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Headlines for Saturday, August 30, 2014


Governor Names Ex-Adviser to Kansas Supreme Court

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Sam Brownback says Caleb Stegall is "one of the most qualified people" to ever be named to the Kansas Supreme Court. Brownback named his former aide to the high court yesterday (FRI) and called him "brilliant." He put the 42-year-old on the Court of Appeals last year after he spent three years as the governor's chief counsel. Stegall was one of 13 people who applied for the seat Justice Nancy Moritz gave up to take a seat on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The appointment does not require state Senate confirmation. An online magazine Stegall edited in 2005 encouraged "forcible resistance" to state and federal court orders to save the life of a brain-damaged Florida woman, though he later said it only advocated civil disobedience. In a 2008 online newspaper chat, he called the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 ruling legalizing abortion "weak."


Thousands Lose Power After Wichita Car Crash

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Most of the thousands of people who lost electricity in south Wichita after a car hit a utility pole have had their power restored. Westar Energy spokeswoman Gina Penzig says 11,600 Wichitans were affected Thursday night after the car overturned and rolled into the power pole. The utility replaced the power pole overnight and says all but a handful of customers had their power back Friday morning. Wichita police say the car driver was taken into custody.


Spirit AeroSystems Offers Voluntary Retirements

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Spirit AeroSystems is offering a voluntary retirement program to some management and salaried employees in Wichita and Kinston, North Carolina. Company spokesman Ken Evans said Thursday the employees must be older than 55 and have worked at least 10 years with Spirit to qualify for the program. Employees have until Sept. 12 to express an interest in the buyout, although that doesn't commit them to retiring or guarantee they will be offered the buyout. Executives and stress and design engineers are excluded from the offer. Evans says the company has no specific number of employees it wants to retire. The Wichita Eagle reports Spirit is making other changes to cut costs, such as bolstering top management, reducing overtime for hourly workers and trying to sell its Tulsa wing plant.


Kansas Taxes $4M Less Than Expected in August

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A new report says Kansas collected $4 million less in taxes than expected in August. The Department of Revenue said Friday the state took in $421 million in taxes, about 1 percent below the official forecast of $425 million. The department called revenues flat but said there are signs of economic growth in the figures. Corporate income tax collections exceeded expectations for the month. The state saw a slight surplus in tax collections in July. Since the current fiscal year began July 1st, the state has collected about $829 million in revenues, against projections of nearly $832 million. The difference is about $2.4 million, or 0.3 percent. The numbers are likely to renew a political debate over massive income tax cuts enacted at Republican Governor Sam Brownback's urging.


Franklin County Judge Says Statements can be Admitted

OTTAWA, Kan. (AP) — A judge has ruled that statements from the suspect in a quadruple homicide in Kansas can be used at his trial. Franklin County District Court Judge Eric Godderz ruled Friday that statements from 29-year-old Kyle Flack will be admitted during his trial in September 2015. Flack is charged in the deaths of two men, one woman and the woman's 18-month-old daughter in May 2013. The adults' bodies were found outside Ottawa. The child's body was found in nearby Osage County. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Flack made the statements during questioning by investigators. The defense contended the questioning should have ended at least twice because Flack twice mentioned legal representation. . Godderz ruled that the statements appeared to be voluntary.

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