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Headlines for Thursday, July 21, 2016

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

Prosecutor Charges Man in Kansas Police Officer's Death 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — The latest on the fatal shooting of a Kansas City, Kansas police officer (all times local):

5 p.m.

A prosecutor says bond has been set at $10 million for a man charged with capital murder in the death of a Kansas City, Kansas police officer. Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman announced Jamaal Lewis's bond amount Thursday after saying that the 20-year-old Lewis fired the shots that caused police Captain Robert Melton's death Tuesday. The 46-year-old Melton was fatally shot while investigating a drive-by shooting. Lewis also faces charges of aggravated assault and criminal discharge of a weapon from an incident that happened earlier the same day of Melton's shooting. A second man, 18-year-old DaQon Sipple, has been charged with aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer involving a different officer than Melton and criminal discharge of a weapon. Sipple's bond has been set at $100,000. It's unclear if the men have lawyers yet.


4:15 p.m.

A 20-year-old man has been charged with capital murder in the death of a Kansas City, Kansas police officer who was fatally shot while investigating a drive-by shooting. Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman said Thursday that he filed the murder charge Thursday against Jamaal Lewis in the death two days earlier of 46-year-old Captain Robert Melton. Lewis also faces charges of aggravated assault and criminal discharge of a weapon from an incident prior to the shooting of Melton. Eighteen-year-old DaQon Sipple is charged with aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer and criminal discharge of a weapon. It's unclear if Lewis and Sipple have lawyers yet. Authorities have said they don't believe Melton's death was a planned ambush. Melton was a 17-year veteran of the department.


Services Set for Slain Kansas City, Kansas Officer

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Funeral services have been scheduled for a Kansas City, Kansas, police officer killed in the line of duty. Captain Robert Melton was shot and killed Tuesday while looking for suspects in an earlier drive-by shooting. Two suspects are in custody but formal charges haven't been filed. The police department said Wednesday that visitation for Melton is scheduled for Friday afternoon at the Kansas City, Kansas Civic Center. His funeral is set for Saturday morning at Children's Mercy Park. Melton will be buried immediately after the service at the Leavenworth National Cemetery.


Slain KCK Officer Was Father, Decorated Veteran

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A slain Kansas City, Kansas, police officer had been awaiting the arrival of another child. Police officials said Wednesday that Captain Robert Melton's partner was pregnant and due to give birth this winter. Melton was shot and killed Tuesday when he was responding to a police call. Authorities say the attack wasn't a planned ambush. Two suspects are in custody. Police say Melton has three other children from previous relationships, and that Melton's pregnant partner also has two children. The Kansas National Guard says Melton was a decorated veteran who served tours in Iraq in and Afghanistan and received several honors, including the Bronze Star Medal and the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster. Melton served in the guard from 1986 until he retired in 2012.  The police chief in Kansas City, Kansas, says the department hopes to present the findings of its investigation into the killing to prosecutors soon. Chief Terry Zeigler said during a news conference that all suspects are thought to be in custody. Captain Melton was shot multiple times Tuesday afternoon while searching for a drive-by shooting suspect, and died at a hospital shortly after. 


Judge to Hear Challenge to Two-Tiered Kansas Voting System 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A judge will hear arguments on whether to block the two-tiered voting system in Kansas just days before the primary election. Shawnee County District Judge Larry Hendricks has set a July 29 hearing in Topeka on the American Civil Liberties Union's request for a temporary restraining order. The primary is Aug. 2. The ACLU is challenging Secretary of State Kris Kobach's plan to throw out thousands of votes cast in state and local races by people who registered at motor vehicle offices or used a federal form without providing documentary proof of U.S. citizenship. A state board approved that process the day before the start of advanced voting for the primary. Another judge ruled earlier this year that the right to vote is not tied to the method of registration.


Lawsuit: Worker for State Contractor Sexually Coerced Mother

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A federal lawsuit alleges that a caseworker for a Kansas foster care and family preservation contractor sexually harassed and coerced a mother seeking to regain custody of her children. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that a Sedgwick County woman is suing St. Francis Community Services and a former employee. She is accusing him of taking advantage of his authority to force her to send sexually charged messages and photos. The lawsuit charges that St. Francis had received complaints about him and that chronic insufficient staffing led to inadequate supervision. St. Francis spokeswoman Lee Ann Desper says the organization is unable to discuss a pending case. The Kansas Department for Children and Families called the allegations "disturbing" in a statement. The department oversees the state's privatized foster care and family services system.


