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Headlines for Monday, October 14, 2019

High Court to Consider State Role in Prosecuting Immigrants

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Donaldo Morales caught a break when federal prosecutors declined to charge him after he was arrested for using a fake Social Security card so he could work at a Kansas restaurant. But the break was short-lived. Kansas authorities stepped in and obtained a state conviction that could lead to Morales's deportation.  On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether states can prosecute immigrants like Morales who use other people's Social Security numbers to get a job.  The 51-year-old Guatemalan immigrant says what he did was to earn money honestly to support his family.  The Kansas Supreme Court overturned the convictions of Morales as well as Mexican immigrants Ramiro Garcia and Guadalupe Ochoa-Lara after concluding the state was seeking to punish immigrants who used fake IDs to work.

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Trooper: 2 Women, Baby Killed in Northeast Kansas Crash

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Highway Patrol says two women and a baby have been killed in a crash just south of Lawrence in northeastern Kansas.  Troopers say the crash happened just before 6 pm Friday on U.S. 59 when a southbound car when out of control, crossed the median into northbound lanes and was broadsided by another car.  Investigators say the driver of the southbound car, 20-year-old Tiffany Cox of Ottawa, and two passengers, 19-year-old Kiffany Mietchen and 8-month-old Azreal Ubelaker, both of Baldwin City, were killed in the crash. All three died at the scene.  Officials say a 62-year-old Topeka man driving the car that hit Cox's car was taken to a hospital with minor injuries.  The patrol is investigating what caused Cox to lose control of her car.

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Struggling Kansas City T-Bones Locked Out of Stadium

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas City T-Bones are officially locked out of their stadium in Kansas City, Kansas. The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, changed the locks and padlocked the gates to the stadium Monday because the team has failed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid debts. The government issued an eviction notice in August after the T-Bones accumulated more than $760,000 in back rent and utility payments. The team was given a one-month reprieve in September after making a $50,000 payment. The Kansas City Star reports team owners have said they are working to sell the team but no deal has been reached. The T-Bones played in an independent league and have no Major League Baseball affiliation.

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Records: Members of Suspended Fraternity Urinated on Members

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Newly released documents say that members of a now-suspended University of Kansas fraternity struck, urinated and spat on some new members who were suspected of cooperating with an investigation into hazing. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that it obtained the heavily redacted documents about Delta Upsilon after filing a records request. In July 2018, the university found the fraternity guilty of endangering new members during the fall 2017 semester. The documents show that the chapter's counsel didn't fight the hazing allegations during a hearing but argued that it wasn't as big of a deal as the university was making it out to be. The hearing ended with the university suspending the fraternity from campus through the fall semester of 2023. At the time, the Delta Upsilon International Fraternity had been planning to close the chapter and restart it later.

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8-Year-Old Boy Struck, Hurt While Crossing Highway on Bike

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say an 8-year-old boy on a bicycle was seriously hurt when a sport utility vehicle crashed into him as he rode across a highway in central Kansas.  The Kansas Highway Patrol says the boy was struck around 6:40 p.m. Sunday while crossing U.S. 56 in Ellinwood. The boy and the bike weren't in the crosswalk at the time of the wreck.  The crash report says the boy was taken to a hospital with a suspected serious injury. The driver of the SUV wasn't hurt.  Ellinwood is about 100 miles northwest of Wichita.

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8 Kansas Counties Urged to Upgrade Their Voting Equipment

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A handful of Kansas counties are being urged to upgrade their voting machines to a voting system that creates a paper record of each vote.  The Topeka Capitol-Journal reports the American Association for the Advancement of Science urged Geary, Grant, Greeley, Hamilton, Harvey, Sumner, Wallace and Wilson counties to upgrade to newer voting machines.  Those eight counties currently use voting machines that record voter choices electronically without creating a paper record.  Katie Koupal with the Kansas Secretary of State's office says fewer than 10 of the state's 105 counties use election equipment that doesn't create a paper trail. She says several counties are planning to buy new equipment before next year's presidential elections.

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Man Gets 25 Years in Prison for 2017 Shooting Death of Woman

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 21-year-old Kansas City man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the 2017 fatal shooting of a woman stopped at a traffic signal.  The Kansas City Star reports that Anton Hunter received the sentence Friday after pleading guilty in August to second-degree murder and weapons counts in the April 30, 2017, shooting of 18-year-old Isabell Addison.  Prosecutors say Addison was driving a car and stopped at a red light when a passenger in a black car next to hers began shooting at Addison's car. Police say the driver of the black car told investigators that she was Hunter's girlfriend and didn't know why he shot at the car next to hers. She said that shortly before the shooting, she and Hunter had an argument over french fries.

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Suspect in Shooting of Washburn Players Gets New Attorney

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A man charged in the shooting death of a former Washburn University football player and the wounding of current New York Giants cornerback Corey Ballentine has a new attorney.  The Capital-Journal reports that KiAnn Caprice was appointed this week to defend 18-year-old Francisco Mendez, who faces 12 charges after the April 28 shooting that killed Dwane Simmons. The appointment came after Mendez's previous attorney withdrew from the case. Last month, Mendez pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, four counts of attempted murder and seven other counts. Simmons, Ballentine and three other Washburn players were shot at as they celebrated after Ballentine was drafted by the Giants earlier in the day.  Investigators have said at least three guns were used in the shooting.

