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Headlines for Monday, March 7, 2016

Kansas news headlines from the Associated Press

Former President Clinton Campaigns for Hillary in Kansas City

The Kansas City Star reports that former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to come to Kansas City tomorrow (TUE) to campaign for his wife, as she seeks the Democratic presidential nomination.  Hillary Clinton lost to Bernie Sanders in the Kansas caucuses on Saturday. Missouri holds its primary on March 15.  Bill Clinton is scheduled to speak for his wife’s campaign at 2:15pm Tuesday at the Carpenters Training Facility (8955 East 38th Terrace, Kansas City).  A campaign statement said, "President Clinton will lay out the case for why Hillary Clinton is the best candidate to raise wages and incomes for Missouri families and break down racial, social and economic barriers as President.”  Doors open to the Kansas City event at 1:15 pm Tuesday.


Cruz, Sanders Win Majority of Kansas Delegates

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Texas Senator Ted Cruz has won 24 of the 40 national convention delegates from Kansas in the state's Republican presidential caucuses. Businessman Donald Trump picked up nine delegates Saturday. Florida Senator Marco Rubio won six, and Ohio Governor John Kasich, one. On the Democratic side, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders captured 23 of the 33 delegates up for grabs. Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won 10 of the state's Democratic delegates. But Kansas has an additional four party-leader super-delegates who can support any candidate, and one has endorsed Clinton.


High Turnout Reported for Kansas Republican and Democratic Caucuses

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Turnout was heavy at many sites for the both the Republican and Democratic Kansas caucuses Saturday. State GOP Executive Director Clay Barker said at least 73,000 people cast ballots in Saturday's GOP caucuses. That compares to about 30,000 people voting in the state's GOP caucuses in 2012 and about 20,000 voting in 2008. Bernie Sanders supporters turned out in large numbers at Democratic presidential caucuses in eastern Kansas. The Vermont senator's backers appeared to outnumber supporters of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at caucus sites Saturday in Lawrence and in Topeka.  In Wichita, Democrats lined up around the block outside the machinists' union headquarters to get in to caucus. Although Secretary Clinton was endorsed by former Governor Kathleen Sebelius and other state party establishment figures, Clinton faced a surge of new voters and energized progressives supporting Sanders.


Moran: Guantanamo Prison Valuable for Intelligence Analysis 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — U.S. Senator Jerry Moran says his visit last week to U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was an "eye-opening experience." The Kansas Republican told Leavenworth community leaders in a telephone conference call Monday that visit reaffirmed his belief the detention facility is necessary. Without elaborating, Moran says he received a high-level classified briefing while at the prison that showed its value for analyzing intelligence. President Barack Obama submitted a plan last month for closing the prison to Congress, which quickly rejected the proposal. The plan was Obama's attempt to make good on an unfulfilled campaign promise. Moran told local officials who worry that detainees would be relocated to Fort Leavenworth that the president is legally prohibited from closing the Guantanamo detention facility and bringing them to the United States.


Frustrated GOP Lawmakers Weigh Move to Impeach Top Judges 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican lawmakers in Kansas are weary of conflicts with a judiciary that has been pushing for more school spending, and they're beginning to act on a measure to expand the legal grounds for impeaching judges. The move is part of an intensified effort in red states to reshape courts still dominated by moderate judges from earlier administrations. A committee in the GOP-controlled Senate plans to vote Tuesday on a bill that would make "attempting to usurp the power" of the Legislature or the executive branch grounds for impeachment. The proposal has considerable support in a Legislature in which Republicans outnumber Democrats more than 3 to 1. Nearly half the Senate's members have signed on as sponsors. It's unclear whether its novelty could complicate passage.


Report: Using Old Kansas School Funding System Would Have Mixed Results

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Data from the Kansas Department of Education indicates reverting to an old public education funding system that would be acceptable to the Kansas Supreme Court would help some districts but hurt schools in other areas. The Kansas Supreme Court told lawmakers in February that restoring the state's old funding formula would address the inequities between school districts. But the court left lawmakers room to explore other options. The Wichita Eagle reports that the old formula would help Wichita and other Sedgwick County school districts but several Johnson County districts in the Kansas City suburbs stand to lose money. Lawmakers from the large Johnson County delegation are voicing opposition. The old formula also would require the cash-strapped state to spend $35.6 million more for the 2016 to 2017 school year.


