Video Shows Jail Tussle Between ICE Agents, Kenyan Immigrant
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A judge has granted a civil trial for a Kenyan man who alleges immigration agents violently attacked him at a Kansas jail for refusing to be fingerprinted before deportation. The incident was captured on jailhouse surveillance video. The civil lawsuit filed by Justine Mochama, an international student who overstayed his visa, has languished in federal court in Kansas for almost three years. But this week, U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil refused to throw out his claims that two agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement used excessive force during the January 2014 altercation. His attorney provided the jailhouse video to The Associated Press. It shows Mochama being lifted in the air, punched in the stomach and pinned on the ground.
Kansas Governor Outlines Rural Health Initiatives
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Sam Brownback has outlined two long-term initiatives designed to bring more doctors to rural Kansas. Brownback outlined a proposal yesterday (FRI) to set aside $5 million in state funds to provide seed money for new doctor-training programs at Kansas hospitals. He and Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer said the goal is to attract more federal and private dollars. The governor also announced during a Statehouse news conference that he's forming a task force to draft a plan for establishing a privately funded school to train osteopaths in Kansas. Osteopaths are doctors who generally focus on providing primary care and preventative medicine. Brownback noted that Kansas has had a shortage of medical personnel in rural areas for decades and that 92 of the state's 105 counties are considered medically underserved.
Kansas Researchers Try to Make Better Barley for Beer
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Research money has been dedicated to growing better barley for beer in Kansas, which was the last state to do away with prohibition. The Wichita Eagle reports that the Brewers Association awarded a group of brewers, researchers and agricultural experts a $35,000 grant to develop winter malting barley to be grown and harvested in the Great Plains. The project is eligible to receive annual funding for five years, depending on research progress. Kansas is mostly known as a wheat-growing state, and much of its barley is grown as a high-protein grain for livestock feed. Barley grown for beer must be a lower-protein grain. Kansas prohibited alcohol from 1881 to 1948. It continued to prohibit liquor by the drink in bars and restaurants until 1986.
Olathe Firefighter Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — An Olathe firefighter has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that she has been the victim of years of sexual harassment and discrimination. The Kansas City Star reports that Elizabeth Hinton filed lawsuit against the city in U.S. District Court in Kansas City. She says she was the city's only woman firefighter for years after she was hired in 2006, and that the harassment got worse after she became pregnant. Hinton filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last May. She alleges she was retaliated against as a result, including being given an unfavorable review for the first time. A city spokeswoman declined to comment but said in a written statement that it "takes matters like this seriously."
Kansas Family's Pet Deer Shot by Game Warden
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A western Kansas family is outraged after game wardens killed a deer that was allowed inside their house and took walks with the family. The Wichita Eagle reports that Kim Mcgaughey, of rural Ulysses, described the deer as "very much a big pet." The 2-year-old mule deer was named Faline, after Bambi's friend and future mate in the cartoon movie. But it's illegal to keep a wild animal as a pet in Kansas, and wildlife officials said something had to be done. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism says pet deer have killed at least two people. The department said it was trying to protect people from being physically injured by the deer, and eliminate the possibility of disease being passed to humans, livestock and other deer.
Man Sentenced for Shooting Wichita Man, Assaulting Cat
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita man was sentenced to more than 20 years in prison for shooting another man and throwing a kitten against a wall, causing it to be euthanized. Twenty-nine-year-old Damion Looney was sentenced Thursday after being found guilty in November of several charges. District Attorney Marc Bennett said in a statement that Looney shot Quinton Edwards at a home in July 2015 after Looney argued with his girlfriend in a Wichita bar. The shooting caused Edwards to lose an eye. While investigating the shooting, authorities discovered a video showing Looney throwing a kitten against a wall. The animal was later euthanized. Looney pleaded guilty to felony cruelty to animals in that case.
NEA Grant to KU to Help Disabled Play Music
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A group of University of Kansas professors have received a grant to put on a symposium about the use of computerized instruments that allows people with severe physical disabilities to make music. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the university announced the $35,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts on Thursday. The symposium is planned for August and will tentatively include a week-long workshop for people with limited mobility. There also will be a meeting of an international research consortium dedicated to further developing the Adaptive Use Musical Instrument. Software that can be installed on any computer equipped with a camera captures body movement and triggers sounds ranging from bells to drums to synthesizer tones. The instrument requires as little movement as a small tilt of the chin.
Kansas Man Accused of Sex Crimes Seeks Mental Exam for Victim
HOLTON, Kan. (AP) — An attorney for a Kansas man accused of sexually assaulting five women and a teenager is requesting that the teen undergo a mental health examination. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that attorney Kathleen Ambrosio wrote in a motion filed Wednesday that there are "concerns regarding mental stability." Prosecutors allege that her client, 22-year-old Jacob Ewing, assaulted the teen at a rural cemetery when she was 13 years old. The girl, now 15, went to authorities in August, after other women accused the Holton man of similar crimes. Court documents say the girl described herself as a "cutter" during interviews with police. Prosecutors didn't immediately respond to the motion. Ewing is scheduled to go on trial in March in the case involving the teen. He's entered not guilty pleas in all the cases.