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Headlines for Thursday, August 31, 2017

Here's a look at area headlines from the Associated Press

Kansas Sends Rescue Teams to Help in Flooded Southeast Texas

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas is sending teams to areas of Texas raved by Hurricane Harvey to help conduct search and rescue operations. The Kansas Adjutant General's Department said in a news release that two state agencies, 14 fire departments, one police department and one sheriff's office are sending boats and crews to operate them. Some of the teams left Wednesday, and others are leaving Thursday for the Gulf Coast.  As the water receded, Houston's fire department said it would begin a block-by-block search today (THUR) of thousands of flooded homes. 

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Governor Brownback Issues Executive Order for Hurricane Harvey 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has issued an executive order to help commercial vehicles headed to Texas to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery. The governor's order issued on Wednesday applies only to commercial vehicles participating in relief and restoration efforts in Texas. The order waives some carrier fees and regulations for those vehicles. The Kansas National Guard is also on standby to deploy if asked by the disaster operations command. Kansas is also the coordinating state for the Emergency Management Assistance Compact in charge of coordinating relief efforts with other states.

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Kansas Secretary of State Files 2 New Election Fraud Cases 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's office has filed two new criminal election fraud cases, including one alleging an attempt to vote by a non-citizen. The three felony counts filed August 17 in Johnson County against Sergio Salgado-Juarez mark the second time Kobach's office has filed charges alleging that a non-citizen voted since being given the power to prosecute election fraud allegations in 2015. Most of the other ten cases involved voting in two states. Such double voting is the focus of four felony charges filed the same day in Franklin County against David Haddock. Kobach's office alleges he voted in Kansas and Colorado in the November election. Telephone listings for Salgado-Juarez in Olathe and Haddock in Wellsville were disconnected. It wasn't clear from court records whether they had attorneys.

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State Discusses Privatization Plan for Osawatomie 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services is promoting a plan to turn over the troubled Osawatomie State Hospital to a private company. Secretary Tim Keck presented information in Topeka Wednesday about Correct Care Recovery Solutions' bid to rebuild and run Osawatomie, which lost federal certification in 2015. Correct Care runs mental health facilities around the country. Keck says he believes Correct Care could run the hospital at a lower cost and more effectively recruit staff. The proposal includes a 210-bed hospital. The state agency would continue to operate its 60-bed acute care unit. Keck said the rebuild project is expected to cost between $100 million and $175 million. He said the contract could be final near the end of the year

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Former Leavenworth VA Worker Convicted of Sexual Battery of Patients

LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) - A former physician assistant at a Veteran's Administration hospital in Leavenworth has been convicted of sex crimes against four patients. Jurors found 66-year-old Mark Wisner guilty Wednesday of criminal sodomy, aggravated sexual battery and three counts of sexual battery. Prosecutors alleged he performed unnecessary and improper genital examinations from 2012 to 2014 while working at the Eisenhower Veterans Administration Medical Center in Leavenworth. Wisner surrendered his medical license in 2015 after at least seven patients accused him of abuse, and medical regulators said at the time that others could come forward. Wisner agreed in a consent order that he violated the law by having inappropriate sexual contact with patients and overprescribing medication. He faces at least a dozen lawsuits, with some former VA patients seeking $3 million in damages.

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Kansas Boy's Relatives Sue Kansas, Missouri Social Workers 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Relatives of a 7-year-old Kansas boy whose remains were fed to pigs after he was killed by his father and stepmother claim in a lawsuit that social workers in Missouri and the child welfare agency in Kansas did not do enough to protect him. The lawsuit alleges child welfare workers had several chances to remove Adrian Jones from his home and were aware that he was physically abused for years but did little except document the abuse. The boy's remains were found outside a Kansas City, Kansas, home in November 2015. Adrian's father, Michael Jones, and stepmother, Heather Jones, are both serving sentences of life in prison with no chance of parole for at least 25 years in the boy's death. The family is seeking $25 million in damages.

