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Headlines for Monday, June 13, 2016

Here's a look at area news headlines from the Associated Press, as compiled by the KPR News Team.

Budget Cuts Force Many Kansas Universities to Seek Even Higher Tuition Increases

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Many of Kansas' state universities are asking the system's governing board this week to approve tuition increases higher than first proposed a month ago.  The Lawrence Journal-World reports the University of Kansas wants tuition increased by 5 percent. That's one percentage point higher than the school sought last month.  The state's other universities propose tuition boosts ranging from 4.9 percent at Emporia State to 6 percent at Fort Hays State. Only the University of Kansas' medical center and Wichita State did not increase their rate increase requests. They remain at 5 percent.  The revisions are in response to Governor Sam Brownback's signing last month of a state budget calling for additional higher education funding cuts.  The Kansas Board of Regents is to vote on the requests Wednesday.


Searchers Find Body in Solomon River in Central Kansas

BENNINGTON, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a body has been found in a river in central Kansas.  The Salina Journal reports that the discovery was made around 4 pm Sunday on the Solomon River.  Sheriff Keith Coleman said a family member identified the clothing on the body as being that of a 37-year-old Salina man who had been missing since May 28. His disappearance wasn't reported until June 1.  Coleman says a positive identification is awaiting an autopsy.


GOP Lawmakers to Consider Changes in Kansas Constitution

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican legislators who want to limit the power of the courts to force changes in how Kansas funds its public schools could revive several long-standing proposals for revising the state constitution. Lawmakers convene June 23 for a special session called by Governor Sam Brownback to respond to a state Supreme Court order last month. The court said the state's school funding system remains unfair to poor school districts. The court warned that public schools won't be able to reopen after June 30 unless legislators rewrite school funding laws. Senate Vice President Jeff King said he's drafting a proposed constitutional amendment to prevent courts from closing schools. GOP legislators have talked about such a change for more than a decade, along with alternatives for curbing the courts' power.


Judge: Kansas Mom Mentally Fit for Trial in Stepson's Death

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas judge has ruled that a woman accused in her 7-year-old stepson's death is mentally fit to stand trial for murder.  Separately, Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman confirmed Monday that remains found on a Kansas City, Kansas, property that the family was renting belonged to the boy.  Michael Jones and his wife, Heather, are charged with murder in the death of Michael Jones' son and they are both jailed on multi-million dollar bonds.  Wyandotte County District Judge Michael Grosko last week found Heather Jones competent to stand trial in the killing.  Police investigating a disturbance last November found juvenile remains in a livestock area on the property. Authorities have not publicly confirmed media reports that the child's remains were fed to pigs.


18-Year-Old Becomes First Female Infantry Soldier in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An 18-year-old Kansan has become the first woman in Kansas to enlist as a U.S. Army infantry soldier. Tristan Guzman Guzman was sworn in on May 24 in Olathe. Guzman said she knew she wanted to go into the military since she was 11.  Women couldn't be infantry soldiers until the federal decision lifting gender-based restrictions from all military positions became effective in January. Guzman, who was a three-sport athlete in high school in Allen, Kansas, will also receive an airborne classification. That means after she completes basic training next year at Fort Benning, she'll attend another training session to receive her airborne status.


Lead Paint in Homes Still a Problem in Kansas and Missouri 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Health officials estimate that as many as 1,500 children in Kansas City, Missouri and hundreds more in neighboring counties in Kansas have poisoning from lead paint. The Kansas City Star reports that although lead paint was outlawed in 1978 the problem persists, largely in poor neighborhoods. Effects of lead poisoning include hearing loss and learning disabilities. Kansas City's Project Lead Safe KC has removed lead hazards from about 2,500 homes by repainting and by replacing windows. But the program has been hit by federal budget cuts. In Kansas, the state's lead poisoning prevention programs disappeared after the state lost federal funding to budget cuts. Kansas devotes almost no money to lead poisoning prevention, and when federal funding returned for some programs two years ago, Kansas officials didn't apply for it.


