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Headlines for Monday, August 8, 2016

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

Autopsy Begins on Boy Killed at Water Park 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) —  Authorities are conducting an autopsy of a 10-year-old boy killed on a Kansas waterslide billed as the world's largest. An administrative assistant with the Wyandotte County, Kansas, coroner's office says the post-mortem examination of Caleb Thomas Schwab began Monday morning. Margaret Studyvin says it's unclear whether the autopsy results will be publicly released and, if so, when. Caleb is the son of Republican state Representative Scott Schwab of Olathe. Few details have been released about Caleb's death on the 168-foot-tall Verruckt, one of the top attractions of Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas. The park was closed Monday amid the investigation. Representative Schwab and his wife released a statement thanking the community for an "outpouring of support and compassion" after their son's sudden death and asks for privacy as the family grieves.


Panel Says Kansas Law Limits GoFundMe Donations For Schwab Family 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission says state law limits contributions by lobbyists to a GoFundMe campaign to cover the funeral expenses for a state lawmaker's son who died at a water park. The commission said Monday that contributions to the campaign to help Representative Scott Schwab's family fall under the state's $40-a-year limit on gifts from lobbyists to legislators. The commission also said lobbyists must report their contributions to the state. The commission had a short teleconference Monday to respond to what Executive Director Carol Williams said were numerous inquiries from lobbyists. Ten-year-old Caleb Thomas Schwab died Sunday at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas, while riding what's billed as the world's largest waterslide. TheGoFundMe campaign had raised more than $20,000 as of Monday afternoon.


Kansas Water Park Where Boy Died May Reopen Wednesday 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) —  The Kansas park where a state lawmaker's 10-year-old son died on what's billed as the world's largest waterslide says the park is tentatively planning to reopen on Wednesday. The slide will remain closed. Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas, also said in a statement Monday that it is "deeply and intensely saddened" for the family of Caleb Schwab. He was killed Sunday while riding the 168-foot Verruckt, which remains closed indefinitely. The park and police have not publicly detailed what caused the death of the son of Republican state Representative Scott Schwab of Olathe. Calling safety its top priority, Schlitterbahn says all of its rides are inspected daily before opening. The park directed questions about the investigation to police.


Schlitterbahn Outing Was Special Event for Elected Officials 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas water park was having a special day for elected officials when the 10-year-old son of a state legislator died on what is billed as the world's largest waterslide. Both a state senator who was at the park and the Kansas City, Kansas, mayor's office confirmed Monday that state legislators and local elected officials were invited to the Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas. State Senator Pat Pettey of Kansas City said the park provided a buffet lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs and thanked elected officials for their service to the state and their communities. Caleb Thomas Schwab died Sunday while riding the 168-foot Verruckt, one of the top attractions at the park. He was the son of state Representative Scott Schwab of Olathe.


More Budget Problems for Kansas Mental Health Centers

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Mental health advocates say funding cuts to mental health services in Kansas have spawned layoffs at some of the state's 26 health centers. Many of them are positions that help families in crisis manage day-to-day care. There's a $30 million budget deficit for mental health for the current fiscal year, the Association of Community Mental Health Centers said last month — a figure that the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services does not dispute. Association director Kyle Kessler says funding cuts will result in an estimated loss of 200 positions statewide in mental health centers. The latest funding cuts come in a sector that never saw its pre-Recession state funding restored, and advocates are warning of more hospital admissions, emergency room visits and interactions with law enforcement.


Wal-Mart to Open New Training Center in Topeka

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Wal-Mart is planning a new 3,000-square foot training center in Topeka. Wal-Mart spokesman Kory Lundberg says the new Topeka facility is part of a nationwide plan that includes 200 centers located in stores across the country. Lundberg says the centers are dedicated facilities for some supervisors to get hands-on training. In paperwork filed in June with the City of Topeka planning department, Wal-Mart indicated it would build the Topeka center near the east end of a store there. Lundberg told The Topeka Capital-Journal that Wal-Mart elected to build 200 training academies nationwide to make it easier for employees to receive training near their homes. The Topeka facility will add about 14 positions for trainers to the store. He says the training center is expected to be running next year.


