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Headlines for Saturday, August 24, 2019

Former Emporia Chiropractor Acquitted of Sex-related Charges

EMPORIA, Kan. (AP) — A jury has acquitted a former Emporia chiropractor on two of three charges alleging sex crimes against patients. Eric Hawkins was found not guilty Friday of aggravated sexual battery and rape charges stemming from separate incidents. Hawkins was accused of rape against a then-16-year-old girl in 2015 and aggravated sexual battery against a then-22-year-old woman last year. The Emporia Gazette reports defense attorney Christopher Joseph said Hawkins was sloppy and should have better explained his procedures to the women but he didn't molest them. He said no one doubts that the patients believed their versions of what happened but the jury found there was reasonable doubt. Jury selection for another sexual battery charge is scheduled for next week. Hawkins is accused of inappropriately touching a 32-year-old female in March 2015.

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Aetna Changes Kansas Leaders with Medicaid Contract at Risk

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Insurance company Aetna is bringing in new leaders to run its Medicaid operations in Kansas after complaints from hospitals and others put it at risk of losing its state contract. KCUR-FM reports that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment confirmed Friday that Keith Wisdom is no longer the CEO of Aetna Better Health of Kansas. The company declined to answer questions about whether it had replaced Wisdom but said in an emailed statement that it is bringing in additional leaders with extensive Medicaid experience. The company would not identify the new hires. Aetna insures about 100,000 Kansas residents on Medicaid under its $1 billion-a-year state contract. The state told Aetna last month that it was out of compliance with the contract's terms because of the complaints.

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Teen Accused of Pointing Gun at Girls near Wichita School

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a 14-year-old was arrested after he pointed a loaded gun at a group of girls near a Wichita elementary school. Police spokesman Charley Davidson says the boy has been booked into juvenile intake on suspicion of aggravated battery, criminal possession of a firearm by a juvenile and unlawful use of a weapon. No one was hurt. Davidson says the teen was among a group of five boys and six girls that argued Thursday after leaving a middle school. During the argument, the 14-year-old allegedly pointed a handgun at the girls but didn't fire it. School district spokeswoman Susan Arensman said the incident happened in a neighborhood south of Woodman Elementary school and not on the school's property.
The elementary school was temporarily locked down during the incident.

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Dozens of Kansas Hikers Evacuated from Arizona Trail Due to Heat

APACHE JUNCTION, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities say 44 hikers were rescued because of heat, with two flown out by helicopter after their group tried climbing a mountain trail in desert near metro Phoenix. The Superstition Fire & Medical District said several hikers were overcome Thursday by the heat, which reached 106 degrees (41 Celsius) in nearby Apache Junction. The district said rescue personnel and Lost Dutchman State Park rangers helped most of the hikers walk back to the park from a trail on an adjacent national forest. State Parks spokeswoman Michelle Thompson said the hikers didn't begin their hike until 3 p.m. and they were advising against making the hike that time of day "but they insisted." Thompson said the hikers weren't from Arizona and belonged to a fitness group. She didn't have details.

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Wichita Officers Save Shoplifting Suspect from Drowning

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police say officers saved a teenager who nearly drowned in a pond after running from police during a shoplifting attempt. Police spokesman Charley Davidson says the 16-year-old girl and a man were confronted Thursday night carrying clothing worth more than $1,000 at a Kohl's store. KSN reports the man ran but the girl jumped into a retention pond near the store. She couldn't swim and went underwater. Davidson says two officers jumped into the pond. They brought the girl to shore and revived her with CPR. She is hospitalized in critical condition. The two officers became ill and were treated and released at a hospital. Davidson said the retention pond apparently contained bacteria. Police are still looking for the man and a woman who was in a getaway car.

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Former Employee at Salina Foster Care Faces Rape, Child Exploitation Charges

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — A former employee of Saint Francis Ministries in Salina is facing 11 charges including rape, sexual exploitation of a child and indecent liberties with a child. The Salina Journal reports Saline County District Court records show Nathaniel McEachin worked for Saint Francis Ministries from December 2018 to May 2019, when he was fired. Morgan Rothenberger, spokesman for Saint Francis Ministries, says the organization notified authorities when suspicions were raised about McEachin. McEachin worked at the Youth Residential Center II in Salina. Court records say victims were born between 2001 and 2003, and the alleged crimes occurred between May 30, 2018, and May 5, 2019. Saint Francis has been a contractor for Kansas Department for Children and Families since 1986. It provides foster care, family preservation, reunification, adoption and child placement services.

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Billionaire Twin: Brother was my Best Friend, Despite Lawsuit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Billionaire industrialist David H. Koch's twin brother is mourning the man he calls his best friend despite a billion-dollar business dispute decades ago. Bill Koch said in a statement Friday that his twin was "an outstanding human" with "strong principles, great character and strength." Bill and Frederick Koch came out on the losing end of a 1980s power struggle with their brothers David and Charles over control of the board of Koch Industries, the company their father had co-founded. Bill and Frederick sold their stake in Koch Industries in 1983, later unsuccessfully claiming in a lawsuit that they were cheated out of more than $1 billion. Bill Koch says he and David reconciled their business differences 20 years ago.

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Man Shot by Lawrence Police Given Probation

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Lawrence man who was shot by police after a traffic stop has been sentenced to a year of probation. Akira Lewis pleaded no contest Thursday to battery of a law enforcement officer. He will be required to take anger management courses. The Lawrence Journal-World reports Lewis was stopped in May 2018 for a seat belt violation. Police video shows Lewis refusing to provide his license and demanding that a supervisor be called. When officer Ian McCann tried to physically remove Lewis from the car, Lewis began hitting McCann. Another officer, Brindley Blood, shot Lewis. She told investigators she meant to use her Taser but accidentally grabbed her gun. Lewis, who is black, claimed he was racially profiled. Blood was charged in the case but those charges were dismissed . She resigned from the force.

 

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