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Weekend Headlines for July 1-2, 2017

Top Kansas Lawmakers Rebuke Brownback over Budget, Taxes

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Top Republicans in the Kansas Legislature have publicly dressed down GOP Governor Sam Brownback and a top aide over the administration's criticism of budget and tax measures. GOP leaders expressed their frustration during meeting yesterday (FRI) on budget issues. Senate President Susan Wagle said comments from the administration have been inappropriate. Brownback participated in the meeting by phone while traveling. But Budget Director Shawn Sullivan was present to face pointed questions. The governor and some of his aides have criticized legislators for enacting an income tax increase over his veto that rolls back past tax cuts Brownback has championed. They have suggested that the tax increase is fueling unnecessary spending. Brownback defended his tax policies and said he's made his opinions known about how best to boost economic growth.

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Jury Finds Man Guilty in Rape Trial that Divided Kansas Town

HOLTON, Kan. (AP) — A northeast Kansas man who faced several allegations of sexual assault has been found guilty of all charges in cases involving two women. A Jackson County jury deliberated about three hours yesterday (FRI) before finding 22-year-old Jacob Ewing of Holton guilty of rape and aggravated criminal sodomy of the two women. Ewing was acquitted in April of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl and faces trials involving allegations from three other women later this year. During closing arguments, defense attorney Kathleen Ambrosio told jurors that testimony from women who said Ewing assaulted them was not backed up by other evidence. Special prosecutor Jacqie Spradling said the case wasn't about revenge or framing Ewing. She also noted several witnesses testified about why the women didn't immediately report the alleged assaults.

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Topeka Man Arrested in Estranged Wife's Death

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A man charged with kidnapping his estranged wife and killing her earlier this month has been arrested. Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Herrig says 38-year-old Pedro Enriquez was arrested early yesterday (FRI). Herrig says the arrest came after officers received a tip about a suspicious person with a vehicle in the ditch. Authorities found the vehicle in the tree line of an old homestead, not far from the county landfill in Jefferson County. Shawnee County District Attorney Michael Kagay said Enriquez was arrested on warrants for first-degree murder. He is accused of abducting 33-year-old Viviana Vazquez on June 7 from a home in Topeka, where their 10-year-old son says he saw Enriquez drag her outside by the hair. Her body was found the next day.

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Kansas to Pay $133,000 to Worker Attacked at Mental Hospital

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas has agreed to pay $133,000 to woman who filed a federal lawsuit after being attacked by a patient while working at a state mental hospital.Governor Sam Brownback and top legislative leaders approved the settlement yesterday (FRI). It still must be reviewed by a federal judge. Patient Aaron C. Goodman was charged with rape in connection with the attack in October 2015 at Osawatomie State Hospital. The woman filed her lawsuit against the state last year. She alleged that other staffers failed to perform routine security checks and no one warned her about Goodman's history of being sexually aggressive. The attack was among the reasons the federal government decertified the eastern Kansas hospital in December 2015. The action is costing Kansas up to $1 million a month in federal funds.

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Kobach: Kansas Not Sharing Sensitive Voter Data

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says his state will not be giving the federal voter fraud commission he leads the partial Social Security numbers that he has asked other states to provide from their voter rolls. Kobach as vice chairman of the commission has sent letters to every state requesting names, addresses, party, voting history and the last four digits of their Social Security numbers. His office says his letter only asks for publicly available voter roll data. In Kansas, the Social Security number is not publicly available. Kobach told The Kansas City Star yesterday (FRI) he would not be sharing Social Security information for Kansas voters with the commission at this time. He did not rule out the possibility of providing it to them in the future.

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Military Ordnance Found in Topeka

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Topeka police say an old military ordnance was found buried underground near the police impound lot. Police say the device was found early yesterday (FRI) by workers for Torgeson Electric, who were digging while preparing for a potential project. Lt. Colleen Stuart says the device was removed by an explosives unit from Fort Riley, which will safely dispose of it safely. Street around the area just north of downtown Topeka that were blocked off were reopened yesterday (FRI) afternoon. Stuart says searchers found no similar objects in the area.

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Official: No Injuries, Violence in Kansas Prison Uprising

EL DORADO, Kan. (AP) — Corrections officials say they are reviewing what led to a several-hour uprising by inmates at a south-central Kansas prison. Kansas Department of Corrections spokesman Todd Fertig says no violence or injuries resulted from the protest inside the El Dorado Correctional Facility. Fertig says the incident ended about 5 p.m. Thursday with inmates being returned to their cells. As the head of the Kansas Organization of State Employees union representing prison workers, Robert Choromanski said the disturbance began shortly after 10:30 a.m. when some prisoners refused to return to their cell houses. He says inmates controlled parts of the prison that included the gym, the yard and the kitchen. He says special response teams from prisons in Lansing, Hutchinson and Winfield were sent to El Dorado to assist.ansas lawmakers finish work, set brief ceremony

 

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