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Headlines for Monday, May 26, 2014

Shooting Near Downtown Topeka Leaves One Dead

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — One person is dead and another is in custody following an early-morning shooting south of downtown Topeka.  Police say the victim was taken to a hospital in a private vehicle following the shooting around 1:40 Sunday morning. The person was pronounced dead Sunday afternoon.  A 30-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder.  No details about the victim were released.  Police Lieutenant Jana Harden told The Topeka Capital-Journal that a car accident was associated with the shooting. Nobody was hurt in the collision.


Spirit Aerosystems in Hunt for Defense Work

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Wichita aircraft parts maker created when Boeing spun off its commercial airplane business is looking to expand its work for the military.  Spirit Aerosystems is a major supplier of fuselages and other components for planes built by Boeing and Airbus.  The Wichita Eagle reports the company is now working to market its expertise with metals and composites to contractors that build aircraft for the military. Phil Anderson, senior vice president of defense and contracts, said Spirit is exploring the potential of the unmanned aerial vehicle market and work on the F-35 fighter jet.  Aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia says it's a good strategy in the event of falling demand for commercial aircraft. He says the volume of Spirit's commercial work gives it an advantage in pursuing defense work.  


Sampling to Begin at Former Air Force Base

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Workers will begin taking samples next week from underneath 11 buildings in and around the former Schilling Air Force Base in Salina. On Friday, a technician drilled the first hole to be used in the testing in a demonstration for the media. A device will be installed in the holes to collect soil gases to determine the level of pollution. Dragun Corporation of Farmington Hills, Michigan was hired to investigate the contamination, which is threatening Salina's water supply. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is supervising the work. The Salina Journal reports that plumes of pollution, primarily the solvent TCE, have been found in the soil and in groundwater that is moving toward city water wells. TCE was used to wash aircraft and weapons at the base.


Body of Man Recovered from Hillsdale Lake

PAOLA, Kan. (AP) — Rescuers have found the body of a man who apparently drowned at Hillsdale Lake while boating with his children. Authorities say the man went into the lake from a boat on Saturday and didn't resurface. His body was recovered Sunday evening from the lake in Miami and Johnson counties. The man's identity has not been released. Authorities say someone who saw two young children alone on the boat called for help. Both children were wearing life jackets. Between 30 and 35 rescuers and divers from 10 different agencies took part in the search.


Man Dies After Going Overboard at Milford Lake

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (AP) — Geary County officials say a man apparently drowned in Milford Lake after going overboard while trying to retrieve a fishing pole. Sheriff Tony Wolf says the man, about 65 years old, fell in Sunday in the West Rolling Hills area of the lake. He never resurfaced. The victim's name has not been released.


Large Bee Infestation Removed from Wichita Home

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A north Wichita home is no longer buzzing. The homeowner, who is planning to renovate the house, discovered a large bee hive and called professional beekeeper Wes Wolken. Wolken spent most of Sunday removing an estimated 50,000 bees from under the home. KAKE-TV reports that Wolken found a network of honeycomb that extended 18 feet long, with almost 50 pounds of honey. Wolken used a special vacuum to remove the bees by sucking them into a canister. The bees will be relocated to an arboretum, where they'll stay until they are healthy enough for a new, permanent location.


Kansas City Group Fights Mental Illness Stigma

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A new group of Kansas City-area organizations is fighting to remove the stigma felt by many people who suffer from mental illness. About a dozen health agencies last week announced the creation of the Greater Kansas City Mental Health Coalition, and an expanded effort to help those with mental illnesses. The Kansas City Star reports that the campaign will include video testimonials from people with mental illness. It also will provide banners, posters and post cards with messages encouraging people to talk about their illnesses without shame. Don Goldman, executive director of Jewish Family Services, said his organization started the campaign last September. He says advocates believe removing the stigma from mental illness will encourage people to seek assistance while also promoting understanding.


Report: Housing Market Tight in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita home sales rebounded slightly last month, though the housing marking remains tight. The latest monthly totals from the Wichita Area Association of Realtors show it's a seller's market, with a low housing inventory slowing a sales rebound. The Wichita Eagle reports that this is the second-tightest April housing inventory in the area since the start of record keeping in 2001. Wichita-area home buyers bought 754 homes in April, more than in March but a drop of 10 sales compared with the same month a year ago. Of those, 709 were existing homes and 45 were new homes. So far this year, the real estate association has reported about 5.3 percent fewer sales than through the first four months of 2013.


