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Headlines for Monday, March 27, 2017

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

Kansas Lawmakers Considering Lottery Vending Machines

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas Lottery players soon might be able to buy tickets from vending machines. The House has voted in support of the move. Lottery officials say the measure could increase lottery sales by up to 50 percent and cut labor costs for retailers because ticket buyers could use self-service machines. 37 other states, including Missouri, Colorado and Oklahoma, use the machines and say sales have increased there. The Kansas lottery has sought the bill for three years and is counting on $12 million in revenue growth over two years after the machines are installed. The money would be used for mental health services. Lottery revenue hit a record last year at $78 million.

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Survivor of Kansas Bar Shooting Honored with $100,000 Check

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A man wounded while trying to intervene in an apparently racially motivated shooting at a suburban Kansas City bar has received a $100,000 check.  The Kansas City Star reports that Ian Grillot was surprised with the check Saturday at a Houston gala. The India House, which hosted the gala, and three donors teamed to give Grillot the money, to be used toward buying a house.  His mother, Debra Grillot described the evening as "impressive."  Last month's shooting in Olathe, Kansas, left Srinivas Kuchibhotla dead and his friend, Alok Madasani, wounded. Both Kuchibhotla and Madasani were natives of India working as engineers for GPS-maker Garmin in Olathe.  Fifty-one-year-old Adam Purinton was arrested hours later in Missouri. He's charged with murder and attempted murder. Witnesses say Purinton shouted racial slurs.

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Officials Say Overland Park Fire Caused as Much as $25 Million in Damage

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) - Officials in Overland Park where a fire destroyed a multimillion-dollar apartment building under construction and spread to about two dozen homes estimate the blaze caused between $23 million and $25 million in damage. The Kansas City Star reports that Overland Park fire officials based the estimate on exterior damage and property values, and that a more precise figure would emerge once insurance adjusters finish evaluating the fire's impact. Fire officials say a welder accidentally ignited wooden building materials on Monday at the CityPlace development. The blaze destroyed the four-story apartment building, heavily burned a second and rained burning debris onto a nearby neighborhood, damaging at least 22 other homes. The damage at the CityPlace site accounted for $20 million of the overall estimate.

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Kansas City Hemp Oil Shops Rise Amid Unsure Regulations

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — As Kansas City deals with gray areas in herbal supplements and regulated pharmaceutical medication, the number of shops that sells hemp oil is beginning to rise in the metro area.  The Kansas City Star reports the shops sell the product known as cannabidiol, which derives from the cannabis plant most know as marijuana. Those who sell cannabidiol call their product hemp because the oil comes from plants with little to no THC, the chemical responsible for the high that recreational users want.  Despite legal risks involving medical marijuana dispensaries, many shops in downtown Kansas City are open and upfront about their hemp products.  Missouri legalized low-THC hemp oil for helping treat children's seizures in 2014, but open dispensary stores for hemp oil are not legal in Kansas or Missouri.

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Patrol: I-70 Crash in Kansas Kills 1, Injures 4 Others

PAXICO, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a woman was killed and four other people were injured when a vehicle hit a car that had run out of gas along Interstate 70 in eastern Kansas.  The Kansas Highway Patrol reports that 41-year-old Tammy Patterson of Junction City died at the scene of the crash Sunday night.  The patrol says that a car ran out of gas on eastbound I-70 about two miles east of Paxico, leaving the car stalled partly in the freeway's left lane.  A passenger in that car was trying to push the disabled vehicle off of the freeway when it was hit from behind by another car.  The patrol says Patterson was an occupant of the stalled car.  The accident forced the closure of that freeway stretch for about two hours.

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Police: Suspect Arrested After Fiery Fatal Crash in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Police in Topeka, Kansas, say they've arrested a woman suspected of fleeing a fiery weekend crash that killed a man.  Police say 35-year-old Jeremy Gerhardt of Topeka died at the scene of the crash late Saturday. Police arrested the 56-year-old suspect on Sunday, though it wasn't immediately clear Monday if formal charges had been filed.  Police say officers responding to a reported crash shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday found Gerhardt's pickup truck that had hit a bridge pillar and on fire.  Police say witnesses reported that the pickup truck had been involved in an accident with a car, which sped away.

