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Headlines for Saturday, October 22, 2016

Judge: Garden City Plotter Poses 'Grave Danger'

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The defense attorney for one of three men accused of plotting to attack Somali immigrants in western Kansas says his client was only preparing to defend himself against massive social upheaval. The comments came during a court hearing yesterday (FRI) for 47-year-old Patrick Stein from Wright, Kansas, whom prosecutors say was the leader of a militia group called "The Crusaders." U.S. Magistrate Judge Gwynne Birzer ruled that Stein would remain in jail while he awaits trial. Birzer said Stein poses a "grave danger." Stein and two other militia members are accused of plotting to bomb an apartment complex in the western Kansas meatpacking town of Garden City. Stein pleaded not guilty to conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction. Defense attorney Ed Robinson says his client was led by the government's paid informant and an FBI undercover agent.


Dozens Seek Medical Care after Atchison Spill

ATCHISON, Kan. (AP) — At least 85 people sought medical attention after a chemical spill at a distilling plant that released a noxious cloud in northeast Kansas. The Kansas Department of Emergency Management says the cloud occurred Friday morning when two chemicals were mistakenly combined at the MGP Ingredients plant in Atchison. The department says people were allowed back into their homes after the cloud dissipated a few hours later. Atchison Hospital spokeswoman T.C. Roberts says about 67 people sought care at the hospital's emergency room for upper respiratory discomfort. Roberts says one person remained in intensive care Friday afternoon. About 18 others sought care at a hospital in nearby St. Joseph, Missouri. MGP produces premium distilled spirits. It employs about 300 people at the Atchison plant, about 50 miles from Kansas City.


Kansas Court Upholds Death Penalty in 1996 Slaying

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' highest court has upheld the death sentence of a man convicted of killing a college student 20 years ago. The Kansas Supreme Court yesterday (FRI) let stand Gary Kleypas' death sentence in the 1996 rape and stabbing death of 20-year-old Pittsburg State University student Carrie Williams. The court did throw out Kleypas' conviction of attempted rape and ordered him resentenced for aggravated burglary. Kleypas was the first person to be sentenced to death in Kansas after it reinstated capital punishment in 1994. Kansas hasn't executed anyone in more than 50 years, although 10 men are on the state's death row.


Lawrence Cable, Internet Provider Sold

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A company that provides cable, telecom and internet services in the Lawrence area has been sold. Officials with WOW announced Friday that the Lawrence system will be acquired by Midco, which provides cable, internet and other services in North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Lawrence Journal-World reports WOW operates in several states but Midco is buying only the Lawrence operations. WOW also owns Channel 6 in Lawrence. Midco officials Tom Simmons says no changes are planned at the station in the short term. WOW has about 70 employees in Lawrence and Simmons says no layoffs are planned. WOW serves more than 30,000 customers in Douglas, Leavenworth and Wyandotte counties. The sale must be approved by regulators, which could take a few months.


Court Drops Charge Against Man who Killed Wichita Housekeeper

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court has dismissed an attempted rape charge against a truck driver who was sentenced to death in 2004 for killing and decapitating a Wichita housekeeper. The court ruled yesterday (FRI) that 54-year-old Douglas Belt should not have been convicted of attempted rape because prosecutors used the same act to get a capital murder conviction. Belt died in prison of natural causes in April. The court ruled on his appeal anyway because it had the potential to exonerate him on one or more convictions. Belt was convicted of the 2002 slaying of 42-year-old Lucille Gallegos, whose headless body was found in an empty apartment at a Wichita complex where she worked.Investigators called the killing one of most gruesome crimes in the city's history.


Kansas Community Colleges Drops Roster, Scholarship Limits

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — An athletic conference composed of 19 Kansas community colleges has dropped a rule adopted during the desegregation era to limit out-of-state players on basketball and football teams. The Wichita Eagle reports that the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference announced the change Thursday. Starting next season, the conference will follow National Junior College Athletic Association limits for all sports starting next season. Opponents contended the out-of-state limitations had discriminated against the mostly black out-of-state players. But supporters contend that the rule protected opportunities for Kansas students, boosting their chances of getting a college education on athletic scholarships. Eight schools had threatened to leave the conference if the rules weren't changed. Jayhawk president Mike Calvert said scholarship funds for out-of-state players must be privately raised by either booster clubs or foundations.


Investigation of Haskell Nepotism Continues 

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Haskell Indian Nations University is now saying a federal investigation into alleged nepotism at the school is not completed. On Tuesday, Haskell administrators said the federal Office of Inspector General concluded the complaint was unsubstantiated and closed its investigation. But Thursday, Haskell issued a statement saying the earlier announcement was incorrect. The complaint accused of Haskell President Venida Chenault of nepotism for supervising her son, Joshua Arce, while he was acting dean of students for eight months. The Lawrence Journal-World reports the university says an internal investigation by the Bureau of Indian Education's Human Resources Officer found no evidence of wrongdoing by Chenault. However, the Inspector General's investigation is ongoing. The university said it incorrectly assumed the resources officer's investigation was being done cooperatively with the Inspector General's office.


Kansas Unemployment Rate Up for 4th Consecutive Month

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lost more than 2,000 private-sector jobs in September as the state's unemployment rate ticked up for the fourth month in a row. The Kansas Department of Labor attributes the rise in the jobless rate to a combination of fewer people in the workforce and a decline in the number of nonfarm jobs. September's unemployment rate was 4.4 percent, up from 4.3 percent in August and 4 percent in September 2015. The Labor Department says the state had 600 fewer nonfarm jobs than in August and 2,100 private-sector jobs overall. The report issued yesterday (FRI) says Kansas has lost 6,300 jobs since last September, including 5,900 since the start of the year. Officials say the state's labor force has fallen by roughly 18,800 people in 2016.

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