Oklahoma Officials Look for Damage After Quake
CUSHING, Okla. (AP) — A magnitude 5.0 earthquake struck near Cushing, Oklahoma last (SUN) night. Cushing is a city of 8,000 residents about 80 miles south of the Kansas state line. The quake and was felt in Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri and as far north as Iowa. No injuries have been reported. The U.S. Geological Survey says the earthquake hit at about 7:45 last (SUN) night. Cushing is home to the Cushing Tank Farm, one of the world's largest oil storage facilities holding nearly 60 million barrels of oil. The Oklahoma Pipeline Safety Department has been in contact with pipeline operators at the oil storage terminal and say that there have been no immediate reports of any damage. They say assessment of the infrastructure at the massive storage facility is continuing. Emergency officials evacuated an assisted living center for the elderly in Cushing after the earthquake struck. The quake damaged several buildings in the city's historic downtown district. The USGS recorded more than a thousand earthquakes of a magnitude 3.0 or greater in the northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas region in the last year, nearly three times as many as in 2009. Geologists say the dramatic spike in seismic activity is linked to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in oil and gas extraction.
Early Voting in Kansas Heavy Ahead of Tuesday's Election
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Early voting continues to surge in Kansas, with more than 468,000 people already casting their ballots for Tuesday's election. The Kansas secretary of state's office said that as of early Monday morning, 40 percent more people had voted early than at the same time ahead of the 2012 presidential election. The election Tuesday will determine whether voters oust four justices from the Kansas Supreme Court and settle an unusually competitive race in the 3rd Congressional District in the Kansas City area. Democrats also hope to capitalize on discontent among voters with Republican Governor Sam Brownback over the state's budget problems to defeat GOP legislators. While early voting by mail is running slightly behind the 2012 pace, county election offices have seen in-person early voting nearly double.
Lawrence Soldier Among Those Killed in Jordan
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Defense Department has identified three soldiers killed in a shooting this week outside a military base in Jordan. The department said in a release Sunday that 27-year-old Staff Sergeant Matthew C. Lewellen, of Lawrence; 30-year-old Staff Sergeant. Kevin J. McEnroe of Tucson, Arizona; and 27-year-old Staff Sergeant. James F. Moriarty of Kerrville, Texas, died Friday after the convoy they were in came under fire as it entered a Jordanian military base. The Defense Department is investigating. The department says the soldiers were assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.
Kansas Militia Group Rejected Accused Domestic Terrorists
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas militia group says it rejected two men who are accused of plotting to kill Somali immigrants in Garden City. The two men, Patrick Stein and Gavin Wright, face federal charges of conspiring with another man, Curtis Allen, in what prosecutors said was a domestic terrorism plot targeting immigrants. The three have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction. A spokesman for the Kansas Flatlanders Militia told The Kansas City Star reports that Stein and Wright contacted his group but said their views were too extreme for the group, which the spokesman says works to serve their communities in times of natural and man-made disasters.
Kansas Congressional Candidate Asked to Leave Polling Place
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas congressional candidate was told to leave the parking lot of an early voting site. The Kansas City Star reports Democratic candidate Jay Sidie, who's running against incumbent Republican Representative Kevin Yoder in Kansas's 3rd District, was asked to leave the polling place parking lot Saturday because of concerns about campaigning too close to the polling place. Kansas law prohibits political campaigning within 250 feet of a voting site entrance. A Sidie spokesman says the candidate was more than 250 feet away, "broke no laws" and left after being asked to move. A Yoder spokesman says they're considering filing a formal complaint.
Gun Group Urges Ouster of Kansas Supreme Court Justices
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The political action committee of the Kansas State Rifle Association says its automated phone pitch urging voters to oust "anti-gun" Kansas Supreme Court justices is based on past statements but not on any court rulings. In the call, the Kansas State Rifle Association warns that federal courts in the state are moving to restrict the right to bear arms before pivoting to hit at the state Supreme Court. The Topeka Capital-Journal obtained a recording of the call. The Kansas judicial retention contests on the ballot Tuesday have been closely-watched this year because the court's makeup could change considerably if some justices are ousted. So far, the fight over retention of five state Supreme Court justices has focused mostly on abortion cases and death penalty decisions.