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Kansas Judge to Hear Request for Consolidated Murder Hearing

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas judge will hear a prosecutor's bid to have a combined preliminary hearing for four people accused in the Topeka killings of three people. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Shawnee County District Judge Nancy Parrish will hold a hearing Wednesday on District Attorney Mike Kagay's request. The four defendants, ages 19 to 34, are charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of the victims, ages 19 to 38. Police found the bodies after being dispatched to a home to check the well-being of the occupants. Kagay says in court filings that while the charges against the defendants are connected and warrant just a combined preliminary hearing and not one for each of them, he's not seeking to try the four defendants in a single trial.

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Memorial Planned for Police K-9 Killed in Gunfire Exchange

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities are planning a memorial service for a police dog that was killed during an exchange of gunfire in which a suspect was killed. Police say the memorial for the 6-year-old Belgian Malinois, named Rooster, is planned for Friday. Police dog handlers from across the state are coming. The shooting happened earlier this month at a mobile home park on the south side of the city. Officers responding to a domestic disturbance surrounded a home before 25-year-old Kevin Perry walked out with a gun in his waistband. Rooster was sent after the suspect to stop him from re-entering the home. That's when gunfire was exchanged, striking both the dog and the man. Police say they believe the suspect shot the dog, but an investigation is being conducted.

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Police: Suspect Arrested After Fatal Crash in Topeka

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Police in Topeka, Kansas, say they've arrested a woman suspected of fleeing a fiery weekend crash that killed a man. Police say 35-year-old Jeremy Gerhardt of Topeka died at the scene of the crash late Saturday. Police arrested the 56-year-old suspect on Sunday. Police say officers responding to a reported crash shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday found Gerhardt's pickup truck that had hit a bridge pillar and on fire. Police say witnesses reported that the pickup truck had been involved in an accident with a car, which sped away.

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Michigan Farmers Sending Hay to Help Fire Damaged Kansas Ranches

MASS CITY, Mich. (AP) — Truckers and farmers in Michigan's western Upper Peninsula plan to haul hay to help victims of a Kansas wildfire, which has burned more than 1,000 square miles. Marty Dehaan of Mass City tells The Daily Mining Gazette that many ranchers in southern Kansas "have lost everything." Dehaan is leading the effort with trucker and beef farmer Jan Streater of Lake Linden. Dehaan's father, Rick Dehaan, of Mass City is also aboard. The hay will be hauled more than 1,000 miles to Kansas on Friday. 

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Missouri Man Set to Embark on Cross-Country Bicycle Trip

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri man who for more than a decade envisioned crisscrossing the United States by bicycle is about to try to make the trek a reality. The Kansas City Star reports that 26-year-old Richie Wolfe of Kansas City expects to launch his 7,000-mile journey next Saturday 30 miles east of San Diego in Escondido, California. Wolfe's five-month Journey Towards Hope ride is a fundraiser for Restoration House. That's a Greenwood, Missouri-based residential recovery program for victims of sex trafficking and sexual exploitation. Wolfe plans to cycle from California to Georgia, then north to Maine before visiting the Great Lakes states and heading west to Washington state and Oregon. He hopes to finish up by late September in San Francisco.

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Topeka Man Donates 32 Gallons of Blood over 64 Years

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - An 87-year-old Kansas man who has donated 32 gallons of blood over more than six decades credits his father for his award-winning generosity. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Harold Facklam Jr. of Topeka recently was recognized by the Kansas Health Care Association and the Kansas Center for Assisted Living for the 259 pints he has donated through the American Red Cross. Facklam donated until April 2015, when health reasons caused him stop. He tells the newspaper that he doesn't think about how his donations have affected others or even saved lives. But he gives a nod to his late father, who he says encouraged him to donate when the younger Facklam was almost 21 in 1951. Facklam's father gave blood for about 11 years, stopping at age 60.

 

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