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Headlines for Monday, September 12, 2016

Here's a look at area headlines from the Associated Press

Kansas Transportation Department Releases Highway Report 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas Department of Transportation report says 96.7 percent of interstate highways in the state were ranked as good in the fiscal year ending in July. The report was released on Friday. The department evaluates the state's 10,000-mile highway system annually and gives ratings based on scores of surface roughness and distress. The Topeka Capital-Journal has previously reported that 97.7 percent of interstate highways in Kansas were ranked as good in 2015. Friday's report says 91.7 percent of non-interstate highways in the state were found to be in good condition last fiscal year. The agency says it has targets of 85 percent good for interstate highways and 80 percent good for non-interstate highways. Kansas Contractors Association executive vice president Bob Totten says the report didn't take into account consequences of recent postponement of funds for maintenance and construction projects in response to budget issues.


Kansas Supreme Court Wrestles with Censuring Former Judge 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court is wrestling with whether it should censure a former Wichita-area judge over allegations that he was not candid in answering questions about earlier accusations of improper behavior. An attorney for former Sedgwick County District Judge Timothy Henderson said Monday in arguments before the Supreme Court that the latest case against Henderson is moot. Henderson lost his Republican primary race for re-election in August and resigned, effective Sunday. The high court suspended Henderson for three months without pay in 2015 after a disciplinary panel found he had sexually harassed female attorneys and staff by repeatedly making offensive remarks. Disciplinary Examiner Todd Thompson told the Supreme Court that while it no longer can suspend Henderson, it should censure him to help maintain public confidence in the courts.


Topeka Police Seek Help to Curb Gang Violence

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Topeka police say they have made impressive gains in the four months since creating a violent crime unit after a spate of crimes earlier this year. Police say since the unit formed, it has arrested 236 suspected criminals, seized several pounds of marijuana and methamphetamine and 30 guns, including assault weapons. Officers have also seized 2.25 grams of heroin. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the unit's efforts to curb gang violence were revealed during a council briefing. The newspaper filed a records request seeking documents about the unit but the city's legal staff declined to release more than 240 pages, citing a need to protect the officers and the integrity of their investigations.


2 Arrested in Death of Former Kansas Middle School Principal 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have arrested two Topeka men in the death of a former middle school principal whose body was found in May in a warehouse. Police said in a news release that the 35- and 23-year-old suspects were booked into jail Friday on suspicion of aggravated robbery and felony murder in the death of 64-year-old Curt Cochran. He was a teacher at Northern Hills from 1975 to 1991 and was principal from 1991 to 2000. It is now called Seaman Middle School.Workers found Cochran's body in the back room of a Topeka warehouse. He was part owner of 3 Men with Truck & Trailer moving company. Police said the two men also are suspects in an unrelated home burglary that happened Friday in Topeka.


Catholic College Cancels Speech by Kansas Supreme Court Justice

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Catholic university in Wichita has canceled a scheduled talk by Kansas Supreme Court Justice Carol Beier because of concerns about a backlash from people who oppose abortion. Beier was scheduled to speak as part of Newman University's Constitution Day. She was to discuss the role of the judiciary and how to get into law school. The Wichita Eagle reports that the college's vice president and provost Kimberly Long became concerned about the tone of opposition expressed on social media. Long says she was worried that Beier would not be treated well and feared for the safety of those who attended the speech. Long said most of the unsettling messages came from people not affiliated with the university.


Man Charged in Crash That Killed Johnson County Deputy 

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A 38-year-old man has been charged in the death of a Johnson County Sheriff's deputy who died when a pickup truck plowed into his stopped patrol car. The Kansas City Star reports that Adrian Espinosa-Flores of Kansas City, Kansas, was charged Monday with involuntary manslaughter in the death Sunday of Master Deputy Brandon Collins. Collins was 45. Authorities say Espinosa-Flores is accused of driving under the influence when the pickup truck he was driving crashed into the deputy's patrol car. Collins was making a traffic stop at the time of the crash. Authorities said Espinosa-Flores fled the scene but was found by police dogs and taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries. He's in custody on $2 million bond. It's unclear if Espinosa-Flores has a lawy


Woman, Good Samaritan Improving After Kansas Wal-Mart Attack 

SHAWNEE, Kan. (AP) — A woman has been released from the hospital and a Good Samaritan who came to her aid is recovering after a suburban Kansas City Wal-Mart parking lot attack in which a suspect was killed. Police said the Kansas City, Kansas, woman was putting her baby in her car Sunday afternoon in Shawnee when two suspects hit her in the head from behind. Shawnee police Major Dan Tennis says a Kansas City, Missouri, man in the parking lot who tried to help was shot several times and is recovering after undergoing surgery. Another Good Samaritan from De Soto has been interviewed and released after fatally shooting 28-year-old John Simmons III, of Kansas City, Missouri. Authorities continue looking for the second suspect after determining that a man arrested afterward wasn't involved.


Man Sentenced to at Least 25 Years in Salina Teen's Killing

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — One of five men convicted in the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old Salina girl will spend at least 25 years in prison. The Salina Journal reports 19-year-old Andrew Woodring was sentenced Friday to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years. Woodring was 17 in May 2015 when Allie Saum was shot as she rode in a pickup truck. He was prosecuted as an adult and pleaded no contest to felony murder. Prosecutors say Woodring drove the shooter, Macio D. Palacio Jr., to and from the site where Saum was shot. Woodring and the other men were seeking revenge against two men Woodring had fought with earlier. Saum was shot because she was riding in a pickup similar to one the men were seeking.


