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Headlines for Saturday, January 14, 2017

Water Park Settlement Gives Lifetime Payments to Victim's Brothers

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A settlement reached with the family of a 10-year-old Kansas boy killed last year on a water slide will provide lifetime payments to the boy's three brothers. The family of Caleb Schwab reached a settlement Wednesday with the owners of Schlitterbahn Waterparks, and Zebec, the manufacturer of the raft the boy was on when he died August 7 aboard the "Verruckt" slide at the water park in Kansas City, Kansas. The amount of the settlement has not been released. The Kansas City Star, quoting a court transcript, reports that Caleb's father, Kansas state Representative Scott Schwab of Olathe, testified at a Wednesday hearing about the settlement negotiations. Caleb's mother, Michelle, provided written testimony. Schwab's attorney said earlier this week additional claims will be sought against other parties.

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Man Injured in Shooting Near University in Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita police are searching for two suspects after a man was critically wounded in a shooting near Friends University.  KAKE-TV reports police were called to a home about three blocks east of the university. A 19-year-old woman told officers that two suspects forced their way into the home and shot the 22-year-old victim. The woman and a 3-year-old boy at the home were not injured. Sargeant Nikki Woodrow said one of the suspects shot the man after demanding his personal property and the suspects then fled. Wichita police say the suspects targeted the person who was shot.

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Broken Water Pipe Closes Part of Wichita Attraction

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The exhibition space at the Mid-America All-Indian Center will be closed for two to three months because of damage from a water pipe break. City officials announced yesterday (FRI) that the water pipe flooded parts of the space Tuesday but no artifacts were damaged. The Wichita Eagle reports the exhibition space was covered in about a quarter-inch of water. Crews will spend the next two to three months repairing the water pipe and fixing the damage in the exhibition space. The museum's event rental space was not affected and rentals will go on as scheduled.

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Eight St. Joseph Men Indicted in Alleged Gang Activity
 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Federal racketeering charges have been filed against eight alleged members of a St. Joseph-based street gang. Prosecutors said Friday the gang was involved in murder, attempted murders, drug trafficking, armed robberies and extortion. They allegedly operated in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Massachusetts and other places. Many of the members were recruited from Puerto Rico although the eight people indicted live in St. Joseph. Prosecutors say Victor Matias-Torres led the gang, which created a "climate of fear" in St. Joseph. One of the eight, 28-year-old Luis Alfredo Villegas-Rosa, was indicted in the February 2015 shooting death of John O. Baynham Jr. in St. Joseph. The gang also was indicted in five cases where victims were shot or shot at, and at least five robberies of check-cashing businesses in St. Joseph.

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Moody's to Pay Settlement on Inflated Ratings Claims

NEW YORK (AP) — Moody's Corp. has agreed to pay nearly $864 million to settle federal and state claims it gave inflated ratings to risky mortgage investments in the years leading up to the financial crisis. The deal announced yesterday (FRI) was struck among the New York-based rating agency, the Justice Department and the attorneys general for 21 states and the District of Columbia. It calls for $437.5 million to go to the Justice Department and $426.3 million to be divided among the states and the District of Columbia. Moody's — along with the other two major rating agencies, Standard & Poor's and Fitch — were widely criticized for giving low-risk ratings to the risky mortgage securities being sold ahead of the crisis, while they reaped lucrative fees.

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Suspects Arrested in Kansas Triple Homicide

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says two suspects have been arrested in the October deaths of three people in central Kansas. The KBI announced yesterday (FRI)  that Mexican authorities arrested 35-year-old Jereme Lee Nelson and 31-year-old Myrta Rangel Thursday evening. They were returned to the U.S. and are held in the San Diego County Jail. An extradition hearing was scheduled for yesterday (FRI). The bodies of 33-year-old Travis Street and 37-year-old Angela May Graevs, both of Moundridge, and 52-year-old Richard Prouty of Newton, were found October 30 outside a rural home south of Moundridge. An 18-month-old child was found unharmed. Kansas and Harvey County authorities in November issued arrest warrants on capital murder charges for Nelson and Rangel. The KBI have not said how the two suspects were connected to the deaths.

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Feds to Review Kansas Guard at Adjutant's Request

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The federal National Guard Bureau plans to investigate the Kansas National Guard at the request of the state's adjutant general after an internal investigation found leadership problems. The Kansas Guard yesterday (FRI) released a memo from Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli requesting the review. The Guard also said it would not comment further until the review is completed. The Topeka Capital-Journal reported this week that the internal investigation disclosed problems including instances of racism and enlistment document forgery. The two officers leading the internal probe concluded that the Kansas Guard suffered from "toxic" leadership. Republican Governor Sam Brownback is standing by Tafanelli. The request for a federal review was dated Wednesday but was released after Kansas Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka said lawmakers should investigate if Brownback does not.

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