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Kansas Couple Pleads in Abuse of 3 Peruvian Children
 
NEWTON, Kan. (AP) — A southeast Kansas couple will be sentenced in December for abusing three orphans they adopted from Peru. James and Paige Nachtigal, of North Newton, entered Alford pleas Friday to several counts of child abuse. The plea means they maintain their innocence but acknowledge prosecutors have enough evidence for a conviction. Harvey County Attorney David Yoder said James Nachtigal entered the pleas to three counts of child abuse and his wife of two counts. Several other charges were dismissed as part of the plea deal. The Nachitgals were arrested in February 2016 after an 11-year-old boy was found walking barefoot in a field and told authorities he feared returning home. The Wichita Eagle reports a doctor diagnosed the boy and his 11- and 15-year-old sisters as being victims of child torture.

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State Representative Scott Schwab Enters Kansas Secretary of State Race

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Republican state Representative Scott Schwab of Olathe says he plan to run for Kansas Secretary of State. Schwab announced his campaign Wednesday, saying he wants to improve how the state implements its election laws. He said his experience as speaker pro tem of the Kansas House of Representatives and as previous chairman of the elections and insurance committees makes him qualified for the secretary of state's office. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Schwab says he isn't interested in rolling back tough Kansas voting laws supported by current Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Schwab said he and his wife decided early last year that he would run in 2018 but that move was delayed after their son, Caleb, died on a water slide at Schlitterbahn Water Park last summer.  

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Kansas Department of Children and Families Offers Some Raises 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Department for Children and Families is offering some workers a raise — if they give up the right to appeal disciplinary decisions. DCF Secretary Phyllis Gilmore said the agency has offered 118 classified workers a 2.5 percent pay raise. Another 598 classified and unclassified employees would get the same offer if the Department of Administration approves. Gilmore says of the 118 who were offered the raise, 49 accepted and 69 declined. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports the offer comes after some state workers didn't receive a pay increase approved this spring by the Legislature. Robert Choromanski, executive director of the state employees union, says the offer would make it easier for the state to fire employees. Employees who keep their classified status can appeal firings, demotions or suspensions.

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Kansas Confirms 2 More Horses Infected with Equine Disease 

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say an incurable animal disease has now been confirmed in two more Kansas horses. The Kansas Department of Agriculture's Division of Animal Health said Wednesday that it has received confirmation that a horse in Finney County and another in Kearny County have tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia. Earlier this month, six horses in Finney County also tested positive for the disease. The agency says the infectious disease is caused by a virus that affects horses, donkeys, asses and other equine species. It does not affect humans. It can be transmitted by biting flies, contaminated medical instruments or a blood transfusion. Signs include fever, anemia and swelling. The United States typically has a few cases each year, although the disease is more common in other parts of the world.

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Lenexa School Locked Down After Man Falls Through Ceiling 

LENEXA, Kan. (AP) — Lenexa police say a Catholic school was briefly locked down after a suspected burglar fell through the ceiling. The Holy Trinity Early Education Center closed down just before noon Thursday. KMBC-TV reports fire personnel were called first but when they arrived, the man became combative and police were called. Authorities say the man ran from police and fire personnel and tried to hide in the church chapel. Police say because the man had no connection to the church or school, they believe he was committing a burglary when he fell. That man was taken into custody about 20 minutes after first responders were called.

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Nonprofit Railroad Excursion Line Hit by Flood Damage 

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. (AP) — A nonprofit railroad that provides excursions between Baldwin City and Ottawa won't be able to provide the trips to Ottawa because of damage caused by recent floods. The Lawrence Journal-World reports Midland Railway will still offer a 4.5 mile excursion to a site about 4.5 miles south of Baldwin City. Allen Kinsley, Midland Railway treasurer, said a flash flood on Aug. 22 washed out a quarter mile of track in northern Franklin County about five miles south of the Baldwin City depot and left a nearly 10-foot gully through the line. A preliminary damage estimate was $50,000 but that was if Midland volutes do the repairs. Kinsley says the repair bill could be as high as $100,000 and the railroad can't afford that cost.