Union Leaders Criticize Kansas City Police Chief for Remarks

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City's police chief is taking some criticism from area police union leaders for his recent comments about shootings of black men by officers. Chief Darryl Forte told The Kansas City Star that there's "an issue with too many African-American men being killed by police officers," and that he feels part of the problem is "unreasonable fear," as well as poor training. Kansas City, Kansas, police union leader Scott Kirkpatrick, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 4, responded in an open letter posted online Wednesday, pointing to recent deaths in the line of duty of two Kansas City, Kansas, police officers. He says the fear is real. Forte stood by his comments, which he says can be best understood in the context of the whole interview.


New Leader in Charge of Kansas National Guard

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas National Guard has a new general in charge of its troops. In a ceremony Saturday in Topeka, Brigadier General Robert Windham handed command of the Kansas National Guard forces to Brigadier General Anthony Mohatt. Mohatt now reports to Adjutant General Major General Lee Tafanelli, the top uniformed officer for National Guard forces in the state. As assistant adjutant general, Mohatt has responsibility for 5,000 men and women in uniform. Windham is set to retire in two months. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Mohatt graduated in 1990 from the Kansas Military Academy. He served in the Iraq War and held command positions in the 35th Infantry Division, 69th Troop Command, 2nd Combined Arms Battalion and 137th Infantry Regiment, among others.


3 Kansas Men Accused of Conspiracy to Commit Capital Murder 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says Salina men have been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit capital murder as part of an ongoing probe by the I-135/I-70 Drug Task Force. The Salina Journal reports two 22-year-olds and one 24-year-old were arrested Sunday evening and early Monday. All three were arrested without incident and were being held in the Saline County jail on $1 million bond each. KBI special agent in charge Doug Younger declined to identify the intended victim or provide other information about the investigation. Young says giving additional details would interfere with the ongoing investigation, but noted additional arrests are possible. He says 30 to 40 law enforcement officers are involved in the large investigation.


Kansas Man to Present Evidence and Witnesses in Bid for Exoneration

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man who has spent 22 years in prison for a double homicide that witnesses swear he didn't commit hopes more than 40 affidavits supporting his innocence will help set him free. Lamonte McIntyre was 17 in 1994 when he was accused of fatally shooting two men who were sitting in a car in a high crime Kansas City, Kansas, neighborhood. He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. A retired Kansas City police captain who reviewed McIntyre's case calls the murder investigation "grossly deficient." A former drug dealer signed an affidavit swearing a different person was paid to kill the men. McIntyre's attorney, Cheryl Pilate, says the case has so many flaws no reasonable jury would have convicted her client if all evidence had been presented.


Man Pleads Guilty to Teen's Shooting Death at Fort Riley 

FORT RILEY, Kan. (AP) — A 19-year-old man pleaded guilty to fatally shooting a teenager at Fort Riley while recklessly handling a firearm. U.S. Attorney Tom Beall says Juwuan Jackson pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the September 2015 death of 16-year-old Kenyon Givens Jr. He originally said a masked man broke into the home and shot Givens. He later admitted he was spinning the chamber of a .22-caliber handgun while holding the trigger, causing it to go off. Beall says the initial false story prevented paramedics from treating Givens until after police searched the house. Jackson faces up to eight years in federal prison when he is sentenced in January.


Thousands Receive Free School Supplies in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Thousands of people lined up to receive free school supplies, shoes and other items at a charity event in Wichita over the weekend. More than 5,000 people showed up Saturday for the "Convoy of Hope" event. The national charity organization handed out about 3,000 backpacks filled with school supplies and 2,500 pairs of children's shoes. More than 680 people also got haircuts. The event was held at Bethel Life Center. Last year's event drew nearly 9,000 people. Jason Bachman, outreach director for the national Convoy of Hope Charity told The Wichita Eagle that about 40 percent of the 82,000 people served annually by the national charity effort are children. Organizers say companies like Cargill and the Wal-Mart Foundation contributed to the effort.


