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Headlines for Sunday, April 23, 2017

Science Rallies Draw Thousands

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Hundreds gathered in Kansas City, Topeka, Lawrence, and Wichita on Earth Day in support of scientific freedom without political interference and spending necessary to make future breakthroughs possible. Similar to other rallies yesterday (SAT) across the country and around the world, the rallies were meant to promote the understanding of science and defending it from attacks. Those include proposed U.S. government budget cuts under President Donald Trump, such as a 20 percent slice of the National Institutes of Health.

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Medicaid Expansion in Doubt Despite Topeka Hospital Woes

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Advocates are buzzing again about extending Kansas' health coverage for the poor because of a Topeka hospital's potential demise. Yet they could struggle for the last few votes from reluctant Republican legislators to overcome an expected veto by Governor Sam Brownback. Supporters of expanding Medicaid under former President Barack Obama's signature federal health care law must persuade a few GOP lawmakers it can be done without extra cost to the cash-strapped state. They were energized by the recent announcement that the owner of the Catholic nonprofit St. Francis hospital in Topeka plans to stop operating it this summer whether it finds a buyer or not. The last holdouts would be GOP lawmakers skeptical of projections from advocates that expanding Medicaid would be a net financial plus for the state.

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Search Underway for Suspect in KCK Murder

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Kansas City, Kansas, police and federal marshals are asking for the public's help in finding a man accused of killing a KCK woman. Prosecutors in Kansas' Wyandotte County have charged Emenencio Lansdown with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a firearm. He's accused of fatally shooting 34-year-old Casey Eaton of Kansas City, Kansas, late Wednesday. Her body was found in a vehicle. Eaton is the sister of Pamela Butler, who was kidnapped and killed in October 1999 when she was ten years old.  The abductor, Keith Nelson, got away, and Butler's body was later found in Grain Valley, Missouri. Nelson later was convicted in federal court and sentenced to death.

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Man Sentenced in Deadly 2016 Reno County Wreck

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — A southern Kansas man has been ordered to spend two years and eight months in prison for causing a two-vehicle 2016 wreck that killed an 80-year-old man. The Hutchinson News reports that Everett W. Hardy was sentenced Friday in Hutchinson on a Reno County charge of involuntary manslaughter. Hardy also was ordered to serve two years on post-prison supervision. Prosecutors dropped a charge that accused Hardy of driving without insurance. Authorities said Hardy drove through the marked intersection and hit a pickup truck driven by John B. "Jack" Johnson. That pickup truck then hit a utility pole. Johnson died at a Wichita hospital more than three weeks later.

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Wichita Catholic Diocese Starts Seminary Training Program

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Catholic Diocese of Wichita is beginning a training program aimed at high school graduates who want to start on the path to seminary without leaving the city. The Wichita Eagle reports that the St. Joseph House of Formation is a two-year program for seminarians who will live on the campus of St. Joseph Parish and pursue associate degrees at Newman University while interacting with local priests. "Formation" is a period during which the Catholic Church works to educate a man so he is able to eventually live as a priest. The program will start with three to five men but is expected to grow to up to 16 or more in the next five to seven years. Wichita's seminarians currently study at three different colleges out of state.

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KBI, Russell Police Investigate Toddler's Death

RUSSELL, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is teaming up with the Russell Police Department to investigate the death of a 14-month-old boy from central Kansas. Investigation Bureau spokeswoman Melissa Underwood tells the Salina Journal that an autopsy of the child was being performed Thursday after he died at a Wichita hospital the night before. Underwood says investigators are hoping the preliminary autopsy will give enough information about the child's cause of death to move forward with the investigation. Russell Police Chief Dale Weimaster says his department received a call Sunday about a boy being treated at Wesley Medical Center. The child's death is being investigated as a potential case of child abuse. Underwood says the Kansas Bureau of Investigation will not release the boy's name.

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