Lenexa Man Not Guilty in Playground Attack, Mental Illness Cited
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A 22-year-old man who attacked and injured several children at a suburban Kansas City playground has been found not guilty by reason of mental illness. A Johnson County judge yesterday (FRI) found Javan Lockett not guilty but ordered that he be committed to Larned State Hospital for evaluation. Police say that in March 2015, Lockett injured three children and endangered more than a dozen others at a playground near his home in Lenexa. The children suffered mostly cuts, bruises and scratches. Police arrested Lockett after receiving reports that a man was pointing a gun and throwing rocks at people. The Kansas City Star reports at a hearing in January, two mental health experts testified that Lockett was experiencing a schizophrenic episode at the time of the attack.
Kansas Prosecutor Seeks Death Penalty in Triple Homicide
NEWTON, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas prosecutor plans to seek the death penalty against one of two people accused of killing three people before fleeing to Mexico. In a news release yesterday (FRI), Harvey County Attorney David Yoder announced the plans to seek the death penalty against 35-year-old Jereme Nelson. Yoder said he is still considering whether to seek the death penalty against 31-year-old Myrta Rangel. Nelson and Rangel are charged with one count of capital murder and three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of 33-year-old Travis Street, 37-year-old Angela May Graevs and 52-year-old Richard Prouty. The victims' bodies were found in October outside a rural home near Moundridge. An 18-month-old child was found unharmed. Nelson and Rangel were extradited Thursday to Kansas, and Yoder said they don't yet have attorneys.
Payless to Lay Off 110 Topeka Employees
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Payless ShoeSource announces plans to lay off 165 people, 110 of whom work at locations in Topeka. Spokeswoman Meghan Spreer tells The Topeka Capital-Journal that the positions are in corporate, distribution center and field leadership roles. She says the layoffs make up about 2 percent of the company's total associate base. Payless' headquarters are located in Topeka. GO Topeka and Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce leader Matt Pivarnik says that the community feels "the pain of these cutbacks," but GO Topeka is ready to assist laid off workers in several ways. Pivarnik says the competition from the industry can "lead to tough decisions." Spreer says these types of decisions are necessary for Payless to keep up in an evolving retail environment.
KU Official Chosen as Western Kentucky University President
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Western Kentucky University's Board of Regents has chosen Timothy C. Caboni from the University of Kansas to become Western's 10th president this summer. The 47-year-old Caboni will start work July 1, succeeding Gary A. Ransdell, who is retiring. Caboni is vice chancellor of public affairs at Kansas. He earned a master's degree in corporate and organizational communication from Western in 1994, a bachelor's from Louisiana State and a doctorate from Vanderbilt. He said in a news release from Western he is excited about returning to lead his alma mater. Before going to Kansas, Caboni was associate dean of Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt. Ransdell is retiring after 20 years as Western's president.
Hutchinson Space Exhibit Recalls Apollo Accident
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A Hutchinson museum is opening to honor the 50th anniversary of the fatal Apollo 1 test mission. The Hutchinson News reports The Cosmosphere's new exhibit, "Apollo 1: Valiant Pioneer," tells the story of the cabin fire that killed three astronaut pilots on board during a launch rehearsal test. The exhibit also highlights changes made to space missions to ensure a similar accident doesn't occur. Apollo 1 was NASA's first manned mission in the Apollo program. It was created with the aim of landing a human on the moon. The exhibit features artifacts including emergency egress plans and thank-you cards sent by families following the deaths of Command Pilot Virgil I. Grissom, Senior Pilot Edward H. White II and Pilot Roger B Chaffee.
KC Royals Gather To Remember Ventura
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals gathered together yesterday (FRI) to celebrate the life of pitcher Yordano Ventura, who died Sunday in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Manager Ned Yost told Royals teammates, coaches, executives and support staff that he has struggled since Sunday's accident to figure out how to deal with the hole the 25-year-old's death will leave. He says he believes God has a plan for everyone, and vowed the team's bond will become stronger as they lean on faith and happy memories. Pitcher Danny Duffy promised the Royals would use memories of Ventura's competiveness to play every game in the next season with passion. The meeting came hours before the team's annual FanFest, where more tributes to Ventura were planned.
KU Forward Bragg Suspended for Team Rules Violation
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas forward Carlton Bragg has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules. Coach Bill Self said in announcing the suspension late Thursday that the violation isn't connected to an investigation into an alleged rape at his team's dorm in December. No charges have been filed, and police have not publicly identified any suspects. Self says the investigation has given him no reason yet to discipline any players. Self also suspended Bragg last month after the 20-year-old sophomore was charged with misdemeanor battery. Bragg was reinstated when prosecutors dropped the charge and charged the woman who accused him of shoving her. Prosecutors said law enforcement obtained surveillance video showing a woman repeatedly striking a man. The Number 2-ranked Jayhawks play against 4th-ranked Kentucky today (SAT).