Kansas Lawmakers Scrutinize Sexual Education Curriculum

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas House is expected to debate a bill later this month that would require parents' consent before students attend sex education class. The so-called "opt-in" bill that was approved by the House Education Committee last month also would allow parents to review the curriculum before enrolling their children in classes. Most of the 286 school districts have "opt-out" policies in which students are enrolled in sex education courses unless parents sign a form to exempt them. Critics say the bill tampers with the proven success of sexual education. Teen births in Kansas are down 50 percent since peaking in the early 1990s. Education Committee Chairman Representative Ron Highland, a Republican from Wamego, said the bill will likely pass when it comes to a floor vote


Eastern Kansas Quadruple Murder Trial Begins in Ottawa 

OTTAWA, Kan. (AP) — Prosecutors in the capital murder trial of an eastern Kansas man accused of killing a toddler and three adults have described a grisly crime scene as opening statements got underway Monday. The Kansas City Star reports that Franklin County Attorney Stephen Hunting told jurors that Kyle Trevor Flack was responsible for the May 1, 2013, killings of 31-year-old Kaylie Bailey and her infant daughter, Lana. He's also charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of 30-year-old Andrew Stout and 31-year-old Steven White, who were killed days earlier. The three adults were found at a farmhouse outside Ottawa, and the baby was found a week later inside a suitcase floating in a rural creek. The trial in Franklin County District Court in Ottawa is expected to last several weeks.


Kansas Legislature Considers Requiring Warrant for Rental Property Inspection 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Legislature is considering a bill that would require cities and counties to obtain a warrant to inspect rental properties. The House Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee conducted a hearing on the bill Wednesday. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the bill would prohibit cities and counties from adopting local laws that allow periodic inspection of rental housing without a search warrant, and it would declare any existing rental licensing ordinances that don't meet the bill's standards null and void. The bill would also allow tenants to retain the right to request an inspection as long as they are not subject to an eviction order. The committee took no action on the bill Wednesday.


KU Campus to Become Landline-Free 

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - The University of Kansas Lawrence campus is getting ready to completely drop landline telephones in two years. Information technology department spokesman David Day says the university is about a year in to a three-year process of replacing the campus' traditional phone service with the Internet-based Skype for Business service. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that with the new service, all faculty and staff will make calls through the Internet using their computers or cellphones. The Skype for Business service cost isn't expected to be significantly different than the traditional phone service. Day says that in the past several years, the number of calls to and from university landlines has decreased 55 percent, from 6.9 million calls in 2008 to 3.1 million calls in 2015.


Galva Area Boy Killed While Riding Motorized Bike 

GALVA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a central Kansas boy has been killed while riding a motorized bike. KAKE-TV reports that 10-year-old Nicholas Ratzlaff, of Galva, was killed Saturday afternoon near Galva. McPherson County investigators said Nicholas was riding an off-road motorized bike when a pickup truck moved to the left to pass the bike. Investigators said Nicholas made a left turn on his bike in front of the truck and was struck. Nicholas was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators said the motorized bike is not street legal.


Jet Makes Emergency Landing in Kansas After Alarm Sounds 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — An American Eagle regional jet carrying 55 people made an emergency landing in Kansas after a smoke alarm for the jet's baggage compartment activated. The Wichita Eagle reports the Embraer ERJ 145 landed safely at Wichita Eisenhower National Airport around 7 am Monday. Airport officials say no indications of smoke or fire were found. A Wichita Airport Authority spokeswoman says the jet was flying from Grand Island, Nebraska, to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport when the alarm sounded.


Topeka Cemetery Provides Special Bird Houses for Songbirds

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Topeka cemetery is preparing for an annual influx of purple martin songbirds. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the Newcomer Funeral Service Group initiated the project five years ago. President Ren Newcomer happened to see several purple martin houses while out on a bike ride and asked accounts receivable manager Russ Burlew to establish the houses. No purple martins showed up the first year. Burlew did some research and in 2012, he purchased a CD with a recording of the purple martin call. He said he receive some strange looks when he blasted the recording from his car. But ultimately, the effort was successful in attracting the birds. They arrive in Kansas in mid-March to nest and raise their young. They leave for their migration to Brazil in August.


$5K Luxury Camping Package For 2016 KC Symphony in the Flint Hills

ELMDALE, Kan. (AP) — Symphony patrons can sign up for a luxury, weekend-long encampment when the Kansas City Symphony makes its annual journey to the Flint Hills to perform. The Kansas City Star reports that the "Out of Africa" experience will run $5,000 per couple. Up to 20 15-foot, air-conditioned Belgian tents will be erected in a remote prairie a few miles from this year's June 11 concert site near the Chase County town of Clements. The all-inclusive camping experience will begin the Friday before the Saturday concert and wrap up that Sunday. The tents will offer 360-degree views of natural rock outcroppings and a small pond. Lodging is an ongoing challenge for the event, which each year draws 7,000 people to remote areas where accommodation options are few.


