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Headlines for Sunday, March 30, 2014


Kansan, American Farmers Confront 'Big Data' Revolution

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Farmers from across the nation gathered in Washington this month for their annual trek to seek action on the most important matters in American agriculture.

But this time, a new issue emerged: growing unease about how the largest seed companies are gathering vast amount of data from sensors on tractors, combines and other farm equipment. The sensors measure soil conditions, seeding rates, crop yields and many other variables.

Seed companies want to harness the data to help farmers grow more food with the same amount of land. But some farmers worry that the information could be hacked or exploited by corporations or government agencies. And they are serving notice that Congress might need to become involved in yet another debate over electronic security and privacy.


Kansas Court Bars Odor-Based Warrantless Search

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that a strong odor of alcohol from inside a motor vehicle isn't enough to justify a search by law enforcement officers without a warrant.

The court ruled for a Sedgwick County man convicted of possessing methamphetamine discovered by officers who searched his SUV after smelling alcohol they suspected had spilled inside. A leaking bottle of wine was found in the back seat, out of the driver's reach.

Kansas law allows open alcohol containers to be carried inside vehicles under some conditions; including placement in the back seat of vehicles like SUV's that don't have trunks.

The Supreme Court ruled Friday that the warrantless search was illegal. It reversed the man's meth conviction and sent the case back for trial without the drug evidence.


Census Shows More People Leaving Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — New census figures show that more people have been moving out of Kansas than have recently been moving in.

Census data released Thursday shows that from 2010 to 2013, Kansas lost about 10,000 people because of outward migration. The census also showed that Kansas gained more than 16,000 people from international migration over the last four years, but lost nearly 27,000 to other states, which resulted in the net loss of about 10,000.

The Wichita Eagle reports the numbers don't reveal why people left.

Kansas was also among the bottom 10 states in the number of people who moved in from other states compared with the number who moved out during the 12 months ending July 1, 2013.


Garden City Man Sentenced to 10 years

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 34-year-old man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for the 2011 stabbing death of a Garden City man.

Fred Schmidt pleaded guilty on February 11th to second-degree murder in the March 29th, 2011 stabbing death of 24-year-old Jeffrey Nichols.

The Garden City Telegram reports Finney County District Court Judge Robert Frederick sentenced Schmidt Friday to 10 years and three months.

Garden City police say Schmidt told them he and Nichols fought near Nichols' home. Schmidt claimed he killed Nichols in self-defense.

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