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Headlines for Saturday, June 3, 2017

Amber Alert Cancelled When Three Children Found Safe; Suspect in Custody

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have found three children alive and well after a statewide Amber Alert.  The alert was issued yesterday (FRI) following a fatal house fire in which a woman's body was found.  29-year-old Dane Wright has been taken into custody, suspected in the death of the woman, who has not yet been identified.  Wright's relationship with the woman and the three children -- 12-year-old William J. Thompson III, 6-year-old Ethan Thompson, 5-year-old Damien Wright -- has not been determined. 


Tenure for Kansas Teachers Becomes Part of Funding Debate

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A proposal to restore guaranteed tenure for some Kansas public school teachers has become part of legislative talks on education funding. Republican Representative Clay Aurand of Belleville outlined the proposal yesterday (FRI) as the House negotiated with the Senate over a plan to boost spending on public schools. Negotiators said they would review it. Lawmakers are looking at phasing in an increase in spending of at least $230 million over two years in response to a Kansas Supreme Court ruling in March that education funding is inadequate. Republican legislators stripped teachers of guaranteed tenure in 2014. Teachers have been pushing to get it back. Aurand's proposal would restore tenure to teachers who had it in 2014. They would lose those job protections in 2019 unless lawmakers passed a new tenure law.


University of Missouri President Announces Job Cuts

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The University of Missouri System is cutting 51 jobs at its Kansas City campus as part of an effort to save millions of dollars. University of Missouri System President Mun Choi gave details yesterday (FRI) of cuts that will eliminate 474 jobs across the system. He says 307 of those cuts are in Columbia, 50 in Rolla, and 30 in St. Louis. Duplication of majors and minors will be eliminated in the effort to save $100 million system-wide. State lawmakers in May passed a budget with a 6.6 percent decrease in core funding for universities statewide. The Columbia campus also expects a 14 percent decline in incoming freshman next fall.


Wichita Man Jailed in Deadly Roommate Shooting

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have arrested a 21-year-old man in the deadly shooting of his roommate during a Wichita party. Wichita Police Lieutenant Jason Stephens says 18-year-old Joseph Seabolt died at a hospital where he was driven early Thursday. Stephens says Seabolt was shot in the lower abdomen during a birthday celebration that spanned two duplexes. Seabolt and his roommate lived in one of the duplexes. His roommate is jailed in Sedgwick County on suspicion of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, and discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling.


Authorities Search for Slain Kansas City Woman's Missing Car

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating a woman's death in Kansas City, Missouri, as a homicide and asking the public for help locating her missing car. Police said in a news release that Ashley Geddes was found dead inside a home Thursday afternoon, just one day before what would have been her 25th birthday. The release says the Kansas City, Missouri, woman's 2014 silver Chrysler 200 is missing. The vehicle has Kansas plates.


Leavenworth Woman Pleads No Contest in Mother's Death

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — A Leavenworth woman has pleaded no contest to fatally beating her 85-year-old mother with a 3-pound mallet. The Kansas City Star reports that 60-year-old Victoria Smith entered the plea yesterday (FRI). Authorities say Smith was screaming that she had killed someone when police responded in July 2016 and found her mother, Anna Higgins, dead. She later admitted to being surprised by being awakened by Higgins. The Leavenworth County Attorney says Smith then struck her mother with a flashlight in the doorway to her bedroom, moved her to the living room and proceeded to strike her several more times with the mallet. Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson described the case as a "sad situation all the way around." Sentencing for the second-degree murder charge is set for July 21st.


Kansas Researcher: Environmental Activism Must Improve

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — On the day President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of an international accord designed to curb greenhouse gases, the co-founder of a science research organization in Kansas said the environmental activism of the past has failed. The Salina Journal reports Wes Jackson was among about 75 people speaking at the Salina Resistance town hall meeting Thursday. The resistance group consists of area residents speaking against the Trump administration's stances on health care, education and climate change, among others. Jackson says actions taken to protect the environment in the next decade are crucial. Representative Roger Marshall and U.S. Senator Jerry Moran declined to attend the meeting. U.S. Senator Pat Roberts didn't respond to the invitation. Jackson helped found The Land Institute, a research organization in Saline County developing perennial grain crops and farming methods that preserve soil.


200-mile Kansas Bike Race Grows into Major Event

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — About 2,500 people are expected to take off today (SAT) on a 200-mile bicycle race through the Flint Hills. The Wichita Eagle reports the Dirty Kanza race started 12 years ago go with 36 riders but it has grown into an endurance race that brings in an estimated $2.2 million every spring. The race starts and ends in Emporia. It is named after the crunchy Flint Hills gravel on the route, which makes racers filthy. This year's participants include world champion endurance racer Rebecca Rusch and competitors from 10 countries and 46 states. Riders climb as much as 12,000 feet on the route, often into the constant Kansas winds. Organizer Casey Wood says the race is so difficult that only about half the starters finish, even fewer when it rains.


Elderly Woman "Can't Believe" Wichita Airport Scuffle

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — An 82-year-old Texas woman who had forgotten to take her bipolar medication says she "can't believe" she scuffled with an airport security officer in Kansas and is "so sorry it happened." Lila Mae Bryan says the confrontation ensued when Transportation Security Administration workers at Eisenhower International Airport in Wichita tried to confiscate her bottle of Bath and Body Works foaming hand gel. The bottle exceeded the 3.4-ounce limit to take onboard. The TSA says the 5-foot-2, 120-pound woman has apologized for walking around an X-ray screening belt early Wednesday morning and assaulting an officer. The 37-year-old TSA officer wasn't injured. Bryan says she is "usually really good" about taking her medication, but she hadn't slept at all the night before and was exhausted from the trip.


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