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Headlines for Sunday, June 21, 2015

KCK Church Gathers to Remember Victims of Charleston Tragedy

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The top federal prosecutor for Kansas has joined about 70 churchgoers to remember the nine people killed during a South Carolina church shooting. The Kansas City Star reports that U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom called Wednesday's attack "domestic terrorism fueled by racial hatred." Grissom was among the speakers at a service yesterday (SAT) morning at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas. 21-year-old Dylann Roof is jailed on nine counts of murder in the attack. Authorities say Roof, who is white, stayed at a Bible study at the historic African-American church in Charleston for about an hour before opening fire. Monsignor Michael Mullen of St. Patrick Catholic Church, of Kansas City, Kansas, prayed for "divine mercy" for the gunman and lauded the forgiveness the victims' families had expressed.


Kansas Budget Balances, but School Funding is 'Wild Card'

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A lawsuit over funding for Kansas public schools threatens to upend the state budget that Republican Governor Sam Brownback and the GOP-dominated Legislature struggled to balance this year. The state is increasing sales and cigarette taxes to help raise an estimated $384 million in new revenues during the fiscal year beginning July 1st to avert a budget deficit. But Brownback acknowledged state aid for its 286 public school districts remains a "wild card." A three-judge panel in Shawnee County District Court has ruled that Kansas must boost aid to school districts by at least $548 million a year. The state has appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court. The same panel has yet to rule on the constitutionality of a school funding law enacted in March to make funding more predictable.


Hearing Set for on Lawmaker's 'Inflammatory' Language

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A special Kansas legislative committee will consider a complaint from legislators who say a Democrat used "inflammatory" language when she referred to supporters of an education bill as "racist bigots." The measure would have repealed a law allowing some immigrants who are in the country illegally to pay in-state tuition at Kansas colleges and universities if they meet other requirements. Nine Republican members of the House Education Committee signed a formal complaint against Kansas City Democratic Representative Valdenia Winn, who is black. She called the proposal a "racist, sexist, fear-mongering bill" in March, a transcript shows, and apologized to those "whose lives are being hijacked by the racist bigots" supporting it. The Lawrence Journal World reports the House Select Investigating Committee is scheduled to hear the complaint Friday.


4 Charged in Lawrence Kidnapping, Assault

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Four people have been charged in an attack on a woman who told police was restrained over several days at a southeast Lawrence home. The Lawrence Journal World reports that three of the suspects were charged Friday in Douglas County District Court with aggravated kidnapping and aggravated battery. The fourth suspect was charged with aggravated assault. The two men and two women were arrested Wednesday night. Lawrence police spokesman Sergeant Trent McKinley says the 22-year-old woman was able to escape late Tuesday evening when some of the suspects left the house, and she "eventually contacted a relative for help." McKinley described her injuries as serious and said she was taken to a hospital.


Man Arrested after Abducting Teen, Shooting at Police

SALINA, Kan. (AP) — Salina police say a man has been arrested after abducting a teenager and firing several shots at officers. Police said in a news release that the investigation began Friday when a 17-year-old boy reported that the 34-year-old suspect had come to his home and pointed a rifle at him. The Salina Journal reports that the suspect left with a 15-year-old girl before officers arrived. Police say officers found the girl unharmed at the suspect's home, but he wasn't there. When the suspect returned, officers surrounded the home. Police say the suspect fired several shots, with one round striking a patrol car in which an officer was taking cover. Officers didn't return fire. The suspect was armed with two firearms when he left the home and was arrested after dropping them.


Child Abandoned at Wichita Store

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A 5-year-old boy has been placed in foster care after he was abandoned at a Wichita department store. The Wichita Eagle reports that the relative who was raising the boy was caught attempting to shoplift this past week from a Kohl's store and fled without the boy. Police say the woman remains on the run, and no other relatives showed up to claim the boy during a temporary custody hearing Friday. Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says efforts will be made to talk to people related to the boy before the court makes a long-term placement decision. Wichita police Detective Andrew Do says the boy's caregiver hasn't been charged. But he says police plan to pursue a case against her for felony theft and possibly child endangerment or abandonment.


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