Grin and Rate it: Research Uses Emojis for School Lunch Feedback 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas researchers say that the smiling, blissful and confused-looking emojis dotting the electronic landscape may hold the key to ferreting out grade-school children's true feelings about foods. And that could help schools across the nation cut down on lunchroom food waste. The Sensory and Consumer Research Center at Kansas State University-Olathe is developing a scientific methodology to measure children's face-emoji responses to food. So far, kids in Kansas and Ghana have been tested. Researchers had children ages 7 to 12 taste and rate three foods — plain oatmeal, pepperoni pizza Lunchables and Japanese Ramune  soda — with 28 face emojis and 28 words. Researchers will return to Ghana for the next phase of testing this month, followed by similar taste-tests in Olathe in May.


Lawrence to Spend $240K on Ash Borer Tree Epidemic

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - Lawrence will spend nearly $240,000 to deal with beetles that are expected to kill the city's ash trees over the next decade. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the city commission unanimously approved the spending last week. The money will go toward treating, removing and replacing ash trees infected with emerald ash borers. The Kansas Department of Agriculture confirmed in October that the insect, a small beetle that's been spreading from Michigan since 2002, was present in Douglas County. The female emerald ash borers are expected to emerge in April and lay their eggs onto ash trees through the summer months. The larvae feed under the bark, making S-shaped channels that stop the flow of nutrients. Lawrence's horticulture and forestry manager, Crystal Miles, calls the situation "catastrophic."


KBI Declines to Investigate Alleged Great Bend Assault 

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation will not take over the investigation of an alleged assault on a bus transporting the Great Bend boys swim team. Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir had asked the KBI to lead the investigation because of jurisdictional questions. The Hutchinson News reports the KBI declined, citing an excessive caseload caused by the recent shootings at a Hesston plant that left four dead and 14 injured. The case will be returned to Barton County. The incident reportedly occurred February 3rd as the school bus traveled back to Great Bend from Saline County. A second alleged incident on the team's bus was reported February 6th. Ellsworth County Sheriff Tracy Ploutz is recommending misdemeanor charges against several members of the swim team in that case.


Police Identify Kansas City, Kansas, Man Shot to Death 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Police have identified the person who was shot to death outside a Kansas City, Kansas, barbershop as a 23-year-old man. The Kansas City Star reports that Deandre A. Scott, of Kansas City, Kansas, died Friday in a driveway on the east side of the building containing the barbershop. Witnesses reported hearing as many as nine shots, and officers in the area also heard the gunfire. Some vehicles and pedestrians were leaving the area as the officers arrived.


Former Cowboy RB Randle Arrested for Failure to Appear in Court

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A former Dallas Cowboys running back has been arrested in his Kansas hometown for failure to appear in court. Sedgwick County Jail records indicate 24-year-old Joseph Randle of Wichita was booked at 1:44 am on Sunday. Bond is set at $150,000. Randle was charged February 22nd with four counts of aggravated battery and other charges after police say he backed his car into three people the previous day while leaving a party. Police say he later returned to the Wichita home he'd been asked to leave and forced his way inside. A judge rejected his request to reduce his $100,000 bond because Randle hadn't hired an attorney or applied for court-appointed counsel. The former Oklahoma State star posted bond and was released early last week. The Cowboys released Randle last year.


Jayhawk Men Named as Number 1 for Second Straight Week 

The University of Kansas is No. 1 in The Associated Press men's college basketball poll for a second straight week and for the fourth time this season. The Jayhawks (27-4) are again a runaway choice, receiving 63 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel on Monday. Michigan State (26-5), which got the other two first-place votes, remained second and was followed by Villanova, Virginia, Xavier, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Oregon, West Virginia and Indiana. The same teams are in the Top 25 for a second straight week, the first time that has happened this season.


Emporia State Women Win Conference Title, Head to NCAA Tournament

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Emporia State Lady Hornets won their fourth straight conference title yesterday (SUN) and earned a No. 1 seed in the Central Regional of the NCAA Division II basketball tournament. In the MIAA conference title game played in Kansas City, the Lady Hornets defeated Pittsburg State, 80-66. Unfortunately for the Lady Hornets, they won’t be able to host the regional because one of the Kansas state high school championships is already slated for their home court in Emporia.    


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