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Headlines for Saturday, May 21, 2016

Kobach Appeals Order to Register Kansas Voters

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Secretary of State Kris Kobach has asked a federal appeals court to stay a judge's order to add to voting rolls for federal elections thousands of Kansans who did not provide proof of citizenship when registering to vote at motor vehicle offices. The Kansas Republican argued in a filing yesterday (FRI) to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that the process would be administratively burdensome and would involve thousands of hours of work by election officials. U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson issued the preliminary injunction Tuesday after finding more than 18,000 eligible voters would be disenfranchised in the November federal election under the Kansas law. She put her order on hold until May 31 so the state could appeal. Kobach is asking for a stay while it appeals the order.


Death Penalty Sought for Mexican National Accused of Missouri, Kansas Murders

MONTGOMERY CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri prosecutors plan to pursue the death penalty for a Mexican national in the shooting death of a man a day after he allegedly killed four people in Kansas. Prosecutors in Montgomery County submitted court papers yesterday (FRI) saying they will seek capital punishment for Pablo Serrano-Vitorino if he's convicted of first-degree murder in the March 8 shooting death of Randy Nordman at that man's home near St. Louis. A judge last week ordered Serrano-Vitorino to stand trial in that case. Arraignment is scheduled for June 1st.  Serrano-Vitorino also is accused in Kansas of killing a Kansas City, Kansas, neighbor and three other men at the neighbor's home on March 7. An attorney for Serrano-Vitorino did not return a phone call seeking comment.


Wichita Man Charged with Manslaughter in Deadly Wreck

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita, Kansas, man is accused of recklessly causing the crash-related deaths of two clients of an organization that helps adults with developmental disabilities. Prosecutors in Sedgwick County charged 56-year-old Bret Blevins yesterday (FRI) with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the May 6 wreck. He's also charged with aggravated battery, leaving an accident scene and driving with a suspended or canceled license. Authorities say Blevins was driving a borrowed Cadillac sport utility vehicle when he ran through a stop sign and hit a van occupied by three residents and two employees of the Starkey organization. Two of the residents, 46-year-old Dirk MacMillian and 25-year-old Dusty Atterbery, were killed. It was not immediately clear whether Blevins has an attorney.


Costa Rican President at KSU: Sovereign Borders Turn Complex

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Costa Rica's president says during a Kansas speech that massive migrations due to terrorism and organized crime are making national security and border control for countries complex. The Manhattan Mercury reports that Luis Guillermo Solis offered that assessment Thursday night as the featured speaker of the Landon Lecture series at Kansas State University. Solis says that it once was easy to talk of borders "as a definitive measure of national security." But he says that the daily challenges he faces as president are resolved not within Costa Rica, but in such far-flung places as Brussels, New York and Washington.


Kansas Woman Sentenced in Fatal Wreck

EMPORIA, Kan. (AP) — An east-central Kansas woman has been ordered to spend a year behind bars for a 2013 fatal crash that killed a bicyclist. KVOE-AM of Emporia reports that a Lyon County judge sentenced 41-year-old Jean Getten on a conviction of vehicular homicide. She was acquitted last month of a charge of involuntary manslaughter. Authorities say a pickup truck driven by Getten, who at the time of the crash was known as Jean McComber, hit and killed 51-year-old bicyclist Ronald Kennedy of Ottawa, Kansas, on a highway west of Emporia.


Man Killed in Small Plane Crash Near Kansas-Colorado Border

EADS, Colo. (AP) — Authorities say a man was killed when he crashed his small airplane into a field near the Colorado-Kansas border. According to the Kiowa County Sheriff's Office, 64-year-old John Lee Stubblefield, of Meridian, Idaho, crashed his Cessna P210 northeast of Sheridan Lake on Wednesday morning. Two F16 aircraft and a B1 Bomber were training in the area and found the crash site. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash, the cause of which has not been released.


Overland Park Man Charged with Illegally Owning Grenades

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — A former U.S. Army explosives expert has been charged with illegally possessing grenades after investigators found several explosives at his Kansas home. Forty-two-year-old John Panchalk of Overland Park, Kansas, was charged yesterday (FRI) with one count of possessing two fragmentation grenades unregistered to him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record. Panchalk was initially charged by Kansas prosecutors with one count of criminal use of explosives. That felony was dropped to give way to the federal charge. Panchalk, who also is a firearms instructor at a Johnson County shooting range, was arrested late Thursday after authorities searched his home. Authorities say Panchalk caught their attention after explosives were found at a storage facility registered to him in nearby Parkville, Missouri.
Online court records do not show whether Panchalk has an attorney.

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