Kansas Democrats Rally to Gain Voters
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Democrat Paul Davis says his party in Kansas needs not just Democratic voters but also independent and Republican supporters in order to win in the November elections. Davis tells The Associated Press that his campaign to unseat Republican Governor Sam Brownback is focusing its resources on identifying those voters and getting them out to the polls for the general election. He says Democrats running for other statewide races are also seeing some significant Republican support in their campaigns. Davis made his comments ahead of his speech at the Kansas Democratic Party's annual Demofest convention in Wichita. Republicans enjoy a nearly 20-percentage point advantage in voter registration in Kansas, and Democrats are trying to tap into grass-roots opposition to the Brownback administration to retake the governor's mansion and other statewide offices.
Probation Decision Coming for KC Bishop Finn
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A judge is expected to decide soon whether to dismiss probation for the highest-ranking U.S. church official convicted of a crime related to the child sexual abuse scandal. The Kansas City Star reports that Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker filed a probation status report for Bishop Robert Finn on Friday. Finn leads the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. He was convicted in September 2012 of one misdemeanor for failing to report child abuse suspicions. While offering no opinion on whether probation should be dismissed, Baker did praise two diocese employees' efforts to keep the diocese in compliance with the terms of the probation. Jackson County Circuit Judge John Torrence in Missouri will review the report before ruling on Finn's probation. It's set to expire September 5th.
Man Found Dead Under Mower in Hutchinson
HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) — An 86-year-old man has died in a mowing accident in Hutchinson. The Hutchinson News reports that Harold E. Swanson of Hutchinson died Friday. Patrol Captain Darrian Campbell said Swanson had been using a mower pulled behind a tractor to cut grass when he took a "not normal" path that ended in the middle of the yard. Campbell says there were cuts on Swanson's body from the mower blades, and it appeared he was dragged under it somehow. He said it would take a few weeks until autopsy reports confirm or narrow down the possibilities of the cause of death. Swanson's relatives were early settlers in Reno County, and he was a well-known farmer in the Hutchinson area.
KC Man Faces Charge After Firing Gun, Stripping
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a convicted felon faces a new federal charge after he fired a gun and took off his clothes. The Kansas City Star reports that prosecutors charged Errick Martin on Friday with being a felon in possession of a firearm. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney. Witnesses told police that Martin fired four or five shots from a handgun before stripping Thursday in a south Kansas City parking lot. Martin told police that he had bought the gun recently and wanted to test-fire it. Court documents say Martin also told police that he smoked PCP earlier that morning and had disrobed because he felt hot. Court records show that Martin has prior felony convictions for aggravated assault, burglary and possession of a controlled substance.
Murder Charge Dropped in Wichita-area Killing
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Prosecutors have dropped a second-degree murder charge in the shooting death of a man whose body was found in a ditch north of Wichita. The Wichita Eagle reports that 23-year-old Antonio Bell remains jailed in Sedgwick County on an unrelated drug case. It isn't immediately clear who is representing him. He was charged with killing Deandre Freeman Jr., whose body was discovered near Kechi last September. Sedgwick County District Attorney's Office spokesman Dan Dillon said in a written statement that the murder case was "dismissed without prejudice" but he would not give further details. A case that is dismissed without prejudice can be filed again at a later date. The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office has said that Freeman and Bell were documented gang members and knew one another.
Royals Pitch Past Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Rookie right-hander Yordano Ventura struck out six in six innings for his 10th victory, and Billy Butler and Josh Willingham had inning-starting homers for the AL Central-leading Kansas City Royals in a 6-3 win at Texas on Friday night. The hard-throwing Ventura (10-9) allowed one run, four hits, and three walks.