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Headlines for Sunday, July 24, 2016

Here's a look at the latest Kansas news headlines from the Associated Press.

Salina Woman Sentenced for Hiding Murder Weapon

 SALINA, Kan. (AP) - A woman accused of attempting to hide a gun used to kill a Salina teen has been sentenced to probation.The Salina Journal reports  that 22-year-old Mexico citizen Azucena Garcia-Ferniza was sentenced to a year and a half of probation but will remain in custody while her immigration status is reviewed.She was convicted earlier of charges accusing her of hiding a gun belonging to her boyfriend, Macio D. Palacio Jr., after Palacio had been taken into custody for the murder of 17-year-old Allie Saum. Saum was struck and killed when Palacio fired into a truck she was in.Palacio has been sentenced to at least 50 years in prison after being convicted in Saum's death.The judge also ordered Garcia-Ferniza to pay court costs and other fees.


Hundreds Gather to Honor Fallen KCK Police Captain

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) - Hundreds of mourners gathered for the funeral for a Kansas City, Kansas, police captain shot to death on duty. Kansas City, Kansas, police Captain Robert Melton was fatally shot Tuesday by a suspect fleeing law enforcement. A 20-year-old man, Jamaal Lewis, is charged with capital murder in Melton's death. Melton was 46. The Kansas City Star reports  people began showing up at Children's Mercy Park after sunrise for the service, which began at 9:30 a.m. yesterday. Military veterans also lined the street holding American flags.Police Chief Terry Zeigler struggled to make it through his tribute to Melton, who he said was committed to the force. Zeigler said Melton's family would always be part of the department. Police officers also attended from other states, including Oklahoma and Texas.


Wichita Athlete Hopes for Return of Championship Ring

 WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A three-time Paralympics gold medalist from Wichita wants whoever stole the gold ring he received during the 2004 Athens Paralympics to return the ring. Nick Taylor's ring and other items were stolen during a robbery at his Wichita home earlier this month. He told The Wichita Eagle  the ring is a symbol of his first Paralympics tennis championship.Of the three gold Paralympics tennis medals - in Athens, London and Beijing - his first in Athens is special because it's among few things he has that mark that high point in his life. Wichita police spokeswoman Sgt. Nikki Woodrow says the robbery investigation is still open and phone calls and Crime Stoppers tips about the incident are welcomed.Taylor says he'd just like the thief to return the ring.


Hutchinson Woman Sentenced for 2015 Murder

 HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - A Hutchinson woman has been sentenced to about 12 years in prison for the death of a 38-year-old woman.The Hutchinson News reports that  the judge Friday sentenced Jamie Hatfield to 12 years and three months in prison in the 2015 strangulation death of Mary Ann Arnett. Hatfield was convicted earlier of second-degree intentional murder for Arnett's death. Hatfield was originally charged with premeditated first-degree murder but pleaded to the lesser count.


Kansas Students will Spend Less Time on State Assessments

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - Kansas students will spend less time taking tests under recently announced changes.The Lawrence Journal-World  reports that the Kansas State Department of Education is reducing the total required material to be assessed by 60 percent next school year. Education officials said the changes follow conversations with superintendents, principals, teachers and advocacy groups during the latest round of testing.Education department official Beth Fultz says there were concerns that students were "spending a lot of time out of class taking tests."The changes are possible because of revisions made to the federal education law. The revisions give more authority to states and local school boards, including how state assessments are administered and their results used. More details about the testing changes will be made after school starts in August.


Motorist Helps Stop KC Area Police Impersonator

 KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A 51-year-old man is accused of pulling over a vehicle and acting as if he were a police officer. The Kansas City star reports Willie O. Zimmerli of Shawnee Mission, Kansas, is charged in Jackson County with false impersonation of a law enforcement officer and driving with a revoked driver's license. Documents show Kansas City police were called Wednesday by a motorist reporting being pulled over on an interstate by a man in a sedan with flashing lights. The motorist said the man wasn't wearing a police uniform but carried a gun and told the motorist to "Slow it down for me, buddy."The motorist filmed the license plate number and called police. Zimmerli told police he didn't pretend to be a police officer and didn't have a gun.


 Area Teen to Participate in Democratic National Convention

 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - An incoming high school senior from the Kansas City area will be one of the youngest delegates at the Democratic National Convention. Seventeen-year-old Rachel Gonzalez will be attending the convention that starts Monday in Philadelphia as a Missouri delegate for likely presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.  Missouri Democratic Party guidelines say delegates must be at least 18 years old and have voted in the March 15 Democratic presidential primary. Gonzalez doesn't turn the legal voting age until Oct. 16. But Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Roy Temple said she was allowed to run as a delegate anyway, because she will be 18 in time for the November general election. She already has campaigned for Clinton at numerous events in Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. Gonzalez attends William Chrisman High School in Independence.


Fatal Crash Leads to Prison Time for Kansas Man

 HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) - A south-central Kansas man has been sentenced to more than six years in prison after being convicted of charges stemming from a fatal collision.The Hutchinson News reports  that 32-year-old Nathan Clark pleaded guilty earlier to involuntary manslaughter in the 2014 Reno County crash that killed 48-year-old Allen Hammeren of Williston, North Dakota. Reno County District Judge Trish Rose followed a plea agreement in sentencing Clark on Friday to six years and eight months in prison. The judge also ordered Clark to pay about $15,000 in restitution to the victim's family.Authorities said the crash occurred on a county road in October 2014 when the vehicle Clark was in struck the ATV Hammeren had been driving. Hammeren, who had been deer hunting, sustained a severe head injury.


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