Kansas Lawmakers at Odds over Dog Breeder Inspections
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Some Kansas lawmakers and animal welfare advocates are holding up a bill increasing fees on pet stores, breeders and kennels in hopes that they can also pass more stringent oversight of breeders. House and Senate negotiators couldn't agree last week on a bill increasing fees and oversight. They moved forward with only the fee increase. But House members rejected that Thursday and sent the bill back to the negotiating committee. At issue is a measure to require surprise inspections of breeders, a move supporters say would help address problem breeders, or "puppy mills" that mistreat animals. Those who oppose surprise inspections say alerting breeders about an inspection ensures someone will be at the facility when inspectors arrive, but doesn't allow breeders time to hide wrongdoing.
Man Wounded by Sheriff's Deputies During Domestic Dispute
LABETTE COUNTY, Kan. (AP) — Authorities are investigating what led to a 40-year-old man being shot during a confrontation with Labette County Sheriff's deputies. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation is reviewing that incident that happened in Mound Valley around 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Initial information says two deputies were called to a home because of a domestic incident where a 77-year-old man was wounded. When they arrived, the man was standing in the driveway with a gun. The KBI says it appears that both deputies fired at the man and wounded him. He was taken to a hospital in Joplin, Missouri. The suspect is in stable condition Sunday. The 77-year-old was also hospitalized in stable condition Sunday.
Slain Kansas Boy's Grandmother Seeks Tougher Home School Rules
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The grandmother of a 7-year-old boy who was killed in Kansas City, Kansas, in 2015 is pushing for tougher regulations of home schools in the state. Adrian Jones was supposed to be getting schooling at home from the father and stepmother who are now headed for prison for his death. Kansas does little to regulate home schools beyond requiring parents to register them. Grandmother Judy Conway has contacted legislators about his case and tougher rules for home schools. Some legislators want to discuss oversight of home schools. But that's a tough sell because of the GOP-controlled Legislature's wariness of stepping on parental rights or what goes on in homes. Conway said she's determined to make sure vulnerable children who are home schooled have some contact with people outside their homes.
Teen Accused in Kansas Guinea Pig Caper
EMPORIA, Kan. (AP) — An eastern Kansas teenager is facing animal cruelty charges related to three guinea pigs supposedly abandoned in rural areas, including one found in a mailbox. Lyon County prosecutors have charged the 17-year-old girl with three counts of animal cruelty. Her name has not been released. A case involving an 18-year-old woman has been referred to prosecutors for consideration of possible charges. Police say one of the guinea pigs was found April 26 in a mailbox and was taken to an Emporia animal shelter, where she has been named Rosita. Two other guinea pigs reportedly abandoned in woods have not been found.
Police Kill Bull After Escape from Kansas Veterinarian
HAYS, Kan. (AP) — A bull that escaped from a Kansas veterinarian who owned it spent about 20 minutes on the loose before being shot and killed by a police officer after attempts to corral and sedate the animal failed. Police in Hays say no people were injured after the bull's escape Saturday, though two vehicles were damaged by the animal. Police say officers and volunteers tried to keep the bull outside Hays' city limits. They say the officers decided to shoot the animal as it moved toward a more-populated area and approached the business district. The veterinarian removed the bull from the scene.
Wichita to Spend Nearly $10M to Prepare for NCAA Tournament
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita officials expect to spend between $7 million and $10 million to prepare for hosting a weekend of NCAA tournament basketball games next spring. The Wichita Eagle reports that the city and county are planning to tackle a list of projects before the fans and basketball teams arrive. The list includes some major projects such as a $3.5 million street reconstruction project in Wichita's Old Town area and a $1.63 million upgrade to Intrust Bank Arena's north entrance. County Commission Chairman David Unruh says hosting the tournament offered the perfect time to expand the north entrance to the arena. The county will also spend $385,000 to upgrade the wireless internet system at the arena.
Kansas Wind Power Takes Off: Continued Growth Expected
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Industry analysts say Kansas is blowing past other states when it comes to commitment to wind power. The American Wind Energy Association says in its first-quarter report that the state will reach 5,000 megawatts of wind power generation capacity this year. Only Texas, Oklahoma, California and Iowa produce more wind energy. The 200-megawatt Cimarron Bend II wind farm in Clark County and the 280-megawatt Western Plains wind farm in Ford County came on line this year and brought the state to 4,931 megawatts of generation capacity. The Wichita Eagle reports that a 178-megawatt Bloom Wind Farm is under construction south of Dodge City in Ford and Clark counties and the 400-megawatt Iron Star wind farm near Dodge City is in advanced development and likely will be built this year.
Kansas Native Presses Bike Trek on Behalf of Butterflies
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas native has hiked the length of the Continental Divide, canoed the Missouri River and biked from South America's Andes through tropical forests and deserts into Texas. The Kansas City Star reports 32-year-old Sara Dykman now is trying to add another 10,000-mile bike trip to her list of adventures. Dykman, formerly of Johnson County, is 2,200 miles into her trek meant to draw attention to the monarch butterflies, which each year make their own cross-country migrations. Some 95 percent of the monarch population has been lost over the past two decades, largely because millions of acres of milkweed plants on which the caterpillars feed have been destroyed. Dykman left Mexico in March, will be in Kansas City in coming days, and venture to Canada before biking back.
Holiday Inn Sniper Michael Soles Up for Parole Again
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A sniper who terrorized downtown Wichita more than 40 years ago is going before a parole board this month. The Wichita Eagle reports that the case of 59-year-old Michael Soles will be among several to be considered during a May 17 meeting in Kansas City, Kansas. Soles became known as the Holiday Inn Sniper in 1976 after he carried two rifles and an ammunition-filled lunch pail to the top floor of a 26-story building that was capped by the Holiday Inn. Killed in the shooting were 23-year-old Mark Falen, 56-year-old Joe Goulart and 57-year-old Elmer Hensley. Seven others were wounded before police shot Soles. He could be freed as early as July if his latest bid for release is granted. Several others have been denied, most recently in 2007.