Kansas College Cancels Speaker after Anti-abortion Backlash
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Catholic university in Wichita canceled a scheduled talk by Kansas Supreme Court Justice Carol Beier because of concerns about a backlash from people who oppose abortion. Beier was scheduled to speak yesterday (FRI) as part of Newman University's Constitution Day. She was to discuss the role of the judiciary and how to get into law school. The Wichita Eagle reports Newman vice president and provost Kimberly Long became concerned about the tone of opposition expressed on social media. Long says she was worried that Beier would not be treated well and for the safety of those who attended the speech. She declined to reveal specific content of the messages. Long said most of the unsettling messages came from people not affiliated with Newman students or faculty.
Chelsea Manning on Hunger Strike to Protest Treatment at Fort Leavenworth
LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) — A transgender soldier imprisoned in Kansas for leaking classified information to the WikiLeaks website says she is on a hunger strike until her treatment improves. Chelsea Manning says she began the hunger strike yesterday (FRI) because her pleas for better treatment at Fort Leavenworth have been ignored. She says she will not voluntarily consume anything except water and prescription medication. In the statement supplied by her ACLU attorney, Manning says the hunger strike will continue until she receives the "minimum standards of dignity, respect and humanity" and she is prepared for the possibility of dying. Manning, arrested as Bradley Manning, was convicted in 2013 in military court of leaking more than 700,000 secret military and State Department documents. Army spokesman Wayne Hall said yesterday (FRI) he was looking into the situation.
Planned Parenthood Great Plains Adds Clinics
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Planned Parenthood Great Plains says it will absorb three clinics in Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. The organization said yesterday (FRI) it will take over the clinics October 20th. In July, Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri took over Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma and created Planned Parenthood Great Plains. With the new merger, the organization will oversee 12 health centers in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. The Wichita Eagle reports that the latest expansion involves clinics in Fayetteville and Little Rock, Arkansas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Laura McQuade, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, said its headquarters will remain in Overland Park, Kansas. She says no layoffs are expected and more staff might be hired in the Kansas City office.
Shawnee Man who Stabbed his Wife Gets Probation
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The man who stabbed his wife at a Lawrence motel will serve intensive probation. Navinkumar Patel, of Shawnee, was sentenced Thursday to five years and eight months of probation in Johnson County. He stabbed his wife twice in the abdomen at a Super 8 Motel in June 2015. He pleaded no contest to attempted second-degree murder and criminal threat. Douglas County District Court Judge Robert Fairchild's sentence came after a doctor who performed a mental health evaluation said Patel was unlikely to re-offend — if he stops drinking and takes medication. The Lawrence Journal reports testimony indicated Patel suffers from bipolar disorder. His attorney, John Kerns, told Fairchild that in Patel's Hindu culture, his wife and children would also suffer if he were sentenced to prison.
Former Lawrence Mayor Pleads Not Guilty to Embezzlement
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A former Lawrence mayor has pleaded not guilty to a federal embezzlement charge, but his attorney says his client might reconsider. The Lawrence Journal-World reports Jeremy Farmer is accused of stealing money from Just Food, a Lawrence food bank, and could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. Prosecutors say Farmer, who was hired as executive director of Just Food in 2011, embezzled money from the nonprofit food agency beginning in 2013 and ending in 2015. He is accused of taking more than $55,000 in funds. Farmer appeared in federal court in Topeka on Thursday to face one charge of interstate travel of embezzled funds. Farmer was released on $5,000 bond.
KCK Man Charged in Deadly Shooting
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas City, Kansas, man has been charged with fatally shooting another man. Thirty-year-old Daryl Bagby was charged Thursday with first-degree murder and criminal possession of a firearm in the death of Steven Sykes. The Wyandotte County prosecutor's office said in a news release that Sykes was killed September 3 in Kansas City, Kansas. Bagby is jailed in Wyandotte County on $750,000 bond. It wasn't immediately known if he had an attorney.
Kansas State Fair Opens in Hutchinson
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Live entertainment, stunt dogs and a new butter sculptor are luring visitors to the Kansas State Fair. The event started yesterday (FRI) and runs through September 18th on the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson. The fair draws a crowd of about 350,000 people each year. Performers will include pop artists Andy Grammer and Rachel Platten, along with the classic rock band Lynryd Skynyrd. Away from the grandstand, there's a petting zoo, camel rides and giant pumpkins. Besides the traditional livestock and food competitions, contestants also can vie in beard and mustache contests. Fairgoers also will be able to meet sculptor Sarah Pratt, who is transforming 700 pounds of butter into a cow and boy. Pratt has been the Iowa State Fair butter sculptor for 12 years.
Flooding Closes Roads, Schools in Southern Kansas
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Flooding is closing roads and schools in southern Kansas after the area was inundated with rain. The National Weather Service says the heaviest rainfall was in south-central Kansas, where 6 to 10 inches fell in a deluge that started Thursday night. Parts of southeast Kansas have received 6 to 8 inches of rain. Several creeks and rivers, including the Ninnescah and Arkansas, have overflowed their banks. KSNW-TV reports that crews performed a swift-water rescue Friday in Mulvane. Butler County Emergency Management also says high waters have closed a stretch of Kansas 53 that runs through the town. Significant road flooding also has been reported just south of Rose Hill. Meanwhile, school officials in the Mulvane, Clearwater, Douglass and Rose Hill districts canceled classes.