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Headlines for Saturday, June 11, 2016

Court: Kansas Can't Block Voters From Casting Ballots

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal appeals court says Kansas cannot prevent thousands of eligible voters from casting ballots in the November federal election because they didn't prove their U.S. citizenship when registering to vote at motor vehicle offices. Yesterday's (FRI) ruling from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily upholds a federal judge's order that required Kansas to allow those individuals to vote. The state has said up to 50,000 people could be affected. The court agreed to quickly hear the appeal. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson ruled earlier this year that enforcement of Kansas' proof-of-citizenship law had disenfranchised more than 18,000 otherwise eligible voters. She ordered the state to comply with her ruling by June 14th. Four states have such laws, but Kansas is the only state that fully enforces it.


Former Leavenworth Guard Charged with Taking Bribes

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — Federal prosecutors allege a former guard at the Leavenworth penitentiary took bribes to smuggle tobacco into the prison. Marc Buckner, of Kansas City, Kansas, was indicted Wednesday on one count of accepting bribes. Buckner allegedly received more than $200,000 in bribes while he worked at the prison from 2005 to 2014. The U.S. attorney's office alleges Buckner received about $750 each time he muggled tobacco into the prison. If convicted, Buckner faces up to 15 years in federal prison and a fine of three times the value of the contraband.


University of Kansas to Offer Classes in Leavenworth

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — The University of Kansas plans to begin offering classes in Leavenworth.The decision was announced Thursday at a meeting of the Leavenworth County Development Corporation, with has been working with the university to find sites in Leavenworth for the classes. The Leavenworth Timers reports the classes are designed to accommodate military personnel at Fort Leavenworth but they will be open to anyone. The classes will be provided through the university's Edwards Campus, which is located in Overland Park. Initially, the classes will be taught at the Fairfield Inn & Suites but spokeswoman Christine Falk says officials plan to find a more permanent location starting in the spring of 2017. The classes will include master's degrees in organizational leadership and project management and a certificate in environmental assessment.


Mosquitoes Linked to West Nile Found in Sedgwick County

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas health officials say high numbers of mosquitoes known to transmit West Nile virus have been found in traps in Sedgwick County. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said yesterday (FRI) that the rise in the number of Culex mosquitoes is likely to be statewide, increasing the risk of a higher number of West Nile virus cases this year. KDHE says the Culex species isn't known to transmit Zika virus.West Nile virus is commonly spread to people through mosquito bites and is not transmitted from person to person. Cases are most common in the late summer and early fall.The 57 West Nile virus cases in 2012 were the most since the virus came to Kansas. There were 34 cases in 2015, half of which included hospitalization.


Kickapoo Leaders File Additional Charges Against Former Tribal Leaders

HORTON, Kan. (AP) — Kickapoo tribal leaders have filed additional counts against three former tribal leaders accused of misusing federal money. The tribe said Thursday it's filed the additional counts against Steve Cadue, Adolph Cadue Jr. and Bobbi Darnell. Steve Cadue is a former chairman of the tribe, which maintains a reservation in northeast Kansas. Darnell was the treasurer, and Adolph Cadue Jr. was tribal council secretary. The three were charged in March with fraudulent handling of recordable instruments and tampering with records. They're accused of using federal burial funds to subsidize payroll and other tribal expenses in violation of tribal law. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the tribe added more counts to the complaint. It's unclear if the defendants have lawyers, but Steve Cadue said earlier he and the others denied the allegations.


Memorial Planned for Wichita Civil Rights Site

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The site of an important civil rights sit-in in 1958 in Wichita will be getting a memorial for the first time. Young black protesters sat at the lunch counter in the Dockum Drug Store in 1958. The Wichita Eagle reports after three weeks of sit-ins, the drug store agreed to serve the black students at the counter. It is considered one of the first successful lunch counter sit-ins in the nation that eventually helped lead to desegregation. This week, two participants in the sit-ins, Joan Williams and Galyn Vesey, attended a ceremony where the Kansas Health Foundation presented a $50,000 grant to the Kansas African American Museum and Ambassador Hotel for the memorial project.  Organizers have not determined what form the memorial will take, or what it will include.


Topeka Call Center to Add 200 Workers

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Topeka call center plans to add about 200 jobs as part of expansion plans by its owner.Alorica Inc. announced last week that it would acquire Expert Global Solutions and expand its national and international business. Spokesman Ken Muche says the Topeka call center, which currently employs about 395 people, will have about 600 workers by August. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the company's current location has enough room for the increased number of employees. Currently, about 3 percent of Alorica's Topeka employees are part-time. Muche says about 10 percent of the new jobs will be part-time. The Irvine, California-based company offers a variety of customer service solutions to businesses.


Kansas Oil Rig Count Holds Steady as National Rate Rises

HOUSTON (AP) — The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. rose by six this week to 414, the second consecutive week the count has increased after a slide that lasted months and pushed the count to record-low levels amid collapsed energy prices. A year ago, 859 rigs were active.Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday 328 rigs sought oil and 85 explored for natural gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. Among major oil- and gas-producing states, North Dakota and Texas each gained two rigs and Alaska, Ohio, Oklahoma and Utah each gained one. Pennsylvania declined by one rig. Arkansas, California, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, West Virginia and Wyoming were unchanged. The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981.


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