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Headlines for Monday, July 27, 2015

Kansas GOP, Democrats Plan Early March Presidential Caucuses 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republicans and Democrats in Kansas both hope March 5 caucuses will lure serious contenders for their parties' 2016 presidential nominations into the state. Each party's executive director said Monday that it picked a Saturday for its contest to lessen the chances that prospective voters would have to miss work to participate. The date also is only four days after Super Tuesday, when a dozen states are expected to have caucuses or primaries. The parties' executive directors said the timing of the election could make it attractive for candidates to come to Kansas to campaign. Each state party plans to use the caucus results to allocate delegates to its national nominating convention among its presidential candidates. Kansas has 40 delegates to the Republican convention and 37 to the Democratic convention.


Hearing Held in Gun Store Owner's Death
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — One of four suspects has waived his right to a preliminary hearing in the death of a suburban Kansas City gun store owner killed during a botched robbery in January. Jon Bieker died during the robbery at his Shawnee, Kansas, store called She's a Pistol. Police said gunfire erupted after four men tried to rob Bieker and his wife, Rebecca. The defendants are charged in Johnson County District Court with first-degree felony murder, attempted aggravated robbery and other charges. The preliminary hearing is intended to determine if probable cause exists to take the defendants to trial. One defendant, 20-year-old Deanthony A. Wiley, waived his right to a preliminary hearing and said he'll plead guilty at a later hearing.


Kansas Turnpike Authority Releases Report on Top Crash Sites

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A study shows that I-70 between Topeka and Kansas City had the highest number of accidents along the Kansas Turnpike. The Long-Term Needs Study compiled for the Kansas Turnpike Authority shows that six of the top nine accident spots on the 236-mile turnpike were in the Lawrence area, and two were on the I-70 stretch approaching Kansas City. The K-7 interchange at the Bonner Springs exit approaching Kansas City had the most accidents with 43. The report says the turnpike's south Wichita interchange is another top accident location in the turnpike system. 


Hutchinson Residents Concerned About Lack of Public Tornado Shelter 

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - Hutchinson residents who went to the city's law enforcement center during a tornado earlier this month were allowed to stand in the lobby but were barred from taking shelter in the building's basement. Reno County Emergency Management officials say public storm shelters aren't available in Hutchinson because of liability and safety concerns. They also say owners of public buildings or businesses could face liability issues if someone is injured during a tornado. During a July 13th tornado in Hutchinson, several people were told the law enforcement center's basement was a restricted area. Hutchinson Police officials say the basement contains several computers, sensitive information and evidence.


Kansan Stepping Down as Chief of Federal Appeals Panel 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Lawrence resident has announced plans to step down as chief judge of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Mary Beck Briscoe announced Monday she'll leave her position as chief judge of the federal appeals court effective September 30. An official with the 10th Circuit said although Briscoe is stepping down as chief judge, she'll remain an active judge on the circuit. Timothy M. Tymkovich, of Denver, will succeed her as chief judge. President Bill Clinton appointed Briscoe to the the court in 1995. She became chief judge of the 10th Circuit in 2010. The 10th Circuit, which sits in Denver, has jurisdiction over federal district courts in Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.


Topeka Nursing Homes Partner with Washburn University to Improve Long-Term Care

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Two Topeka nursing homes and Washburn University's School of Nursing are partners in a pilot program to improve care in nursing facilities. Topeka Presbyterian Manor and McCrite Plaza Health Center are the first two participants in the program with the Kansas Foundation for Medical Care. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the program is designed to give nursing students the ability to spot areas where quality could be improved in long-term care facilities. The foundation said in a news release that the partnerships are aimed at improving Kansas' ranking in long-term care quality. The state falls about in the middle when compared to the rest of the country.  


Reno County Whooping Cough Outbreak Persists 

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Reno County health officials are taking steps to help stall the spread of a whooping cough outbreak before school starts. The county has more than 70 suspected whooping cough cases. And The Hutchinson News reports that as of Friday, Reno County had 41 confirmed or probable cases of whooping cough, which accounts for 20 percent of all cases in the state. That was up from 18 on June 29. Reno County Health Department Director Nick Baldetti says the continued outbreak has health officials concerned about the possibility of a potential "micro-outbreak" once school starts again. He says the county health department is working with school districts to prepare and hopes to have vaccination clinics set up for Buhler, Haven and Nickerson districts.


Body of Missing 16-Year-Old Found

WELLINGTON, Kan. (AP) _ The body of a missing 16-year-old Sumner County boy has been found about a half-mile from the Drury Dam on the Chikaskia River. According to Sumner County Deputy Fred Corley, the victim disappeared Friday after he and another boy jumped off the dam and into the river. His body was recovered downstream Sunday afternoon. The victim's name was not released pending notification of his family. The other boy was pulled from the river, resuscitated and later treated at a hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening. 


Renovations at Kansas Aviation Museum Nearly Complete

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A $1.3 million renovation project at the Kansas Aviation Museum in Wichita is nearly complete. Museum director Daniel Bateman says the project made the museum accessible and more comfortable. The Wichita Eagle reports the city of Wichita and the museum split the costs of the renovations at the 80-year-old Art Deco building at the Wichita Municipal Airport. Bateman says the project should be finished by mid-August. The museum is celebrating its 25th anniversary next month. A fundraising gala is planned in September and, thanks to the renovation, it will be held at the museum for the first time in years. 


