GOP's 2006 Nominee for Kansas Governor to Run Again in 2018
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A former Kansas state senator who was the Republican nominee for governor in 2006 is running again for the office next year. Topeka physician Jim Barnett said Friday that he will kick off his campaign for the GOP nomination Tuesday in his hometown and have events in eight other cities over two days. Barnett served a decade in the Senate as an Emporia resident, starting in 2001. He lost the 2006 governor's race to Democratic incumbent Kathleen Sebelius. He also ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in the 1st Congressional District of central and western Kansas in 2010. Barnett is joining a hotly contested race to replace term-limited GOP Governor Sam Brownback. Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Wichita businessman Wink Hartman are also seeking the Republican nomination.
Company: Salina Evacuation Near Plant Only Precautionary
SALINA, Kan. (AP) — The company that owns a Salina manufacturing plant where a chemical incident prompted an evacuation says no chemicals leaked or spilled. Homes and businesses within a half-mile of the McShares Inc. plant were evacuated for about two hours Friday afternoon. No injuries were reported. McShares said in a statement the evacuations of its Research Products plant and surrounding areas were strictly precautionary. It continues to investigate the incident. Salina Fire Marshal Roger Williams said a tank that was about one-quarter full of benzoyl peroxide heated up, creating a plume that vented out of the smoke stack at Research Products, a division of McShares. The plant makes food additives and mixes of vitamins and minerals that are added to wheat, rice and corn flours and cereals.
Osawatomie State Hospital Fails Federal Review
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas officials say the state mental hospital in eastern Kansas failed to regain federal recertification after a survey in May. That means the state will continue to lose up to $1 million a month in federal funds being withheld because the hospital doesn't meet federal standards. The government revoked Osawatomie State Hospital's certification in December 2015, citing safety and patient care issues. Department for Aging and Disabilities Services officials said Friday they were nevertheless encouraged because the surveyors didn't cite the hospital for the same issues that cost it certification. Instead, many of the issues dealt with the hospital's kitchen. The Associated Press obtained the information exclusively during a briefing Friday. KDADS Secretary Tim Keck said he expects the hospital to undergo at least two more surveys to get recertified.
Senator Jerry Moran: Trump Cuba Policy Bad for Farmers
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senator Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican, says President Donald Trump's new Cuba policy closes off a potentially lucrative market for American farmers. In a statement Friday, Moran says "putting America first means exporting what we produce to countries across the globe." He says he remains focused on finding ways to "increase trade with Cuba rather than cut off relationships that have the potential to create new jobs, bring in revenue and boost our national economy." Moran, whose state has almost 46 million acres devoted to farm operations, has backed legislation to restore trade with Cuba. He's also a co-sponsor of legislation that would eliminate restrictions on travel to Cuba by American citizens and legal residents.
Texas Woman, 82, Won't Be Charged in Kansas Airport Clash
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — An 82-year-old Texas woman who got into a scuffle with a Wichita airport security agent will not face charges. Wichita City Attorney Jennifer Magana said the case against Lila Bryan was dismissed Friday at the request of the security agent. Bryan, of Mesquite, Texas, was cited by police May 31 for misdemeanor battery after she hit a Transportation Security Administration agent at Wichita's Dwight Eisenhower Airport. The TSA said Bryan became upset after the agent tried to confiscate a bottle of foaming hand gel that was too large to carry on the plane. She was arrested, photographed and fingerprinted before being freed. Bryan told The Associated Press after her arrest that she was exhausted and had forgotten to take her bipolar medication before the confrontation.
27 Kansas Counties Get Federal Disaster Declaration
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — President Donald Trump has approved a federal disaster declaration for more than two dozen Kansas counties hit by storms between April 28 and May 3. The storm dumped more than a foot of snow in some parts of western Kansas. Other counties endured strong straight-line winds and flooding during the storm.The 27 counties named in the declaration are Cherokee, Cheyenne, Crawford, Decatur, Finney, Gove, Graham, Grant, Greeley, Hamilton, Haskell, Kearny, Lane, Logan, Morton, Neosho, Norton, Rawlins, Scott, Seward, Sheridan, Sherman, Stanton, Stevens, Thomas, Wallace, and Wichita. The declaration allows county governments to apply for public assistance funds for emergency work and to repair or replace facilities damaged in the storm.
2 Years of Kansas Wildfires Could Total $100M
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Back-to-back years of record wildfires in Kansas could end up costing as much as $100 million. Kansas Department of Agriculture and Forest Service reports show that damages so far exceed $80 million. That includes roughly $50 million to cover about 3,700 miles of burned fences and as many as 8,000 dead cattle from wildfires this year along the Kansas-Oklahoma border. But those numbers don't include the loss of homes and other structures, such as barns and garages, or power lines. The Wichita Eagle reports the department's data also doesn't include the $3 million spent on firefighting or the thousands of hours of lost wages from volunteer firefighters. Some lawmakers are asking to audit Kansas's firefighting system to highlight how the state can improve and provide necessary resources.
Layoffs Expected at General Motors Plant in Kansas
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — General Motors has sparked concern about layoffs after announcing plans to eliminate one shift at its plant in Kansas City, Kansas. GM spokeswoman Mary Padilla tells the Kansas City Star that the company will reduce the number of production shifts at its Fairfax Assembly Plant from three to two beginning in late September. The company says the change will mean about 1,000 layoffs. The plant has more than 3,000 employees. Padilla says the decision is due to declining market demand for mid-sized cars. She says the market is favoring crossovers and trucks over passenger cars. The announcement came two days after GM made public that the plant would extend its summer shutdown from two weeks to five because of decreased sales of the Chevrolet Malibu, built at the plant.
Arkansas Man Sentenced for Health Care Fraud
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An Arkansas man who owned a medical imagining business was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $1.5 million in restitution for health care fraud. U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said in a news release that 39-year-old Cody Lee West, of Paragould, Arkansas, was sentenced Thursday. He also will serve six months of home detention. West owned C & S Imaging, a mobile independent diagnostic testing facility that provided ultra sound diagnostic testing. Prosecutors say West told chiropractors he could provide equipment and an operator at no cost to them. He then fraudulently billed Medicare for exams and Doppler scans. He received up to $410 per patient for services that were not ordered by physicians, not medically necessary, not performed or not documented.