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Headlines for Monday, September 16, 2019

 

No Deal: Auto Workers Strike Against GM in Contract Dispute

DETROIT (AP) — More than 49,000 members of the United Auto Workers union went on strike early Monday as contract talks with General Motors broke down.  Union members walked out of factories and set up picket lines at 33 plants across the nation as well as 22 parts warehouses.  UAW Vice President Terry Dittes (DIT-ez) says a strike is the union's last resort because both sides are far apart in bargaining over a new four-year contract, including on issues like health care and fair wages.  But GM says it has made substantial offers, including higher wages and $7 billion worth of factory investments that would create hundreds of new jobs.  Bargaining was scheduled to resume TODAY (MON).  

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Series of 2.8 to 3.8 Magnitude Earthquakes Rattle Kansas

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A series of three earthquakes have rattled portions of south-central Kansas. The Kansas Geological Survey says the strongest measured 3.8 and struck around 2:40 a.m. Monday in Chase County. Another trembler with a 3.6 magnitude was reported around 10 a.m. Monday in Marion County, and a third with a magnitude of 2.8 was reported around 10:30 a.m. Sunday in Reno County. The threshold for damage usually starts at 4.0. Kansas began seeing a spike in earthquakes in 2014 that were blamed on wastewater injection wells from oil and gas production. The number of quakes began tampering off after oil prices dropped and regulations were enacted. But a dozen recent reports of quakes in Reno County have led the Kansas Corporation Commission to analyze injection well activity.

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KCK Police to Try Out Body Cameras from Various Vendors

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Police in Kansas City, Kansas, will be wearing body-worn cameras from different companies for the next month, and will report their experiences as part of a multi-vendor evaluation. The Kansas City Star reports that about 30 officers will try out the cameras after receiving training on how to use them. Police officials then expect to choose a company for purchase of body-worn cameras. The evaluation process began Monday and is expected to go on through Oct. 16. Another Kansas City suburb, Overland Park, Kansas, recently approved the police department's plan to spend $430,000 on body cameras without a bidding process.

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7-Year-Old Boy Dies in Southern Kansas Riding Accident
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WINFIELD, Kan. (AP) — A 7-year-old Kansas boy has died after the pony he was riding flipped over on top of him. KSN-TV reports that Max Henderson of Winfield died Sunday at a hospital. He was a second grader at Country View School, where counselors were on hand to help grieving classmates and staff. Students in the school were encouraged to show support for Max by wearing a western outfit. Max's family said in a statement that he was at home roping a calf sled when his pony flipped over on him. He died after emergency surgery. Winfield is about 40 miles south of Wichita.

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Man Jailed for Hatchet Attack in Topeka

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A 40-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly attacking another person with a hatchet in Topeka. WIBW-TV reports that the attack happened late Sunday at a home in south Topeka. The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment. The victim's name was not released. Police have not disclosed any details about what led to the confrontation.

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Former Treasurer of Kansas Town Sentenced to Federal Prison

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The former treasurer of a small Kansas town has been sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison for stealing money from the town and spending taxpayer money at a casino. The U.S. Attorney's office in Wichita says 56-year-old Deborah Sell of Fontana was sentenced Monday. She had pleaded guilty to wire fraud and filing a false tax return. Sell admitted embezzling more than $174,000 from Fontana, a town of about 220 people in eastern Kansas. Federal prosecutors say Sell issued city checks to pay personal expenses, withdrew cash using a city debit card for personal expenses, and deposited cash payments from customers into her personal account. Restitution is mandatory. Fontana is about 40 miles southwest of Kansas City, Missouri.

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Police Investigate Shooting Death of Kansas City Man

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police are investigating the shooting death of a 55-year-old man in the parking lot of a convenience store on the city's northeast side.  Police say in a news release that the victim was Jordan Smith. Police say officers were called to the area just after 3:30 pm Friday and found Smith lying wounded in the Express Stop parking lot. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.  No arrests have been made. Police did not release details about what led to the shooting.  Police say Smith's death was the sixth homicide reported in the city since Monday.

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Police: Man Fatally Shot in Kansas City, Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Police in Kansas City, Kansas, are investigating the shooting death of a man in his 20s.  Police say in a news release that the shooting happened just after 2:30 pm.  Friday in a commercial district near the Bethel Welborn neighborhood.  Arriving officers found the man in the street suffering from a gunshot wound. He was taken to a hospital, where he died. The victim's name has not been released.  No arrests had been reported by Saturday afternoon.

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Man Shot by Wichita Police Charged with Carjacking SUV

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A man who was shot by Wichita police at a McDonald's drive-through has been charged with carjacking a sport utility vehicle while trying to get away.  The Wichita Eagle reports that federal prosecutors filed the charge Friday against 30-year-old Zachary Ausdemore.  Prosecutors allege he stole a Honda CR-V "with the intent to cause death and serious bodily harm."  Police say he was in the front seat of a stolen Jeep when police attempted to apprehend him, his girlfriend and the driver. Police say that when the driver accelerated toward an officer, the officer fired three rounds, striking Ausdemore in the arm.  After fleeing, the driver crashed and was arrested along with the girlfriend. But police say Ausdemore then stole the CR-V. A chase began, and he was arrested after the CR-V got stuck in deep mud.

