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Headlines for Saturday, November 2, 2019

Local GOP Calls on Wichita Lawmaker to Resign

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Local Republican leaders have called on a GOP legislator from Wichita to resign after a newspaper investigation linked him to an ad making false claims against a Democratic colleague running for mayor. The Wichita Eagle reports that the Sedgwick County GOP's leaders demanded that Representative Michael Capps step down over the attack on Representative Brandon Whipple. Whipple hopes to unseat Mayor Jeff Longwell in Tuesday's election. The Eagle also reported that a Capps-owned company was the original owner of a website domain name mirroring the name of a company that paid for the ad. The firm also listed the same address as Capps' business. The YouTube and Facebook ad falsely suggests Whipple has been accused of sexual harassment at the Statehouse. Capps didn't immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

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Kansas Collects $37 Million Over October Forecast

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is reporting that it collected nearly $37 million more in taxes than anticipated in October. The Department of Revenue said Friday that the state collected $553 million in taxes during the month when its official revenue forecast predicted $516 million. The surplus was 7.1%. Governor Laura Kelly called the better-than-expected tax collections "a positive sign." For the four months since the start of the state's 2020 fiscal year in July, the state collected nearly $2.3 billion in taxes and exceeded expectations by nearly $85 million, or nearly 3.9%. Tax collections also are running 4.1% ahead of collections for the 2019 fiscal year. They also have exceeded expectations 28 of the past 29 months. State officials and university economists plan to meet next week to revise the official revenue forecast.

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Kansas Deputy Injured in Crash During Chase

GREENSBURG, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas deputy is critically injured after wrecking during a lengthy chase of a motorcycle driver. The Kansas Highway Patrol says the Kiowa County deputy was flown to a Wichita hospital following the accident Thursday night. The deputy's name was not released. The 18-year-old motorcycle driver was arrested but has not yet been charged. The chase began when troopers tried to pull over a speeding sports bike on U.S. 54 in Pratt County. Troopers ended the chase at the Kiowa County line over safety concerns. The deputy began pursuing the motorcycle. His vehicle struck a sign and ended up in a culvert. The chase eventually ended in Ford County, about 55 miles from where it began, when the motorcycle driver pulled over and tried to run before being caught.

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Colorado Pastor Injured After Plane Crashes in Junction City

JUNCTION CITY, Kan. (AP) — No one was injured when the pastor of a Colorado church crashed the small plane he was flying in Kansas. The Kansas Highway Patrol says emergency crews were called around 10 a.m. Thursday to Freeman Field Airport in Junction City. Investigators determined the accident happened when landing gear malfunctioned on the 1968 Beechcraft 95-B55 that was flown by 55-year-old John Burgess, of Colorado Springs. The report says Burgess and his passenger suffered no apparent injury. The Wichita Eagle reports that the Federal Aviation Administration's N-number registry shows the fixed-wing, multi-engine plane is owned by Heritage Pentecostal Church in Colorado Springs. Burgess is the pastor of the church.

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Kansas GOP Primary Raises Impeachment Issue

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Republican candidate in a Kansas congressional race is making impeachment an issue against one of her GOP primary opponents. The Kansas City Star reports that Sara Hart Weir has accused GOP rival Amanda Adkins of remaining "eerily silent" on opposing the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. They are seeking the 3rd District seat in the Kansas City area held by freshman Representative Sharice Davids. Republicans have criticized Davids for supporting the inquiry even though her 2018 victory was seen as a repudiation of Trump by suburban voters. Weir opposes the impeachment inquiry and suggested Thursday that Adkins is "waiting to see where the wind blows." Adkins called the criticism "irrational." She issued a statement praising Trump and criticizing the "DC circus since Trump's election" without specifically mentioning impeachment.

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Wyandotte County Sheriff: Investigation into Jail Incident Complete

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Wyandotte County Sheriff Don Ash says an investigation into an incident at the jail in early September is now complete. Ash told reporters Friday that the Kansas Bureau of Investigations has turned over its findings to the district attorney's office for a charging decision. The sheriff did not elaborate on what happened at the jail during a brief press conference. He also declined to identify the deputy, who has been placed on leave.

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Kansas Sex Offender Accused of Child Sex Crime

GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — A 34-year-old convicted sex offender is jailed on $1 million bond after a Great Bend girl contacted police about an alleged sexual offense. Great Bend police say Nicholas Schwerdtfeger was arrested Thursday and booked into the Barton County jail on possible charges of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. Police say a teenage girl reported an incident involving Schwerdtfeger in September to officials at Great Bend Middle School. The Great Bend Tribune reports school officials said the incident didn't happen on school grounds and Schwerdtfeger is not a district employee. State prison records show Schwerdtfeger was convicted in 2008 in Barton County of the attempted indecent solicitation of a 16-year-old girl and attempted aggravated sexual battery of a 20-year-old woman. He also has several Kingman County convictions of voluntary sexual intercourse with a child.

 

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