Federal Trial of 2 Men Puts Kansas Gun Law in Spotlight
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Two Kansas men accused of federal firearms violations are scheduled for trial this week in a case that indirectly involves a Kansas law seeking to prevent federal prosecution of anyone owning firearms made, sold and kept in the state. Shane Cox and Jeremy Kettler's trial is scheduled to start Tuesday in federal court in Wichita. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Cox, owner of Tough Guys gun store in Chanute, is charged with illegally making and marketing firearms, specifically sound suppressors. Kettler bought a silencer from Cox. The men's attorneys argued the charges should be dismissed because the men believed their actions were legal under a state law. The Second Amendment Protection Act says firearms, accessories and ammunition manufactured and kept in Kansas are exempt from federal gun-control laws.
Topeka Police Chief Resigning for National Guard Position
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Topeka's police chief plans to resign at the start of next year to move into a full-time position with the Kansas National Guard. The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Chief James Brown announced Monday that he would step down. His last day with the city will be January 1, and he'll start his full-time position with the Guard on January 2. Brown has been police chief since October 2014. Since August 2015, he's been the Guard's command chief master sergeant, making him its senior enlisted leader. The job becomes full-time next year. Topeka Mayor Larry Wolgast praised Brown for having improved community policing. He also started a unit on gangs and organized crime and created a cadets program for people aged 18 to 21.
Topeka Police Detective and Suspect Wounded in Gun Battle
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Topeka police detective and a suspect were wounded as officers tried to take the suspect into custody. A police spokeswoman told The Topeka Capital-Journal that the detective was in fair condition after he was shot in the leg and the abdomen late Saturday. Police say the suspect sustained life-threatening injuries. Police say the two were wounded when the suspect exchanged gunfire with police responding to a convenience store robbery.
Prosecutors Seek Access to Indicted Kansas Developer's Guns
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say they want access to inventory firearms housed in storage units owned by a Topeka real estate developer who is charged with more than 100 counts of bankruptcy fraud. The Topeka Capital Journal reports that Kent Lindemuth is accused of purchasing 103 firearms between August 2013 and December 2014, after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2012 and claiming he had more than $3.5 million in debt. Prosecutors say Lindemuth made the purchases without telling his creditors or the bankruptcy trustee. He has pleaded not guilty. Lindemuth was released from federal custody on several conditions, including that he doesn't possess or sell any firearms, but that plan fell through when Lindemuth's relative refused to be the custodian of the firearms. A status hearing for Lindemuth's case was scheduled for Monday.
Ex-Kansas Prison Guard Admits Smuggling Tobacco to Inmates
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A former guard at the federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, has admitted in federal court that he accepted bribes to smuggle tobacco to inmates. Forty-seven-year-old Marc Buckner of Kansas City, Kansas, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of being a public official accepting bribes. Authorities have said Buckner received more than $200,000 in bribes while he worked at the prison from 2005 to 2014. The U.S. attorney's office alleges Buckner got about $750 each time he smuggled tobacco into the prison. Prosecutors say Buckner hid the contraband tobacco and rolling papers in two handmade insoles in his shoes and carried out the smuggling once or twice a month. A sentencing date was not immediately set. He faces up to 15 years in prison.
Maize School District Recovers Portion of Embezzled Funds
MAIZE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas school district has recovered nearly half a million dollars from the estate of a former technology director who's believed to have embezzled money from the district before killing himself. A federal judge awarded the Maize school district roughly $490,000 from Ramon Mosate's estate. Mosate worked for the district from 1997 until he was fired in February 2015, three months after the FBI executed a search warrant at district headquarters. An FBI affidavit chronicled years of money transfers and cash payments between Mosate and vendors who were paid more than $4 million for technology-related services. Maize superintendent Chad Higgins told school employees the award didn't cover all of what the district lost, but it was positive news at a time of uncertainty on school funding.
