Kansas Electors Remain Steadfast for Trump, Defend Electoral College
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The six Republican members of the Electoral College in Kansas feel obligated to follow their state's popular vote for Donald Trump in the presidential race. They also defend the college as a much-needed institution for ensuring that most of the U.S. isn't ignored. All of them reported receiving thousands of emails urging them not to vote for Trump. They said most emails were from outside Kansas. Some wanted them to pick another Republican, but most called on them to back Democrat Hillary Clinton as the winner of the popular vote nationwide. They're expecting their meeting at noon Monday in the Kansas Senate chamber to be short, despite the national attention on the Electoral College and the campaign against Trump. The president-elect received nearly 57 percent of the vote in Kansas.
Freezing Rain, Snow Mucks Up Kansas Travel
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Freezing rain and snow led to treacherous road conditions throughout Kansas. The Kansas Department of Transportation says Interstate 70 was slick yesterday (SAT). The state's road-conditions map showed some roads south of Kansas City, Kansas, and in the central part of the state are completely covered in precipitation.
Wichita Hits Record Low for the Date
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Temperatures fell well below zero around Kansas, including in Wichita, which hit a record low for the date. The temperature in Wichita on Sunday dipped to minus 10, a record for December 18. The National Weather Service said the temperature later inched up to minus 5. Weather service meteorologist Andy Kleinsasser told The Wichita Eagle that the former record for December 18 was minus 4, which was recorded in 1983. He also says the Sunday low tied for the third-coldest December day in Wichita. The weather service says that while wind speeds have eased up in Kansas, temperatures were expected to be between minus 5 to the single digits around the state Sunday. The frigid weather follows freezing rain that created dangerous road conditions throughout much of Kansas on Saturday.
Kansas Board of Regents Approves Room and Board Price Increases
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Students at the University of Kansas will face at least a 3 percent increase to live on campus next year. University of Kansas students next year will pay $5,910 to live on campus, which is $172, or 3 percent, more than this year. The Lawrence Journal-World reports (http://bit.ly/2gJjzZN) that adding in about $4,150 for meals means a student's total is $10,060 for the year. The figures are for what the university describes as a "typical" dining plan and double room in a renovated residence hall. It was among state university housing and dining rates approved last week by the Kansas Board of Regents.
Kansas Trooper Injured in Accident on Interstate 70
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper has been treated for injuries after his vehicle was involved in an accident on Interstate 70. The accident happened yesterday (SAT) afternoon near Topeka as a wintry mix was making roads slick, but it wasn't immediately clear if the accident was weather-related. Few details have been released but emergency responders say the trooper's injuries did not appear to be severe, and he was able to enter an ambulance without assistance. He was taken to a Topeka hospital for treatment. Several accidents were reported across the state, many of them related to freezing drizzle and snow.
Kansas Officers Work to Improve Interactions with Disabled Community
SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Salina-area law enforcement recently underwent special training to help them interact with people with disabilities. The Salina Journal reports that the training was prompted by tragic encounters between law enforcement and people with mental and physical disabilities in Kansas and across the nation. Officials say the goal is to prepare emergency responders to recognize characteristics of people with autism spectrum disorders and other disabilities and learn effective ways to interact with them. Sheila Mortimer is special education coordinator for Central Kansas Cooperative in Education. She said that during the four training sessions, they discussed several experiences with Salina and Saline County law enforcement officers.
Hearing Set for 2 Charged with Attack on Kansas Deputy
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — A judge has scheduled a February preliminary hearing for two men charged with kidnapping and raping a Johnson County deputy. The Kansas City Star reports that 24-year-old William Luth of Blue Springs, and 21-year-old Brady Newman-Caddell, of Independence, are charged in Johnson County District Court with abducting the woman in October from outside a county detention center in Olathe. Authorities said the deputy was sexually assaulted before her attackers released her in Jackson County, Missouri. A judge Friday scheduled their preliminary hearing for Feb. 16. The judge will determine after the hearing if there is sufficient evidence to take the case to trial. Both defendants are being held on $1 million bond.
Trials Set in Murder of Kansas Gun Store Owner
MERRIAM, Kan. (AP) — Separate trial dates are scheduled for four men charged in the death of a Johnson County gun store owner. The Kansas City Star reports that Jon Bieker was fatally shot during a January 2015 attempted robbery at his Shawnee store, She's a Pistol. Nicquan Midgyett, De'Anthony Wiley, Londro Patterson, and Hakeem Malik are charged in Johnson County District Court with first-degree murder in Bieker's death. The trial dates that were scheduled Friday are: April 10 for Midgyett; May 1 for Wiley; May 15 for Patterson; and June 12 for Malik.
Man Found Dead in Topeka Home
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Police in Topeka say a man found dead in his home was the victim of a homicide. Officers were called to a central Topeka home before 8 p.m. Friday for an unresponsive man. Police say 52-year-old Mark Everett Johnson was dead when officers arrived. Police say it appears that Johnson died of blunt force trauma. No arrests have been made and police are asking anyone with information to come forward.
Kansas Court Hears Death Row Appeal
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Attorneys for a former Missouri city official sentenced to death in Kansas for killing his estranged wife, their two daughters and his wife's grandmother have asked Kansas's highest court to throw out his conviction. As a Kansas public defender specializing in death-penalty cases, Meryl Carver-Allmond told the Kansas Supreme Court on Friday there's no dispute that her client, James Kraig Kahler, carried out the 2009 killings. But she argued that an accumulation of mistakes by the judge and prosecution during Kahler's trial made those proceedings unfair to her client. An attorney for the state pressed for Kahler's conviction and sentence to stand, saying everything the trial judge did was legal. Authorities say Kahler gunned down the four victims in his estranged wife's grandmother's home in Burlingame after losing his job as the water director in Columbia, Missouri, amid a contentious divorce. Friday's hearing was the first death penalty case heard by the state Supreme Court since Election Day, when voters opted to retain four justices who were targeted for ouster partly because the court overturned other death sentences. This version of the story corrects the verb in the first sentence to have from has.
Saint Francis Beats Baker 38-17 to Win NAIA Title
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Nick Ferrer through three touchdown passes to Seth Coate and Saint Francis of Indiana beat previously undefeated Baker of Kansas 38-17 last night (SAT) to win the NAIA championship. Coate, a 6-foot-4 senior, caught nine passes for 180 yards, including second-half touchdown receptions of 59 and 36 yards. The last one put the Cougars (13-1) up 31-10 with 12:21 left. Baker finished 14-1. Ferrer completed 18 of 30 passes for 245 yards and three touchdowns, finishing his junior season with 51 TD passes. Logan Brettell, who had helped Baker overcome a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter of its semifinal win over Eastern Oregon, was 34 for 50 for 263 yards and a touchdown, marking the only time this season he has not accounted for at least two touchdowns. St. Francis led 17-3 at halftime against a team that had averaged 49.9 points in its 14 victories. After opening the game with an 11-play drive that ended in Clarence Clark's 26-yard field goal, the Wildcats did not score again until the middle of the third quarter. St. Francis responded to the opening score with a 56-yard touchdown drive to take the lead and never gave it up. Ferrer's 5-yard touchdown pass to Coate finished the drive.