More Kansas Students Will Get Free Summer Meals 

SHAWNEE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas has done a relatively weak job of making sure low-income students have nutritious food when school's out during the summer, but schools, nonprofits and government agencies are making progress in filling the gap. The Kansas Department of Education expects to have 162 sponsors providing breakfast, lunch or snacks at 575 sites this summer, a sharp increase from last summer. Losing school-provided food during the summer is a financial blow to many low-income families, and the loss of nutritious food puts the students at risk for setbacks in health and education. Nearly half of the state's children qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. The meals are largely funded by the United States Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program.


Kansas City Woman Accused of Forcing Teens into Prostitution

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Prosecutors in Jackson County, Missouri, have filed charges against an 18-year-old woman for allegedly forcing two teenagers into prostitution. The Kansas City Star reports that​ Jessi C. Larkie faces two counts of sexual trafficking of a child under 18 in connection with incidents that authorities said occurred between late March and mid-May.  Court records show that a 15-year-old girl told investigators she met Larkie online and Larkie later suggested the girl move in with her. After moving in, when the girl couldn't find work, Larkie suggested the girl make money working as a prostitute and told her to stand at a street corner and "look cute." A 14-year-old girl who ran away from her Overland Park home told investigators a similar story.


Lawrence Library to Launch "Book Bike" This Summer

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The Lawrence Public Library has introduced a new way of bringing its books and programming into the community this summer. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the library has unveiled its new book bike, which staff hope will enable to library to reach more people by visiting places that are less accessible for the library's book van. The bike includes a custom-made box that opens up into shelving. Pattie Johnston, who works in the library's outreach services department, says the bike will not only be used for checking out books but also for information on library programs and services, such as technology help or e-book checkout. 


Kansas City School Plans Fall Through

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Plans have fallen through for a new Catholic school in Kansas City. The plans had been announced several months ago by Bright Futures Fund, which said it was planning the new Catholic elementary school in the old Derrick Thomas Academy charter school building. The fund, which raises money for schools in the diocese, was working to acquire the closed school building. The Kansas City Star reports that a church spokesman says the parties involved couldn't reach an agreement that "made financial sense for the Bright Futures Fund." The idea behind the plan was to relocate two of the diocese's schools closer to the east side of the urban core as a sign of the diocese's commitment to the city's core.


Section of Arkansas River Named Part of National Water Trail

PRATT, Kan. (AP) — A portion of the Arkansas River in Kansas is now part of the National Park's Service National Water Trail system. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism says the 192-mile stretch of the Arkansas River from Great Bend to the Oklahoma border southeast of Arkansas City has been named a National Water Trail. The Kansas River is also a National Water Trail. KDWPT fisheries biologist Jessica Mounts says the designation is the product of a partnership between Kansas and the National Park Service. She says the goal is to increase awareness of the Arkansas River and boost public access.


KCMO Police Investigating Fatal Shooting 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Police are investigating a deadly shooting in Kansas City. The Kansas City Star reports that the victim died at a hospital after he was shot about 6:35 pm Sunday. Police say the person's death is the city's 46th homicide of the year. Authorities are urging anyone with information to come forward.


Ventura Pitches Royals Past White Sox for 3-1 Win

CHICAGO (AP) — Yordano Ventura pitched seven sharp innings for Kansas City as the Royals beat the Chicago White Sox 3-1 on Sunday for their second straight win following an eight-game losing skid. Ventura (5-4) struck out a season-high 10 and walked one in his first win since May 17th against Boston, making the most of Kansas City's run-scoring singles in the first and second. Salvador Perez added a leadoff homer down the left-field line in the ninth. The 25-year-old Ventura had been 0-2 with a 6.17 ERA in his previous four starts. The right-hander was suspended for nine games by Major League Baseball after he hit the Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado in the back with a 99 mph fastball in a 9-1 loss Tuesday, leading to a benches-clearing fight. But Ventura appealed the punishment and is being allowed to pitch until the process is complete.


Oklahoma State-Wichita State Announce Basketball Series

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma State and Wichita State have announced a home-and-home basketball series between the two schools.  The games announced Monday include OSU playing at Wichita State on December 17 and Wichita State coming to Stillwater on December 9, 2017.  OSU and WSU have played 37 times in the past with the Cowboys holding an overall series lead of 29-8.  The two haven't played since 2002 when OSU defeated the Shockers 68-58 in Wichita.



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