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Headlines for Saturday, September 20, 2014


KC-area Medical Team Heading to Africa

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas City-area medical relief nonprofit Heart to Heart International is sending a team to West Africa to assess how its volunteers could help with the Ebola crisis. The Kansas City Star reports the four medical professionals plan to leave tomorrow (SUN) for a weeklong fact-finding trip in Liberia. Heart to Heart, based in Olathe, provides medical assistance worldwide following earthquakes, hurricanes and other disasters. Operations director Dan Neal says the West African mission is different because the Ebola epidemic is ongoing. Once the assessment group returns, the plan is to send a series of medical teams over at least the next six months for two-week stints each. The teams would be comprised of about 10 people each.


Brownback, Davis Spar at Debate

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and Democratic challenger Paul Davis sparred over education, taxes, economic development and more during their second debate. Libertarian candidate Keen Umbehr also participated in Friday's debate. The audience at the luncheon debate before 250 business leaders in Overland Park was far more subdued than a raucous crowd during the first debate earlier this month at the Kansas State Fair.The incumbent governor and his Democratic challenger are locked in a close race amid criticism over massive tax cuts championed by Brownback while classroom spending was reduced. Both candidates have tried to portray themselves as education supporters. Republicans enjoy a nearly 20 percentage-point advantage among the state's 1.74 million voters.


Kobach Adds Disclaimer to Kansas Ballots

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says about 500 voters living overseas will be told they may have to re-vote in the U.S. Senate race after ballots are mailed to them today (SAT). The Kansas election official yesterday (FRI) directed counties to begin mailing overseas ballots under a federal deadline. The ballots will have no Democratic candidate in the U.S. Senate race after the Kansas Supreme Court ordered Kobach to honor nominee Chad Taylor's request to remove his name. Some Democrats pushed Taylor out to help independent candidate Greg Orman's chances of defeating Republican Senator Pat Roberts. Kobach said Democrats are still obligated to pick a new nominee.The ballots going out today (SAT) will come with a disclaimer saying a new ballot will come later if Democrats pick a new candidate.


Efficiency Commission Approves Consolidation Study

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas school efficiency commission has recommended studying ways that districts can share administrative operations.  The study recommended yesterday (FRI) by the K-12 Student Performance and Efficiency Commission comes as the issue of consolidation has become an issue in the governor's race. Governor Brownback has accused Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis of nominating a pro-consolidation appointee to the commission. Davis and appointee John Vratil insist that's not true.In recommending the study, commissioners took off the table a proposal to realign district geographical boundaries. The commissioners also decided that offering districts incentives to combine or cooperate would be part of the study.Commissioners also recommended that an efficiency audit be performed on the Kansas Department of Education and the creation of a taskforce to establish efficiency standards for school district operations.


KC Man Charged in KCI Bomb Hoax

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas man who investigators say made comments about a bomb at Kansas City International Airport is facing federal charges.The U.S. Attorney's office says 33-year-old David James Cain of Kansas City, Kansas, was indicted yesterday (FRI) by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Missouri. The incident prompted evacuation of a main airport terminal while arriving flights were rerouted to another terminal the evening of August 31st. Cain is charged with one count each of making a bomb hoax and conveying false information. Prosecutors said he told two people at an airline ticket counter there was a bomb in a truck he had parked in front of the terminal.


Court Documents Detail Fatal Officer Shooting

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Court documents show a 30-year-old Kansas man accused of fatally shooting a Topeka police officer earlier this month told investigators he had used methamphetamine two hours before the incident. Ross Preston Lane is charged with capital murder in the September 7th shooting death of 40-year-old police Cpl. Jason Harwood during a routine traffic stop in Topeka. According to affidavits obtained through an open-records request, Lane told a passenger in the car that he didn't want to go back to prison before pulling a gun from between the front seats and shooting Harwood. Lane was taken into custody several hours later after calling a Topeka television station and saying he wanted to give up. He is being held without bond.


IA Police Chief takes OP Position

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — The police chief of Davenport, Iowa, will leave his position to become police chief in Overland Park, Kansas, Davenport officials announced yesterday (FRI). Police Chief Frank Donchez will begin his new job in the Kansas City suburb on October 20th. Donchez came from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 2008 to lead the Davenport department's 163 sworn officers. In Overland Park, Donchez will head a department with 250 sworn officers. Davenport officials noted that during Donchez's tenure, the city saw a 49 percent reduction in crime.Davenport, in eastern Iowa, has a population just over 100,000. Overland Park's population is about 180,000.


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