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Headlines for Monday, October 13, 2014

FAA: 3 Dead in Crash of Lawrence-Bound Plane

PALOS HILLS, Ill. (AP) _ Police in Illinois say three people have died aboard a small plane that crashed in suburban Chicago. The Fedral Aviation Administration says the twin engine Beechcraft Baron was bound for Lawrence Municipal Airport when it crashed about 10:40 last night (SUN) shortly after takeoff from Chicago Midway International Airport. Authorities have not identified the plane and have not released the names of the 3 people who died in the crash but KSHB-TV in Kansas City is reporting that the plane is registered in Lawrence to a company called ARC Aviation. Police in the Chicago suburb of Palos Hills, Illinois, say the plane went down in the only empty lot in a densely populated neighborhood. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.


Witnesses Believe Pilot May Have Brought Plane Down Where No Houses Would Be Hit

PALOS HILLS, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago woman who lives across the street from the vacant lot where a small plane crashed, killing three, says she thinks the pilot found the one spot to crash where it would not kill anyone else. All three people on the plane were killed when it crashed last night in Palos Hills -- in what is described as the only vacant lot on a street crowded with homes. Barbara Janusz (yah-NOOSH') says she thinks the pilot of the twin-engine plane "sacrificed his own life" to save the lives of dozens of residents of the block. Palos Hills Deputy Police Chief James Boie says he'd like to think the same thing. Boie says area residents told authorities the plane was circling the area before the crash. The cause of the crash remains under investigation and the victims have not been identified.


Tea Party Group Endorses Roberts in Senate Race

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A national tea party group that derided U.S. Senator Pat Roberts during Kansas's bitter Republican primary race is now endorsing him in the general election. Leaders of the Tea Party Express made the announcement Monday in Wichita. Roberts says he is pleased with the endorsement, saying the tea party activists "have fire in the belly." Roberts won less than 50 percent of the vote in defeating tea party favorite Milton Wolf in the August GOP primary. The three-term Senate incumbent is now in a tight race with independent Greg Orman. Orman's campaign says that Roberts's embrace of what it called extremists like Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin and the Tea Party Express is more evidence that Roberts is part of a broken political system.


Some in Kansas Delegation Oppose Guantanamo Bay Closure

There have been reports that President Obama is considering options to try to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba. Kansas Republican Senator Pat Roberts is opposing any plan that would bring detainees to the U.S. mainland. During a stop in Topeka, Roberts vowed to take to the Senate floor and filibuster any efforts by the president to close Guantanamo Bay. "If he tries it, I will shut down the Senate" Roberts said. Roberts said he believes other senators would also work to block any efforts to transfer detainees to the U.S. mainland. Republican Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins also opposes closing the facility. Jenkins released a statement saying that Guantanamo Bay is the best facility to house the detainees. The detention camp on a U.S. controlled stretch of the of Cuban coast currently houses 149 people detained in connection to the U.S war on terrorism. The Obama administration says the annual cost per inmate at Guantanamo Bay is $2.7 million compared with an estimated cost of $78,000 at a supermax prison on the U.S. mainland.


GOP Official in New Orman Ad in Kansas Senate Race

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Independent candidate Greg Orman is broadcasting a new television ad in his campaign for the U.S. Senate in Kansas featuring an endorsement from the state's retiring GOP insurance commissioner. The 30-second spot began airing statewide Monday. It features Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger saying she plans to vote for Orman over three-term Republican Senator Pat Roberts because she is "ready for a fresh face." Orman is an Olathe businessman running as a centrist. Roberts has campaigned with tea party movement conservatives such as Texas Senator Ted Cruz and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. He calls Orman a liberal Democrat, and his campaign called the new ad "a sham." Praeger broke with fellow Republicans by supporting the federal health care overhaul. Orman's campaign says he and Praeger disagree on health care issues.


Group's Campaign in Kansas Senate Race Tops $1M

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Washington-area group reports it has spent more than $1 million on a television ad campaign in Kansas against independent U.S. Senate candidate Greg Orman. The ad from the free-market, small-government Ending Spending Action Fund began last week and portrays Orman as a liberal who's trying to deceive voters about his views. Orman is trying to unseat three-term Republican Senator Pat Roberts. The group said in a federal report that it spent $1.08 million on production costs and television time. Orman's campaign contends the ad is misleading because of how it edits video from Orman's own website in which Orman says he faces predictable attacks that he's a liberal masquerading as an independent. The ad edits the video so that Orman appears to make the comment about himself.