Hearing Set for Man Accused in Kansas Detective's Death

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) _ A judge has scheduled a November preliminary hearing for a 29-year-old man charged with capital murder in the death of a Kansas City, Kansas, police detective. Curtis Ayers, of Tonganoxie, is charged with capital murder in the May 9 death of Detective Brad Lancaster. Ayers is accused of shooting Lancaster in Kansas City, Kansas, and then fleeing in a car to Missouri, where police shot and wounded him. The Wyandotte County District Attorney's office says that during a hearing Wednesday a judge scheduled Ayers's preliminary hearing for November 21-23. 


Kansas Delegation Disappointed in Cruz's Failure to Endorse Trump

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Kansas Republican Party's chairman says the state's delegation to the GOP National Convention felt "general disappointment" when Texas Senator Ted Cruz didn't endorse presidential nominee Donald Trump. Kansas State Chairman Kelly Arnold said all Republicans should endorse the nominee and failing to do so only helps presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. He said Republican voters across the nation have spoken. Arnold and most of the 40 Kansas delegates were bound by state party rules to vote for Cruz at the convention because the Cruz won the state's presidential caucuses in March. But many GOP activists have come around to backing Trump and several delegates said they were disappointed that Cruz didn't endorse the nominee. But Cruz delegate Dalton Glasscock of Wichita texted that the Texas senator showed "True leadership."


Kansas Republicans Say Convention's Tone Not Too Harsh

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas delegates say they don't believe the sometimes harsh comments at the Republican National Convention about Hillary Clinton will turn off voters. Several said Wednesday that most voters already have set opinions about the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. They argue that most Kansas voters view Clinton negatively already and agree with GOP criticism of her. Delegates Randy Duncan of Salina and Mary Kay Culp of Lenexa cited Clinton's use of a private email server as U.S. secretary of state and the Benghazi, Libya, attacks that left four Americans dead in 2012. Culp said Clinton already is compromised so voters won't be alienated. Culp also is a leading Kansas anti-abortion activist. But Kansas Democratic Party Chairman Lee Kinch said some of the GOP rhetoric is unnecessary and worsens political divisions.


Kansas House Majority Leader Interested in Speaker's Post

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas House Majority Leader Jene Vickrey has confirmed that he's interested in becoming the chamber's next speaker. But the Louisburg Republican told reporters Wednesday that he's concentrating first on helping fellow GOP lawmakers get re-elected. The House's top job will be open because Speaker Ray Merrick is not seeking re-election this year. Merrick is a Stilwell Republican who has been speaker for four years. Vickrey has served in the House since 1993. He won his seat in 1992 by defeating the last Democratic speaker, Marvin Barkis of Louisburg. Vickrey has no opponent in the August 2 Republican primary but faces Democrat Christy Levings of Osawatomie in the November election. With Republicans likely to retain their House majority, GOP members and members-elect will designate the new speaker in December.


Man Convicted of Causing Deadly 2013 Missouri Wreck 

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City, Missouri man accused of causing a car crash that killed a police crime scene technician has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter. The Kansas City Star reports that a Jackson County (Missouri) jury on Thursday also found 31-year-old Larneal Davis guilty of leaving an accident scene and driving with a revoked license. His sentencing is scheduled for September 16. Prosecutors told jurors that Davis's car had reached speeds of at least 105 mph on July 5, 2013, moments before he broadsided Michael Chou's car, splitting Chou's car in two and killing Chou. Davis was arrested after a short foot chase. Chou worked for the Kansas City Police Department as a crime scene technician and had just ended his shift shortly before the crash.


