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Headlines for Sunday, August 2, 2015

No Charges for Kansas Officer in Shooting 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A suburban Wichita police officer who fatally shot a man last year will not face charges. Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said Friday the officer who shot 40-year-old Chad Leichhardt at a Haysville apartment was lawfully defending a woman being threatened by Leichhardt. Investigators say Leichhardt was holding his girlfriend with a knife to her throat and threatening to kill her when the officer shot him last August. Bennett says the woman was afraid for her life and other officers at the scene thought Leichhardt might kill her. He says the knife was at the woman's throat until the officer fired a single shot, killing Leichhardt. The officer's name has not been released. He's an 18-year police veteran and was the senior officer at the scene.


Earthquake Shakes Oklahoma, Kansas Border

MEDFORD, Okla. (AP) — An earthquake has shaken parts of northern Oklahoma near the Kansas border. The U.S. Geological Survey says the 3.6 magnitude earthquake was recorded at 3:28 p.m. about 11 miles south-southwest of Medford in Grant County. Medford is located about 85 north of Oklahoma City and 17 miles south of the Kansas border. Geologists say the temblor occurred at a depth of about three miles. No injuries or damage was immediately reported. Geologists say earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 to 3.0 are generally the smallest that are felt by humans and damage is not likely from earthquakes below magnitude 4.0. The Oklahoma Geological Survey has said it is likely that many recent earthquakes in the state are being triggered by the injection of wastewater from oil and natural gas drilling operations.


Conservative Koch Urges End of 'Corporate Cronyism'

DANA POINT, Calif. (AP) — Billionaire industrialist Charles Koch is challenging a group of roughly 450 like-minded conservative political donors to advocate for ending "corporate cronyism" - policies that in many cases help their businesses. Along with his brother David, Koch has long pressed for a federal government that collects fewer taxes and issues fewer regulations. He told a group of donors at a conference yesterday (SAT) near Los Angeles that cutting back special treatment for business is the first step to ending a "two-tiered society" and encouraging "principled entrepreneurship." The Koch brothers and their network of donors are preparing to spend $890 million to influence elections next year. As such, among those in attendance were several of the GOP candidates for president, including Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former business executive Carly Fiorina.


Kansans Mistakenly Told Medicaid Cancelled

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The state mistakenly notified thousands of Kansans this week that their Medicaid coverage had been canceled. The Kansas Department of Children and Families said a computer glitch caused the incorrect letters to be sent out. DCF spokeswoman Theresa Freed says the error happened as the department switches to a new computer system that manages Medicaid eligibility applications. She says the new system replaces a computer system in use since the early 1980s. Freed says some of the cancellation letters mailed out in July were legitimate. Those letters were mailed in envelopes that have a DCF logo on them. The incorrect letters did not have the logo. The Lawrence Journal-World reports everyone who received the letter will be sent a new, accurate letter within a week.

Record Rainfall May Lead to Crop Losses

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A summer full of heavy rainfall is expected to lead to big corn and soybean crop losses for farmers in several Midwestern states. Illinois and Indiana both set new June rainfall records, and Missouri, Ohio, Michigan and Kansas were also affected by downpours that began in late May and continued into July. Those deluges drowned crops and left many surviving plants stunted or unhealthy. Climatologists are looking at whether the largest El Nino system in a decade or climate change played a role in the deluges. Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt predicts $500 million in corn and soybean losses in Indiana, which is seeking a federal disaster declaration for 53 of its 92 counties. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's first assessment of Midwest crop losses comes August 12th.


Kansas Town Finally Gets Way on Name Spelling 

ST. JOHN, Kan. (AP) — A small Kansas town finally has the spelling it desires. The U.S. Board of Geographic Names this month officially changed the spelling of the small Stafford County town of St. John back to its original spelling. The Wichita Eagle reports the town was spelled St. John for nearly a century. But in the 1970s, the U.S. Postal Service inadvertently began spelling out Saint John while transitioning to computers that had no punctuation. Last year, St. John High School alumni began a petition drive to get the Postal Service to change the town's listing to the abbreviated version. The Postal Service made the change quickly but the U.S. Board on Geographic Names declined to make the change until it met in early July.


Wildcat Creek Grant Proposal Advances 

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas has reached the final phase of a competition for a large federal grant that would be used to ease flooding in the Manhattan area. The state Agriculture Department says the state's grant application to remodel the Wildcat Creek Watershed to address flooding reached the final phase of a Department of Housing and Urban Development competition. The grant could bring up to $40 million of emergency and long-range improvement money into the Manhattan area. The Manhattan Mercury reports the money comes from a $1 billion surplus from the federal government's efforts to rebuild portions of the East Coast after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Manhattan and Riley County qualified because of the Wildcat Creek flood in 2011. HUD's expected to announce the awards in January.

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