Man Suspected in Shooting Also Believed to Have Abused Cat 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A 28-year-old Wichita man accused of trying to kill his girlfriend also is being investigated for possible animal abuse after video surfaced of the woman's kitten being thrown against a wall. The Wichita Eagle reports the man, whose case will be presented to prosecutors on Tuesday, was jailed Friday on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder. He is accused of shooting a man his 23-year-old girlfriend brought home to protect her after she and the suspect got into an altercation late Thursday at a local night club. The suspect was taken into custody the next morning. A Snapchat video shows the girlfriend's kitten being twice thrown against a wall. The 16-week-old kitten was taken to a veterinarian for treatment but was later euthanized because of its injuries.

Suspect Arrested in Dodge City Shooting Death 

DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) - Dodge City police say they have arrested a suspect in the shooting death of a Garden City man. Police say the 32-year-old victim was found dead Saturday of multiple gunshot wounds. The Dodge City Daily Globe reports the victim's body was found in an alley behind the newspaper's office. The victim's name has not been released. A 26-year-old man from Garden City was arrested later Saturday in connection to the homicide.


Police: Woman Arrested in Battery of Police Horse in Wichita 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A 30-year-old woman has been arrested after Wichita police say she assaulted a police horse and two officers. The Wichita Eagle reports the woman was arrested early Sunday morning. According to police spokesman Sergeant Bob Gulliver, officers were taking a person into custody for an unrelated disturbance in Old Town when the woman tried to interfere. Gulliver said the horse, which was being ridden by a mounted officer, stepped in between the woman and other officers, and the woman grabbed the reins. Authorities said the woman kicked an officer while being taken into custody and punched another while she was being transported to jail. The woman faces charges of battery of a police animal and resisting arrest.


Housing Group Promoting Village of "Tiny Houses" in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A nonprofit group says it wants to build a village of tiny houses somewhere in Kansas City. City planning officials say they are interested in hearing more from the Tiny Houses Collective of Kansas City about the proposal. The Kansas City Star reports the group is considering building houses approximately 300 square feet in size in a 12-unit village. The development would include a common building for use as a kitchen or laundry room. Group president Joshua Farmer says city planning officials told him current city codes likely would allow the development. The collective is looking for three lots that could be rezoned into one. 


K-State Research Program Works with Farmers to Improve Yields

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Some Kansas growers are carrying out experiments they helped design, evaluating questions such as how different varieties, seeding rates, nutrients and other variables work in the fields on their farms. It's a partnership with Kansas State University under a program launched last season. About 20 farmers are participating in the program. University agricultural experts help the farmers design test plots and research so the experiments yield usable data, rather than simple observations or side-by-side trials that could be influenced by outside factors. So far, the studies have been conducted on soybeans, sorghum and corn. Kansas State is showcasing the program today (MON), hosting a tour of research plots in Saline County to give other producers and agronomists a chance to learn about the program.


Body of Missing 16-Year-Old Boy Found 

WELLINGTON, Kan. (AP) — The body of a missing 16-year-old Sumner County boy has been found about a half-mile from the Drury Dam on the Chikaskia River. According to Sumner County Deputy Fred Corley, the victim disappeared Friday after he and another boy jumped off the dam and into the river. His body was recovered downstream Sunday afternoon. The victim's name was not released pending notification of family of his death. The other boy was pulled from the river, resuscitated and later treated at a hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening.


Woman, 95, Dies After Being Hit by Car in Kansas City 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 95-year-old woman has died after being struck by a car that was backing out of a parking place in Kansas City. The Kansas City Star reports ( the woman, whose name was not released, died over the weekend from her injuries. She was hit July 18 when a driver backing out of a parking stall felt a slight bump. Police said the driver didn't realize she had hit anyone and kept backing out before she saw people waving at her about the woman who was on the ground.


Royals Defeat Astros 5-1, Sign Pitcher Johnny Cueto 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Kansas City Royals' Yordano Ventura pitched seven sharp innings to beat the Houston Astros 5-1 on Sunday. Ventura (5-7) allowed one run and six hits in the win. The right-hander, who won 14 games last year, was demoted to Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday and then recalled the next day after the Royals learned left-hander Jason Vargas would miss the rest of the year with an elbow injury. The Royals announced during the game that they had acquired right-handed pitching star Johnny Cueto from Cincinnati in a trade for three minor league left-handers: Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed. Cueto was one of the top starters on the market. He pitched eight scoreless innings in Cincinnati's 5-2 victory at Colorado on Saturday.


NDSU Favored over Illinois State in Missouri Valley Poll

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Four-time defending Football Championship Subdivision winner North Dakota State is favored to win the Missouri Valley Football Conference. A poll of league coaches, media and sports information directors released Monday shows that NDSU earned 32 of a possible 40 first-place votes for 389 points. Illinois State, the team the Bison edged in last year's FCS championship, received the other eight first-place votes and 366 points. Northern Iowa is picked third with 300 points, followed by Youngstown State with 265, South Dakota State with 251, Indiana State with 180, Southern Illinois with 143, Western Illinois with 139, Missouri State with 91 and South Dakota with 66. NDSU and Illinois state shared the conference title a year ago. The Missouri Valley has six national titles in 30 years as a conference.


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