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Headlines for Sunday, April 10, 2016

Here's a look at the latest Kansas news headlines from the Associated Press.

Sheriff: Missing Former KU / Wasburn Football Player Killed Himself

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A former University of Kansas running back who had been missing for a week has been found dead in a secluded area in central Missouri.  Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman said Saturday that 24-year-old Brandon Kyle Bourbon's body was found Friday afternoon on a riverfront property near Vienna, about 80 miles west of his hometown of Polosi.  He says Bourbon killed himself, but he didn't provide additional details. Bourbon was reported missing April 2nd.  Bourbon played football for Kansas until 2014 and transferred to Washburn for the 2015 season.  University of Kansas football coach David Beaty issued a statement sending his condolences to Bourbon's family and calling him a constant source of inspiration within the football program.


Amtrak Sues Kansas Feed Yard over Damaged Tracks, Derailment

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Amtrak is suing a southwest Kansas feed yard claiming gross negligence related to a train derailment that injured 28 passengers last month.  The Wichita Eagle reports Amtrak and BNSF Railway Co. filed a lawsuit Friday accusing Cimarron Crossing Feeders of failing to report that one of its trucks had damaged tracks about 20 miles west of Dodge City.  The lawsuit says an Amtrak train traveling east on the tracks shortly after midnight March 14 hit the damaged tracks and derailed near Cimarron.  A preliminary National Transportation Safety Board report estimated damage from the derailment at more than $1.4 million.  The plaintiffs have requested a jury trial in Wichita. Officials with Cimarron Crossing Feeders didn't immediately return a phone call Sunday seeking comment.


Kobach Dismisses Voter Fraud Charge Against Olathe Woman

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — One of the first voter fraud cases Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach filed after being given prosecutorial authority has been dismissed days before it was scheduled to go to trial.  The Kansas City Star reports the charge against Olathe resident Betty Gaedtke was dropped on Friday. A jury trial was slated to begin Monday.  Gaedtke and her husband, Steven, who are in their 60s, were accused of casting 2010 general election ballots in both Kansas and Arkansas. Some of the counts involved advance voting ballots. Steven Gaedtke pleaded guilty in December to one misdemeanor count and paid the maximum $500 fine. Two other counts were dismissed.  Kobach says Steven Gaedtke signed the couple's absentee ballots, but his wife had not.


Some Kansas Courts Slow to Answer Probable Cause Requests

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas lawmaker says some state courts have failed to comply with a new state law on public requests for probable cause statements.  Republican Representative John Rubin of Shawnee said when he introduced the bill, Kansas was the only state that sealed all probable cause affidavits supporting arrests and warrants.  Under the measure signed into law in 2014, Kansas courts have 10 business days to either release the probable cause statement sought or deny the request.  Rubin told the Lawrence Journal-World some Kansas districts are either delaying beyond the allowed 10-day period or are requiring each individual to file a separate request, even if the request is for an affidavit that's already been released to a different person.


Wildfire in Northwest Oklahoma Now 70 Percent Contained

WOODWARD, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma Forestry Services says a wildfire burning in northwestern Oklahoma is now 70 percent contained.  The fire being called the 350 Complex Fire has burned about 90 square miles since Tuesday. Investigators believe the fire was started by arcing power lines that touched the dry ground because of gusting winds.  One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion. No other injuries have been reported.  Emergency management officials estimate the fire has cause more than $2.3 million in damage to private property, public utilities and government facilities in Woodward and Harper counties.  Forestry services said aircraft was being used Sunday to monitor hot spots, but there were no firefighting efforts from the air.


USGS Records Small Earthquakes in Oklahoma

MEDFORD, Okla. (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey reports small earthquakes in central and north -central Oklahoma that include a magnitude 4.0 temblor six miles northeast of Medford near the Oklahoma-Kansas state line.  The quake was recorded at 4:55 p.m. Saturday. No injuries or damage are reported in the area about 95 miles north of Oklahoma City.  A 2.8 magnitude quake was recorded in the same area and 2.6 and 2.9 magnitude quakes were recorded in the Oklahoma City metro area earlier in the day.  The number of magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes has skyrocketed in Oklahoma, from a few dozen in 2012 to more than 900 last year.  Scientists have linked the increase to the underground disposal of wastewater from oil-and-gas production. State regulators are asking oil and gas companies to reduce their wastewater disposal wells.


State Warns County Not to Ask Legal Status of WIC Recipients

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Sedgwick County commissioners are being warned by the state not to ask participants in the federal Women, Infants and Children program about their citizenship.  The Wichita Eagle reports the Kansas Department of Health and environment says asking about immigration status before the state changes eligibility requirements could result in termination of the county's contract to operate WIC.  County Commissioner Richard Ranzau suggested last fall that the county health department start using a questionnaire that would ask about immigration status of all who use department services.  He later proposed that the state redefine eligibility requirements to block illegal immigrants from participating in WIC. He criticized the state for failing to give a clear answer about whether it plans to change those requirements.


Wyandotte County Work to Improve Residents' Health

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — An annual ranking of health environments in counties throughout the nation contained depressingly familiar news for Wyandotte County this year.  The county ranked 101st in Kansas, based on data from about 40 factors, ranging from premature deaths, obesity, child poverty, housing stock and access to exercise. Four Kansas counties didn't provide data for the report. Wyandotte County has consistently ranked last or nearly last in the rankings since they began in 2010.  Leaders of a concerted push to improve the county's health are undeterred by the rankings. They say a collaborative effort between private and public officials is making slow but steady progress in advancing the county's health environment.  The rankings are compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.


Kansas Man Pleads Guilty in 1999 Sex Attack, Stabbing

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 37-year-old Kansas man has pleaded guilty to charges connected to a 1999 sexual attack and stabbing.  Thirty-seven-year-old Jibri Liu-Kinte Burnett of Olathe pleaded guilty Friday in Wyandotte County to attempted first-degree murder and rape.  Authorities say that in August 1999, an unidentified victim found repeatedly stabbed was rushed to a hospital. Doctors recovered the attacker's semen from the victim and entered it into a federal criminal database.  Wyandotte County prosecutors say years passed before the semen sample was proven to be a genetic match to Burnett. He was arrested last May and will be sentenced next month.


Sentencing Set for Man Convicted in Deadly Kansas Shooting

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas City, Missouri man faces sentencing later this month after pleading no contest to charges linked to a man's shooting death and the wounding of that victim's father.  Twenty-six-year-old Antonio McGee entered the plea Thursday in Kansas' Wyandotte County to counts of second-degree murder and felony aggravated battery. A judge then found McGee guilty of both counts.  The charges stem from the March 2015 shooting death of 21-year-old Len Mitchell Jr. and the wounding of Len Mitchell Senior during a gathering of their friends at a Kansas City, Kansas home.  Sentencing is scheduled for May 20th.


Friends University's Library Begins Running on Solar Power

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Students at Friends University in Wichita will be using solar power while they study at the university's library.  The Wichita Eagle reports that the university is installing a 29-panel, 9.5 kilowatt solar power array at the entrance of the Edmund Stanley Library.  The $85,000 installation is part of a Westar Energy grant program to promote solar energy in Kansas.  The direct current generated by the solar panels goes through an "inverter" and will be converted into regular alternating current, which will augment the power the university buys from Westar.  The demonstration project is one of 15 in Kansas being supported by Westar, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.



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