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Headlines for Saturday, April 1, 2017

PACs, Lobbyists Help GOP Candidate in Kansas Congressional Race

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Campaign finance reports show political committees and groups have heavily bolstered Republican Ron Estes' campaign coffers in the race for a congressional seat the GOP has held for two decades in south-central Kansas. Democrat James Thompson has raised more from individuals in the race for the House seat vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Libertarian Chris Rockhold did not file a report. Estes brought in about $312,000 for the nation's first congressional election since President Donald Trump's victory. Nearly $190,000 came from individuals, and the rest came from political committees and groups. Thompson raised nearly $254,000, with more than $248,000 coming from individual contributions. Estes has spent more, and both campaigns head into the final stretch before April 11 election with close to the same amount of cash on hand.

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Kansas Farmers Plan to Plant Less Wheat, More Soybeans

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A government report shows Kansas growers are planning to plant more soybeans and corn this spring. The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported yesterday (FRI)  that soybean acreage in Kansas is expected to be up 23 percent compared to last year with 5 million acres planted. The state's farmers are also planning to plant 5.2 million acres into corn, an increase of 2 percent from a year ago. Sorghum acreage is expected to be down 19 percent with just 2.5 million acres expected to be planted this year. Kansas growers last fall seeded 7.5 million acres into winter wheat for harvest this year. That is down 12 percent compared to the previous year.

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Wichita Officer Cleared in 2015 Shooting

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett has cleared a Wichita police officer of wrongdoing in the 2015 fatal shooting that began with a traffic stop. The announcement yesterday (FRI) comes in the shooting of 26-year-old Nicholas Garner in Wichita. KWCH-TV reports that after struggling with the officer for control of the vehicle, Garner drove in circles around Sam's Club gas pumps. Garner hit the officer's parked patrol car and another parked car while dragging the officer. He then tried to drive into the wrong way into traffic, hitting another car head-on. The district attorney's report says that's when the officer gathered himself and shot three times, killing Garner. A Crown Royal whiskey bag was found at the scene filled with methamphetamine.

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Kansas City Homicide Under Investigation

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities are investigating after a man was killed in Kansas City, Kansas. Police said in a news release that officers responding to a shooting Thursday night found 34-year-old Shelton Estell, of Kansas City, Kansas, dead in a street from an apparent gunshot wound. Anyone with information is urged to call a tips hotline.

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Kansas House Advances Amusement Ride Law

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas House member whose 10-year-old son died last summer on a water park slide spoke to his colleagues on the subject for the first time Thursday shortly before they voted unanimously to strengthen inspection rules for amusement rides. Representative Scott Schwab's son Caleb died at Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City, Kansas. The bill requires annual ride inspections and sets specific qualifications for inspectors. Current law allows parks to conduct their own inspections. Schwab told House members he didn't come to the Legislature to increase regulation or grow government, but sometimes government is needed. He said he wouldn't hold it against anyone who didn't support the bill. The measure now faces a final House vote and a Senate vote.

 

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