Kansas Lawmakers Finish Work, Set Closing Ceremony
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas legislators have finished their work and adjourned their annual session for the year. A brief, formal ceremony will officially mark the session's end in two weeks. The Senate adjourned late Saturday afternoon shortly after passing a bill containing budgets for the fiscal year beginning July 1st and for the following fiscal year. The House adjourned about an hour later after passing the same bill. The only scheduled business left for lawmakers is the brief adjournment ceremony scheduled for June 26th. Although the official adjournment is ceremonial, lawmakers can take care of any loose ends or remaining business on that day if necessary. Saturday was the 113th day of what was supposed to be a 100-day session. Only 2015's session was longer at 114 days.
Many Kansas Lawmakers Say They Will Have to Return to Finish School Funding Plan
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Many Kansas legislators see their work toward complying with a state Supreme Court mandate on public school funding as unfinished. They take that view even though lawmakers passed a bill last week that phases in a $293 million increase in spending over two years. Some expect to be forced to return to the Statehouse this summer. Governor Sam Brownback has until June 19 to act on the school funding bill and he and his aides haven't hinted at his plans. If it becomes law, the Supreme Court still must review it. The justices ruled in March that the state's current education funding of about $4 billion a year is inadequate. Even lawmakers who support the new plan believe that at least parts of it won't satisfy the court.
Hundreds Gather to Grill U.S. Senator Jerry Moran
LENEXA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas Republican Senator Jerry Moran told a sometimes raucous crowd of hundreds that he would have voted against a House-passed bill that would repeal and replace the Obama-era federal health care overhaul law. Moran spoke today (MON) at a conference center in Lenexa. He said he's waiting to see the final version of the Senate's bill before determining how he'll vote. He bemoaned it being drafted in closed meetings but wouldn't commit to withholding his vote if there aren't open hearings. It was Moran's first, in-person public town hall meeting in Johnson County since President Trump took office.
Lottery Official Set to Plead Guilty to Rigging Lottery Games in Kansas, other States
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Prosecutors will ask for 25 years in prison for a lottery computer programmer who's admitting to rigging jackpots in multiple states. A plea agreement released Monday shows former Multi-State Lottery Association security director Eddie Tipton has agreed to plead guilty to felony charges in Iowa and Wisconsin. Prosecutors will seek a 25-year term for him in Iowa. The document says his brother, Tommy Tipton, will plead guilty to theft charges in Iowa. The brother has agreed to recommend that he serve 75 days in jail. The document calls for the brothers to pay back a total of $3 million in lottery winnings that were linked to rigged drawings in Colorado, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Kansas. They've also agreed to tell investigators "all facts related, directly or indirectly, to their actions to fix, win and claim lottery jackpots."
Some Johnson County Parents Upset over Purchase of Automatic Rifles
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) - Some parents of Shawnee Mission School District students aren't happy to learn that the district bought eight semi-automatic rifles for its school resource officers. The rifles were bought in 2015, but that parents only recently learned of them. Some parents were unnerved by the discovery and say they question the effectiveness of such high-powered weaponry in the face of an active shooter in the school. Other parents say the nearly $6,000 purchase was excessive at a time when school budgets are tight. But John Douglass, the district's director of safety and security, and some other parents say a rising threat of active shooter situations in schools makes the high-powered guns necessary.
Former Kansas City Star Managing Editor, KU Educator Tom Eblen Dies
PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. (AP) — Former Kansas City Star editor and University of Kansas journalism educator Tom Eblen has died. The university's journalism school says Eblen was 80 when he died Saturday after a long illness. Eblen joined the Kansas City Star in 1960 and rose through the ranks, serving as a reporter, copy editor, assistant city editor, city editor and eventually managing editor before serving as editor and general manager of the Fort Scott Tribune. He later spent more than 15 years as general manager and news adviser to the University of Kansas' student newspaper before retiring in 2001. Eblen later served as a Kansas Press Association news consultant, serving as that group's president in 1988. He was twice elected to the national board of what now is Associated Press Media Editors.
