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Headlines for Sunday, November 20, 2016

Kobach Meets with President-Elect Today

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is scheduled to meet this weekend with President-elect Donald Trump. Kobach spokeswoman Desiree Taliaferro told The Associated Press yesterday that Kobach was on his way to New Jersey. She says she could not confirm details of the planned meeting, which is today. Kobach served as an adviser to the Trump campaign on immigration issues. Before Kobach's election in 2010, he had a national reputation in conservative circles for helping draft state and local laws aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration. He also has championed tough state voter identification laws. Kobach was mentioned as a potential pick for U.S. attorney general, but Trump named Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. Republican Governor Sam Brownback would name Kobach's replacement if Kobach joins the Trump administration.


Suspected Kidnappers Knew Baby's Murdered Mother

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Police say two people who were in custody in Dallas after authorities found a missing baby knew the mother who was shot to death at her Kansas home.The Wichita Eagle  reports that Police Chief Gordon Ramsay says two people were taken into custody before dawn Saturday after authorities found baby Sophia at a Dallas home.He says the baby, who was six days old when she was reported missing Thursday, is healthy and in protective custody.The baby's mother, 27-year-old Laura Abarca-Nogueda, was found shot to death at her home Thursday.Police spokeswoman Sgt. Nikki Woodrow told The Associated Press that the suspects knew the baby's mother, but did not provide details, citing the investigation.

Marshall Seeks Agriculture Committee Seat

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Newly elected congressman Roger Marshall says his top priority in Washington is to secure a seat on the House Agriculture Committee.He told The Associated Press that he wants to protect crop insurance and shape farm policy.Marshall said he expects President-elect Donald Trump's administration to lessen environmental regulations that farmers and agribusinesses find burdensome.Marshall also looks forward to the debate over health care as Republicans push to replace the 2010 law championed by outgoing President Barack Obama.But the Agriculture Committee seat looms large. Marshall defeated GOP Rep. Tim Huelskamp in the August primary in the First District of western and central Kansas. Farm groups and voters turned on Huelskamp because his disputes with Republican leaders led to his being stripped of his Agriculture Committee spot.


Bridges Pleads No Contest in Murder of Pittsburg Student

PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) - A 21-year-old man has pleaded no contest to a murder charge in the 2014 death of a Pittsburg State student.The Pittsburg Morning Sun reports  that Bryan Bridges pleaded no contest Friday in Crawford County court to first-degree felony murder in the October 2014 death of Pittsburg State University student Taylor Thomas.The plea agreement dismisses other charges, including conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary and aggravated kidnapping.Taylor was shot and killed when intruders burst into his home looking to rob his roommate. After Taylor's death, Bridges was captured in Mexico and later brought back to Kansas. Sentencing is scheduled for January 9, 2017.


State Agency Seeks Contractor for Osawatomie Hospital

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas agency is seeking proposals from private contractors to run a troubled state mental hospital that lost its federal certification a year ago over safety issues.The Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services issued a request for proposals on Monday to run Osawatomie State Hospital, one of the state's two mental hospitals.The Osawatomie facility, about 45 miles southwest of Kansas City, has been losing between $500,000 and $1 million a month in federal funds since decertification last November. Lawmakers earlier this year approved measures requiring KDADS to seek permission from the Legislature before privatizing the facility. Department secretary Tim Keck says soliciting proposals for private operation will give the state another option next year when lawmakers are trying to decide how to fund the facility.

City of Lawrence Sues Management Company

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) - The City of Lawrence is suing a local management company, saying a veteran with an emotional support animal was discriminated against when he tried to rent a townhome.The Lawrence Journal-World  reports that the lawsuit was filed by the City of Lawrence Human Relations Commission. It says KanMar Management LLC violated fair housing laws by refusing to rent to Christopher Evans based on his disability and use of a service dog. The lawsuit says the company refused based on the pet policy of townhomes even though Evans supplied a letter from his therapist regarding the dog. Owners of the management company declined to comment on the lawsuit. The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $75,000. A court hearing has not yet been scheduled.


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