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Headlines for Saturday, May 14, 2016

New Kansas Law Specifically Bans Abortions by Midwives

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas will specifically prohibit nurse-midwives from performing abortions or administering abortion-inducing drugs, starting next year. Republican Governor Sam Brownback signed a bill yesterday (FRI) that includes the prohibition while rewriting laws regulating multiple health care professions. The changes will allow nurse-midwives to practice independently within a limited scope of care starting next year instead of requiring an agreement with a licensed physician. The changes also establish new rules for acupuncture. The anti-abortion group Kansans for Life pushed for the language prohibiting midwives from terminating pregnancies. Some legislators noted that the scope of care allowed independent midwives already was limited to services associated with normal, uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries. But Kansans for Life said the language still was broad enough that abortion providers could argue that it covered ending pregnancies.


Saline County Jury Convicts Man in Teen's Death

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — A central Kansas jury has convicted a 23-year-old man in the death of a 17-year-old girl. The Salina Journal reports the Saline County jury yesterday (FRI) found Macio Palacio Jr. guilty of first-degree murder in the September 2015 death of Allie Saum. Prosecutors said Saum was shot as she rode in a pickup truck that drove past a group of men who mistakenly thought the driver had been involved in an earlier confrontation. The jury also convicted Palacio of attempted first-degree murder, criminal discharge of a weapon and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery. He's scheduled to be sentenced July 8. Palacio is one of several co-defendants, including two who are awaiting sentencing on first-degree murder convictions.


Kansas Asks Supreme Court to Revisit Sex Registry Rulings

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has asked the state Supreme Court to revisit conflicting rulings it issued simultaneously last month dealing with the sex offender registry. The state argued in a motion filed yesterday (FRI) that the five decisions reaching contrary results has caused unnecessary confusion. The Supreme Court ruled in the leading case that lifetime registration for sex offenders does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. That conflicts with the holdings in four similar sex registry cases released the same day. In those separate cases, the justices found that the requirement constituted punishment and therefore a 2011 amendment to the law couldn't be applied retroactively. The conflicting opinions ensued when the latest case was decided after the vacancy on the high court was filed by Justice Caleb Stegall.


Court Documents Allege that Manhattan Man Killed Infant

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Newly released court documents allege that a Manhattan homicide suspect killed a 3-month-old girl. The Manhattan Mercury reports that 25-year-old Andrew Gibson is jailed on first-degree murder and child abuse charges in last week's death of a 3-month-old baby. Bond is set at $500,000. The affidavit says that a series of bruises and abrasions led a doctor to conclude that she was killed. The affidavit says a doctor also found older injuries, such as partially healed broken bones. She was rushed to a hospital May 5 after officers responded to a call about an infant who wasn't breathing. Efforts to revive the infant weren't successful, and the child was pronounced dead at the hospital.


Caregiver Accused of Beating Disabled Lawrence Men

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A 20-year-old caregiver faces state charges accusing her of hitting and confining two mentally challenged men in her care. The Lawrence Journal-World reported yesterday (FRI) that Brooke Tiara Shinn of Topeka was arrested last month and faces felony charges of mistreatment of a dependent adult and aggravated battery, as well as a misdemeanor criminal restraint charge. Shinn's been released on $5,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court May 24. A lawyer listed online as representing Shinn didn't immediately return a phone message seeking comment. A recently released arrest affidavit says Shinn's accused of hitting the two men and locking them in their rooms for the weekend without food or medication. The affidavit alleges the abuse occurred in January and February of 2015.


Kansas Government Workers Allowed to Carry Concealed

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — State agencies, cities and counties in Kansas will not be allowed to bar workers from carrying concealed guns while performing duties outside their offices, starting in July. Republican Governor Sam Brownback signed a gun-rights bill this week that includes the provision affecting government workers. Agencies still could limit the carrying of concealed weapons in public buildings. The measure also creates an exception to a state law requiring students to be expelled if they bring weapons to public schools so that school groups can have organized activities involving air guns, such as BB rifles. The Kansas State Rifle Association said the new law recognizes workers' rights to defend themselves and allows schools to instruct students in handling firearms safely. Critics said government agencies should be allowed to set their own policies.


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