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Headlines for Sunday, July 31, 2016

Budget Problems and Education Funding Big Issues for Voters

SHAWNEE, Kan. (AP) — Small-government Republican conservatives face a political backlash in Kansas because of the state's budget problems and battles over education funding.The epicenter is in sprawling Kansas City suburbs where residents have cherished public schools for decades. But the Democrats and GOP moderates hoping to lessen the grip Gov. Sam Brownback's allies have on the Legislature must contend with a political paradox in Johnson County and its affluent suburbs.Johnson County voters regularly approve bonds and property tax increases for schools yet elect conservative legislators who've backed the governor's experiment in slashing state income taxes.More than two dozen conservative Republican legislators face challengers in Tuesday's primary.They include 11 incumbents in Johnson County, which is the state's most populous. Challengers there have made education funding a key issue.


Court Allows DMV Voter Registrations

CHICAGO (AP) — Courts have dealt setbacks to Republican efforts in three states to restrict voting. A court Friday blocked a North Carolina law requiring photo identification. Other courts halted measures in Kansas that would have applied strict citizenship requirements and in Wisconsin that placed limits including the times when absentee voting is allowed.The three rulings came as the 2016 election moves into its final phase with Republican Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton locked in a high-stakes presidential race and control of the U.S. Senate possibly hanging in the balance.The rulings follow a blow earlier this month to what critics said was one of the nation's most restrictive voting laws in Texas. A federal appeals court said Texas' voter ID law is discriminatory and must be weakened before the November election.


Two Found Dead in Carbondale Home

CARBONDALE, Kan. (AP) — Carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected in the deaths of two people found in an eastern Kansas home.The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the two bodies were found Friday in an unoccupied Carbondale home south of Topeka. The home had been undergoing work recently.Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn says law enforcement originally arrived at the home investigating a report of a deceased person, and when they arrived they found the second body.The victims were identified as 54-year-old Gregory Bayless and 51-year-old Troy Adkins. Both were from Topeka. Authorities said the two victims had been working at the home and may have died from carbon monoxide poisoning linked to gas generators.But Dunn says the causes of death won't be finalized until an autopsy is complete.


Secretary of the Air Force Visits McConnell Air Force Base

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James visited McConnell Air Force Base, calling the Wichita base a "key location."James visited McConnell on Friday with Sen. Jerry Moran to tour some of the $277.5 million in military base construction tied to the arrival of new KC-46A tankers.The Wichita Eagle reports James called the base a "key location for us in the United States Air Force."She spoke from the headquarters of the 184th Intelligence Wing, the Kansas Air National Guard component on base. James said the arrival of the KC-46 tankers, which are expected to start coming in August 2017, will add "an absolutely fantastic capability" to the Air Force.It was her visit to McConnell since her 2013 appointment by President Obama.


Kansas Voters To Cast Primary Ballots Tuesday

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Republican primary voters in this deep red state head to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to back their GOP congressional incumbents, including two who are running unopposed for their U.S. House seats.The state's Democrats have slightly more choices on their primary ballot as they decide who they want as challengers for the November elections.U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran faces a primary race with Della Jean "D.J." Smith, a former Osawatomie city council member, who is running against a sitting GOP senator for a second time.Democrats Patrick Wiesner of Lawrence and Monique Singh-Bey of Kansas City are vying for the chance to face Moran in November's general election.U.S. Reps. Lynn Jenkins and Mike Pompeo are running unopposed in their GOP primaries.

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