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Suspect in Islamic Center Theft Scheduled for Plea Hearing

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Court records say a man charged with breaking into the Islamic Center of Lawrence and stealing donations boxes was in possession of almost $1,200 in cash when he was arrested in a Kansas City suburb several days later.  The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the affidavit in the case against 32-year-old Amadou Oury Bah says the August 13 burglary happened shortly after the holiday Eid al-Adha. One leader estimated that between $1,000 and $2,000 was stolen.  Police in Overland Park, Kansas, arrested Oury Bah on an unrelated incident on August 25. He was released from jail the next day and then arrested again August 27 in Omaha, Nebraska.  Bah is scheduled Wednesday for a plea hearing in the Lawrence case. He is charged with burglary, theft and criminal damage to property.

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Kansas City Woman Shot to Death; Suspect Arrested

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police say a man is in custody after fatally shooting a woman and then waiting for officers to arrive at the scene. Police Capt. Tim Hernandez said the woman was shot Monday morning in eastern Kansas City and died by the time officers arrived. He says the alleged shooter remained at the scene and police are not looking for more suspects. Investigators are working to determine a motive for the shooting. The woman's death was the fourth fatal shooting in the Kansas City area since Saturday. The city has recorded 119 homicides this year.

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Police Chase Through Kansas, Missouri Ends in Crash

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A chase that took police from Kansas City, Missouri to Kansas and then back again has ended in a car crash.  The Kansas City Star reports that the suspect crashed an SUV Friday in downtown Kansas City.  Police say the chase started in Kansas City. The Kansas Highway Patrol then stopped the man when he crossed into Kansas.  Police say the man fled again after Drug Enforcement Agents arrived. Authorities say he crashed into police cars and almost hit a DEA agent as he sped away.  A DEA agent fired at the man as he drove off, but it's unclear if the suspect was hit.  The man crossed state lines again before crashing on the Missouri side of the border. He was taken to a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

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2 Charged in Kansas Bar Shooting Roamed Free, Despite Past

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A review of court records by The Associated Press indicates that two convicted felons facing criminal charges over a Kansas bar shooting that killed four people and wounded five others had previous brushes with the law that could have had them behind bars had judges and other officials made different decisions.  Twenty-nine-year-old fugitive Hugo Villanueva-Morales and 23-year-old Javier Alatorre are charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the early Sunday shooting at the Tequila KC bar in a close knit Kansas City, Kansas, neighborhood. Police continue searching for Villanueva-Morales; Alatorre was arrested Sunday in Kansas City, Missouri.  Villanueva-Morales spent two nights in a local jail within two weeks of the shooting. And Alatorre also had been released from jail in September across the state line in Jackson County, Missouri, where he still faces charges of fleeing from police in a stolen vehicle.

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Game Warden's Dog Died in Hot Patrol Vehicle that Stalled

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a Kansas game warden's dog died when the handler's patrol vehicle stalled and an emergency system that's designed to turn on fans and lower windows if the cabin gets too hot wasn't engaged.  The Wichita Eagle reports that the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism called the August 6 death of the Labrador retriever named Tibbie a "tragic incident" after an investigation was completed Friday.  The agency says the handler left Tibbie locked in the patrol vehicle with the engine running as the game warden "conducted business that did not require K-9 assistance."  The investigation "determined the game warden had not checked that the heat-alarm system was in working order" that day. The agency says it's making changes to prevent something similar from happening again.

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Wichita Lawyer to Change Plea in Cyberattack Case

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita lawyer accused of plotting a cyberattack on websites with information criticizing his work has told a federal court he intends to change his plea.  A docket notation Friday shows attorney Bradley Pistotnik has a change-of-plea hearing Tuesday.  The move comes two days after his co-defendant , VIRAL Artificial Intelligence co-founder David Dorsett, notified the court of his plea change. Dorsett's hearing is October 21.  Both men pleaded not guilty last year to computer fraud and conspiracy. Pistotnik is also charged with making false statements to the FBI.  The indictment alleges they are responsible for cyberattacks on Leagle.com, Ripoffreport.com and JaburgWilk.com in 2014 and 2015. The indictment accuses Dorsett of filling website inboxes with threats. An email purportedly demanded that a webpage be removed or the hackers will target advertisers.

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Bicyclist Completes Solo Ride of Entire Pony Express Trail

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Jan Bennett learned a lot of lessons on her solo bicycle ride across the entire 2,220-mile Pony Express Trail from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California.  She already had endured food poisoning, hail and near misses with tornado weather by the time she made it to a remote stretch of northern Nevada as part of her effort to map out a bike-packing route the historic trail.  But she told the Reno Gazette Journal recently it was a "little bit of a gut check" when she had to walk her bike up a canyon road where the water was scarce.  She remembered a piece of advice she had received about endurance riding: "If you have to cry, cry while you are moving." Eleven days later, she pedaled into Sacramento.

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