Man Gets 5 Years for Role in Robbery in Which Student Died

PITTSBURG, Kan. (AP) — A man involved in a home-invasion robbery in which a Pittsburg State University student was killed has been sentenced to five years in prison. The Joplin Globe reports that 26-year-old Juan Salas-Rueda was sentenced Wednesday for one count of aggravated robbery. Prosecutors have said they don't believe Salas-Rueda was present when Taylor Thomas was killed, but that he provided the weapons used in the robbery. Thomas was a 20-year-old junior at the school when killed in October 2014. Authorities allege the intruders were seeking drugs and money, with the drugs belonging to Thomas' roommate. The roommate has pleaded no contest to a marijuana-distribution charge. Initially, Salas-Rueda also faced charges of felony murder, aggravated burglary and obstruction. Those counts were dropped under a plea deal he accepted in May.


Trail to Promote African-American Legacy at Kansas Sites 

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A trail to promote African-American history at Kansas sites has recently received a grant for more than $134,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Topeka Capital Journal reports that the Kansas African-American History Trail will be linked to 10 sites in the state that are important to the African-American legacy. Some of the proposed sites for the trail include the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, the Buffalo Soldier Monument and museum at Fort Leavenworth and the community of Nicodemus. Nicodemus was Kansas's only all African-American community and is listed as a National Historic Park site. Kansas African American Museum director Mark McCormick says other historic sites may be added as the trail progresses.


Kansas Official Unsure of What Bioscience Sale Will Raise

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas Commerce Secretary Antonio Soave says he's not sure how much the state could raise by selling the assets of the Kansas Bioscience Authority. Soave said Wednesday the Department of Commerce needs to examine the authority's investment portfolio more thoroughly to assess how much a sale of the assets can bring. Measures approved by lawmakers this year anticipate the state raising $38 million to help public schools and keep the budget balanced. Governor Sam Brownback and top legislators took a key step toward the sale Wednesday by approving the authority's merger with the Department of Commerce. Soave said the assets could be sold by the end of the year. The state created the authority in 2004 to nurture emerging bioscience companies, but Republicans have expressed disappointment with results. 


KCMO Police Say Woman Killed in Shooting

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Police say a woman has died from an apparent gunshot wound. The Kansas City Star reports that the woman was found early Thursday and taken to a hospital, where she later died. Her age wasn't immediately known. Authorities are urging anyone with information about the woman's death to come forward.


Survey Shows Rural Economy Continues to Weaken in 10 States 

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly survey of bankers suggests there's been a drop in the already weak economic outlook for rural areas of 10 Western and Plains states. A report issued Thursday on the Rural Mainstreet Index says it fell to 39.8 this month from 43.9 in June. Survey officials say any score below 50 on any of the survey's indexes suggests a decline in that area. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the overall index has remained below growth-neutral for 11 straight months. He says that over the past 12 months, farm prices are down 9 percent and livestock prices are down 16 percent. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.


Royals Visit White House, Press Secretary Gets Jersey 

WASHINGTON (AP) — A dream came true for one long-suffering Kansas City Royals fan in the White House when the reigning World Series champion team paid a visit. President Barack Obama's spokesman Josh Earnest is a Kansas City, Missouri, native and longtime Royals fan. It's been more than three decades since the team won the World Series and came to the White House. Earnest grinned from ear to ear Thursday in anticipation. He donned a pair of Royals socks for the occasion. For weeks, he's been taking sips of water from a Royals mug during his daily briefings. Several Royals players interrupted Thursday's briefing to give Earnest a team jersey with his name and the number "15" across the back. They also gave him an upgraded mug and an autographed World Series baseball.


Indians Romp over Royals,11-4, Win Series

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Cleveland Indians routed their AL Central-rivals, the Kansas City Royals, 11-4, on Wednesday afternoon. The Indians' Tyler Naquin hit two of Cleveland's five home-runs and had a career-high six RBIs. Indians' starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco (7-3) only allowed one hit in six shutout innings, a one-out double by Cheslor Cuthbert in the fourth was followed by back-to-back strikeouts. Carrasco walked two in the sixth for his only other baserunners. Naquin had his first multi-homer game, while Mike Napoli went deep for the second straight day. Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana also hit home runs. The Royals' starter, Ian Kennedy (6-8), allowed the first four homers as he also threw eight strikeouts and one walk. It was the ninth straight game Kennedy has allowed at least one home run, and he has served up 26 of them this season, tied with teammate Chris Young for most in the majors. Kansas City scored all its runs off Cleveland reliever Austin Adams in the eighth. The division-leading Indians improved to 26-8 in the AL Central. They are 8-5 against the Royals.


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