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Headlines for Saturday, September 21, 2019

 

Man Dies After Being Trapped in Grain Hauling Truck

MULVANE, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a 39-year-old man has died after becoming trapped in a grain truck in southern Kansas.  WIBW reports that Sedgwick County deputies say the man was in the back of tractor-trailer that hauls grain and somehow became trapped.  Crews were called to a grain bin near Mulvane Friday afternoon, after reports that a man was not breathing. He was dead at the scene.  Mulvane is about 15 miles south of Wichita.  The man's name was not released.

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Kansas Jobless Rate in August Was Lowest in 20-Plus Years

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas is reporting that unemployment in the state dropped to 3.2% in August and was at its lowest rate in more than 20 years.  The state Department of Labor said Friday that the state gained private-sector jobs during the month and over the past year. Labor economist Emilie Doerksen said the state has seen broad economic growth, and Governor Laura Kelly hailed the report as good news for Kansas.  The department said the unemployment rate declined from 3.3% in July. It was also 3.3% in August 2018.  It was the lowest unemployment rate since May 1999. The rate has been below 4% since January 2017.  Kansas had nearly 1.18 million private, nonfarm jobs in August, up about 4,200 since July and 17,800 from August 2018. The over-the-year growth was 1.5%.

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Regents Seek $95.3 Million Increase for Higher Education

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Board of Regents is requesting a $95.3 million increase in state tax funding for 32 universities and colleges in the system.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports $50 million of that proposal advanced this week would go to the six public universities that some regents hope could result in a second year of tuition freezes for resident undergraduate students.  Under the proposed budget, Kansas community and technical colleges would share an additional $13.5 million. Most of that would be for promoting a statewide program that allows high school students earn college credit.  Other items in the budget include $10 million for need-based student financial aid, $10 million for deferred maintenance and $1 million for Washburn University.  The proposed budget goes to the governor's office, which will make budget recommendations in January.

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Catholic Diocese Names 15 Priests Accused of Child Sex Abuse

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Catholic Diocese of Wichita has published a list naming 15 priests accused of child sexual abuse.  It also released on Friday a letter from Bishop Carl Kemme saying the diocese will soon provide information on the substantiated allegations to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, which is conducting a statewide investigation of Catholic priests.  The diocese posted on its website the names of nine priests of the Wichita diocese against whom allegations have been substantiated. The other six priests have had allegations substantiated in other parishes and served in Wichita for a period of time.  It details their ordination dates, assignment histories and status. All have been removed from the clergy or are dead.  The diocese says the disclosures were made after an independent audit of all clergy files.

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Kansas Judge Whose Tweets Sank Higher Court Bid to Step Down

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas trial-court judge whose past political tweets sank his nomination for a higher court has announced that he will step down from the bench early next year.  Labette County District Judge Jeffry Jack said Friday that he will retire Jan. 2 and take a job as a regional director for Big Brothers Big Sisters.  Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly nominated Jack in March to fill a Kansas Court of Appeals vacancy. But his nomination was doomed in the Republican-controlled Senate within days when tweets from Jack in 2017 surfaced. The tweets criticized President Donald Trump and other Republicans.  The Senate later voted 38-0 against Jack's confirmation, forcing Kelly to nominate another candidate.  Jack has been a district judge since 2005 and previously served in the Kansas House as a Republican.

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Missouri Police: Don't Leave Grenades "Just Lying Around"

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City, Missouri, police are urging people not to leave grenades "just lying around" after the discovery of one led officers to temporarily block off surrounding streets.  Police say the modified grenade was found Wednesday morning in a pile of belongings that appeared to belong to a homeless person. Also in the pile was food, clothing and drug paraphernalia.  The grenade then was removed to a secure, off-site location so bomb and arson squad members could investigate further. Police said Friday that is appeared the grenade was live.  Surveillance cameras were checked but police were unable to track down the grenade's owner or make any arrests.  Police said in a tweet , "It should go without saying, but please don't leave grenades — even inactive ones — just lying around."

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Man Sentenced for Shooting Death in Wichita Last Year

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A 24-year-old man was sentenced to 15.5 years for a fatal shooting in Wichita last year.  Douglas Pete, of Wichita, was sentenced Friday in the death of 25-year-old Deonte Mitchell.  Mitchell was found dead in February 2018 outside a Wichita home. He was shot in the back.  District Attorney Marc Bennett said in a news release that Pete pleaded guilty Aug. 9 to second-degree murder, armed criminal action, criminal discharge of a firearm and interference with law enforcement.  Pete initially claimed the shooting was an accident.  Before sentencing, Pete apologized to Mitchell's family but did not provide a motive for the killing.

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Girlfriend of Kansas Man Who Wounded 2 Lawmen Charged

LYONS, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have arrested the girlfriend of a man who wounded two Kansas law enforcements officers, killed his father and then killed himself this spring.  The Kansas Bureau of Investigation announced Thursday that 27-year-old Erin Baker, of Ellinwood, was arrested Wednesday on charges of interference with law enforcement, aggravated child endangerment and obstruction.  The KBI says she put her 7-year-old in danger by continuing a relationship with David Madden, who's a suspect in the 2015 disappearance of a former girlfriend, despite knowing he was a convicted felon who possessed a firearm.  The KBI says the child was present in April when Madden wounded a Rice County undersheriff. Baker previously told KWCH-TV that she and her son got away after dropping Madden off at his father's home, where the other shootings happened.

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Driver Killed when SUV Rolls off Kansas Bridge

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a driver was killed when a sport utility vehicle rolled of a bridge in Kansas City, Kansas.  Police say the SUV was traveling south on a highway when it left the roadway and tumbled off the bridge. The Kansas City Star reports that the driver was the only person inside and was pronounced dead at a hospital. The driver's name wasn't immediately released.  The cause of the wreck is under investigation.

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Nebraska Husband, Wife Sentenced for Selling Fish Illegally Caught in Kansas

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska man and wife who sold fish they had illegally caught in public waters in Kansas and other reservoirs have been sentenced to probation.  Federal prosecutors for Nebraska say 49-year-old Phong Duong and 46-year-old Oanh Pham were each sentenced Friday to two years' probation for illegally taking, transporting and selling fish. They were also ordered to pay $16,000 in restitution.  Prosecutors say that between May 2013 and July 2016, Duong and Pham exceeded the limits on catching fish from the Kirwin National Wildlife Refuge in northern Kansas and other reservoirs. To avoid detection, the couple would routinely change fishing spots, stash fish at off-site locations, and use "straw fishermen" — including children — to conceal fish taken in excess of limits. They'd then take the fish back home to Nebraska and clean and bag them at their Lincoln home before selling the fish.

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Former Kansas House Member to Lead Children's Advocacy Group

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A former Kansas House member will be taking over as president of a children's advocacy group later this fall.  Kansas Action for Children says former state Rep. John Wilson will become president when current President Annie McKay steps down October 31.  Wilson has been the group's vice president of advocacy since September 2017. McKay has been with Kansas Action for Children for seven years, including the last three as president.  Wilson served in the House for 5½ years before resigning in August 2017 to join Kansas Action for Children. He was a Democrat representing a Lawrence district.

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KPR's daily headlines are generally posted by 10 am weekdays and updated throughout the day.  KPR's weekend summary is usually published by 1 pm Saturdays and Sundays.

 

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