1 Killed in Trailer Fire Near Forbes Field in Topeka
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A fire broke out in a Topeka mobile home, killing one person. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the fire was reported Saturday in a mobile home near Forbes Field in south Topeka. Shawnee Heights Fire District Captain Ken Balsmeier says the victim was found dead inside the structure. The victim's identity hasn't been released. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Fire Guts Wichita Gym Where Olympian Trains
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A fire has gutted the Wichita gym where Olympic boxing bronze medalist Nico Hernandez trains. The Wichita Eagle reports the fire occurred Saturday morning at the Northside Boxing Academy. No injuries were reported. Investigators say the fire caused an estimated $75,000 in damages to the structure and contents. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Emiliano Hernandez, the gym manager and Nico Hernandez's uncle, says the gym also trains 30 to 40 neighborhood boys and adults. Nico Hernandez won his Olympic medal this summer in Rio de Janeiro. His uncle says Nico Hernandez has been training at the gym to stay in shape for the next chapter of his career.
Fake Movie Money Turning Up in Kansas City Area
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) - Authorities in two Kansas City area suburbs say they've received reports of fake movie prop money being circulated. Police in Independence, Missouri, and Olathe, Kansas, say they've gotten several reports of fake money being passed as real bills. They're urging people and businesses to take a close look at the money when accepting cash for purchases. Officials say the fake money closely resembles actual money and began turning up in the spring. Olathe police say two of the three people who used the bills there have been identified and charged. Police say that while the prop money looks real, it feels heavier than real currency and is also missing the security thread.
Boy Rescued from Kansas Attic Reunites with Officers
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A boy who was confined to a DeSoto attic by his mother has been reunited with the Johnson County authorities who rescued him. The Kansas City Star reports that the then 6-year-old boy was discovered in August 2010 severely malnourished and covered with feces and urine after a relative expressed concern about the child, who has Down syndrome. The boy's mother had hidden him in the attic. His mother, Rachel Perez, was sentenced to eight years in prison for attempted second-degree murder, child abuse and aggravated child endangerment. The child, who's now 13, helped the four officers who rescued him host an anti-bullying program Saturday. The teen was presented with a plaque designating him an honorary deputy sheriff.
3 in Custody in Disappearance of Missing Kansas Man
VALLEY CENTER, Kan. (AP) — Authorities in southern Kansas say three people have been arrested in connection with a 33-year-old man's disappearance they suspect involved foul play. Sedgwick County authorities say a 42-year-old woman and two men, ages 49 and 39, are in custody on suspicion of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery. Investigators say Scottie Goodpaster was discovered missing after police in Valley Center responded to a reported disturbance at a home and determined an unspecified crime had been committed. Authorities say they are looking for a 55-year-old Wichita man for questioning.
Chiefs Shut Down Jaguars For 19-14 Win
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. The Chiefs pulled off the 19-14 victory despite finishing without five offensive starters. Back-up quarterback Nick Foles threw for 187 yards and a first-half touchdown to Albert Wilson. Foles also helped set up four field goals by Cairo Santos, as Kansas City (6-2) won its 10th consecutive home game at Arrowhead Stadium. Meanwhile, the Jaguars (2-6) couldn't overcome four turnovers — including a fumble at the goal line in the fourth quarter. Blake Bortles threw for 252 yards and two touchdowns with a pick. Chiefs' wide receiver Jeremy Maclin hurt his groin on the first series and did not return to the game. Tight end Travis Kelce was tossed from the game in the fourth quarter after arguing over a pass interference call, then tossing his towel at the official as if it was a flag. The Chiefs expect to have starting quarterback Alex Smith back when they visit Carolina next Sunday.
KU Jayhawks Rout Emporia State, 104-62, in Final Exhibition Game
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Kansas Jayhawks' final basketball exhibition game of the season ended with a 104-62 victory over Emporia State on Sunday night at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence. The third-ranked Jayhawks shot 61 percent from the field and scored 56 points in the paint. Senior guard Frank Mason III led the Jayhawks with 17 points with five assists. Junior guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk was KU's second-leading scorer with 16 points while Junior guard Devonte' Graham added 10 points with four assists. Six Jayhawks reached double-figure points during the exhibition contest. Kansas opens the regular season Friday versus number 11 Indiana Friday night in Honolulu, Hawaii.