Kansas Governor Recalls Ride on Schlitterbahn Waterslide
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Governor Sam Brownback says that he and his youngest son rode the Verruckt waterslide in 2014. That's the same ride on which a boy recently was killed. Brownback told reporters Friday that he and his son waited an hour for their 15-second ride at the Schlitterbahn park in Kansas City, Kansas. He said riders were weighed both at the bottom of its tower and at the top. He said the concern was ensuring that ahead of its long drop, each raft had the proper amount of weight, between 400 pounds and 550 pounds. The governor recalled no issues with the raft's seatbelt-like straps across the lap and over the shoulder. Several riders have reported the shoulder straps snapping or coming loose. Ten-year-old Caleb Thomas Schwab died on the ride Sunday. He was the son of a state legislator.
Kansas State Agencies, Universities Asked to Weigh Cuts
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Governor Sam Brownback's budget chief is asking state agencies and universities to study the prospect of a 5 percent funding cut. Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley tells the Wichita Eagle that budget director Shawn Sullivan requested the information from state agencies. But Hawley stresses no decision has been made about whether cuts will be needed, saying it's common to ask agencies to think about reduced budgets. A revenue-estimating group that includes Sullivan and the state's economists will meet in November to determine the state's revenue outlook. The group meets twice a year and has lowered revenue estimates each of the past four times it has met. If that happens again, budget cuts could be necessary since the state is already operating at razor thin budget margins.
Few Affected by Court Rulings Voted in Kansas Primary
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Few of the 17,600 Kansas voters at the center of legal fights over the state's proof of citizenship requirements actually cast ballots in the Aug. 2 primary. Voting rights advocates won temporary court rulings in federal and state courts affirming the right to vote for people who registered at motor vehicle offices but never submitted citizenship documents. Overall, statewide turnout for the primary was 23.1 percent. Officials say 9,032 provisional ballots were cast, but don't yet have a number for how many of those were cast by voters affected by the court decisions. The Associated Press surveyed the state's five biggest counties, which accounted for 4,287 of provisional ballots. It found 37 affected voters who cast ballots.
Lawsuit: KU Crew Members Required to Attend Football Games
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A former University of Kansas rower who says she was raped by a Jayhawk football player contends in an amended lawsuit that the school's athletic department requires rowers to attend Kansas football games and encourages rowers to socialize with football recruits. The Kansas City Star reports an attorney for Daisy Tackett filed the amended federal lawsuit Tuesday. Tackett and another rower have alleged they were raped a year apart in university housing by the same Kansas football player. They and their parents are also part of a class-action lawsuit claiming that the university misled the public by saying campus housing was safe. The university has consistently declined to comment on the lawsuits, except to say it takes all reports of sexual assault seriously.
Hearing Delayed for Former V-A Physician Assistant
LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — A preliminary hearing has been delayed for a former physician assistant accused of sexually abusing patients at a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Leavenworth. Mark Wisner's hearing on a charge of aggravated sexual battery was scheduled for Thursday but it was continued until Sept. 15. The Leavenworth Times reports Wisner also is charged in a second case. He's charged with aggravated criminal sodomy and three misdemeanor charges of sexual battery. Those crimes allegedly occurred in 2014 while Wisner worked at the Eisenhower VA Medical Center. Wisner's attorney, John Bryant, asked for the continuance for the first case because he is having difficulty meeting with his client. Wisner surrendered his medical license after at least seven patients accused him of abusing them.
Report: Record Corn Harvest Forecast for Kansas
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A government report is forecasting record corn and soybean harvests in Kansas. The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Friday that it expects corn production in the state of 660 million bushels. That is 14 percent higher than a year ago. Anticipated soybean production of 164 million bushels will also set a record if realized. That is 11 percent higher than a year ago. The agency also estimated the sorghum harvest to come in at 244 million bushels, down 13 percent from a year ago. Production of this year's winter wheat crop is estimated at 462 million bushels, up 43 percent from last year's crop. Record yields of 57 bushels per acre help offset the fewer wheat acres planted. Alfalfa hay production is forecast at 2.58 million tons.
Wichita Woman Found Dead in Home; Boyfriend Arrested
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police have arrested the boyfriend of a 42-year-old woman who was found dead inside a west Wichita home. Police say the woman's body was found Thursday after her relatives in Texas asked police to check on her. KAKE-TV reports her boyfriend was found at the home and taken into custody. No one else was in the home. No names were released, and police have not said how she died. Wichita has had 15 homicides so far this year.
2 from Florida Arrested After Chase in Kansas & Nebraska
PLATTSMOUTH, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say a man and woman from Florida have been arrested in Nebraska after a police chase that began in Kansas. The Nebraska State Patrol says the two were captured Thursday afternoon near Plattsmouth in Cass County after fleeing on foot from their sport utility vehicle. Officers had used stop strips to flatten the SUV's tires. The Kansas Highway Patrol had notified its Nebraska counterpart earlier that the SUV was headed into Nebraska on U.S. Highway 75. Nebraska troopers chased the vehicle into Nemaha County but stopped just south of Auburn. Patrol aircraft followed the SUV until it was stopped. Online court records don't show whether either person in the SUV has been formally charged. Nebraska authorities say the driver is from Sunrise, Florida, and his passenger is from Orlando.
USGS Reports Magnitude 4.0 Earthquake in Northwest Oklahoma
HELENA, Okla. (AP) — The US Geological Survey reports a 4.0 magnitude earthquake has stuck northwestern Oklahoma. The USGS says the quake was recorded at 12:27 am Friday, 12 miles northeast of Helena, about 85 miles northwest of Oklahoma City. There have been no reports of injury or damage. The USGS says the earthquake was widely felt in central Oklahoma and as far north as Junction City, Kansas. The number of magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes has skyrocketed in Oklahoma, from a few dozen in 2012 to more than 900 last year. Scientists have linked the increase to the underground disposal of wastewater from oil and gas production and state regulators have asked producers to reduce wastewater disposal volumes.