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Headlines for Sunday, April 13, 2014


Former Cherokee County Clerk Denies Wrongdoing

PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) — The former Cherokee County clerk responsible for changing voter registration status of more than 4,800 voters denies any wrongdoing.

Cherokee County Clerk Rodney Edmondson says his office has discovered that about 4,838 voters may have had their statuses improperly moved from "active" to "canceled" between Dec 2010 and March 2011, while Crystal Gatewood was county clerk.

Edmondson says most of the registrations were likely canceled improperly, and that his office is working to remedy the errors.

But Gatewood told The Pittsburg Morning Sun that she followed procedures and was in "constant" communication with the Secretary of State's office during the voter purge.

The Secretary of State's office says it didn't instruct Gatewood to remove names without following longstanding procedure.


Crews Battled Shawnee County Fires

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Firefighters in Shawnee County had to contend with grass fires thanks to dry conditions and low humidity.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Shawnee County fire crews Friday put out one grass fire after another.

Local fire officials thought because of low wind Friday would have been a good day for field burning, which is when Kansas landowners burn fields to help new plant growth. Instead, the dry conditions and very low humidity helped ignite several grass fires.

Mark Engholm, a firefighter with the Shawnee Heights Fire District, said his agency battled six separate grass fires by Friday afternoon and more were reported later. The fires didn't cause any reported structural damage or injuries.


Topeka Dad, Daughter Killed in Crash

BENNINGTON, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Highway Patrol says a Topeka a man and his 18-year-old daughter have been killed in a head-on collision.

The patrol says 18-year-old Emma Pisocki and her 41-year-old father Jason Pisocki were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which occurred Friday about 3 miles east of Bennington in Ottawa County.

The highway patrol says a vehicle moved into an oncoming lane of traffic to avoid a vehicle that was parked along the side of the roadway, partially in the lane of travel. The passing vehicle then collided with the vehicle the Pisockis were in.

The highway patrol says the driver of the other car is hospitalized in Salina.

The patrol says all three victims were wearing seat belts when the crash occurred.


Gym Fire Doesn't Stop La Crosse Prom

LA CROSSE, Kan. (AP) — A western Kansas community has rallied to replace the prom venue after a fire at the school gym.

The Wichita Eagle reports a fire was reported early Saturday in the La Crosse High School's gym, which is where the prom was going to be held Saturday night.

La Crosse schools superintendent Bill Keeley says the prom was quickly moved to a church parish center. He says members of the community south of Hays had the new venue decorated in about four hours. Keeley says of the 70 of the 82 students enrolled in grades 9 through 12 had prom tickets.

Rush County Sheriff Ward Corsair says the gym fire originated among the prom decorations, but no one was in the gym at the time, and there were no injuries.

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