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Headlines for Sunday, March 19, 2017

Here's what's been happening around our area.

KU Advances to Sweet 16, Wichita State Goes Home

TULSA, Okla.  — The top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks have advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Men's basketball tournament by defeating Michigan State.  The Jayhawks beat the Spartans 90-70 in a second-round game that was much closer than the final score indicates.  KU freshman Josh Jackson scored 14 of his 23 points in the second half to help the Jayhawks pull away late and reach the Sweet 16 for a second straight year.  Frank Mason III added 20 points for the top-seeded Jayhawks (30-4), who have advanced to the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament in nine of coach Bill Self's 14 seasons.  Devonte' Graham added 18 points and Landen Lucas had 10 for the Jayhawks, who shot 53.1 percent (34 of 64) in the win.  In an earlier second-round tournament game, the Wichita State Shockers fell just a few points short -- losing to the Kentucky Wildcats 65-62 -- and bringing the Shocker season to a close.  

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Gregg Marshall's Wife Escorted Out of Arena after Shockers NCAA Tourney Loss

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A security guard asked the wife of Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall to leave the lower bowl of Bankers Life Fieldhouse after she started loudly cursing shortly after Sunday's 65-62 loss to Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament.  A police officer was eventually called and followed Lynn Marshall up the steps. She later was taken back to the playing level on an elevator so she could attend her husband's news conference.  NCAA spokesman David Worlock says it is standard procedure for the wife of a coach to be escorted to the press conference but it is usually done by school officials.  Lynn Marshall remained in the stands about 10 minutes after the final buzzer. She at first consoled fans and family members of the team's players. But then she started shouting loudly about the calls made during the game. Eventually, the people around coaxed her to leave and the police officer followed.  Team spokesman Bryan Holmgren said the team was unaware of the situation and could not comment.

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4 Kansas City Men Face Kidnapping, Gun Charges

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Two brothers and two other Kansas City, Missouri, men are accused of abducting two people.  Federal prosecutors charged 30-year-old Jeremy Dobson, 25-year-old Joshua Dobson, 25-year-old Courtney Devero and 21-year-old Justin Watson with one count each of kidnapping and using a firearm during a violent crime.  Court documents allege a man and woman were tied to a pole in a Kansas City home's basement on March 10, held at gunpoint and beaten by the kidnappers.  Authorities say the woman later was left at a hospital and the male victim was driven by some of the suspects across Kansas and eventually was left tied up in a field near Russell. That victim managed to break free from his bindings and summon police.  Online court records don't show if the defendants have attorneys.

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Top Kansas Court Clears Way for New Coal-Fired Power Plant

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas' highest court has cleared a major obstacle to the long-delayed construction of a big, new coal-fired power plant.  The state Supreme Court on Friday rejected an effort by an environment group to force the state to regulate emissions linked to climate change.  The justices upheld a 2014 decision by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to give Sunflower Electric Power Corp. the go-ahead for its project.  The utility wants to build an 895-megawatt plant adjacent to an existing one outside Holcomb, in southwestern Kansas and estimates the cost at $2.2 billion.  The company and the state's attorney general said they were pleased by the decision.  But an attorney representing the Sierra Club said the ruling "opens the door for a lot of pollution in Kansas."

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Kansas Committee Shields Public Employers from Gun Liability

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas House committee has advanced a bill that would protect public employers from liability for employees carrying concealed handguns while working outside of a public building.  The House Federal and State Affairs Committee passed the bill Friday. Under the bill, a public employer could not be sued if their employee acted wrongfully or negligently with their concealed gun while out of the building for work. Employers are already protected from liability when an employee is in a public building.  Wichita Republican Representative John Whitmer says employers shouldn't be held responsible for an employee's personal choice to carry a concealed weapon. Overland Park Republican Representative Stephanie Clayton didn't support the bill and says a victim would be able to sue for more damages from the employer than the employee.

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Keeping Gun Ban at Kansas Hospitals May Cost $25 Million

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The cost of upgrading security at the state's major mental hospitals in Osawatomie and Larned in order to avoid allowing concealed carry firearms in the building could reach $25 million.  The Topeka Capital-Journal reports a state law beginning in July requires an open-door policy at the two hospitals serving people with severe mental illnesses unless extraordinary security measures have been taken to protect patients. The same law requires Kansas' community mental health centers, public hospitals and public universities to allow individuals with concealed guns if there is no airport-level screening at building entrances.  Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary Tim Keck told a House committee Thursday that the statute applies to the state hospitals, and it could cost an estimated $25 million to install metal detection equipment and bolster security staff.

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To Aid Ferrets, Vaccine Treats Planned for Prairie Dogs

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Feeding vaccine nuggets to prairie dogs could help bring back a species of prairie weasel that almost went extinct.  Scientists thought the black-footed ferret was extinct until a Wyoming ranch dog brought a ferret home in 1981.  One of the biggest barriers to restoring the black-footed ferret to Western ranges is plague, a disease that kills prairie dogs by the thousand. Black-footed ferrets feed almost exclusively on prairie dogs, meaning plague can leave ferrets without enough to eat.  To help black-footed ferrets, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others plan to vaccinate prairie dogs against plague in several Western states later this year.  They will use all-terrain vehicles and possibly drones to disperse vaccine pellets across as much as 40 square miles of ferret habitat.

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Dairy Queen Offers Free Ice Cream Cones Monday

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Dairy Queen is offering free ice cream cones on Monday on the first day of spring.  Anyone who wants a treat can stop by participating locations outside of shopping malls Monday for a free small vanilla soft serve cone.  Dairy Queens will also be collecting donations for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals on Monday.  Over the past 32 years, Dairy Queen restaurants have raised more than $120 million for the hospitals.

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