ACLU Seeks to Force Kansas to Allow Gay Marriages

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking a federal court order to force Kansas to allow same-sex couples to marry as the group challenges the state constitution's ban on gay marriage. The ACLU filed its request Monday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kansas, only three days after it filed a lawsuit in Wichita and Lecompton in Douglas County on behalf of lesbian couples who unsuccessfully sought marriage licenses. The ACLU is requesting a preliminary injunction and an order temporarily restraining the state from enforcing its ban on gay marriage. The lawsuit came after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear appeals from five states seeking to save their gay-marriage bans. The states included Oklahoma and Utah, which are in the same appeals court circuit as Kansas.


Christie Returns to Kansas to Stump for Brownback

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has made another trip to Kansas to campaign for Republican Governor Sam Brownback's re-election bid. Christie is chairman of the Republican Governors Association. He joined Brownback on Monday at Freddy's Frozen Custard in Wichita where he visited with restaurant patrons. A private fundraising event was scheduled later Monday. Brownback is locked in a tough race with Democratic challenger Paul Davis amid voters' concerns about massive tax cuts that have created budget shortfalls. But Christie said indications from several polls show Kansas voters are swinging toward Brownback as they consider what he called the positive record of Brownback's first term in office. Christie also made a campaign stop Monday in Minnesota, with others planned Tuesday in in Maine and Connecticut.


ALCS Game 3 Postponed Because of Rain

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Game 3 of the AL Championship Series has been postponed because of rain. The game was pushed back from Monday to Tuesday at 7:07 pm CDT. Game 4 was rescheduled Wednesday at 3:07 pm CDT and Game 5, if needed for Thursday at 3:07 pm CDT. Kansas City leads the best-of-seven series 2-0. Major League Baseball Senior Vice President Peter Woodfork says: "We want a game we know we can get through nine innings, hopefully play dry baseball, not risk player safety or uncomfortable fans."


Hutchinson Police Apprehend Man Wanted After Chase

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) _ Hutchinson police have arrested a man who they say eluded officers in a high-speed chase last week. Police say he was caught hiding in an attic on Sunday. Authorities say he initially refused to come out and firefighters had to cut a hole in the roof. Police had been searching for him since the Wednesday chase. The suspect was treated at a hospital for minor cuts and scrapes. No other injuries were reported. Police say the suspect will be booked into the Reno County jail on previous outstanding warrants after he is released from a local hospital. They say he faces five counts of aggravated arson and felony interference of an officer.


Kansas State Won't Rehire Controversial Professor

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - Kansas State University says it will not renew the contract of a professor who conducted controversial research on grassland burning. Research associate Gene Towne says he believes his 26-year career will end October 31 because he suggested in a published article that ranchers could burn grassland at times other than April. For years, the university has said spring, especially late April, was the best time for grassland burning to revive the prairie. Biology Division administrator John Blair said Towne's contract was not renewed because of budget issues. Blair also said Towne lacked technical skills and his research project did not meet accepted standards. For decades, Kansas State has used the Konza Prairie as a laboratory for research into methods of managing fire.


Students Sue Kansas-Based Private College

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) - Nearly 200 students of a Kansas-based college have joined a lawsuit that accuses the school of fraud. The lawsuit against Wright Career College was filed last year but amended recently to add 195 more students. The current and former students attended Wright's campuses in Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. The lawsuit states the private, nonprofit college enticed students to enroll and apply for student loans that they can't pay back. It also claims Wright deceived students about attendance costs and employment prospects. An attorney representing the college called the allegations "absurd." She says the college offers resources for student success and has never promised or guaranteed employment after graduation.


2 Injured in Explosion at Southwest Kansas House

JETMORE, Kan. (AP) — The state fire marshal is investigating an explosion at a southwest Kansas home that left two men severely injured. The blast happened just after 6 pm Sunday in rural Hodgeman County, south of Jetmore. KWCH-TV reports that the two men are a father and son who were flown to a hospital in Wichita, about 140 miles away. Both were in critical condition Monday. The cause is under investigation, but the Hodgeman County sheriff says a propane tank is suspected. The house was destroyed.

Contract Talks Between Union, Textron End Abruptly


WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Machinists union official says contract talks with Wichita's Textron Aviation have fallen apart and the company has vowed to outsource work to other states. The Wichita Eagle reports that a vote on a new contract was supposed to happen on Wednesday, but on Sunday negotiators for Textron walked out of a meeting when pushed to put in writing that the company would keep jobs in Wichita. Textron is the parent company of Cessna and in March bought Beechcraft and formed Textron Aviation. Machinists District 70 spokesman Frank Molina says the company suggested it wanted to negotiate a single contract for job protection, so stating in writing it would keep jobs in Wichita seemed like a no-brainer. A Textron Aviation spokeswoman did not immediately returns calls Monday seeking comment.


