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Headlines for Sunday, December 20, 2015

50,000 Kansans Sign up for Insurance in Federal Exchange

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says about 50,000 people in Kansas had signed up through the federal health insurance exchange as of December 12th. Open enrollment runs through January 31st, but people who haven't signed up won't have coverage until February. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports people who have a "qualifying event" after the deadline, such as having a baby, losing a job or aging off their parents' insurance plans, can sign up later. People who don't buy insurance in 2016 will pay a penalty of 2.5 percent of household income or $696 per adult and $348 per child, whichever is higher. The maximum penalty for a family is $20,600. Hardship exemptions are available for households whose insurance costs would exceed 8.13 percent of their incomes.


Federal Judge Dismisses Kansas Lawsuit over Oklahoma Casino

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A federal lawsuit seeking to prevent an Oklahoma Indian casino from expanding its operations into Kansas has been dismissed after the judge said the court didn't have jurisdiction in the case. The Joplin Globe reports U.S. District Judge Daniel Crabtree on Friday threw out the lawsuit filed by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and the Cherokee County Commission seeking to prevent Downstream Casino Resort from expanding across the state line. Crabtree's 38-page decision says the court didn't have authority to review an advisory opinion by attorneys for the National Indian Gaming Commission that could allow casino gambling on tribal land in Cherokee County. Downstream Casino Resort is located in far northeast Oklahoma, about 10 miles from Joplin, Missouri.


Kansas Sheriff says FBI Will Pay for Home Damage

GALENA, Kan. (AP) — A southeast Kansas sheriff says the FBI will pay for damage to a home where authorities unsuccessfully sought a fugitive. Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves told The Joplin Globe that the Galena home was damaged when the FBI and local agencies served a search warrant Monday night looking for man being sought on a warrant from Missouri. Groves says authorities believed the suspect was in the home Monday morning. The wait apparently ended Tuesday evening after authorities went inside the home and determined the suspect was not there. Groves says the FBI told him they'd pay for the damage, which included broken windows and clothes, mattresses and toys scattered around the yard. The homeowner could not be reached for comment. The FBI declined to comment.


Kansas Supreme Court Upholds Murder Conviction

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court has upheld the capital murder conviction of a man sentenced to life in prison for shooting two people in Wichita. Marquis J. Marshall was convicted for the 2012 deaths of 22-year-old Zachary Hunt and 79-year-old Henry Harvey. Marshall was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after the state chose not to seek the death penalty for the conviction. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that in a unanimous decision released Friday, the state Supreme Court rejected Marshall's claims that the Sedgwick County District Court erred in refusing to order a competency hearing for him and that it failed to consider his request for new counsel sufficiently.


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