State Primary Voting Numbers Low
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - 17,600 Kansas voters are at the center of legal fights over the state's proof of citizenship requirements. Voting rights advocates won temporary court rulings in federal and state courts affirming the right to vote via provisional ballot for people who registered at motor vehicle offices but never submitted specific citizenship documents. Overall, statewide turnout for the August 2 primary was 23.1 percent. Officials say 9,032 provisional ballots were cast, but don't yet have a number for how many of those were cast by voters affected by the court decisions.
State Workers Face Insurance Premium Hikes
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - State documents show thousands of Kansas government employees would face rising health insurance premiums under fee schedules developed for 2017. The State Employee Health Plan administered by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is applicable to workers throughout state government and includes people employed at public universities and colleges. Under basic health policies available through Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas and Aetna, monthly rates for individual policies with low- and high-deductible plans would rise 9 percent. The monthly cost of health insurance for state workers in the employee-and-children plans would also increase 9 percent. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports rates for health insurance policies for full-time workers also increased during the 2016 year.
Appeal Denied for Woman Accused of Child Endangerment
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas court says parental rights should be terminated for a woman accused in 2012 of binding and blindfolding two of her children. The Kansas Court of Appeals agreed Friday that Deborah Gomez, who was arrested in Lawrence in 2012 for endangering the life of her children, should have her parental rights terminated. Gomez, and her husband, Adolfo Gomez, were arrested after police found two of their children blindfolded and bound with duct tape in a Lawrence parking lot. The couple said they were traveling from Illinois because they believed the world was ending. The children were taken into state custody. Both parents later pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of endangering a child. Deborah Gomez served about six months in jail.The Lawrence Journal World reports that the appeals court rejected her claim that she should have her parental rights restored.
Kansas Man Killed in High Speed Chase
SHATTUCK, Okla. (AP) - The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a Kansas man was killed when he crashed a stolen sport utility vehicle while leading police on a high speed chase in northwest Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says 30-year-old Zachary Ramos of Liberal, Kansas, was dead at the scene of the crash Friday on a county road near Shattuck. The OHP says the SUV had been reported stolen to Woodward police.
Construction Worker Fatality Under Investigation
ANDOVER, Kan. (AP) - A construction worker has died after being electrocuted at a Kansas work site. Authorities say 38-year-old Darrell Harden of Kansas City, Missouri, died Friday when he was working at a site in Andover. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration says he suffered fatal injuries when the lift truck he was operating came into contact with overhead power lines. The Wichita Eagle reports that when emergency crews arrived they found him unconscious, near the truck, with power lines on the ground nearby. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. OSHA says it's investigating.