Authorities: Kansas Man Hit by Minivan, Dies

MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities say a 55-year-old Kansas man has died after being hit by a minivan while crossing a roadway with a group of people in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The Mining Journal of Marquette and WLUC-TV report Paul Cox of Plains was hit about 8 pm Saturday in Marquette County's Marquette Township. The minivan's 43-year-old driver and three children inside the vehicle weren't injured. The sheriff's department says the group was crossing from a motel to a restaurant. No one else in the group was injured. The crash is under investigation.


Police ID Man Who Died in Lawnmower Accident

LENEXA, Kan. (AP) — An 18-year-old man from Olathe was killed when a car hit the standing lawn mower he was using during the weekend. Police say Wyatt Punzo died in the accident Saturday morning in Lenexa. His identity was released Monday. Police say Punzo was traveling against traffic in Lenexa when the wreck occurred. The investigation is continuing, but police said they did not expect any charges to be filed.


Steady Rain, Gusty Winds Forecast for ALCS Game 3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A National Weather Service meteorologist says steady rain and northwest winds of 20-30 mph are expected for Game 3 of the AL Championship Series in Kansas City on Monday night. Meteorologist Jared Leighton of the NWS office in Pleasant Hill, Missouri, says rain was expected to lighten slightly Monday afternoon before giving way to stronger precipitation that will start a few hours before the scheduled 7:07 pm CDT first pitch and continue until around midnight. Leighton says he doesn't expect heavy rain, but winds gusting up to 40 mph and steadily falling precipitation will make for dismal conditions. Kansas City leads the series 2-0 and is scheduled to host the next three games in the best-of-7 series.


KC Police Say Man Killed After Pointing Gun at Officers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City police say a man who was killed by officers had pointed a gun. The Kansas City Star reports that police received several reports Saturday night from a part of the city north of the Missouri River. Shots had been fired, including at a vehicle as the driver was backing out of a driveway. Police also received a report of a suicidal person. Police said that as three officers approached the area, a man pointed a gun at them. The officers fired, and the man was pronounced dead at the scene. Police Chief Darryl Forté said Saturday that no officer was injured. The victim has not been identified.


Victims' Families Oppose Retention of 2 Kansas Justices

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Relatives of four people slain 14 years ago in a Wichita field have formed an organization opposing the retention of two of the Kansas Supreme Court justices who overturned the killers' death sentences. The Wichita Eagle reports that Kansans for Justice wants voters to remove justices Lee Johnson and Eric Rosen from the court in November. They think the court botched Jonathan and Reginald Carr's appeal when it ruled that the brothers should have had separate sentencing hearings. Authorities said the Carr brothers broke into a Wichita home, sexually assaulted some of the victims and forced them to withdraw money from ATMs before shooting them. One of the five people shot survived and went for help. Johnson and Rosen are the only court members up for retention this year.


Ex-Kansas State Player Killed in Cleveland Nightclub Fight

CLEVELAND (AP) - Authorities have identified a man shot and killed outside a Cleveland nightclub as former Kansas State University football player David Garrett. The 26-year-old Garrett was shot in the chest around 3:25 a.m. Saturday outside Lavish Ultra Lounge on the city's West side. He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he died shortly thereafter. The Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH'-guh) County medical examiner identified Garrett. Garrett played his senior season at T.W. Harvey High School in Painesville, joining Kansas State's team in 2009. He was an Associated Press honorable mention All-Big 12 pick after the 2010 season. Witnesses told police there was a fight inside the club that continued outside. Someone fired a shot and it hit Garrett. No one's been arrested. An investigation continues.


Police: Wichita Man Exposed Himself to Child

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ A Wichita man faces a felony charge after authorities say he exposed himself to a 9-year-old. The Wichita Eagle reports 39-year-old James Muldrow has been charged with lewd and lascivious behavior. Wichita police say he was in a bathroom at a home on October 6 when he exposed his genitals to the child. They say he was trying to arouse himself or the victim. He is being held at the Sedgwick County jail on $50,000 bond. 


Autopsy Reveals Topeka Driver Was Drunk in Deadly Crash

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - An autopsy report says a driver was drunk in a crash that killed him and a 13-month-old girl. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Shawnee County District Court Clerk Angela Callahan's office released the autopsy report Friday at the newspaper's request. It says 33-year-old Brian Lee Riley, of Topeka, had a blood-alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit when the car he was driving struck a culvert and rolled. The crash happened in March as Riley was returning from an auto parts store. Riley died at the scene, and 13 -month-old Kylynn Gunter died nine days later. She was in a child safety seat, but didn't appear to have been properly restrained. The girl's 12-year-old sister survived. Authorities said Riley was an acquaintance of the children's mother.


