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Headlines for Sunday, April 2, 2017

Two Shot in Rural Sedgwick County in Apparent Robbery Attempt

VALLEY CENTER, Kan. (AP) — Sedgwick County authorities say a man and woman were shot in what might have been an attempted robbery at a house in near Valley Center. Sheriff's Captain Mark Pierce says the shooting occurred yesterday (SAT) morning. One victim was taken to a hospital in critical condition and the other is in serious condition. Authorities are looking for at least two suspects. Pierce said he didn't know whether the man and woman were tenants or owners at the house.


Kansas Budget Fix Requires Tax, Spending, School Aid Bills

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers will spend next week working to solve a complicated puzzle to fix the state's serious budget problems. They're trying to decide how much to increase taxes without being certain about how much they'll spend on public schools or government programs. Lawmakers hope to make progress toward closing projected budget shortfalls totaling more than $1 billion through June 2019. They expect to increase income taxes but are still debating exactly who would have to pay higher rates. Lawmakers are struggling with the size of the tax hike because they're still working on spending plans. And they can't finish those blueprints until they agree on how much they must increase aid to schools to satisfy a Kansas Supreme Court decision last month. The pieces must fit together by July.


Kansas State Fair Board Discusses Master Plan Options

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State Fair board members are discussing a master plan that would eliminate the century-old racetrack. The Hutchinson News reports that's one suggestion in a master plan presented to the board Thursday. None of the proposals are close to being approved yet. The plan would replace the southern curves of the track with a new horse exhibition area and practice arena. Fair Manager Susan Sankey acknowledges that removing the track will be unpopular with some people. But she says it's a business decision designed to modernize the fair and generate revenue. The master plan also includes a permanent stage for entertainment and a new dirt area for demolition derbies and tractor pulls. The next step is for board members to choose priorities for the plan and set a timetable.


Update: Creator of Rainbow Flag, Kansas Native, Died of Heart Disease

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York City medical examiner's office says the creator of the gay-rights rainbow flag died of natural causes. A spokeswoman for the office says Gilbert Baker's death was caused by hypertensive heart disease. The 65-year-old Baker was found at his home on Friday. The artist and gay-rights activist was best known for creating the rainbow flag in 1978. Baker was born in Kansas and served in the U.S. Army from 1970 to 1972. He was stationed in San Francisco in the early days of the gay rights movement and continued to live there after his honorable discharge. Baker's website says he taught himself to sew and began making banners for gay and anti-war marches.


Convoy Hauls Supplies to Wildfire-Hit Kansas Ranches

WEST BRANCH, Mich. (AP) — Nearly two dozen semi-trailers and other trucks are delivering grain, hay, fencing and other supplies from Michigan's Ogemaw County to ranches in Kansas that suffered damage from wildfires. The convoy left Michigan area Friday morning and was expected to reach Ashland, Kansas, yesterday (SAT). Organizer Jock Kartes said the supplies were donated by farmers and businesses. Grass fires in early March charred more than 1,000 square miles in Kansas and Oklahoma, destroying miles of fencing on ranches and farms. A convoy of trucks carrying hay from Illinois set out Thursday to Kansas. Country music star and Oklahoma native Toby Keith partnered with the Ashland Community Foundation in southern Kansas to record a public service video asking for donations.


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