Fort Riley Soldier Drowns While Swimming at Lake
MILFORD, Kan. (AP) - Authorities say a Fort Riley soldier has drowned while swimming with his family at Milford Lake. KJCK-AM reports that Geary County Sheriff Tony Wolf identified the victim as 23-year-old Xavier Joseph Harden. Wolf said Harden went under Sunday afternoon when he jumped off a flotation device to help his wife and a 3-year-old child because the wind had blown them away from shore. His wife told authorities that Harden was unable to swim. When Harden didn't resurface, divers were called. His body was recovered several hours later.
Rail Officials Consider Kansas to Texas Passenger Train Service
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Amtrak and BNSF Railway officials are gauging interest in passenger train service between Texas and Kansas. Joe McHugh, an Amtrak vice president, tells the Topeka Capital-Journal that there are many steps needed to establish passenger train service between the states. But he says there has been tremendous interest from people in southern and eastern Kansas in having such service. A special inspection trip from Fort Worth to Kansas City last week afforded Amtrak and BNSF Railway officials an opportunity to see what a new route following the Interstate 35 corridor might look like.
Hemp Oil Supplier Changes Kansas Product After Supplies Are Seized
MISSION, Kan. (AP) — The owner of a Missouri hemp oil supplier says he's making a special product line for Kansas after police seized the supply of a retailer because it contained trace amounts of THC, the intoxicating chemical agent in marijuana. The Kansas City Star reports that CBD American Shaman owner Vince Sanders says he hopes the move will appease law enforcement. Industrial hemp and marijuana for recreational use both come from the cannabis sativa plant, but from different genetic varieties. Sanders says he tests his products to ensure they contain no more than 0.3 percent THC, which is a tiny fraction of the amount contained in recreational marijuana. He believes that makes the products legal. But police in Mission, Kansas, disagreed and seized his product last month from a store called Into the Mystic.
Kansas City WWI Museum Gets $2 Million Gift
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City's landmark National World War I Museum and Memorial have received a nearly $2 million gift. The museum says the grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation already has helped hire a new senior vice president of the museum and will provide for additional positions in the future. The foundation also provided funds for research projects, a strategic communications firm and an upgrade of the museum's software. The foundation is named after Ewing Kauffman, the pharmaceutical company founder who established the Kansas City Royals. Kauffman died in 1993. The gift is part of the museum's "Call to Duty" capital campaign commemorating this year's centennial of America's entry into World War I. The fundraising effort has raised more than $17 million since 2014.
Body of Teen Pulled from Wyandotte County Lake
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - Rescue teams have found the body of a 17-year-old boy who drowned in a small eastern Kansas lake. The Kansas City Star reports that the teen was swimming in the Pierson Park lake early Sunday with friends when he disappeared beneath the water. The other three teens called authorities around 2 a.m. Sunday to report the boy missing, and rescue crews began a search. The boy's body was found and removed from the lake around 2 p.m. Sunday. The teen's name has not been released. Captain David Thaxton of the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office says the teen's friends heard him cry out for help but couldn't find him in the dark. They swam ashore and called for help.
Man Killed in Eastern Kansas Tractor Accident
HOYT, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a man has been killed in a tractor accident in eastern Kansas. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Jackson County Sheriff Tim Morse identified the victim as Ethan Everts, of Hoyt. He was operating a tractor when it rolled over around 5 p.m. Sunday in Jackson County. Everts was pronounced dead at the scene.
Moustakas Slams Two Homers to Lift Royals to 8-3 Win over Padres
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Kansas City Royals' Mike Moustakas hit two home runs and Jake Junis pitched seven-plus solid innings to help the Royals beat the San Diego Padres 8-3 on Sunday. Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer also homered for the Royals. The Royals had also hit five home runs on Saturday against the Padres. Moustakas hit a three-run home run in the first against rookie pitcher Dinelson Lamet (2-2) that gave the Royals an early 4-0 advantage, and a solo homer in the eighth. Gordon homered in the fourth, a solo shot, and Hosmer added a two-run homer in the fifth to put Kansas City on top 7-1. Junis (2-0) allowed three runs, all on solo homers, on six hits over a career-best seven-plus innings. He struck out six and walked one.