Kansas Company Building Drones for Farmers
NEODESHA, Kan. (AP) — A company in Neodesha is building drones that its owner believes could someday help farmers watch over their fields without spending hours walking or driving through their property. The company, called AgEagle, has shipped 125 unmanned aircraft systems to customers across the world since January 1st. AgEagle was started by Bret Chilcott, a former aircraft employee who grew up on a farm near Udall. Chilcott says his firm is a pioneer in an industry that he believes will grow quickly, despite current federal regulations that prohibit commercial use of drones. The Hutchinson News reports the machines could someday allow farmers to map out fields using imagery to detect how a crop is growing. Data collected by the drones would be sent to a laptop for study by the farmer.
Monarch Numbers Improve After 3 Years of Drops
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Monarch butterflies are rebounding after three years of significant drops. Chip Taylor of Monarch Watch at the University of Kansas says the number of Monarchs wintering in Mexico could be two to four times more than last year. Monarch Watch organizes tagging to track the migration of the butterflies. The Wichita Eagle reports that favorable weather seems to be the reason for the improved numbers. The butterflies have been thick the past couple of weeks, but a weather front may have lifted them on their way by now. Wichita naturalist Jim Mason says Monarchs look for northerly winds to help them migrate more easily.
Kansas City Man Convicted of Double Murder
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City man has been convicted of fatally shooting two people in 2012. The Kansas City Star reports that Jackson County jurors Friday found 51-year-old Oliver Todd guilty of two counts of second-degree murder. Court records say the killings happened after Todd argued with several people on the front porch of home. He then returned with a gun, killing 24-year-old Travis Pernell and 29-year-old Melvin Taylor. The jury also found Todd guilty of one count of first degree assault and three counts of armed criminal action. Sentencing is set for November 24th.
Inmate Gets 25 Years in 2010 Shooting
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison in a killing that witnesses say was revenge for the death of his brother. Sedgwick County District Court records show that 32-year-old James Vell Holloman will begin serving time on his second-degree murder conviction after completing a 12-year federal prison term for weapons violations and conspiracy to commit robbery. The Wichita Eagle reports that Holloman pleaded guilty in June to the 2010 killing of 41-year-old Stephen Smallwood outside Perfection Auto shop. During testimony, witnesses said Smallwood was shot because Holloman thought the auto shop owner was involved in the killing of Holloman's brother, Sammy Smith, in 2009.
Kyle Busch Wins at Kansas Speedway
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Kyle Busch raced his sixth NASCAR Nationwide Series victory of the year yesterday (SAT,) making a late pass on Kevin Harvick and holding on at Kansas Speedway. Busch, also the winner last week at Dover, extended his series-record victory total to 69. Harvick pulled away at the final restart with 40 laps to go, but Busch got around him with 20 to go and won by 0.767 second. Ryan Blaney was third after starting on the outside of the front row. Chase Elliott tightened his hold on the points lead with four races to go, finishing 10th after avoiding a collision with Jamie Dick shortly after the three-quarter mark in the 200-lap, 300-mile race. Regan Smith, who came into the race 26 points behind Elliott, crashed in practice Saturday morning and finished 22nd in a backup car.