University of Kansas Seeks Dismissal of Student's Lawsuit

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a former student who claims the school didn't do enough to protect students from sexual assault. Former Kansas rower Sarah McClure filed the lawsuit after she reported being raped by a former football player. Another former rower, Daisy Tackett, later filed a similar lawsuit, claiming she was raped by the same person. The Lawrence Journal-World reports the university filed a motion Friday arguing McClure's lawsuit should be dismissed. The university has filed a similar motion in Tackett's lawsuit. Spokeswoman Erinn Barcomb-Paterson said the university believes it met its obligations to both women. The university investigated the reports and the suspected assailant was expelled. He has not been charged with any crimes.


Shots Fired at Unoccupied USD 428 Office Building in Great Bend

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — Authorities in Great Bend are investigating after the front doors of the school district building were shot out when the building was unoccupied. Barton County Sheriff Brian J. Bellendir said Monday that deputies responded to an alarm call at the USD 428 administrative offices late Sunday night. Deputies found that the front doors to the building had been shot repeatedly with a handgun, causing more than $6,000 in damage. No one was in the office at the time, and no injuries were reported. The Hays Post reports that the Barton County Sheriff's office is seeking the public's help in locating the suspect.


Kansas City Arena Gets National Historic Designation
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City officials say they've secured historic preservation status for Kemper Arena. The Kansas City Star reports ( ) that the National Park Service made the decision last week to list the arena on the National Register of Historic Places. City manager Troy Schulte says the decision allows officials to move forward to redevelop the arena as an amateur sports complex. The city hopes to transfer ownership of the arena to Foutch Brothers by the end of this year for the $25 million to $30 million project. The historic designation makes the arena eligible for tax credits. Historic preservation consultant Elizabeth Rosin says the arena represents "a specific point in time," in the late 1960s and early 1970s when many cities built multipurpose arenas that became community gathering spots for concerts, sports and other entertainment.


Man Charged in Shooting in Kansas City Entertainment Area
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A man has been charged in a shooting that injured seven people in Kansas City's Westport entertainment district. Twenty-nine-year-old Kelvin Clark, of Kansas City, Kansas, faces seven counts each of assault and armed criminal action. His bond is set at $250,000. No attorney is listed for him in online court records. Court documents say a man was knocked down by a vehicle early Sunday. Surveillance video from after the collision shows two people inside of the vehicle shooting toward the downed man and a crowd. Police said in a news release that the suspects' vehicle then drove at responding officers before crashing. The release says an officer fired at the vehicle, but no one was struck by that gunfire. Police said the most seriously wounded victim was in critical condition.


Man Accused of Burning Missing Missouri Woman's Car  

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a man has been taken into custody on charges that he burned the vehicle of a suburban Kansas City woman who hasn't been seen since Thursday. Kansas City Police say 27-year-old Kylr Yust was taken into custody Sunday morning in Edwards, Missouri. Yust was arrested on charges of "knowingly burning" Jessica Runions's vehicle, which was found abandoned by a road in southern Kansas City Saturday. Police say the search for Runions is considered a suspicious missing persons case. Yust is being held on a $50,000 cash only bond.


Ex Tried to Avoid Man Arrested in Missing Woman Case 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) —  Court records show a Missouri man arrested in the destruction of a missing woman's car was the subject of a 2007 restraining order to protect his ex-girlfriend who subsequently disappeared. Twenty-seven-year-old Kylr Yust was arrested Sunday on charges that he burned Jessica Runions's car, which was found abandoned in south Kansas City, Missouri. Runions was last seen leaving a party on Thursday night, and her mother reported her missing Friday evening. Yust has not been charged in the 21-year-old woman's disappearance, and it's unclear if he has an attorney. Court records show that after filing for a protection order against Yust in 2007, 17-year-old Kara Kopetsky disappeared and remains missing. Yust wasn't charged in her case, and investigators didn't return telephone messages Monday.


Chiefs Overcome 17-Point Deficit, Beat Chargers 33-27 in OT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith dived for a touchdown on the first possession of overtime, completing the Kansas City Chiefs' frantic rally from a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the San Diego Chargers 33-27 in the season opener at Arrowhead Stadium Sunday. Smith threw for 363 yards and two touchdowns, the second to Jeremy Maclin with just over nine minutes left in the fourth quarter that trimmed the Chiefs' deficit to 27-17. Cairo Santos kicked a 33-yard field goal a few minutes later, and after forcing a three-and-out, Spencer Ware finished off a four-play drive with a touchdown plunge to tie the game at 27. Kansas City needed 10 plays to march 75 yards in overtime, and Smith finished off one of the biggest comebacks in franchise history with his charge from the 2-yard line on third-and-goal.


Royals Shut Out White Sox, 2-1, to Take Series 

CHICAGO (AP) — Ian Kennedy and the Kansas City Royals beat Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox 2-0 on Sunday. The Royals' Kendrys Morales homered on Sale's first pitch of the second inning and Eric Hosmer did the same in the fourth. The Royals won their second straight to win the series versus the White Sox and stay four games behind Baltimore for the final AL wild-card spot. Kennedy (11-9) walked four, but only allowed one hit in six innings. He improved to 5-0 in his last six starts. Peter Moylan and Kelvin Herrera each threw a perfect inning before Wade Davis worked around a single and a walk in the ninth for his 24th save.

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