Three Kansans Arrested in Plot Targeting Somalis
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Three members of a Kansas group face federal charges related to an alleged plot to bomb an apartment building filled with Somali immigrants in the western Kansas meatpacking town of Garden City. The charges against the three southwest Kansas men were announced by the U.S. Attorney's Office at a news conference Friday in Wichita. Federal prosecutors allege the three are members of a group calling itself the Kansas Security Force. Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall says the three conspired to detonate a bomb at an apartment complex with about 120 residents. They were arrested Friday after an eight-month FBI investigation. Garden City is home to a Tyson Foods beef slaughterhouse that has drawn a diverse immigrant population to the area. The case is the latest involving militia groups in the state.
Kansas Doctor: Some Locals Fear Refugees
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A southwest Kansas doctor who works with Somali refugees says some local residents fear the refugees because they mistakenly associate them with a militant group in Somalia. Dr. John Birky said yesterday (FRI) that he's seen social media postings and heard comments from Garden City-area residents questioning why refugees are coming to the community. He and other doctors are establishing a clinic, and he is working with refugees on a language program. He made his comments after authorities announced that three members of a Kansas group face federal charges related to an alleged plot to bomb an apartment building filled with Somali immigrants. Birky said the refugees want to assimilate and pursue the American dream. He said many come to the United States to escape strife in Somalia.
Study: Kansas' Biggest Earthquake Likely Due to Waste Water
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A recent study from the U.S. Geological Survey says the largest recorded earthquake in Kansas history was likely the result of waste water injected into the ground by one or two nearby wells. The Wichita Eagle reports that the 4.9 magnitude earthquake happened in November 2014 about 40 miles southwest of Wichita. The report, which will be published in Seismological Research Letters in November, shows scientists believe the earthquake was caused by waste-water injection for several reasons, including that there hadn't previously been similar earthquakes in the area and the earthquake activity started after the amount of water injected in the wells increased. One of the two wells operated by SandRidge Energy is still injecting water at the same level as when the earthquake occurred.
Jenkins, Kansas "Big First" Candidate Stick with Trump
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas congresswoman Lynn Jenkins and a fellow Republican candidate are not withdrawing previous endorsements of GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump over sexual assault allegations against him. Jenkins told The Associated Press on Thursday: "I'm not going to come out with a new statement on the presidential race every time a new headline hits the papers." The Republican seeking re-election in the 2nd District of eastern Kansas suggested there's a "double standard" because Democrats aren't asked whether they continue to support Hillary Clinton amid potentially damaging leaks of campaign emails. In the "Big First" District of western and central Kansas, GOP nominee Roger Marshall said the allegations make him sick but he wants to see more evidence. Marshall said of Trump, "I'm giving him the same grace as I would give anybody."
Report: Four Kansas Kids Killed in Accidental Shootings since 2014
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Four Kansas children have died in accidental shootings since January 2014, including the 3-year-old son of a sheriff's deputy who was less than a year into his law enforcement career when tragedy struck. Data compiled by The Associated Press and the USA TODAY Network over a 2½-year span show three of the Kansas deaths involved children 3 years old or younger. Twelve other people were wounded by accidental shootings involving minors during that time. Reno County deputy Andrew Nagel says he had secured his firearms away from his son when the child visited two weeks before Christmas last year, but his roommate, who wasn't used to having children around, had not. Sheriff Randy Henderson says Kaden Nagel's death prompted his department to revive a gun safety program for children.
Suspicious Package on Kansas Capitol Grounds Deemed Safe
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have removed a suspicious package with a hazardous material sticker from the grounds of the Kansas Statehouse after determining it wasn't dangerous. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the Kansas Statehouse remained open but several surrounding streets were closed yesterday (FRI) while authorities investigated the 18-inch tall brown canister. It was placed by a statue of a pioneer woman on the southwest corner of the Statehouse grounds. The investigation began after a person reported the package to law enforcement around 6:20 a.m. Friday. Kansas Highway Patrol Capitol Police spokesman Patrick Saleh said the person told authorities a friend was responsible. The person didn't believe the canister contained explosives and was worried it would cause alarm. A bomb squad robot was used to view the package before it was deemed safe.
Former Kansas Foster Home Worker Convicted of Child Sex
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A former worker for a Kansas foster care and family preservation contractor has been sentenced to three years of probation for having sex with a 16-year-old foster child. The Wichita Eagle reports that 32-year-old Bridgett Martinez, of Bel Aire, was sentenced Wednesday in Sedgwick County for one count of unlawful sexual relations. She could go to prison for two years and eight months if she fails to follow the terms of her release. Prosecutors say the former St. Francis Community Services family support worker admitted during questioning to having sex with the boy three times this spring. The teen confirmed the relationship. In Kansas, the age of consent is 16, but for people in some professions, sexual relations remain illegal beyond that age.
Kansas Patrol Officer Hospitalized after Rear-End Crash
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a Kansas Highway Patrol officer has been hurt after his vehicle was rear-ended while stopped in a median. The patrol says the crash happened Thursday afternoon on Interstate 470 in the Topeka area. The officer and two people from the other vehicle were transported to a hospital. No details about their injuries were immediately available. At the time of the crash, the officer was working as a motor carrier inspector, a job that involves investigating crashes and assisting stranded motorists. The crash is under investigation.