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Garden City Student Arrested After Trying to Grab Gun 

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) — Police say a 16-year-old was arrested at Garden City High School after he tried to grab a school resource officer's gun. Police Captain Randy Ralston says the incident occurred Wednesday afternoon when school resources officers were called to help with an upset student. Ralston says a struggle began and the student tried to get the officer's gun. Officers disarmed the student, who was taken to the Juvenile Detention Center. The student could face charges of aggravated assault on an officer, interference with law enforcement, battery and criminal threat.

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Overnight Earthquake Reported in South-Central Kansas 

CHENEY, Kan. (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey says a 3.4 magnitude earthquake has rattled south-central Kansas. The Wichita Eagle reports that the quake was reported early Thursday about 2 miles southeast of Cheney. A smaller 2.9 magnitude quake was recorded just after 10 a.m. Sunday in Sumner County. Scientists say damage is not likely in earthquakes below magnitude 4.0.

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More Than 40 Arrested on Drug Charges in Kansas, Colorado

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) _ Authorities say they have made more than 40 arrests over three days stemming from an investigation into narcotics distribution in several western Kansas and eastern Colorado counties. The announcement in a press release Wednesday attributes most arrests to a two-month investigation by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Wallace County Sheriff's Office and the Greeley County Sheriff's Office. Suspected crimes include distribution and possession of methamphetamine and marijuana, weapons violations and other drug-related offenses. Most of the formal charges will be filed in the Wallace County District Court. Arrests were made in the western Kansas counties of Cheyenne, Ellis, Greeley, Logan, Rawlins, Sherman, Thomas, and Wallace as well as the Colorado counties of Cheyenne and Kit Carson. More arrests are expected. 

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Man Arrested in California Amtrak Stabbing Charged in Kansas Shooting Death

TESCOTT, Kan. (AP) _ A man arrested in California after he was accused of stabbing a person on an Amtrak train has been charged with fatally shooting a Kansas man two weeks earlier. The Kansas attorney general's office said in a news release that 34-year-old Robert Colson, of Bucksport, Maine, was charged Wednesday with second-degree intentional murder in the death of Matthew Schoshke. Schoshke was killed earlier this month in a rural area about 25 miles northwest of Salina. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation said Kansas authorities went to California last week after Schoshke's missing pickup was found in Los Angeles. Colson was injured while trying to escape from an Amtrak train after a person was stabbed. He was arrested Saturday in Martinez, California. 

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Suspect in Kansas City Trail Killings Made Threats to "Kill White People"

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Court records in Kansas City show that a black man suspected of fatally shooting five white men, all but one of them along south Kansas City hiking and biking trails, threatened in 2014 to shoot up a school and " kill all white people.'' The Kansas City Star reports that a municipal court citation for harassment said Fredrick Demond Scott made the statement in January 2014 at an alternative school. Scott, who's 22, was charged Tuesday in two killings and named as a suspect in three more. Scott's mother said in an interview that he refused to get treatment for his paranoid schizophrenia but didn't show any hatred toward white people. Scott is jailed in Jackson County. 

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Age Gap: Big 12 Youngest Power League, Even with Oldest Coach 

The Big 12 head football coaches have the youngest average age among the Power Five conferences, even with the nation's oldest coach. Along with 77-year-old Bill Snyder at Kansas State, the Big 12 also has the youngest with 33-year-old Lincoln Riley as Oklahoma's new coach. Riley is one of three 30-something coaches in the league. Baylor's Matt Rhule and Tom Herman at Texas, the other Big 12 newcomers, are both 42. The average age of the Big 12 coaches is just under 47 years old, the youngest among the Power Five conferences by two years. The SEC coaches have the second-youngest average age at 49, with the Big Ten and Pac 12 both just over 50. The ACC average is nearly 53.

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Tampa Bay Rays Defeat Royals 5-3 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Kansas City Royals 5-3 on Wednesday night for their latest series victory. The Rays took two out of three games and have won three consecutive series. The Royals have lost 18 of the 28 games played in August, including six of seven to end the month. The Rays' Logan Morrison, who was born in Kansas City, has four home runs, eight RBIs and six runs in the first six games of Tampa Bay's current road trip. Morrison hit his 33rd homer with two outs in the fifth against the Royals' Jason Vargas (14-9). Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi (7-7), allowed three runs and four hits over five-plus innings.
 

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