Same-sex Marriage Ruling Raises Issues for Kansas, Missouri
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas and Missouri legislators face debates next year over religious objection proposals and expanding their state's anti-discrimination laws to protect gays and lesbians. The U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing same-sex marriage across the nation raised both issues in both states. The high court ruling immediately led social conservatives to warn that the religious liberties of gay marriage opponents at risk. Among those expressing concern was Republican Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas. Supporters of the ruling suggested just as quickly while gays and lesbians can marry, they aren't protected by law from losing their jobs or housing over their sexual orientation. They included Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri. Both states had banned gay marriage. Neither's anti-discrimination laws cover bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Kansas Seeks to Dismiss Gay Marriage Tax Lawsuit
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Department of Revenue has filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit over the tax filing status of same-sex married couples, saying the issue is now moot. David Brown, who represents two Kansas couples who filed a lawsuit against the department, told the Lawrence Journal-World the motion was filed late Thursday in Shawnee County District Court. The motion follows the decision last month by the U.S. Supreme Court making same-sex marriage legal nationwide. The Revenue Department's motion also came the day after Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt's office filed similar documents in a federal lawsuit in Kansas City, Kansas. As of Friday afternoon, the judge hearing the case had not issued an order of dismissal. But Brown says he expects one to be issued soon.
Report: Most Kansas Pupils Get 20 Minutes or Less of Recess
A new survey shows 63 percent of Kansas elementary students have 20 minutes or less for daily recess and only 41 percent of schools have policies prohibiting it from being withheld as a punishment. The survey will be presented Wednesday during the Kansas Board of Education meeting in Topeka. It was conducted in fall 2014, with nearly 490 Kansas physical education teachers responding. The Kansas State Department of Education collaborated on the report with the Kansas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Other findings include that 61 percent of students don't have lunch recess before eating. Research has shown that students eat healthier when they have a pre-lunch recess. Concerns have arisen nationally that schools are devoting less time to recess.
Texas Motorist Dies in Flash Flood Near Emporia
EMPORIA, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a Texas driver has died in flash floodwaters after sliding off a wet stretch of Interstate 35 near Emporia. The Kansas Turnpike Authority said in a news release that 21-year-old Zachary Clark of Keller, Texas was headed northbound Friday evening when his vehicle hydroplaned. The vehicle then went off the road and entered an area of rapidly moving floodwater in the northbound ditch. No other information was immediately available. The Turnpike Authority says an investigation is ongoing. The National Weather Service says the flash flooding occurred as a storm dumped 3.8 inches of rain on the Emporia area over a span of just a few hours Friday.
Wichita Exploring Gray Water Options
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita officials are working to get local businesses to consider manufacturing uses for treated sewer water the city would otherwise dump into the Arkansas River. The Eagle reports city officials want Wichita's big commercial water users to use treated sewer water in the manufacturing process. Alan King, city public works director, says commercial use of gray water is part of the city's long-range water conservation plan. He says rate structure and infrastructure are the two major challenges for using gray water, because switching some large customers to cheaper gray water would mean the city would lose some revenue. So until growth catches back up, the city would have to find ways to not pass on the cost to ratepayers.
Police Say Shooting Outside Derby's VWF Appears Accidental
DERBY, Kan. (AP) — Police suspect an accident was to blame for a shooting that critically wounded a man outside a Veterans of Foreign Wars post in south-central Kansas. The Wichita Eagle reports that the 26-year-old victim was struck in the chest shortly after noon yesterday (SAT) in Derby. Derby police Lieutenant Jimmy Queen said the man was taken to a Wichita hospital. Queen said a planned fundraiser at the VFW was canceled because of the shooting.
5-year-old Girl Injured in KCK Drive-by Shooting
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 5-year-old girl has been wounded in a drive-by shooting in Kansas City, Kansas. KSHB-TV reports that the shooting happened early yesterday (SAT). Police say the girl was sleeping in a home when she was struck. She was taken to a hospital with injuries that were described as non-life threatening. No arrests were immediately made.
10-year-old Boy Wounded in Lawrence Shooting
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Lawrence police say a 10-year-old boy has been wounded in what appears to be an accidental shooting. The boy was struck in the abdomen Friday night while inside a southwest Lawrence home. Police said in a news release that an ambulance took him to a Topeka hospital where he was prepared for surgery. The release said the hospital staff who examined the boy determined that his injury didn't appear to be life threatening. Detectives are investigating, although the shooting doesn't appear to be intentional. Police didn't immediately identify the person who fired the weapon.
Second Man Arrested in Fatal Wichita Shooting
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A second man has been arrested in a fatal shooting outside a Wichita apartment house. The Wichita Eagle reports that Sedgwick County Jail records show that the 52-year-old man was being held Saturday on suspicion of second-degree murder. Police say 49-year-old Richard Romero was shot in the chest early Wednesday while a birthday party was underway. Records show that a 44-year-old man was arrested earlier in the shooting.
3 Teens Arrested After Weapons Stolen from Topeka Store
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Three teenage boys have been arrested after rifles and cash were stolen during an armed robbery of a sporting goods store. Topeka police said in a news release that the robbery happened Friday afternoon at Academy Sports. Police said that a short time after the suspects left the store on foot, a vehicle was stolen from the area. Detectives determined that the robbery and stolen car report were connected. Police said officers later apprehended the suspects, and detectives interviewed them. The 16- and 17-year-old boys have been booked into a juvenile detention facility on multiple counts of aggravated assault, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary. Police said the stolen weapons and cash have been recovered. The release offered no specifics on how many weapons or how much money was taken.
Parolee Charged in KCK Killing
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A paroled drug dealer has been charged in the killing of a 22-year-old woman in Kansas City, Kansas. The Star reports that Wyandotte County prosecutors filed a first-degree murder charge Friday against Antoine Fielder. The 27-year-old also is charged with criminal possession of a firearm. Fielder is being held in Wyandotte County, with bail set at $1 million. It wasn't immediately known if he had an attorney. Kelsey Ewonus was found fatally shot last month in a parked car. She was the single mother of a 1-year-old son. Kansas Department of Corrections records show Fielder was paroled from prison last August after serving time on drug sale charges. After Ewonus was killed, prison officials charged Fielder with being a parole absconder, and he was taken into custody Wednesday.