Sedgwick County Commission May Lose Conservative Majority

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Sedgwick County Commission's conservative majority may not hold together after an incumbent commissioner lost during the primary election. The Wichita Eagle reports Karl Peterjohn fell Tuesday to David Dennis in the Republican primary. Peterjohn often voted with Republican commissioners Richard Ranzau and Jim Howell, a former state representative, in more contentious votes. The three drove the commission to cut funding to several programs, back a resolution seeking to stop people living in the U.S. illegally from receiving in-state tuition, turning away from borrowing for road and bridge maintenance and making cuts to the arts, economic development, recreation and the county health department. In the general election, Dennis will face Goddard Mayor Marcey Gregory, who is running as an independent.


$1 Million Gift to Establish Ophthalmology Chair at KU

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A $1 million gift will allow the University of Kansas to endow a chair of ophthalmology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The school announced the gift Monday from Luther Fry, who graduated from the Kansas School of Medicine in 1967, and his wife, Ardis. They had previously donated $1 million to establish an endowed professorship to in the Department of Ophthalmology. The additional gift will allow the medical center to elevate the endowed professorship to an endowed chair. Dr. John Sutphin currently holds the position. The Frys established the Fry Eye Associates in Garden City. Their son, Eric, is an ophthalmologist there. He is a graduate of the Kansas School of Medicine in 2003 and completed his ophthalmology residency in 2007.


Plane Similar to Amelia Earhart's Flying to New Home in Atchison

ATCHISON, Kan. (AP) — An airplane similar to one flown by Amelia Earhart when she disappeared in 1937 is flying this week to Earhart's home in Kansas. The fuselage of a 1935 Lockheed Electra L-10E, outfitted exactly like the one Earhart used when she tried to fly around the world, will begin a five-day journey Monday from California to Atchison, where Earhart was born. The Wichita Eagle reports the airplane will be put on permanent display at the Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation. The organization plans to build a museum commemorating the flight when Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared in July 1937. The plane was acquired from Grace McGuire, a pilot who spent three decades restoring it. It's expected to arrive in Atchison Friday.


2 Killed in Topeka Shootings

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Topeka police are investigating after two people were found shot to death. A man and woman were found dead from multiple gunshots early Sunday. Police identified the victims as 23-year-old Dominique Ray and 20-year-old Camrah Trotter. Both were from Topeka. Lieutenant John Sturgeon told The Topeka Capital-Journal that the two were pronounced dead at the scene. The incident is under investigation as a possible double homicide.


7 Weekend Robberies at Wichita Businesses 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Wichita police say seven armed robberies were reported at city businesses within 48 hours over the weekend. The robberies were reported at two Subway restaurants, a Dairy Queen, a Mr. Taco, a motel, and two gas stations. A suspect was arrested and the money was recovered after the Subway robbery Saturday night. Suspects in the other robberies all escaped. KWCH reports Wichita police are not indicating that they believe the robberies are connected. No one was injured in any of the crimes.


Ventura Pitches into 7th Inning as Royals Beat Blue Jays 7-1

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Yordano Ventura pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Kendrys Morales hit a grand slam, and the Kansas City Royals beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-1 Sunday. Ventura (7-9), limited the Blue Jays to one run and five singles in 6 2/3 innings, walking four and striking out four. Morales' hit his third career grand slam and his first since July 30, 2012 in the seventh inning. Raul Mondesi, Alcides Escobar and Cheslor Cuthbert led off the inning with singles. It appeared Toronto might escape unharmed after Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer struck out, but Morales hit the first pitch out of the park. Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman (8-5) allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings.

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