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Headlines for Saturday, July 19, 2014


Lawrence Man Dies While Working

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Westar spokeswoman says a 54-year-old Lawrence man was likely electrocuted while working on a historic building in Lawrence. The Lawrence Journal-World reports the man, who hasn't been identified, was repairing guttering at the historic Turnhalle building yesterday (FRI) morning when a co-worker found him on the ground. Police say the man was pronounced dead at the scene. Gina Penzig, spokeswoman for Westar Energy in Topeka, says the victim came in contact with an overhead power line and was likely electrocuted. But she says the coroner won't be able to verify the cause of death until Monday. The Turnhalle building is one of the Lawrence Preservation Alliance's projects. Construction on the building was nearing completion at the time of the man's death.


Roberts Won't Debate Wolf Before Kansas Primary

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts won't debate tea party challenger Milton Wolf ahead of the state's Aug. 5 Republican primary. The Lawrence Journal-World reports that Roberts executive campaign manager Leroy Towns said yesterday (FRI) that Wolf has failed to outline positions beyond what Towns called vague rhetoric and false attacks on the senator. Wolf campaign spokesman Ben Hartman said it's unbecoming for Roberts to duck debates and noted that Roberts previously had promised publicly to have them. The 78-year-old Roberts is seeking his fourth, six-year term in the Senate. Wolf is a 43-year-old radiologist making his first run for public office. Two lesser-known candidates also are on the GOP ballot. Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor and Lawrence attorney Patrick Wiesner are seeking the Democratic nomination.


Junction City Starts Voluntary Water Restrictions

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (AP) — Junction City is asking residents to cut back on water usage after a continuous increase in water over the last week. The city said in a release yesterday (FRI) that the voluntary use restrictions are effective immediately because recent usage has exceeded the limits set by the city's conservation plan. The city's asking residents to wash full loads of laundry rather than partial loads, keep faucets from running unnecessarily, look for leaks and curtail lawn watering. The city says the voluntary restrictions are intended to heighten public awareness, maintain the integrity of the water supply system and delay or avoid implementing mandatory restrictions. Junction City has about 24,000 resident and is located in northeast Kansas.


Ed Group to be Led by Ex-Wichita Chamber Chairman

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The former chairman of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce will serve as the leader of a new Kansas commission established to find efficiencies within the state's public school system. The K-12 Student Performance and Efficiency Commission elected Sam Williams as its chairman during its first meeting Friday. Williams is a retired partner in the Sullivan Higdon and Sink advertising and marketing firm. The commission also named Superintendent Jim Hinson of the Shawnee Mission district in Johnson County as its vice chairman. Williams said he begins as chairman without a personal belief on whether schools are over or underfunded and added that the panel will need to examine schools' results along with potential financial efficiencies. The commission was created by a law enacted earlier this year.

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