes. In it, the 21-year-old man, from Great Bend, Kansas, says he's attending college and hopes to be the first person in his family to get a degree. He also tells Phelps, "I'm hoping to swim in the Olympics just like you someday." Levingston also is a doppelganger for Phelps, who grew up outside Baltimore. Levingston included a few pictures of himself which show a strong resemblance to the 23-time gold medalist. Levingston tells The Baltimore Sun he doesn't know if Phelps saw his post.
Woman's Family Holds Bake Sales, Raffles to Boost Reward
SALINA, Kan. (AP) - Two months ago, a 57-year-old central Kansas woman was found slain in her home. Now... family members have turned to bake sales and raffles to boost the reward fund for information leading to the arrest of her killers. A family member found Lori Heimer's body on June 25 in her home southeast of Assaria, where she had a dog-breeding business. A reward fund of more than $50,000 is available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whomever is responsible for her death.
Kansas Starts New Inmate Notification System for Victims
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The state is implementing a system that will make it easier to track the location or release of inmates in county jails. The Kansas Attorney General's Office says the system is called Victim Information and Notification Everyday, or VINE. It is already operating in 19 counties and is expected to be in use in the other 86 counties in the next two years. The free and anonymous service use the telephone or electronic devices to provide updates about changes in the custody status of a county jail inmate. Updates are available every day and in several languages. Before VINE, victims had no centralized source of information about offenders held in county jails. Users also can access information about jail inmates housed in other participating states.
Hutch Prisoners Work to Build Chapel
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A long-running project to build a chapel at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility is continuing with help from inmates and faith in God. The Wichita Eagle reports the project, which began six years ago, is expected to take a few more years to complete. The delay is caused in part because the project is being funded entirely with private donations. Steve Dechant, chairman of the board of the Hutchinson Spiritual Life Center, says as much work as possible is being done by inmates. When it's completed, the chapel will serve more than 22 religions practiced by about 1,000 inmates. It is being built in a nearly century-old gymnasium and auditorium where maximum security is enforced.
Kansas City's Nelson-Atkins Museum Eyes Expansion
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Officials with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City are starting a long process that could lead to expanding the museum. The Kansas City Star reports the building is cramped, particularly in office and storage space. It exhibits only about 6 percent of its 39,000 arts pieces, which is normal for museums that often rotate their works from storage. But director of administration Mark Zimmerman says the museum has offices in galleries that should be devoted to art. Museum officials plan to work with members, donors, neighbors and the public to explain the institution's needs and expansion options. A 1999 strategic plan led to more space for special exhibits, collections and other programs but offices for the museum's nearly 300 employees and non-art storage are still lacking.
Wichita Honors Native Son Who Won Bronze in Olympics
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Hundreds of people turned out in Wichita to honor native son Nico Hernandez for winning a bronze medal in the summer Olympics. The city threw a parade and several speakers praised his character and work ethic at an event at North High School. Then, he received a key to the city and a surprise offer of a full-ride scholarship to Wichita State University. The Wichita Eagle reports Hernandez thanked his family, coaches, supporters and the city for their support. He said he felt the support from back home while he overcame several obstacles to win the bronze in the feather-light weight division in Brazil. He said he hasn't decided yet whether he will go into professional boxing.
Royals Hammer Red Sox 10-4
BOSTON (AP) _ The suddenly surging Kansas City Royals hammered the Red Sox, 10-4, in Boston. Kansas City took two of three at Fenway Park and got its 17th win in 21 games. Tonight (MON), the Royals take on the Yankees at the K.