Colorado Man Charged in Homicide Near Kansas City

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. (AP) _ A Colorado man has been charged with fatally shooting a man at a motel outside Kansas City. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced Sunday that 25-year-old Michael Page of Rifle, Colorado, has been charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of Shane Bossow. Court records say police responded Saturday to the motel in Blue Springs after receiving a report that shots had been fired. Officers found Bossow's body in a room. Page was standing in front of a nearby restaurant with a gun when police first encountered him. The probable cause statement said Page later told police he pulled the trigger and had probably ``flipped out from the dope.'' Prosecutors are requesting a $150,000 cash bond.


Police Offer Reward in Pittsburg State Killing

PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) _ Pittsburg police are offering a reward for help locating two more suspects in the killing of a Pittsburg State University student. $1,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the two 19-year-old suspects from Pittsburg. Two other men, ages 21 and 24, were arrested Friday on suspicion of first-degree murder in the death of 20-year-old Taylor C. Thomas and several other felonies. Officers responding to a disturbance call at an off-campus home where Thomas lived found him wounded around 2 a.m. Thursday. The junior in mechanical engineering was pronounced dead at Via Christi Hospital. An obituary posted on the Bath-Naylor Funeral Home website said he died after a burglary. An autopsy listed the cause of death as a single gunshot wound.


Police: Spilled Drink Leads to Wichita Bar Attack

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Wichita police are searching for a man who two others say stabbed them in a bar after a fight over a spilled drink. Sgt. John Ryan says the men drove themselves to the hospital on Sunday morning. He says the 26- and 32-year-old victims were stabbed at the Revolution Lounge. It's unclear how badly they were injured. Ryan says the suspect is 26 years old and that the victims know him. Police haven't released any of their identities. No arrests have been reported and no other details about the attack have been released. Police are investigating.


Women Business Owners Gain Ground in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A new report shows women are approaching parity with men on owning businesses in Kansas. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that nearly 71,000 businesses in the state were at least 51 percent owned by a female in 2014. Kansas saw businesses owned by women grow by close to 30 percent between 1997 and 2014. While that was one of the lowest rates in the country, it still represented a substantial change relative to total business growth in those years. Most businesses owned by women are relatively small, with 70,900 businesses employing only an estimated 73,300 people in Kansas. Sales this year were estimated at about $10.5 billion.


Plans for Kemper Arena Focus on Youth Sports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Two competing plans for the future of Kemper Arena in Kansas City focus heavily on youth sports, an industry that has been growing rapidly in recent years. Kansas City-based Foutch Brothers has a $22 million plan to acquire the arena from the city and repurpose it for youth basketball, volleyball and other athletics. The Kansas City Star reports a consultant concluded this week the plan has merits. The American Royal has proposed demolishing Kemper Arena and replacing it with a custom-designed $50 million multipurpose building that it says could be filled with even more youth sports offerings. Kansas City council members are researching both options and trying to figure out what the city can afford before making a final recommendation later this month.


WWII Aircraft Will Leave Topeka for Restoration

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A Michigan man has bought a World War II plane that has been housed at a Topeka museum for the past 20 years. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the buyer plans to make the O-46 aircraft fit to fly again. The plane recently was moved from the Combat Air Museum to the nearby American Flight Museum hangar at the Topeka Regional complex. Dan Stephens of the American Flight Museum says the new owner is sending a team to Topeka to disassemble the plane so it can be hauled to Michigan for restoration. Stephens says the plane's frame is in "terrific shape." But he says its 1,000-horsepower radial engine has seized up and will have to be rebuilt, a process that likely will take two to three years.


Royals Return to KC With 2-0 ALCS Lead over Orioles

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Resilience and perseverance are two traits that have come to epitomize the Kansas City Royals, who've turned into a playoff force with their run of late-inning wins. After taking the first two games of the AL Championship Series from the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards, the Royals return to Kauffman Stadium needing two more wins to reach the World Series in their first playoff appearance since winning the World Series in 1985. Game 3 was originally scheduled for  Monday night, with two more games on deck in Kansas City — the second only if needed. But a steady rain in Kansas City throughout the day led to a postponement. Monday's game will take place Tuesday night; Tuesday's game will take place on Wednesday afternoon; and if a fifth game is necessary, it will take place Thursday afternoon. Tuesday night's starting pitchers are scheduled to be Wei-Yin Chen for the Orioles and Jeremy Guthrie for the Royals.  


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