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Headlines for Saturday, September 17, 2016

Kansas Unemployment Rate Rises for Third Consecutive Month

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas says its unemployment rate rose in August for the third consecutive month to 4.3 percent. The state Department of Labor reported yesterday (FRI) that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate last month was up from 4 percent in July and also higher than the 4.1 percent recorded in August 2015. The unemployment rate dropped during the first part of this year until it hit 3.7 percent in May, and it's been inching back up since. The department said that the state had 8,300 fewer people employed in nonfarm jobs in August than in August 2015, a decrease of 0.6 percent. About 4,200 of the jobs lost over the year were in the private sector. Construction employment in August was 7.7 percent lower in August 2015, with companies shedding 4,700 jobs.


IRS Service Center in Kansas City Survives National Cuts

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service center in Kansas City will be one of only two national IRS processing centers left after another reduction in centers across the country. The IRS announced this week that a center in Covington, Kentucky will close in 2019. One in Fresno, California will close in 2021 and one in Austin, Texas, will close in 2024. The Kansas City center, which employs about 4,600 people, will continue to process Form 1040 paper filings. A center in Ogden, Utah will process business filings. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says budget cuts and growth in electronic filings contributed to the closings. The Kansas City Star reports the IRS began consolidating its processing centers in 2003, merging ten locations into the five currently operating.


Former Lawrence Officer Charged with Misdemeanor Battery

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A former Lawrence police officer is facing a misdemeanor charge after authorities say he punched a man during a domestic disturbance investigation. Douglas County Attorney Charles Branson announced yesterday (FRI) that he has charged Frank McClelland with misdemeanor battery. Police Chief Tarik Khatib said yesterday (FRI) that another Lawrence officer reported the incident, which occurred August 16th. The Lawrence Journal-World reports officers were trying to break up a fight between two men when one of the men refused McClelland's commands to sit on the ground. Branson says McClelland swept the legs out from under an uncooperative man and then punched him in the face up to four times. McClelland was placed on administrative leave during an investigation by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. He resigned August 24th.


Person Shot During Ellsworth County Law Enforcement Chase

ELLSWORTH, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a person has been shot and wounded during a law enforcement chase in central Kansas. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said in a news release Friday that the agency was contacted Thursday night and asked to assist in the investigation of the Ellsworth County shooting. The release says three officers from two jurisdictions fired their weapons during a chase with a possibly armed person. The person who was wounded was flown to a Wichita hospital and is in stable condition. No law enforcement officers were injured. The release says the investigation was ongoing and that no other information would be released. The KBI said additional questions should be directed to the Ellsworth County prosecutor, whose phone repeatedly rang unanswered.


Kansas Ex-Bank Teller Gets Break in Cartel Money Laundering Case

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge has approved a diversion agreement for a small town bank teller caught up in the prosecution of an alleged conspiracy to launder drug money for a Mexican cartel in Kansas. The government and the defense for Kathy Shelman asked the court yesterday (FRI) to defer prosecution for 12 months. The former Plains State Bank teller is charged with failing file a report on suspicious banking activity. Her attorney, Jim Pratt, says the agreement means that if she stays out of trouble a motion will be filed at the end of that time to dismiss the charge. Trial begins October 26th against former Plains State Bank President James Kirk Friend and customers, George and Agatha Enns of Meade. The couple deposited more than $6.8 million between 2011 and 2014.


Kansas Trooper Shoots Machete-Wielding Man

EDSON, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Highway Patrol says a trooper shot a man who was armed with a machete in northwest Kansas. The patrol was notified early yesterday (FRI) that a man standing near a vehicle on Interstate 70 in Sherman County was armed with a baseball bat or machete. A trooper found a vehicle stopped in the middle of the road about two miles east of Edson. The patrol says in a news release that the man, armed with a machete, rushed the trooper. When the man ignored commands to drop the machete, the trooper shot the suspect. The subject was taken to Goodland hospital and then was flown to a Denver hospital. His condition was not immediately available. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is the shooting.


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