Eisenhower Center to Mark D-Day Anniversary

ABILENE, Kan. (AP) — Staff members at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene are gearing up for two days of activities to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing in France. The events June 6-7 are an extension of a three-year exhibit at the complex to tell the story of World War II. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the supreme Allied commander of Europe in World War II who led the invasion in 1944 that would lead to Germany's surrender less than a year later. Karl Weissenbach, director of the Eisenhower library, says the events are meant to thank veterans for their service and to explain the significance of World War II to younger generations. He says the overall exhibit launched in 2013 has drawn interest from veterans and students alike.


KC Fire Departments in Both Cities Court Diversity

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Kansas City fire departments on both sides of the state line say they aren't having much success in their efforts to diversify their ranks.  The Star reports the most recent graduation of new Kansas City, Kansas firefighters had only one woman and no African-Americans in a class of 26. That bothered Mayor Mark Holland, who says he's looking for better ways to recruit candidates who more closely reflect the community they will serve.  Across the river in Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department spokesman James Garrett says inner-city children have the impression that being a firefighter isn't a viable option because of the lack of diversity they see at their neighborhood fire stations.  Holland says he doesn't understand why kids aren't clamoring for jobs with better-than-average pay.


Kansas Man Honors Fallen Soldiers with Carving

CLEARWATER, Kan. (AP) — A south-central Kansas man has found an unusual way to help veterans and honor fallen soldiers.  Philip Crabtree of Clearwater carved an intricately detailed fallen soldier sculpture out of red cedar. He takes the 4-foot sculpture enclosed in a glass case to funerals for military veterans, where he collects donations help retired veterans trying to make ends meet.  Crabtree, a Kansas National Guardsman, says he used to lead the Guard's honor team, attending more than 450 funerals in three years. He told The Wichita Eagle that duty led him to find a way to help veterans. Many veterans are reluctant to admit they need help, and Crabtree says his efforts are aimed at those who need just a little help to pay a utility bill or buy some groceries.


Garden City's Big Pool Opens for Summer

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) — One of Garden City's biggest attractions is open for the summer. KSNW-TV reports the city's Big Pool is filled with more than 2 million gallons of water and ready to accommodate swimmers — hundreds of them, more than the populations of some Kansas towns.  Monica Colborn, aquatics director for the Garden City Recreation Commission, says the pool draws anywhere from 500 to 1,500 swimmers a day.  Dating to the 1920s, the pool is so big that as a promotional stunt, a small motorboat once pulled a couple of water skiers around the surface.  Western Kansas remains in a deep drought, but Garden City water superintendent Tony Hurtado says the pool isn't really a water hog. Once it's filled, the water is recycled and filtered.


Wichita Music Store Loses Violins to Burglar

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Police in Wichita are looking for a burglar who made off with nearly $10,000 worth of stringed instruments from a music store.  KAKE-TV reports the break-in at Jim Starkey Music Center happened just before 6 o'clock Saturday morning.  The suspect broke a front window, setting off an alarm.  Owner Dee Starkey says the burglar stole three student violins, four intermediate violins and a student cello. Some of the violins were valued at $1,700.  Starkey says he saw a suspicious man snooping around the store on Friday. Despite the loss, he says he's grateful that no one was hurt and no guns were involved in the theft.


Sporting KC's Chance Myers to Have Surgery

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Sporting Kansas City defender Chance Myers will have season-ending surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon that he sustained during a 2-2 draw with Montreal on Friday night.  Myers, who was hurt in the 36th minute, will have the surgery Wednesday.  The former top pick in the MLS SuperDraft has spent the past his entire career with Sporting KC, re-signing prior to this season. He had two goals and three assists while helping the club win the MLS Cup championship a year ago.  Myers said in a statement Sunday that he will work hard "not only to come back from this injury but to come back stronger."


Man Fails 3 Times in Effort to Rob Laundromat

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Three strikes and you're out for a man who tried to rob a Wichita laundromat. Wichita police say the man walked into the Fabric Care Center early Sunday and gave the employee a note saying "This is a robbery." The unimpressed employee said he had a gun, and the man left. Police Sergeant John Ryan says the man returned a second time and told the employee that he, too, had a gun. But he left again when the employee and he argued. About 10 minutes later, the man returned. This time, he poured himself a cup of coffee, took the robbery note from the counter and left. The employee then called 911. Other than the coffee, nothing was taken from the business. No one has been arrested.


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