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Border War Between Kansas, Missouri Isn't Quite Over Yet

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — There may be a cease-fire, but the economic "border war" involving the use of incentives to lure jobs across the state line in the Kansas City area isn't exactly over. The Kansas City Star reports that Missouri officials plan to award $62 million in incentives to the Overland Park, Kansas-based financial firm Waddell & Reed. The incentives are through the Missouri Works program, which offers payroll tax withholdings or tax credits in exchange for growing or retaining jobs. The company says it will invest about $90 million in its new Missouri headquarters and employ more than 1,000 workers. Average pay is $157,138. The announcement comes a month after Kansas and Missouri governors celebrated an end to the use of tax incentives to lure companies across the state line.

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Kansas City Police: Off-Duty Officer Shot While Moonlighting

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City police are looking for a suspect in the overnight shooting of an off-duty officer.  The Kansas City Star reports the shooting happened around 1 am. Saturday as the off-duty officer was patrolling a shopping center in the Lewis Heights neighborhood.  Police say the officer heard noises along a property tree line and walked toward the area when he heard gunshots, took cover and called for help. He then realized he'd been shot in the chest. The bullet did not penetrate his protective vest.  Police say the officer did not return fire. He was in fair condition after the shooting.  Police said no suspects were found and are asking the public for any information on the shooting.

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Fire Chief: 1 Person Hurt in Dodge City Cargill Plant Fire

DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) — Fire officials say one person suffered smoke inhalation in a fire at a meatpacking plant in southwestern Kansas.  Wichita station KSNW reports that the fire broke out Friday afternoon at the Cargill plant in Dodge City.  The station says Dodge City Fire Chief Robert Heinz reported the fire was on the roof of the rendering side of the plant, and crews found a fire in the area's ventilation system. The blaze was extinguished in minutes.  Heinz says a spark from welding work being done at the plant ignited grease. He says one person had to be taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation, but is expected to recover.

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Ohio Gamer Sentenced to 15 Months Prison in "Swatting" Case

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — An Ohio video game player upset about an online bet has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for recruiting another man to make a bogus emergency call in 2017 that led to police killing a Kansas man.  U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren on Friday also imposed a restriction on gaming activity by 19-year-old Casey Viner of North College Hill, Ohio, for two years.  Viner pleaded guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice. He has admitted trying to hide his involvement after realizing the antic got someone killed.  Viner and Shane Gaskill of Wichita, Kansas, got into a dispute while playing Call of Duty: WWII online. Viner then asked Tyler Barriss of Los Angeles to "swat" Gaskill. Police responding to the call shot Andrew Finch when he came to the door at Gaskill's old address.

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Independence Sanitation Worker Killed in Crash on U.S. Highway 160

INDEPENDENCE, Kan. (AP) — A sanitation worker for the southeast Kansas town of Independence has been killed in the crash of a truck.  The Wichita Eagle reports that the crash happened Thursday on U.S. 160 as the truck was on its way to the county landfill, killing 20-year-old Taylor Lee Edwards of Independence. Edwards was a temporary worker for the sanitation department. Officials say a second employee in the truck, a 52-year-old man, was hurt and taken to a hospital.  The Kansas Highway Patrol says in a report that a driver's side tire blew out on the truck, sending the truck over oncoming lanes and into a ditch, where it rolled several times. Both Edward and the passenger were thrown from the vehicle. Edwards died at the scene.

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Kansas Has a Lot of Jobs, but Not Enough People to Fill Them

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas officials are trumpeting the state's growing economy while also worrying about how to find enough employees to fill new jobs, especially in high-demand careers like health care.  The state's recent monthly economic report showed Kansas created 14,000 jobs in the last year, and unemployment is 3.3%.  Kansas Public Radio reports the state's total labor force dropped from a high of 1.521 million in 2009 to 1.479 million in July.  Kansas Labor Secretary Delía García says the state is in good shape economically, but leaders need to think ahead to attract more workers. She hopes state officials will work more closely with education and business groups to train workers. And she wants state lawmakers and other officials to support economic development programs that would attract workers to Kansas.

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Lawrence Man Gets Probation for Giving Drugs to Teenager

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A 56-year-old Lawrence man was sentenced to three years of probation for giving a teenager drugs that nearly killed him.  Dana Wingert pleaded no contest Wednesday to seven charges, including two counts of endangering a child. He had previously pleaded not guilty and was scheduled to go to trial in October.  The Lawrence Journal-World reports a police affidavit says the boy and his 16-year-old friend passed out from a cocktail of drugs and alcohol they took at Wingert's home on April 21. Police were able to revive the 16-year-old but the 15-year-old was taken to a hospital in critical condition and placed on life support.  Cheryl Wright Kunard, assistant to the Douglas County district attorney, said Thursday she could not update the boy's condition.

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Kansas State Fair to Evaluate Gun Rules for Concert Security

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas State Fair will reevaluate its gun policy this fall because concert security concerns could conflict with state law that allows gun owners to carry their weapons openly.  The Wichita Eagle reports that the fair had to screen concertgoers at the Sept. 7 Billy Currington performance because he required it in his contract, and the show was delayed while everyone and their bags were checked.  Fair Manager Robin Jennison says the fair will likely have to employ that kind of security more often if it wants to continue booking top acts because such requirements are becoming common.

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